PS3 Review – Dante’s Inferno

When Dante’s Inferno was announced, many viewed it as a ripoff of our beloved PlayStation franchise, God of War. Now that the game has finally been released, it is time to see if it is worthy of a purchase with the God of War III release right around the corner. The game is being published by Electronic Arts and developed by Visceral Games. As the player, you take on the role of Dante, a protagonist who has lost everything. He begins his descent into Hell armed with Death’s scythe and a cross. The game has many connections to “Inferno,” written by poet Dante Alighieri, and is a part of “The Divine Comedy.”

The game begins with this quote, and it caught my attention from the get-go.

In the year 1191, European knights of the Third Crusade captured the city of Acre, about 30 miles from Jerusalem.

Under orders from King Richard, 3000 civilian prisoners were detained. They were held as ransom for a holy relic once taken by Saladin, the Kurdish protector of the Holy Land.

As the hot summer wore on, Saladin dug in and refused to negotiate. Richard grew frustrated, unsure of an attack on Jerusalem.

And the fate of the innocent prisoners was left undecided…

What do the terms Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery mean to you? In Dante’s Inferno, they represent the nine circles of hell that the player must traverse throughout the game. Each circle has its own look and feel to it. Along the way, you will encounter various monsters in their respective circles. Depending on the circle, both the environment and the monsters will change. For example, in Lust, there are many sexual elements present, including constant moaning and women which attack Dante with horrific sexual appendages. Within the Gluttony circle, on the other hand Dante will encounter extremely obese creatures with mouths for hands.  These creatures not only attempt to eat Dante, but vomit and defecate on him as well.

The storyline is simple, yet keeps you interested as you make your way deeper into the depths of Hell. Dante is a Crusader who did many things during the Crusades that would be considered sins. Though he was promised absolution of these sins by the Bishop, it turns out this is not true at all. During the attack on Acre, he is killed and is taken by Death. He then realizes that he has been deceived and wants to repent for the sins that he has committed. Dante fights Death itself and upon victory inherits his scythe. Afterwards, he begins his journey home to find his love, Beatrice, slain, and her spirit dragged to hell. He grabs the cross and begins his journey to save Beatrice’s soul which will take him through the nine circles of Hell.

The environment itself is amazing, overall. You may actually feel as if you are in Hell as you make your journey through the game, and you will often find yourself aghast at the atrocities being visited upon Hell’s many “occupants.” It is a dark and gritty environment with over the top gore. The game is definitely for mature gamers.

Graphically, the game has a unique feel to it as well. Given the mature nature of the game, the look of the game is much darker than most. It has to represent Hell itself, so it is a given that it would have a dark feel to it. The cutscenes look phenomenal as well, but there are two different type of cutscenes within the game: some have phenomenal, lifelike graphics, but most of the cutscenes have more of an animated look to them. Both look great, but are on opposite ends of the spectrum.