Blasphemy Unto Kratos: A Review of Dante’s Inferno

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No seriously, you've seen this game before.

I called it. I’d only played the demo for Dante’s Inferno but that was all I needed to figure this one out entirely. Now that it’s been out for a week or so, let’s take a look at Dante’s Inferno as it plays as a game, though I could probably just tell you to go play God of War and get the desired effect. Whoops. Let’s start.

Creating New Games Must Be Hard

As I’ve already pointed out, Dante’s Inferno is absolutely a God of War rip-off. There’s no denying it, even if you want to. The games both have main characters seemingly tricked by dark forces and require you to battle your way through hordes of enemies with hack-and-slash controls and Quick Time Events, ultimately leading to a resolution that entails fighting a god or Satan or whatever.

So for this game, Dante, based off the classic Italian poet of the same name but not of the same anything else, must storm all nine circles of Hell to reclaim his love Beatrice, taken from him by Lucifer for some reason or another. It’s all supposed to be based off of Dante’s Inferno from The Divine Comedy, but we know better, don’t we?

You deserve every ounce of punishment you receive, Dante.

The game does play smoothly enough to be played, and it has a heck of a lot to look at much of the time. The first third of the game throws some truly messed up enemies at you that relate to their respective levels, such as Gluttony or Lust. Problem is, after that these enemies begin showing up again and again in circles other than the ones they make sense in. Right there is where Visceral Games loses its credibility when they say, “We used the poem exactly for inspiration.” No, you got lazy.

What makes this all worse is that the final third of the game consistently throws you into battle after battle on a platform without any real innovation or anything new. You just fight enemy after enemy for the finale stages of the game. That’s not good game design; that’s once again a sign of laziness. And of course the ending leaves itself open for a sequel. Looks like this is going to be a whole franchise if it sells well enough. So let’s try not to let it sell well, okay?

I just can’t get past the game’s two defining characteristics: It’s resemblance to God of War, and it’s use of a classical poem as a backdrop. I realize making games can be tough, and thinking up an original concept is even tougher, but just taking two already successful things with nearly no relation and deciding, “Yes, this is what our next game shall be,” well that just doesn’t work for me.

Maybe you’ll really like Dante’s Inferno, though. It’s not a terrible game. It’s just a game that’s two elements have been done before and done a lot better. Either go play God of War or read The Divine Comedy. Rent this one if you absolutely can’t resist.

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

2 Comments

  1. Futurama quote for the win!

    You and Fry are absolutely right, sometimes audiences just want something they’ve played before. I suppose the problem I was seeing with Dante’s Inferno was the way it was marketed. The advertising plan was beyond aggressive to the point of annoyance even. Sure, getting excited about a game is one thing, but going out of your way to make claims about larger underlying messages, such as the Seven Deadly Sins or what-have-you, then you really have to deliver.

    I agree that the demo was fairly good. If I hadn’t played God of War, then this would be a fresh game indeed. But the whole package mashed together and just ticked me off, though that could just be me.

  2. I’ve been hearing a lot of this about a lot of games – it’s a rip-off – Dante’s Inferno included. I played the DI demo and loved it. I haven’t played God of War. Any of them. So to me, it’s a new game and played well.

    If anything, when I played Dante I thought it was a rip-off of Prince of Persia, which was a sort of rip off Tomb Raider, which was a rip of…well, you can keep going.

    Point being you’re right…it’s hard to make a new game. But…I’ll paraphrase Fry and say, “…that’s not why people [play video games]. Clever things make people feel stupid, and unexpected things make them feel scared…audiences don’t want anything original. They wanna see the same thing they’ve seen a thousand times before.”

    Sad but true. That’s not say original games won’t work and aren’t good, they’ll just have a tough time.

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