This game is like God of War, pretty much sums it up, it also falls apart progressively as you advance through the game.
Ever take the time to read the Divine Comedy (all of them)? It's quite creative, strange, dark and horrifying. It was great!
You know what Dante's Inferno lacks, most of those key concepts that made the divine comedy such a fantastical book, this game lacks that fantastical feeling! Also just remember, a lot of this game has absolutely nothing to do with the original source material, it's more by title and characters only.
Now I'm going to rate Dante's Inferno in a "strange" way, I'm going to base its review off of the nine circles of hell (including it's prologue). Then I'll enter a form of how it all comes together, and you make sense of the rest, I'll tell you one thing however. I'll tell you that the game progressively loses its charm as you progress through it, THEY'RE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW, READ AT OWN RISK!
But first, it's commercial!
Any commercial that insults, in a hilarious way, to the gamer to "Go to Hell" is definitely amazing... Aside from how misleading most of the commercial is to the actual game.
If most still remember, when this game was first being noticed by it's demo, this game was praised and a lot of people were amazed. Dante's Inferno surprisingly does a very good job at how it should enter a game, showing a drawn animation of what is happening currently, and then throwing you into the pit of combat without a second thought, eventually you get assassinated, by getting stabbed in the back (which some how kills you, ignore how you were most likely stabbed a few other times before you died there). Then you are instantly confronted by Death, and boom, boss battle! This gets props for the fact that YOU FIGHT AND KILL DEATH (which is probably going to have heaven in a scramble). After the battle you will have fully acquired Deaths scythe! You then travel back to Beatrice, who is your wife and not the random lady you found a few years ago when you were younger and were still in love with her while married to someone else... Perhaps I've said to much. She's dead! (shocker) and then a church splits into pieces and you drop down to hell!
Why it isn't a ten? because it didn't make any sense! it was boom, boom, hack n slash, DEATH, hack n slash, hack n slash, not an ounce of depth but besides the DEATH boss battle! (who was incredibly easy, the lack of challenge didn't help much.)
The first Circle, Limbo: 8/10
After plowing your way through to the underworld (while riding a pet demon beast), and meeting Virgil, you finally reach the first Circle, Limbo, where the dead are judged! (Or just kept there) You find yourself riding Charon, the boatman, of course in the game, he is the boat, you continue on and finally meet Minos judge of the dead (who've you've been hearing shouting in the background peoples sins), who looks like a giant mummy, and can smell your sins! He insults you, you insult him, boss battle ensues, you kill Minos (which if you think about it, who's supposed to judge the horrible human beings who've recently died, now there's going to be a big a** line of people waiting to see what type of horrific torture awaits them! Those poor, poor souls). Now I should go into detail, wow, people are encased in these strange climbable walls, that's pretty cool, and demon babies... (unbaptised babies, but demon babies is far more humorous) It's look was pretty cool, the demons look demonic (however have annoying amounts of health), and again demon babies! You will also encounter "shadows" here, which have no actual impact on the story at all (there's a story?) you either kill them, again, and take their hidden stash of souls, OR, you could play the little guitar hero like mini-game and get more of their secret stash of souls, and let them go to heaven, because that's totally what crusaders are capable of doing after they kill Death!
Why it isn't a ten? While I enjoy killing demon babies as much as the next guy, the game still hasn't actually been challenging, at all! Minos may seem big and bad, but you can easily stand right next to the saw blade you use to kill him, and spam the cross attack till you're prompted to a few quick time events. All you have to do is jump and spam, repeat. Also the fact that getting death's scythe was pointless, because the cross is incredibly overpowered!
The Second Circle, Lust: 8.5/10
After swinging, from bones, and and destroying a giant chain, you find yourself in Lust, where there is a giant sex tornado, yes, a giant sex tornado. To make that make sense, peoples bodies are twirled around the tornado while moaning of sexual pleasure, hence, sex tornado. Anyway, you have to blow a hole through this sex tornado, to reach within it's cylindrical center, that stays erect, forever! You meet a new type of enemy here too, it's, uhhhhh naked lady, uhhhh who spreads her legs and uhhhhhh a giant tentacle pops out and tries to grab/stab you. Now I'll give the creators credit for adding their own form of creativity in the circles of hell, this introduction into Lust, still comes with quite a lot of creativity as well, it's strange and somewhat terrifying! Plus we still have those climbable walls that people are in! Later throughout you are chased down by Cleopatra, who's a giant (which could stand as a metaphor depending on how you take it). She climbs up chasing after you, while uhhhh, demon babies come out of her breast. The boss battle is Marc Antony, again being very easy, and I felt a little odd for I thought after the boss battle there was going to be a bit of necrophilia in the game, thankfully no!
Why it isn't a ten? It's still lacking challenge! I had to change the difficulty to feel more challenged and I'm still am unimpressed! If this is Hell, why is everything so easy to deal with? Don't even try me with the cross and its mighty power, "professional" priest (who exorcise) have a hard time exorcising one demon! Then again priest don't have a cross that shoots giant cross shaped beams of death. Which if they did, I think everyone would want to be a priest. Also why did this level feel so, short?
The Third Circle, Gluttony: 9/10 I could really go for some, Soilent Green right now!
From what I can tell, this circle is supposed to make you feel like vomiting, however I was still amused by the look of the level, it's really "out there", I mean it's not the same frozen wasteland like the Divine Comedy, but I like this one too! You'll Encounter, fat, things, that have mouths for hands and try to eat you. I would say they're much like the Cyclops in God of War, giant fat things you have to beat for a large period of time till they finally fall. These fat things have annoying amounts of health, and have rather, grotesque/disturbing/disgusting attacks, this will include, throwing up acidic bile, and acidic bile from the bottom back end of your body. They look very similar to those fat monsters you see in your class room who munch down on pounds of food within seconds and growling at whomever gets near them as they feast. Here you will also face off against Cerberus, which is really hard to explain how he looks, I'd suggest going on Youtube for that, all I can say is that Cerberus seems to be someone's organs sprouting out of a humans body and the three massive organs have mouths.
Why it isn't a ten? While Cerberus himself isn't very challenging, I did find myself near death and died a few more times than I have in the previous two circles, but the thing is it still really wasn't that hard, a lot of the deaths and near deaths were "cheap shots". The Glutton beast (which is what I'm going to call those fat things you see in school) have too much health, they just take a really long time to kill, and aren't even that difficult to dispose of, they're tedious. The Hall of Gluttons was a stupid puzzle, a stupid puzzle you could figure in less than five minutes.
The fourth Circle, Greed (and is totally not Avarice) 7.5/10
See the problem with Greed is that it was sort of average, having somewhat annoying platforming, and an annoying new enemy, who spins around in circles, and stops for five seconds and does it again, they're incredibly frustrating, unless you can manage to catching they're spin attack, and whack them, now I'm starting to notice that the game is starting to recycle some of its ideas now, the naked ladies with their crotch tentacles make another appearance, but now they're upgraded, now they can stun you! Unless if you're in mid-air, which makes they're stun attack fail. Also upgraded Demons with shields, who're honestly very irritating! Not much to say about the looks, blood has been replaced by gold, still looks rather nice though, it's just not as impressive as some of the earlier levels, more impressive than Limbo, but Limbo was supposed to be sort of bland. The boss you encounter here is Dante's dad, who's an a** he's also probably the hardest boss you'll face so far. You'll find yourself asking "Why can't I beat some fat a** guy with a giant golden cross" it'll take a few tries to figure how the boss works, and that you will not expecting what happens in the stage.
Why it isn't a ten? The level enemies and platforming aren't very memorable in the slightest, the only memorable part is that you might die against Dante's dad, and that's about it, plus they're starting to recycle things.
The Fifth circle, Anger (back to normal on naming but What the...) 3/10
Wow, this was easily the most boring Circle in the game, which is saying a lot considering the Circle is named "ANGER". No new enemies, a very bland design, and this gigantic flaming guy called Phlegyas, whom by the way, YOU NEVER GET TO FIGHT, maybe Dante realised at some point he's destroyed the balance of the Underworld, and got soft, he realised this probably after he ripped the last demon baby in half. You're basically pitted off against fighting enemies, while dodging Phleygas' incredibly easy to dodge attacks. That's it, oh, and you ride him, he's very slow, and he stomps on small stupid people, he falls and dies as you enter the City of Dis, that's it.
Why it sucked? There was absolutely no creativity to this level, the enemies were all just recyclables, they somehow made a burning giant, the size of a few buildings, lame. This is probably, the worst Circle you'll visit. For the time being. The only interesting parts are when Phlegyas comes out of nowhere (as in under you), and you feel awesome that you get to fight it and then the game stabs you in the back (a little more personally) and says "Nope, no fight for you!", leaving you very irritated.
The Sixth Circle, Heresy 6/10
This level is bland, but came more from an improvement over the previous circle, but not by much, you'll be introduced to a few new enemies and all of them are incredibly irritating, heretics (they're very bony), who teleport and have a lot of troublesome damaging attacks, oh and did I mention they're immune to your cross beam of death? I liked how some of the people were trapped within burning coffins and such, and some of the random segments of puzzles that honestly weren't that brilliantly designed, but were better than whatever the game has thrown at you at this point, the Circle's design is probably the only really stuck out part of this Circle.
Why it's just average? They don't really do a lot with it, the enemies aren't fun, they're just troublesome, I could of thought of some ways to make it fun, like adding, Cthulhu or something, even though it wouldn't make any sense, I don't care, it would have still made it more memorable!
The Seventh Circle, Violence 8.0/10
Two hours of bad design and I reach a pretty nice Circle finally and it's separated into three parts even! Violence against people, violence against self and violence against God. While I wont say that "it's great" I won't say it's bad, they did a lot with some of the image with Violence, while apparently this should have been more plot heavy to understand Dante as a character, it really doesn't. He finds his mom, who committed suicide, because his dad was an a** and she was weak. Dante finds his brother in combat, who got killed, and he's angry and wants to kill Dante, he's a pathetically easy boss battle, regardless of the annoying crusaders you will encounter. I may have forgotten to mention that you bump into two new enemies, the Crusaders, and flying Arch Demons, who're both pretty easy, both mainly require you to use the cross, but then again why wouldn't you use the cross, it's an incredibly overpowered weapon of doom, the only enemies you can't use it on are heretics, so why not just hammer the, B button throughout the whole game?
Why was it good? Because the level felt like they got back on track and wanted to do something rather then nothing at all, which I'm proud to say and I look forward to the next circle that is probably magnificently twisted and strange as this... Oh, God no...
The Eighth Circle, Fraud 2/10
Yes, behold the worst of the nine Circles of Hell, not because of how horrifying it is, but how badly made it is. They expect you to truck through ten identical platforms, while fighting recyclable enemies, in different situations and handicaps in all of them, I want to shoot who's idea this was, because this was just badly done, you could do a lot of interesting things, regardless of how short they were, but they didn't, they barely tried anything at all! I don't even want to think about it, this was just bad.
Why I don't want to talk about it? Why don't you read!
The Ninth Circle, Treachery 7.5/10
The final Circle and it honestly feels like we've gone backwards, nothing really improved, and Circles damaging the game because they decided to half-a** everything. I understand God of War 3 is just around the corner, but don't give up where you started strong, however I don't run Visceral. This final Circle is bland, and lifeless, but it's supposed to be, and they got that right! Nothing much but fighting some of the flying Arch Demons till you reach the arena before your final fight with the ever so humorous, Lucifer and his mighty erect body part, that's the size of a human arm! Also right before that, you have a mini ice bridge which you have to cross, and you tip toe pointlessly when you could just run and jump. The fight against Lucifer is probably the toughest boss in the game, unless if you have the divine armour ability, that makes you indestructible and regenerates your health, which destroys any challenge you expect to encounter throughout the rest of the game. Lucifer, at first starts off as a giant, pounding on the ground while talking about liberation and such. Lucifer's second form is more Faun like, like the heretics he is immune to God and cross beams of death (wait what?) , so you have to use you're scythe and those abilities you've earned throughout the game. You beat him, and then he reveals to you the "twist" in the game, which I might add he says in a rather humorous tone "You're dead, Dante!", Dante acts shocked and confused (well no s***, why do you think Death came to you in the first place?) Then a scene happens and lights flash everywhere like a, Michael Bay movie and Lucy is sealed once again. Dante comes out of cave with his hairy bum sticking out and rips of the cross he sowed to his chest, he threw it to the ground and it poofed and turned into a snake (which could be taken as another metaphor).
Wait what? Since when is God so generous to helping a guy who killed Death, the Judge of Hell and the owner of Hell (OK, Lucy didn't die, but Dante still released him)? I'm pretty sure he would have had a few angels take care of Dante's soul after he did the first action!
Now I'll average up the score in a bit and talk about the strong points in a bit, but I also want to ask if you noticed that it felt like the game got progressively worse as we went along it, while this is only a hunch, I could say they were getting nervous at the release of God of War and rushed everything through to make money before God of war 3 made it out.
I'll also not note the fact of how similar it is to God of War (which it totally is) and that it has nothing to do with the Divine Comedy. Also, I'm not adding the commercial score, that was just a joke.
Overall Score: 6.85 however because of Gamspots rating line I have to round to a 7
The problem lies that Dante's Inferno had so much energy when it started, and exhausted all of it's potential and creativity too soon. It's sad, really. I can't say it's bad, but I can't say it's good either, it's fairly average. It's strongest points were mainly it's art and look, but it failed in having a broken combat system and a lack of plot. God of War had it's moments of being a bit lack lustre, but they figured out the balance in other situations that still made it strong and superior by the end, oh and God of War was difficult, Dante's Inferno lacks a challenge, and it's definition of challenge is giving enemies annoying amounts of health! I thought Dante's Inferno was capable of more, but perhaps I hoped to much. I'd recommend it as a rental, it's very short, which doesn't help it much either. So much for scheduling a release for what's probably going to be a far more superior game!
Now if you'll excuse me I have answer the clawing coming from my closet door, I'm sure it's not another unexpected visit from a demon baby of sorts!