Dante's Inferno: Hands-On With Dark Forest DLC

We find our way through the dark forest in our hands-on look at this week's Dante's Inferno DLC.

Before Dante Alighieri becomes the butt-kicking hero on a nine-level tour of hell in EA's recently released action game, he is a crusader trying to make his way back home from the holy war to reunite with his fiancee, Beatrice. That's the simple setting for the first DLC pack for EA's Dante's Inferno, known simply as Dark Forest.

Brains, not brawn, will serve you well in the Dark Forest DLC.

Essentially a prequel to the events of the game, the DLC pack's title comes from the opening lines of the poem upon which Dante's Inferno is based, "At the midpoint on the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest. For the clear path was lost..." The theme of being lost in the woods is one that will play out often in this quick DLC adventure, as we found out after getting an early look at the DLC this week.

The DLC opens in a forest clearing, where Dante is immediately beset upon by hell's minions--including a couple of new enemies. First up is the Forest Siren, who can stun Dante temporarily with her seductive moves (you rapidly press the B button on the Xbox 360 controller to come out of the trance). Secondly, there's the death knight, a hulking mass of black armor and sharp-edged swords. Neither pose a particular problem for Dante, and we managed to carve our way through them with relative ease.

While there is some light combat in the Dark Forest DLC, the focus is on three puzzles, each tied to a specific animal that Dante encounters in the epic poem: a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf. Hot on the heels of the assassin who will eventually murder Beatrice (and thus set off the events of the main plot in the game), your goal will be to solve the puzzles and try to stop the assassin before he can reach Dante's home, however futile a pursuit it turns out to be.

All three of the puzzles in the DLC use teleportation gates as their main motif. In the first puzzle, you are instructed to head through the eastern gates, and a beam of moonlight in each area is emanating from the north. Depending on the camera angle, you'll have to determine which direction is east based on the angle at which the moonbeams are pointing.

The second puzzle also uses moonlight; this time you'll need to turn lion statues placed on metal pedestals to reflect a continuous beam of moonlight so that it points westward throughout all the different gates in this puzzle. Failure will reset you to the beginning of the puzzle, where you'll have to start all over again.

Of course, sometimes there are problems only a scythe or holy cross can solve.

The final puzzle in the DLC has you chasing the assassin through a set of three teleportation gates in a level that also features a shifting beam of moonlight. When you run through the gate at which the moonbeam is facing, you'll teleport through to the other side. There's also a huge column you can use to your advantage here--by using it to block one of the teleportation gates, the assassin will lose the option to escape that way. We won't give away the exact solution here, but suffice it to say that delicate timing and a little sideways thinking will result in Dante's capture of the assassin...only to have him escape into the woods once again and fatefully complete his deadly mission that sets the game's plot spinning.

In all it took us less than an hour to get through the Dark Forest DLC content; considering that the DLC is free for PS3 players as part of the Divine Edition of the game available only in North America, that short length is understandable. The DLC will cost 400 MS points on Xbox 360 and $4.99 in other territories where the Divine Edition is not available. In addition to the playable level, the DLC will include an alternate costume for Dante--a white polyester suit with an open shirt and bell-bottom pants, nicknamed the "disco inferno" armor, which brings up the question: Is there a place in hell for people who love puns?

Look for the Dark Forest DLC this Thursday on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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41 comments
artcore777
artcore777

@AceBalls 'nuff said... @drknessfeeds 'nuff said...

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

@artcore777 Agreed, the game is awesome. I'm just hoping that DI 2 brings a bit more to distinguish itself amoung all the GOW clones, it has the potential just hope they are up to bringing new and innovating features to the game so it can really push past the copy-cat label.

AceBalls
AceBalls

GoW is what it is, the first and most important, but DI is a genius game too. There's no point bashing DI when you may as well bash Darksiders, Conan, Bayonetta, Force Unleashed, Brutal Legend etc.. all use the same engine. Each game is great based upon its theme and for me, the theme of "hell" will always be awesome!

artcore777
artcore777

@drknessfeeds that's exactly what I mean. I have a PS3 and an X360, love GOW and loved DI on my 360. I'm just saying people shouldn't tear down a good game like DI, even if it's a rip-off from GOW. But I agree, GOW still rocks...

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

@throughfire The demo of GOW3 has more brutality and gore than Dantes Inferno has, that just being a small taste of the full game I can't imagine how polished the end product will be. Nudity is not really something I look at when compairing games, in Dante's Inferno it is done in both good and bad taste. Nor does gore and/or nudity make a game better on its own, the gameplay is the deciding factor. Dante is a Kratos clone, not a bad one, think it could have been better though. I feel like i'm playing a GOW game when i play DI, but there is not much new but the characters and setting. I read the Devine Comedy, I was ok with the character change and was really looking forward to them creating that world but after playing the game its still not all I hoped for. Never said it was a bad game, i'm still playing it, its a blast. But still it has just only enough paint over it to keep Krato's lawyers from eating him alive. From the combat, button sequence kills, tapping the button to get health and mana...etc.

elfonki28
elfonki28

the game it self was really good even if it got a low score. but honestly this dark forest stuff did not make sence at all. they sad that two new enemies were going to be seen but it was far from that, the only thing they did was change outfits thats all. come developers.

poweredbyzen
poweredbyzen

posted videos in my blog for a quide - check it out! enjoyed the game a lot, can't wait for dante's inferno 2!

thorughfire
thorughfire

@mkg150 I own the first 2 DMC and i think they both suck. @drknessfeeds God Of War is a sick game but it wasnt half as violent and contained barely any nudity and Dante's Inferno trumps it in those 2 catagorys.Though just because it uses button cutscenes and mashes makes it a rip off,I will never understand how. Dante's Inferno was a sick game and well worth the pick up and I own the first 2 GOWs ,I may even buy a PS3 just to get GOW 3.

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

@artcore777 Because they did not bring anything new to it, they just ripped it off instead of using GOW as a building block. And GOW is still a superior game compared to Danter's Inferno. Don't get me wrong Dante's Inferno is awesome and a blast to play but it still does not have the polish of GOW. I have it for tyhe ps3 also, I do not think it fair to charge 360 owners and not ps3 owners, ps3 owners would be complaining if it were the other way around. The Devine edition is a way of competing with GOW 3 I presume but do not see it making a dent in GOW sales.

mimicus
mimicus

Extra content is always cool. Why are people so bowed-up over five dollars? It's practically nothing. It doesn't bother me because I own the Divine Edition, but it's still only chump change.

ColdP1zza
ColdP1zza

@mkg150 Devil May Cry isn't cool, it tries to be but it just ends up being super cheesy.

mkg150
mkg150

shame they didnt dring this out in 2009 it is a ok game but dante is dull where devil may cry dante is COOL as can be

artcore777
artcore777

Why is everybody saying 'Dante's Inferno is not a great game' and 'GOW is the best', when at the same time they say that 'everything in DI is taken from GOW' ? Makes no sense!

ilidiandemon
ilidiandemon

This should have come with the Original Disc, so not buying this since if they wanted to tell us what happened before in Dante's Inferno they should have put it in the original disc as a bonus or made another game, not rush something to ripoff our money by selling a incomplete game or poor DLCs.

ilidiandemon
ilidiandemon

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kidnamedkain
kidnamedkain

the other playable character is supposed to me the angel at the end of the game (right before you fight lu)

kidnamedkain
kidnamedkain

they didnt even talk about the other playable character and the level creator and the online play with a buddy or is this all in another dlc because what i heard was the dlc in march would include all this two new enemies and a new costume so...

Linkman0714
Linkman0714

just got the divine edition from amazon will definately download this since its free for me

McGuirex3
McGuirex3

I don't think will see a DI-2 & that's fine w/ me! This game didn't rock at all imho!

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

He killed Death in the Holy City, before he started his journey back home. It was death, you recall, who told him Beatrice would suffer for his sins.

Darkages04
Darkages04

Great, after completing the game and achieving full gamerscore on the game, I went on to playing Darksiders... but another reason to play the good ol Dante again.

20fox05
20fox05

If it's a prequel… How come he's using the scythe? :s Or is it after he kills Death?

Xseth
Xseth

Woot more punishment!

tonyf55
tonyf55

Cool that it's free for PS3. I'll pick up my Divine Edition when I can... otherwise it's probably going to be a rental.

swhite123
swhite123

god of war,god of war,god of war,who cares this segment is about dantes inferno how about commenting on that even if it isn't that great of a game.

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

I've come to the conclusion that Dante's Inferno's existence can only be attributed as a vehicle to further hype God of War III's inevitable release.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I am going to pass on this

Armyboy5
Armyboy5

Kratos: OVER 9,000?!?!?!?!?!?!

MasonChaos
MasonChaos

Microsoft should of gotten the rights to this IP. If they could of put their funding and resources into this game like they did halo, we could of have a solid contender for God of War on the 360. Unfortunatly, they didn't and it's not so now I need to buy a PS3.

advanracer
advanracer

$4.99 DLC Value vs $20.00 Trade-In Value Towards God Of War III. Thanks Visceral and EA for giving God of War for the Xbox 360. But its time to go back to my PS3 in 2 weeks.

bibliomaniac15
bibliomaniac15

I'm pretty sure pun lovers are consigned to the hell with flashing lights, spandex, and the Village People. That was in the Divine Comedy, right?

amroto
amroto

ok,now we get that dante's inferno and god of war are awesome,so why don't we play both,enjoy both and we are the ones benefited at the end..at least they got different stories after all..just enjoy both.

metalkid9
metalkid9

I'll pass. Too many great games and Dante's Inferno didn't live up to it's hype.

nofriekinlemons
nofriekinlemons

i think we're giving GOW3 all the attention at this point so bad timing on EA's part

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

No thanks. Dante's was fun, but i doubt i'll ever touch it again when i'll get God of War 3.