Dante's Inferno Updated Hands-On

We tread the holy path in our latest look at EA's upcoming adventure game.

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In EA's upcoming Dante's Inferno for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PSP, whether you take the holy path or the unholy path to victory, your road will still be strewn with the corpses of 1,000 (or more) dead demons. EA recently sent us playable builds of Dante's trip down to the netherworld, and one of our first stops on the long way down was the upgrade screen. In this screen, you can spend the souls Dante collects in battles on useful improvements made to either Dante's scythe or his holy cross.

There are two upgrade paths from which to choose. First, there is the unholy path, which focuses mainly on the scythe (and, thus, melee attacks). Then, there is the holy path, which is centered on the cross and acts mainly as a ranged weapon in the game. You can spend your earned souls on either path at any time, and spreading the souls between both paths seems like a good strategy. That's because one weapon is sometimes more effective than the other, depending on the situation and the enemies you face.

The holy cross, for example, is an ideal weapon for keeping hordes of enemies at a distance, and some of the upgrades you earn include such things as Holy Devastation, which unleashes a wave of holy energy at foes after four quick presses of the B button (on the Xbox 360 controller). Or there is Divine Force, which fires a more concentrated beam of holy light after holding down the B button for a few seconds. We found the Divine Force particularly effective against slow, lumbering enemies like glutton demons whom we could keep at bay with a few shots of Divine Force without ever having them get close enough to cause serious damage.

The unholy path focuses on Dante's scythe, which he earns early in the game after beating the tar out of Death and stealing it. At the path's lower upgrade levels, you'll earn simple combo upgrades that might launch an enemy into the air or improve Dante's reach with the weapon. As you progress higher up the unholy path, you'll earn attacks that will not only deal hefty damage but also break through enemy defense.

Both upgrade paths share some similar upgrades. For example, you can choose to increase your health or mana bar in scale or unlock an additional relic slot (relics are earned in the game, can be attached to slots, and provide Dante with additional powers, such as damage absorption, immunity to certain demon attacks, or the ability to stun the enemy after a successful block). Game producers told us that while it's unlikely you'll max out both upgrade paths in one play-through of the game, you'll be able to keep all of your powers upon a subsequent tour through hell and can experience Dante at his finest that way.

However you build him out, Dante will need all of those abilities at his disposal as he makes his way through the nine circles and its many trials. In past previews, we've taken a look at certain levels and the unique enemies that you'll encounter along the way (the blade babies, the giant bare-breasted Cleopatra, the scum-spewing glutton demons, and so on). With a fuller version of the game at our disposal, we got a look at more of the highlights. EA has asked us to keep certain aspects of the game's plot under wraps for the sake of spoilers, but here are a few of the memorable moments from what we've played so far:

Mark and Cleo
By now, you probably know that Cleopatra hounds you for most of your time in Dante's lust level. However, at the top of the Carnal tower, which you spend a good chunk of the level ascending while Cleopatra does her best to stop you, you'll see a brief cutscene. This cutscene involves Dante's beloved Beatrice and Lucifer himself, and it's one that will shed a bit more light on the backstory between Dante and his ladyfriend.

With the drama out of the way, it's back to the beat-'em-up action. Cleopatra starts things off by spitting up the corpse of her significant other, the Roman general Mark Antony. Armed with a massive sword and shield, Antony is a formidable opponent by himself, but when you toss in Cleopatra's occasional whirlwind-like lust storm attacks, you've got a memorable boss fight on your hands.

Three Dog Night
The giant three-headed monster Cerberus serves as your introduction to the game's gluttony level. After descending a huge rope made of corpses, Cerberus is our first fight in this circle of hell. Though this monster is portrayed in Greek mythology as a three-headed dog, in Dante's Inferno, Cerberus--as guard of the gluttony level--is a triple-headed mess of mouths, teeth, and bad attitude that is prone to spitting balls of rotting corpses at you.

While Dante doesn't have much a chance of going up against Cerberus head-to-head in true boss-battle fashion, there are some ways to even the odds; namely, by destroying molten rocks that block lava geysers. After destroying a boulder, Cerberus will attack, get caught in the geyser of lava, and be temporarily stunned. This gives Dante ample opportunity to get up close and do some serious scythe surgery on Cerberus' face. It takes a while to bring Cerberus down completely--he does have three heads after all--but, once he's defeated, your journey into gluttony can continue.

Puzzle Quest
Yes, there's lots of hacking and slashing in Dante's Inferno. In fact, many sections of the game are designed to put you in as small a space as possible and throw multiple waves of enemies at you. If you've got a small appetite for this kind of thing, then Dante's occasional puzzles might come as welcome relief. In the game's greed level, you'll encounter one puzzle that you'll solve while mounted on the back of a huge armored demon. After wiping out the peons that do their best to knock you off your perch, it's puzzle-solving time.

A huge golden statue of the goddess Fortuna sits before Dante, with a massive block to the left of the statue. You can grab and drag this block by pressing the right bumper then moving the left stick. Once you drag the block to a certain spot on the floor, the statue will sink down into the ground, giving you a window of time to climb up the wall and over the temporarily sunk statue to continue through the level. You must move quickly though, as the giant block will eventually disintegrate, thus resetting the puzzle.

A good chunk of the puzzles in Dante's Inferno use levers or moveable sections of floor, but there are a number of old-fashioned jumping puzzles to mix things up as well. In fact, one of the newest puzzles (of sorts) is the absolution minigame that is used when you decide to absolve a non-enemy character of his or her sins. These characters are historical figures, and you'll get a brief rundown of their sins before deciding their fates. You can choose to punish with a simple press of the B button, which ends things in a quick and bloody fashion.

While the game doesn't give an exact theological explanation as to why Dante can absolve people who are already in hell, we'll just chalk it up to "video game logic." Choosing to absolve someone (by pressing the X button) will bring up the aforementioned minigame, which plays a bit like the Bit.Trip games for the Nintendo Wii, in that you have to match the timing of orbs traveling toward the center of the screen. The orbs travel in channels, and each is connected to one of the face buttons on the Xbox 360 controller. When they reach the correct spot, you press the corresponding button, and each successive orb you collect will earn you more souls at the end of the timed minigame.

These are just a couple of snapshots of our time in Dante's underworld, and there's certainly more to discover before the game is released on February 9. If you're looking for more on the game, you can check out our previous coverage or wait for our next glimpse of the game, which will be in a segment on an upcoming episode of GameSpot's video show Today On the Spot. So be on the lookout for the official air date.

Discussion

214 comments
kingleo1976
kingleo1976

cleo- looks sexy in a devilish way if thats possible. or maybe its her milk bags thats getting 2 me........ n e way, im picking this & bioshock up 1st day.

Kou-Nurasaka
Kou-Nurasaka

God of War meets Devil May Cry? Is that really even possible. I mean, I know we can replicate Absolute Zero down to a degree but I know for a fact that if those two games had a child, it could destroy us all. Dante's Inferno may just be that kind of fun!

erix43
erix43

This game is TOO MUCH!!OMG I have both PS3 and Xbox, but I am gonna get this one on PS3. Demo seemed cleaner and more fluid. Maybe it's just me. Controls were better on the PS3 control too. Felt more natural. So there you go fanboys, I'm on both sides. I can judge because I have both. Shut up and have both consoles I say.

Dhoangy
Dhoangy

More Entertainment coming my way! =), who cares if people think its a clone of GOW , even so I rather have x2 the fun factor of this style of similar games, is that not what we want more games such as like GOW, why debate which one is better coz in the end their here to make people's gaming life a more enjoyable experience.

game-on-man
game-on-man

Videogamevet- Man you must be blind you xbox fanboy...... your comment could not be more wrong!!!!! I to have seen both demos, and both games look similar. If anything the PS3 version looks more clean and crisp....... im not going to argue with you...... Im just saying to everyone else on here that you are WRONG...... go ahead get it for your 360...... I sure hope it dont get RRD....Like my peice of junk 360 did.

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

My excitement for this game is beyond belief.

YoungDab
YoungDab

Im getting it early and this game has the potential to kill GOW. They had somuch time to work on this game,it better have a long story with massive amounts of upgrades.You will be able to see the gameplay vid when I upload it on youtube search for 360kildab and sub plz.

vega13mv
vega13mv

@Radium217 I had no idea! awesome! can't wait!

Darkflame2006
Darkflame2006

lol @ mrasmussen10, it's so true! I tried watching the above battle without staring at the boobs and i couldn't do it! Enemy, what enemy? lol Fail! Boobies in games only work during cut-scenes, when you don't have to focus or are expected to do anything but watch. By the way, i'm a massive fan of GOW series and these game trailers have not impressed me so unless this game gets excellent reviews, i won't be buying it. GOW3 here i come!

Night-Wolf93
Night-Wolf93

The demo was extremely fun for me so yes im going to pick this one up .

Justinian103
Justinian103

This game looks amazing and the demo was awesome. Yes it is a GOW clone but I `m pretty sure the visual style, along with the leveling paths between holy and unholy will do enough to separate it. Cerberus looked outstanding, I`m confident these guys have this down pat.

Xeuton_Mojukai
Xeuton_Mojukai

Has anyone else noticed that the people saying they like this are comparing it to sex? Does anyone else have a problem with the comparison of disgusting violence and gratuitous brutality and gore with sexuality? Something is seriously wrong with you kids, if this looks like an enjoyable experience.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Who really cares if it plays like or resembles God of War??!!! It's still gonna be a decent game and fun to play. If anything... I think it's more like Darksiders. With the fighting of demons and Darksiders' 9 boards of the Appocolypse is kinda close to the 9 circles of hell. I loved Darksiders actually. And I'm pretty sure I'll love this game as well.

mrasmussen10
mrasmussen10

I cant concentrate on fighting enemies when there is two big boobies on the screen.

Radium217
Radium217

@vega13mv Castlevania-Lords of shadow= Legendary...pre-ordered the divine edition of this on ps3. They both run at 60 frames, i think I read that Sony and EA agreed that the the PS3 version got some extra content. Buzzinga.

schrodingercat8
schrodingercat8

@videogamevet: As far as I know, there is only one edition for the PS3 which is the Divine (collector's) Edition. Hence why the cover art is different from the 360 and PC versions. It is the same price as the 360 version. Again you can question why the PS3 version needs more incentives, but that's the reason for the "free" upgrade.

videogamevet
videogamevet

Here's my question though, When I recently went into my local Gamestop, the manager told me that if I wanted to change my pre purchase of this game from the 360 to the PS3, that I was going to be instantly upgraded to the Collectors edition. Of course, right away, I said no thank you, there has to be some reason for the "Free" upgrade. Has anyone here heard anything about how the game looks on both systems? I've downloaded the demo on both, and so far, I have to be honest and say that the 360 looks better, and no fanboy crap, please. Bayonetta simply looks and plays better on 360, so I'm just worried that the same thing is happening here, which is why they are giving away the free upgrade on the PS3, so I'd love to be sure I get the best version, so any idea's? Anyone hear anything?

YoungDab
YoungDab

This better not be short,because I hate spending money on non-multiplayer games that are short.

YoungDab
YoungDab

It looks almost identical to GOW,but its an amazing game that I will be buying lol.

happycowbaby
happycowbaby

NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Its every guys nightmare babys every were and even in the nipples

Celenduil
Celenduil

@thefencemarv I agree completely agree, I have looked somewhat deeper into the stuff behind the game and I can tell you now that if you look at works of famous artists like Rodin you will find these pieces carved into the hell of dante's inferno. the director has even gone through the trouble to write a 30 page intro describing how they got from the poem and art to the game. to be honest I am almost pretty sure that this game will be well worth my money :D

thefencemarv
thefencemarv

I played the demo. It was awesome. That being said, the game is God of War with a different mythology. I am sure it is better than GoW and hopefully later in the game we will see improvements and perhaps an engaging story. Seriously though, if you played GoW and Dante's Inferno demo you will clearly see that the context sensitive elements, the b,b,b,b,b,b,b to get health from a fountain, and the general aesthetic are damn near identical. I am not complaining about it, I love the demo. Just quit griping about people comparing it to GoW.

xolivierx
xolivierx

This message is for all the people complaining it looks like God of War, especially Intrakitt. God of war is an old game, and before god of war existed, there were games such as Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver, which in my opinion God Of War took it's inspiration from. And I could name a few others. So will you stop praising god of war and just welcome this new game that looks even better than god of war? This game is wicked and I'll be sure to buy it. And about Darksiders, this is an unoriginal game that could have been much more. Dante's Inferno looks fabulous in every single way. I just hope it delivers. Now will everybody shut up about god of war, because in my book god of war ain't even a classic game worth remembering.

Belcarius
Belcarius

This game is just ridiculous with its pathetic pastiche of literary tropes. Titan's Quest may have mixed and matched its mythology, but it at least didn't have the pretentiousness to call itself "The Iliad", as if Homer had anything at all to do with it. It's ironic enough that they're turning an epic poem about morality into an action game.

vega13mv
vega13mv

for all you ppl complaining about how games copy eachother, think about something.. why do think games like this, bayonetta, and darksiders are coming out? you need to get ideas from good games to make good games... makes sense now? dummies..

dave-dark
dave-dark

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

advanracer
advanracer

The game's Lead LEVEL DESIGNER on Dante's Inferno WORKED on God Of War. Hence...the similarities. YOU BUNCHA WHINY God OF War Fan B!tCheS. HAH! Regardless of your whining..WE ALL KNOW. You're getting this game when it Comes out.

YoungDab
YoungDab

I just got Mass Effect 2 and im getting this on the 6th or 7th of next month.

dean0586
dean0586

THIS GAME HAS BOOBS!!!!........... sold :)

vega13mv
vega13mv

why cant they make a castlevania game like this? am i the only one still waiting for a good castlevania game that isnt on a handheld?

LitheumGiant
LitheumGiant

Im getting sick and tired of U God Of War Fan Boys!

SeraphimRequiem
SeraphimRequiem

Intrakitt, you haven't even played the game yet. Who are you to say that it "destroyed the literature" of a story that you, more than likely, haven't even read. Get off your high horse, and enjoy a good game when it's presented to you. And stop acting like God of War spawned the very genre that it's in. Sure, Dante's Inferno may play very much like GoW, but isn't imitation the finest form of flattery? I, for one, am stoked on the game.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

janonis: I disagree on the whole "one of the best games this year" thing simply because Dante's Inferno is unoriginal tripe that shouldn't even be released, chiefly due to the fact that it simultaneously destroys the literature that it is based off of while at the same time stealing pretty much EVERYTHING from one of the most successful and popular game franchises to date. I hardly see how this is "worth buying". Maybe if you're looking for a stupid, mindless, God awful game that is only being released because the developers couldn't think of anything else to make and wanted to turn a large profit by cashing in on the ideas of others. The largest difference between this and Darksiders, regarding the whole copying thing, is that Darksiders is actually fun to play and I guarantee you it has sold way less than Dante's Inferno will sell, sadly enough.

janonis
janonis

I don't understand way are so many people saying that Dante's inferno is GoW clone. I agree there is some GoW elements but it doesn't mean it is a clone. We all know Warcraft and Starcraft these both games are like twin brothers. Only differences is worlds, time and units and there was no stupid criticizing, because these games were awesome just like Dante's inferno. How about Darksiders. I will not tell that someone looks like Arthas from Warcraft3 and reminds Dragon ege origins. So get over it.It is no cheap fake. Dante's inferno is one of the best games that will come out this year and it will stay like that. Thank you for reading and.

PaoX2_69
PaoX2_69

This is a good game. A games that is worth buying. Games that have the God Of War gameplay and feel to it are actually popular these days. This is one game that will satisfy you with blood, heavy action and goer. Worth buying.

PaoX2_69
PaoX2_69

This is a good game. A games that is worth buying. Games that have the God Of War gameplay and feel to it are actually popular these days. This is one game that will satisfy you with blood, heavy action and goer. Worth buying.

efunk25
efunk25

Demo was sweet. Basically a God of War rip off. The graphics and gameplay are great. I still prefer the chains of Olympus though.

EQShaman
EQShaman

She's starting to shimmy! She's starting to shake!

gingefails
gingefails

Wasn't interested at first, but this makes it actually sound sort of interesting.

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

Demo for this rocked. I was kinda suprised by this and the Bayonetta demo at the same time. Looks like more and more great games just keep coming. \m/

doontime
doontime

@dantefenix it's a hack and slash genre not a copy of gow.

Boblehead2008
Boblehead2008

def picking this one up played the demo it was awsome maybe get it with bioshock 2

Zach413
Zach413

def picking this up with bioshock 2

5Jedi5diah5
5Jedi5diah5

i'm starting to like this M rated game lol...

Irule23
Irule23

This game looks EPIC! I'm getting this game the second I have the choice. And so what if it's a rip (not saying it is) of GoW, it just makes it all-the-better.

gimgak
gimgak

the esrb review for this game is gonna be entertaining to read