Dante's Inferno Preview: Heresy

Dante continues his fight into the inner circles of Hell in our latest look at the PSP version of EA's upcoming action game.

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The last time we saw Dante's Inferno for the PSP, it was tucked away in a corner at EA's Tokyo Game Show press event alongside the higher profile Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. To bolster the handheld's version profile, EA recently dropped by our offices to show off just the PSP version and give us our first peek at the Heresy level of Hell.

Dante gets his leap on.

What's New: In the epic poem upon which Dante's Inferno is based, Heresy is depicted as the sixth circle of Hell, alongside such sins as treachery and violence. In the game, being helmed by EA's Visceral Games studio and developed by AM2 (the folks behind Wet), the Heresy level is the first level you encounter upon entering the City of Dis. In it, heretics burn in a never-ending fire for doubting the existence of life after death. More so than combat-heavy levels we've previously seen, the Heresy level mixes puzzle-solving and a good deal of platforming. As you make your way through the level, you'll see a gigantic statue of the Old Testament's Abraham, and your goal in the level is to free him from captivity in Hell by solving the level's puzzles.

What's Different: The absolve and punish mechanic, which was previously only available to use on certain non-player characters in the game, looks to be nearly complete. You can now grab an enemy (by pressing the right trigger) and choose to absolve or punish him or her. Punishing a foe is as simple as one press of a button; while absolving requires you to mash buttons and takes longer to complete. The thinking here is that's it's tougher to be holy in the game. Whether you choose punish or absolve, enemies (and NPCs) will determine which powers Dante will have at his disposal as he progresses.

We also got a look at a new enemy--a dark priest of sorts--who could quickly teleport, making him difficult to attack. The priest is also immune to Dante's cross attacks and makes any minion around him similarly immune as long as he's alive. As a result, the priest enemies make for a challenge; one that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible before things get out of hand.

It's also worth pointing out that, unlike previous levels in Dante's Inferno, the Heresy level doesn't end with a big boss fight. Instead, the level we played finished with an action sequence that had Dante skipping across a chasm of crumbling rocks as he tried to avoid falling into a pit of lava. While there's no boss battle in Heresy, producers said that the following level, Violence, will feature a final encounter. Judging by the level's theme, here's hoping it's a doozy.

What's the Same: The camera in the game hasn't changed much and can still be the occasional problem. During the latter part of the stage, we were required to jump between several moving platforms, trying to make our way closer to the statue of Abraham. It wasn't always easy to tell exactly how close (or far away from) we were to the different platforms, making some of the jumps difficult. In addition, some of the clues you need to finish certain puzzles are a bit obscured, making for a good deal of running around willy-nilly looking for an "interact" icon to pop up on screen.

What Impression the Game Made This Time: Dante's Inferno is at its best when it's reveling in the gruesome landscape of its levels. We've seen a lot of the same enemies in the game, and so far, we aren't in love with the combat system and only a few of the puzzles have been interesting. That said, we've been delighted with the twisted architecture of each new level of Hell, which seems to further cement Visceral Games' status as the go-to developer when it comes to creating a horrific atmosphere.

Didn't I already kill you?

Look for more on Dante's Inferno in the coming months, leading up to the game's release in February 2010.

Discussion

52 comments
XplosivDood
XplosivDood

played the demo for 360... think its wayy better than G.O.W. imo... both kinda got the same concept, same fighting... what i like about it is you can hop on the minotaurs and control them thats pretty sick... and the unholy/holy trees.. those are pretty dope too... so now just got to sit and wait....

Flipyap28
Flipyap28

I thought god of war on PSP was overrated, hope this is good

gangstafc
gangstafc

and dante inferno is in army of two 40th day

rgc
rgc

Dante Alighieri - italian poet that wrote "La Divina Comedia" divided in three books: Inferno, Putgatory and Paradise.

smm217
smm217

Can't wait for it to come out.

Liamguy01
Liamguy01

I don't know....... I'm thinking wait for the reviews.

houdeanibeani
houdeanibeani

this looks to be possibly one of the best games to come on the psp

infinitysendx
infinitysendx

you kids obviously don't realize that the names in Devil May Cry are all really old classical names Dante= Dante algeri, italian poet, who wrote the poem Dante's inferno Vergil was a roman poet Nero, a Roman emperor so Dante's inferno was the original, devil may cry just copied the name, not the other way around lol

makkoto
makkoto

looks like devil may cry to me since game's name is Dante.. looks good

alynnrg
alynnrg

look for gameplay on youtube ,,, is pretty awsome :D... i kinda love it :X .... can't wat for it

Wolveric
Wolveric

no latarax, its the character of dante aligeri's book "la divina comedia" in inglish i think its "the Divine Comedy"someting like that, i really like this book.....

Latarax
Latarax

is this dante the same one in Devil May Cry

ghostwalkerC
ghostwalkerC

If its anything like God of War than I'm getting it.

Megasus_
Megasus_

Devil May Cry meets God of War? God May Cry...

megadisc
megadisc

i'm getting this one when is it coming to malaysa?

ositoPERU
ositoPERU

i'm a big supporter to have them add content to the PSP version that links up with the PS3 version of the game so you can play extra stuff, just like they did in Resistance2 & Retribution. i see it as a small way that Sony rewards gamers who own both of their consoles.

SeanChan10
SeanChan10

meh rather get it on the consoles

BigNalive
BigNalive

Will there be Dante's Heaven? It would be a dating game, where you would fall in love with Beatriz.... (ha,ha,ha...)

thekid360
thekid360

For a psp game it looks great and sound awsome.

XenoLair
XenoLair

Not bad, cant wait to play it!

wantamint7
wantamint7

the graphics really do look like God of war which is not a bad thing

StalkingDeath
StalkingDeath

Wow, I like the absolve and punish feature. This might just be first on my list after I get a PSP.

Syluvan
Syluvan

This is looking spectacular. I'll need to pick up the book to kill time for a while before the release date.

zedtrean
zedtrean

it's drooling-Ly fun!! just hope that the combo system is not as boring as pounding on two buttons for attacks... hearing as it has openness in combo chains then hell is a place worth going to... "enough talk have at you!!" :twisted:

zedtrean
zedtrean

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

Axelander999
Axelander999

It could be cool! But, I hope it won't be short and that the jumps are going to be redone

cerberusxx
cerberusxx

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

johnnystarr
johnnystarr

Heresy=Nine Inch Nails im getting it

kok1kz
kok1kz

ill get this one for sure i only have wii and psp so its not a problem 4 me

ositoPERU
ositoPERU

hmmm.. how does this story match the other one from ps3/xbox?

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Im getting the 360 version for sure, but this version......more than likely not.

blacknight06
blacknight06

Didn't really say anything good about the game. So we can't expect it to be great...

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

Will these somehow turn into DMC? :P

Mc_Trickz
Mc_Trickz

Please be like a God Of War please :D

Witchsight
Witchsight

I think the most entertaining part of this game will be hearing sites like this attempt to describe it. Seriously, its a comedy goldmine.

makjoter
makjoter

cccccccccccccooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllll!!!!!

DemonIced
DemonIced

Can't wait for that game! I have always been a Dante's Inferno poem fan (since I first heard Dante's Inferno song by Iced Earth...)

BSEE10
BSEE10

I was hoping to find a REAL SEQUEL to Devil May Cry Series... As I have known, Dante was trapped in hell last time (DMC 2)... but man I was wrong... PLEASE CAPCOM, get Nero out of the picture... Hes will never be a better Vergil... In that matter. And you cannot hide it with good graphics...

jeffv541
jeffv541

God of war is a devil may cry ripoff, which is a Castlevania ripoff, so Dantes Inferno is like a DMC+GOW+Castlevania super ripoff, ripped right onto the psp. What a mess. Maybe I'll buy it used a year or so after it comes out, maybe I'll go fishing in my toilet. No promises either way, this game is gonna be soooo diluted compared to the real console versions, but I guess that PSPiece of crap "GO" needs all the butttastic action platformers it can get. Stinky...

TalesofRaGnArOk
TalesofRaGnArOk

I've avoided getting GoW: CoO and Undead knights for this. They all seem the same anyway.