A Video Game Rant: Dante’s Inferno
Posted by travizzt on February 14, 2010
First some background on me. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is just a plain masterpiece. It’s my favorite book and I honestly think that it’s the best story ever written. So I am a little more than biased about this. It’s this reason that I was very excited for the video game. From all the previews I’ve seen, the imagery looked just as twisted and disturbing as it’s described in the book. But more on that later… For now, here’s my thought about the video game adaptation.
In the game, you play as Dante, a knight of the crusade that has done some awful things. Upon returning home, you find your love, Beatrice is slain and she is forcibly taken into Hell by Lucifer. There, you embark on a trek through Hell to find and rescue your love. The story is a little weak. I knew going in it’s not going to be anything like the story in The Inferno so I was okay with that. But the games’ story never was all that deep. It’s just basically, save Beatrice and have Dante faces all the sins he has made in the past. It’s pretty simple, almost too simple. It’s not that it’s a terrible way to tell it, it does work well, but it’s just a little generic.
Here’s what I liked:
- The scenery just amazing. The designers really took what the story gave and ran with it. They made each circle have its own unique style and it’s all around creepy.
- As soon as you enter Limbo, the first circle, you are thrown into disturbing imagery and how they used Charon is just impressive and very unique.
- The second circle, Lust, is just all around disgusting. With the all the moaning and groaning, the enemies that use their ‘lady parts’ as a weapon, and the disturbingly grotesque depiction of Cleopatra, it makes this level very memorable. The third circle, Gluttony, is just a lesson is disgusting. I can’t even actually explain how disgusting and gross the level is without wanting to puke.
- The fourth circle, Greed, is interesting. With all the gold and the mechanical nature, it makes it seem the most ‘normal’ circle so far. But it still is effective in the originality.
- The fifth circle, Anger, isn’t really all the unique. It’s actually kind of plain and boring. But the visuals are impressive nonetheless.
- The sixth circle, Heresy, comes back to the uniqueness. The flaming tombs that surround the level are a nice touch and are fairly interesting. It’s not as impressive as some of the previous circles, but it’s better than what was in Anger.
- The seventh circle, Violence, is broken up into three sections. The first section is a river of boiling blood, which symbolizes violence against others. While it was interesting to see the interpretation, it didn’t last to long and it wasn’t really disturbing. The second section is the Woods of Suicides, which was just as creepy and disturbing as Lust or Gluttony was. But like the previous section, it needed a little more to be great. But nonetheless, it has to be one of the better sections of the seventh circle. Finally, the last section is a Desert of Burning Sands and it’s not really unique at all. It’s just to generic and plain that it’s the most forgettable sight you’d probably see in this game, along with the next circle…
- The eighth circle, Fraud, as ten parts. These ten parts are made to be a challenge mode, which is really a bummer. While the introduction to each of these parts was interesting, with the statue depicting the torture of those within the part, not having more of a visual was wrong. It just really bummed me out.
- Finally, the last circle, Treason, is just a frozen wasteland. It is unique in the design and does have some interesting features, but nothing to write home about.
- What makes most of these circles so memorable was the attention to background noises. The music really sets the mood and the voices you hear of the damned are just as beneficial. Along with that, the voice acting, I thought, was wonderful.
- Another thing that was well done was the cut scenes. These were absolutely beautiful. There is really no words to accurately describe was well made these were. Even the cartoon cut scenes were wonderful in their own ways.
That’s what really makes the game work… There are others, but nothing really compares to the circles looks and sounds.
What I felt didn’t work was everything else.
- The combat at times didn’t feel right. I can’t really explain it other than it just didn’t flow to well.
- The use of Virgil didn’t feel right. He seems to just spout out random lines of the poem. I didn’t really care for it too much.
- The absolution mini-game. I absolutely hated this. It’s like a Guitar Hero or Rock Band game in which you have to press the button when a ‘bubble’ hits it. It’s just stupid.
- Nudity. I really have no problem with nudity, but it seemed like every time we would see a pair of breasts they just had to be naked. It just got old and it seemed like that was the sole reason for the game.
- The difficulty. While it isn’t a bad thing to have a hard, punishing game. What annoyed me is when facing a level boss and having no idea what to do. The best example I can give is of King Minos, the boss of Limbo. It took me half an hour to understand that I have to keep hitting his face after he lashes his tongue at you. It was annoying because after he lashed his tongue, I would back off and then I’d had to deal with a stupid quick-time event that I quickly became annoyed with. But I do like how difficult the game was. This doesn’t hold your hand and have you regain all the lost health from your last battle. It makes things a little more interesting…
Well, that’s my rant about Dante’s Inferno. It’s a good game. Sure it might be a direct rip-off of the God of War games, but it still works. It’s dark and disturbing. The visuals are what really makes the game great, but everything else is just mediocre. At least it’s worth a rent.
I’ll end this rant with something very, very simple. Go out now and pick up The Inferno by Dante Alighieri. It’s really good, and it’s probably my favorite piece of literature of all time. So please, check it out!