Dante's Inferno

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Description official descriptions

Dante's Inferno is an action-packed journey through the world of Inferno, based on the first canticle of Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. In this adaptation Dante is re-imagined as a templar knight, a veteran of the crusades, who comes home to discover his beloved Beatrice has been killed. At that moment the murderer stabs Dante in the back as well. Dante is however able to resist Death, who wants to take him down to hell, and robs him of his scythe. With these new powers he can descend into the inferno by himself to track Beatrice whose soul has been captured by the devil. Lucifer plans to marry her soul, which should have gone to the heavens instead, to flee from hell and overthrow God. To prevent this from happening Dante has to travel through the nine circles of hell and master their demons to finally undergo his toughest test. Matching the original Inferno theme of recognizing and rejecting sin, he has to face his own past, his own crimes and his own sins to free Beatrice. Through the journey he often meets the poet Virgil who explains the different circles and drawn flashbacks show how Dante sinned in each circle during the crusades.

The gameplay is largely similar to the God of War games. Dante's preferred weapon is a scythe and he commands magic through a holy cross he carries which has been given to him by his beloved Beatrice shortly before her death. This magic utensil sends out rays of light that kills all evil it touches. Dante even can tame some demonic beasts and use these to his own needs. Players however have to choose between a holy and an unholy path. When grabbing enemies or encountering trapped characters (including a large number of historical figures) Dante can choose to punish or absolve them. Either choice is rewarded with unholy and holy experience points respectively. This allows Dante to level up in one of the two tech trees and spent the souls he has collected there. It is not possible to max out both sides, so a certain path needs to be chosen. The unholy side focuses on the powers of the scythe while the holy side focuses on the cross.

With each level new abilities can be purchased. For the unholy path most of these are centered around stronger scythe attacks, while the holy path focuses on the ranged abilities of the cross. There are also general abilities such as expanding the health or mana meter, extending the redemption meter, or providing additional defence against attacks. Dante has multiple combo attacks, he can dodge, block and revenge, attack from the air, grab and throw enemies, and perform acrobatic stunts such as sliding down large spines, hanging and swinging from ropes, or clinging to specific walls. These stunts are often used to solve minor environmental puzzles. Fighting enemies also fills up a redemption meter, which can be activated when it is maxed out, granting faster movement and attacking speed. During his journey he will also master four strong forms of magic, also enhanced through the tech tree and those depend on a separate mana meter to execute. The currency to buy new abilities is souls of the enemies he defeats. Souls are gathered automatically when killing enemies, and both health and mana is largely replenished through shrines. Many large battles feature quick time events (QTEs) where the player needs to press the correct buttons when prompted, to defeat a large enemy. These also appear as a mini-game when you need to absolve souls of major characters.

A final way to extend his abilities is through relics. These are collected throughout the journey and are fitted in a limited amount of slots (initially two). These provide additional assistance such as resisting magic, making attacks stronger or regenerate health and mana. By equipping them the relics can level up two times to render them more effective. Since the amount of slots is limited they often need to be switched according to the situation.

After completing the game a new game mode called Gates of Hell Arena is unlocked. It is an arena where the player needs to defeat different waves of enemies, similar to what was later introduced in the Dante's Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia DLC.

The PSP version is not a port, but was developed alongside the main console versions. Enemies and general level design are identical, and only some minor features have been cut, like the puzzle mini-game to absolve condemned souls.

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

570 People (547 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

Developed by
  • Visceral Games™
Executive Producer
Creative Director
Senior Director of Product Development
Senior Producer
Lead Designer
Lead Level Designer
Art Director
Audio Director
Lead Engineer
Animation Director
Technical Art Director
Visual Effects Director
UI Art Director
Technical Director
Adapted from Part One of "The Divine Comedy" by
Written by
Additional Story by
Additional Dialog by
Additional Text
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 86 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)

A trip through hell.

The Good
The art design is terrifyingly beautiful. From the landscapes to the design of the creatures in the game, it's clear that a lot of Tender Love and Care went into the art design.

The controls themselves aren't too bad, serving the purpose while Dante is running, jumping, slashing, etc. They could be smoother, but they never really get in the way either.

The length of the game isn't too bad either, I clocked in around 10 hours, which isn't bad for a hack-n-slash action game such as this one.

The most debatable plus to Dante's Inferno is the nudity. It COULD have been used to enhance a mature story but nudity is really only used in Dante's Inferno for shock value or visual appearance only (the Lust Circle of Hell portrayed in Dante's Inferno). Still, it's nice to see them try to advance a part of video games that is considered taboo.

The Bad
The story is pretty much a gutting of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. The mature and sophisticated story was replaced with a typical video game/God of War formula. Brute Neanderthal warrior must rescue the love of his life (if you call a mild physical attraction a good enough reason to rescue somebody from Hell, but whatever) from the clutches of an evil one-dimensional villain who has no motives except to be an A whole. Seriously, you can't butcher something any more without being a short-tempered assassin at a blind amputee convention.

"Blah" pretty much sums up the gameplay. It's not bad, but it's not good, either. It's like the developers made a really good gameplay test demo, but stopped right there. Dante has a scythe and a holy-cross-laser-beam thing, both of which you can upgrade with holy and unholy points, but instead of each weapon having two halves which might have worked, the scythe is unholy and the cross is holy. (DUH) The thing is while the scythe is more visually satisfying to use, the cross is more effective because you can spam it as a long-range projectile and never get hurt. So, basically it comes down to if you would rather watch paint dry or beat up handicapped orphans, your choice. The puzzle are brain-dead easy (moving the box on the platform type of stuff), and the platforming either doesn't work because the camera is PMS-ing or it's just way too easy, like if there were no enemies in Super Mario Bros 2.

The Bottom Line
If you like weird and beautiful art design, Dante's Inferno is up your dark and very unusual alley. If you can enjoy the Raisin Bran gameplay and the paper-thin story line, I would recommend at least renting Dante's Inferno to see what the deal is. Have fun in hell.

Xbox 360 · by kent c. koopa (19) · 2010

Discussion

Subject By Date
Divine comedy BurningStickMan (17916) Mar 15th, 2011

Trivia

Marketing

During the E3 exhibition 2009, EA staged a fake demonstration against the game.

Movie

The animated movie Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is directly based on the game.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #2 Best Trailer of the Year

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 45837

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by tiktektak.

PSP added by partykiller. PS Vita added by Kennyannydenny. Xbox One added by Eufemiano Bullanga.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Kennyannydenny.

Game added April 11th, 2010. Last modified May 18th, 2023.