Dante's Inferno Updated Hands-On

One step deeper into Hell, Dante takes on the powers of lust in our latest look at this adventure game.

by

Let's get this out of the way now: There are breasts in Dante's Inferno. Big, naked breasts. Big, naked breasts attached to Cleopatra, the notorious Egyptian queen who serves as one of the game's epic bosses. Big, naked breasts with tongues for nipples. Big, naked breasts that spew babies with swords for hands. Wait, what?

It's the Lust level of Hell, as seen through the lens of Visceral Games' upcoming adventure game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PSP.

As we've been following the development of Dante's Inferno, we've seen several areas so far. First, there was Limbo, the realm of King Minos, judge of the damned. Then, there was the river Styx, which we crossed when playing the Anger level; it eventually led us to the City of Dis, which marks as the entry point into the game's inner circles of Hell. Today, we got a peek at the Lust level, which continues the game's evolving formula of equal parts fascination and revulsion.

The demo we played hammered home the "lust" theme early. As the demo begins, Dante encounters a Temptress--a bare-breasted creature who, before attacking, opens up her torso cavity only to show off a long, dangerous-looking tentacle grotesquely waving in front of her body. That tentacle turns out to be just as deadly as it looks. Not only is the Temptress quick and hard to hit, but that extra-long appendage can also grab Dante and cause some serious damage.

After dispatching a handful of Temptresses with Dante's trusty bone scythe and holy powers, we immediately set into a puzzle. So far, the puzzle aspect of Dante's Inferno has been downplayed by the development team--who is in favor of showing off the blood and guts--but there does seem to be a pretty strong undercurrent of puzzle-solving at play here. The first puzzle requires you to figure out a way to gain entrance into the violent storm of lust being generated by the gigantic Queen Cleopatra (herself a character in the epic poem upon which Dante's Inferno is based). In the poem, the lustful damned are whipped about in an unending maelstrom, dashed upon mountainous rocks for all eternity. As Dante, your goal is to enter that storm in the hopes of finding your true love Beatrice.

The puzzle itself was a relatively simple matter of moving stone columns and activating a series of nearby levers in order to get a platform to rise toward the top of the tower in which the majority of the demo level took place. Once we got Dante on the platform, rising at inhuman speeds up the tower as Cleopatra looked on, it was time to deal more pain. We were beset by multiple enemies--including the long-horned demons that look to be common foes in the game, as well as the aforementioned Temptresses. At one point, the demonic Cleopatra smashed her way into the tower and a brief quick-time event occurred, which allowed Dante to avoid her attacks.

Once at the top of the tower, it was time to take Cleopatra on herself. Before the battle could begin, we saw her rise up and watched as her left breast erupted in a spew of pus. Eventually, a trio of blade-babies erupted from the wound. She then scooped them up and hurled them at Dante.

With smaller enemies like this always around, the goal for Dante is to burn Cleopatra by activating a pair of fire-blasting statues on either side of the queen. Activating the statues first requires you to attack Cleopatra's hand, which rests on the platform where you're standing. Once you cause enough damage, she'll quickly retract her hand, the platform will rise slightly, and you'll be able to jump to activate one statue. You repeat the process to activate the statue on the other side, but you have to be careful with the timing here--you need to engage the statue when Cleopatra is close to the platform or else the fire will miss her completely once it's activated.

From a gameplay standpoint, control is a bigger concern than the game's content. While Dante has a host of awesome attacks he can perform on the ground and in midair, it often feels like he's out of touch with what the player is doing on the controller. For instance, it's difficult--if not impossible--to break up combo attacks from enemies with the block button. Also, when we were fighting Cleopatra, we would be attacking the queen's hand, only to have Dante turn around whenever peon enemies got close and focus his attacks on them. It seems that further control tweaks are inevitable, and it will be interesting to see how things evolve in the coming months.

One thing that's definitely changed is the absolve/punish mechanic. Previously, we'd only seen the mechanic on non-player characters "lost souls," characters pulled from the original source material that Dante could either choose to punish or absolve for their crimes. Either choice would earn him unholy or holy points, respectively. That mechanic is now available against regular enemies as well. After capturing one with Dante's scythe, you can choose to absolve or punish with a button-mashing minigame.

There's little doubt that Dante's Inferno is going to have some ratings trouble when it's released next year, which is something the team behind the game seem to be aware of and expecting. As a result, producers told us that they're prepared to work to make the game acceptable in every region it's set to be released in--even if it means toning down certain aspects. Those discussions are for the future, however. The game isn't due for release until early 2010--and there's still more layers of Hell to uncover. Stay tuned for more from GameSpot in the coming weeks.

Discussion

86 comments
clqtte
clqtte

It's time go to hell for you,baby

leoleez
leoleez

this sounds nothing like the book...

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

SOunds repulsive and disgusting. Could have been an intriguing and thought provoking game, but it ends up a blood-soaked gore fest with a unhealthy does of innapropriateness. Too bad.

megafitch
megafitch

@ Shinkada I tottally get what you are saying, the reason why a game like mgs 4 was on a dual layer was down to the sound quality which they used was it not? If the sound was toned down quality wise maybe it could have been released on a single layer??

Shinkada
Shinkada

@rayfonseca Correct, no game has been made as two seperate games when it comes to cross-console releases. And, perhaps, Blu-Ray still has more storage space than a HD-DVD despite compression technology (if not as much as everyone cries). However there's also no game that has had to tone down its content to fit on the 360. PS3 owners often boycott games that receive 360 releases when they're crap (see: DMC4) rather than blaming lazy devs like they should be. If a game was too big for the 360 they'd either make the HD-DVD dual layer, or add a second DVD. You're not paying for a DVD when you buy a game, you're paying for the hundreds of thousands of hours that have gone into making it. Adding an extra DVD, to a company who buys DVDs in bulk at cents each, would not add even one dollar onto the cost for them. My argument may have been slightly exaggerated but it was only for the purpose of trying to shoot down a misconception about cross-platform releases. As for the MGS4 issue, I wasn't saying MGS4 was short or that it had bad graphics; I was saying it didn't have enough game time or graphics potential to require a second layer. It was an impressive PS3 game, not a revolutionary one. There have been longer games, and there have been better looking games, that didn't even come close to filling in a single layer. I think I'm doing Konami a favour by assuming it was a marketting gimmick, and not poor coding.

RonTorque
RonTorque

IF i put my hands on this game, God Of War III and Castlevania Lords Of Shadow, then that's all i need form action adventure games from next year.

rayfonseca
rayfonseca

@Shinkada "Blu-Ray compression technology is a long way off catching up to DVD, which is why most PS3 games that max out a Blu-Ray disc can still fit on a standard HD-DVD, and why a 360 game ported to PS3 will still take a full disc (see: Bioshock)." You're right when you say that compression on Blu-Ray is far from being what it is in DVD. But you're wrong in your comparison. Most of PS3 games that fit on HD-DVD are that big because they're made for both X360 and PS3, being, so, a single production to fit on both consoles. Developers don't make the same game twice (except for remakes), and easier than creating a huge game to fit on a smaller disc, they make a "smaller" game to fit on a bigger disc. "It's also why MGS4 took a dual-layer Blu-Ray to store despite being quite a short, graphics-unintensive game..." Now it's clear that you don't know what you're talking about. There's no way I can argue about MGS4 in a dual layer disc after this brilliant statement. MGS4 has stunning graphics and sounds (just like Killzone 2), huge areas to explore, tons of itens and weapons to collect and at least 18 hours of both gameplay and in game movies (for the first time you play). And I'm not even mentioning the online campaign... That would fit in a standard Blu-Ray for you? Doesn't seem so...

Shinkada
Shinkada

Oh, and to everyone asking what's wrong with the AO rating, eg cochipahue? Some countries don't have it, is the problem. :| The game's going to get the crap censored out of it here in Australia and that means I'm basically not going to buy it. The only draw this game had was that it wasn't the usual flowery depiction of hell, it was the real, Old Testament deal. The game will inevitably be not as good as God of War 3 generally so it was kind of relying on that grotesque shock factor, for many people. Being censored will kill its sales.

Shinkada
Shinkada

@j_kizi Yes, the TOP RANGE 360 and the BASIC PS3 are the same price in SOME COUNTRIES. I've never checked out PS3 hard drive costs, but that was what I had heard; I may have been wrong about that bit and I apologize if I was. @rayfonseca I think you don't quite understand what I mean. When a game developer is done with a game they compress it all for storage reasons. This is far more complicated than your usual Winzip stuff, but it's the same concept. DVDs and Blu-Rays have different methods of compression. Uncompressed, even most PS2 games would've been about 8-10 GB, if not more in some cases. Blu-Ray compression technology is a long way off catching up to DVD, which is why most PS3 games that max out a Blu-Ray disc can still fit on a standard HD-DVD, and why a 360 game ported to PS3 will still take a full disc (see: Bioshock). It's also why MGS4 took a dual-layer Blu-Ray to store despite being quite a short, graphics-unintensive game... Many believe making it dual layered at all was just a marketing gimmick. Blu-Rays will kick the crap out of HDDVDs in about 2-3 years, but by then I'd expect a new console from MS to match. All's I was saying is that, at the current time, neither PS3 nor 360 are really /better/ than the other. Different in a few select ways, and that's about it.

cochipahue
cochipahue

whats tha problem with tha A rating?

stunt_cat
stunt_cat

It's been looking quite promising but hope it doesn't end up ruined by crappy controls when it's finally released

rpgnutt
rpgnutt

what they should do is dont mess with the game at all when gamers come to but it ask for id. like an LQ store. so that way kids under 18 cant walk right in and buy the game then they have to bring there parents in to buy it.and i doubt that mom or dad will even get the game after they see whats its about.make it to where it has to be mom or dad with ids.to buy the game for the child.

j_kizi
j_kizi

@Shinkada "It has slightly better hardware but it's more expensive. It looks a bit sharper, but sometimes too sharp. Bigger hard drive but those hard drives are more expensive. Blu-Rays have more space but the encryption technology is poor so they end up with around the same capacity as HD-DVDs." dude u r very wrong, the ps3 isn't more expensive anymore, the 360 elite and the ps3 slim are the same price. and i thought the 360 hard drivesupgrade cost a lot more than they shud from wat people are sayin. the ps3 uses SATA hard drives and 1tb cost about $100 or so, u can get 500gb for about $50. and i think " rayfonseca" juc corrected ur statement about the Blu rays........

groundzero91
groundzero91

@shadeofgood They're referring to the ESRB rating, not review ratings...I thought the same thing when I first read it ;)

MasteroChieftan
MasteroChieftan

cant wait i'm really interested in the story about hell and dantes take on the fairy tale of the 9 circles it oughtta be pretty cool anything dealing with heaven or hell is bound to be good its the greatest fiction that has ever been made :)

rayfonseca
rayfonseca

@Shinkada "Blu-Rays have more space but the encryption technology is poor so they end up with around the same capacity as HD-DVDs." Have you ever heard of Metal Gear Solid 4? It uses a dual layer Blu-Ray disc. If encription technology was "poor" and it would end up using the same capacity of an HD-DVD, there'd be no reason for that game to be dual layered. Unless it would really need that huge space to run a 50GB game. And that's the case of MGS4, pal. And maybe the case of GOW3 as well.

Shadeofgood
Shadeofgood

@groundzero91 Yeah, I knew they was talking about that. I wonder how they are going to pass that one too. This game has a level where penises come out of the wall and women trying to suck you in their vagina In this current state, it is more than certain to be a Adult Only title. My problem is that I feel that EA is trying to use these points to sell the game rather than make a good game. The whole idea seemed great, but their campaign is saying something else about the game. Based on all the articles I been reading about this, the quality build to me looks to be only a 7.5 at best.

Pelm
Pelm

this game sounds crazy a mature rating would definitely suit this game perfectly. Nothing that i haven't seen before but to see it at such a scale like this in a game is crazy but i'm looking forward to delving deep into the heart of hell.

Shinkada
Shinkada

Protip: PS3 isn't better than the 360 in any way. It has slightly better hardware but it's more expensive. It looks a bit sharper, but sometimes too sharp. Bigger hard drive but those hard drives are more expensive. Blu-Rays have more space but the encryption technology is poor so they end up with around the same capacity as HD-DVDs. Thinking that being PS3 exclusive would get more content and better graphics is a huge misconception.

exz5string
exz5string

keep your ps3, i'll keep my 360. I don't like any exclusive games, make them for each of the big consoles.

spotty6
spotty6

@Tzunoy but the ps3s the best console you can buy

Tzunoy
Tzunoy

You wish to be an exclusive for ps3 ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha neverrrrrrrrr now die muahahahahhhhhhhhhh.

newhighscore
newhighscore

I wish this wouldve been a PS3 exclusive. better graphics and way more space to work with. Anyways I am still going to reserve this. I really hope they dont tone it down either just for the sake of a buck. Think of your principles Visceral!

rht992
rht992

although a lot of the ideas from this game do seem to be lifted ( the absolve or punish thing sounds like bioshock) it still looks cool enough to keep an eye on and i hope they make the most out of the setting

rayfonseca
rayfonseca

@ Epicurus-Reborn Kratos fought many naked chicks. You should remember the Sisters of Fate as an example. Not to mention those mini-games... Anyway, I was not hoping a great game from Dante's Inferno. As the previews came out, I tought they would f*ck up a great poem and a nice style. But now I'm really looking forward to it. Looks sweet and hell gory!

philosophy666
philosophy666

Oh come OONN!!!! I'm not gonna read that. Show me some videos!

tyskenfan
tyskenfan

It sounds cool, just like GoW! But I am really concerned about the controls. Often when producers aldready show a demo of the game, very rarely they sacrifice the last bit of their time fixing the bugs and tweaks BETA-testers have found. Some examples are Resident Evil 5 and Scribblenauts. Sure, you can only hope that the controls will be fixed until next year. But you can never really be sure about that :(

wizedz
wizedz

hey,how about some vid?

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

@ Epicurus-Reborn i wasnt talking about a "specific" creature, i said CONTENT sherlock!

Spider-Jim
Spider-Jim

Yeah I cant wait to fight the Cleopatra with big bikinied breasts her in Aus

Twin-Blade
Twin-Blade

Sounds awesome, so I guess it will be banned in Australia.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

@ WTFitsPauL where in GoW was there ever a bare breasted giant with tongue nipples that launched sword wielding babies????

DFBTG
DFBTG

@ Epsilon47 Amen. And gross, censorship. I'm really hoping that none of that 'toning down' happens at all, but if it does, hopefully the NA release will be spared. Buying something censored makes me feel like I didn't get the whole product, meaning I'm far less likely to actually purchase it. And it just goes against my principals. I do hope that they do make the controls tight though. It would be a waste to have such an amazing looking game (and with a story taken from classic literature no less) fail because the gameplay can't live up to it's looks/story.

scphan
scphan

every-time i read anything about this game i says the same thing- plz EA dont mess up this game which has great potential, not to mention a very good poem with it

red-ray
red-ray

Can't wait for this.

Sony_Patriot
Sony_Patriot

I was pretty skeptic about this game when it was announced, but it actually looks pretty good. Probably not a first day purchase but I think I'll eventually pick it up.

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

GoW already have this kind of content but they never bragged about it. What a way to get people to buy their game. /facepalm

itwiz90
itwiz90

I'll have to save up some pennies for this one.

Petercairns
Petercairns

Some thing more to look forward to in 2010

killer_rabbit20
killer_rabbit20

Yes, because seeing a nipple in a game obviously makes playing it more fun, even though it actually adds nothing to the gameplay...

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

@ChidoriBoyU I play them, I just dont curl up in a corner because their nude people in them, I welcome it, Im not squeamish against practically anything. You want to put more nudity in a game? go for it, go to the fullest extent. You want to put buckets of blood and gore in a game? Do it as much as you can. You want to put hot coffee as a mini game? Dont let anyone change your mind about it. I will welcome any game that looks good, and see the nudity as a bonus. Im crossing my fingers that the saboteur will have some nudity in it.

itachi100
itachi100

The powers of lust... Wow GS, that sort of turned me on.

Kh4led
Kh4led

this game has to be gross, you're on hell man!

killer_rabbit20
killer_rabbit20

I'm quite shocked EA is making a game that looks so awesome... Maybe there is still hope for EA?

tunaface
tunaface

Hehe.....rating is still pending. I wonder what it will be