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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dante's Inferno
I've got to admit I felt a little out of place when looking forward to this game; having come out of the blue completely, I felt a 'Dead Space' experience arriving, where I would buy the game on a whim and love it. But to be honest the more I looked forward to this game, the more I hyped it up for myself, the more I replayed the demo, the more I felt it would disappoint...
Published on 10 Feb 2010 by Mr. A. Eubank

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, solid, but not earth-shattering
Dante's Inferno is primarily an action-adventure fighting game played from a third-person view - similar to Devil May Cry or Bayonetta - with platforming and environment-based puzzles thrown in to break up some of the levels. You control Dante, armed with Death's scythe a Holy Cross that fires a volley of energy as a projectile attack, and magic based attacks, you must...
Published on 6 April 2011 by Daz


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dante's Inferno, 10 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. A. Eubank (Lancaster, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I've got to admit I felt a little out of place when looking forward to this game; having come out of the blue completely, I felt a 'Dead Space' experience arriving, where I would buy the game on a whim and love it. But to be honest the more I looked forward to this game, the more I hyped it up for myself, the more I replayed the demo, the more I felt it would disappoint me. I have to say straight away: actually it doesn't, and it lived up the high expectations I ended up holding for it, which is a relief, considering most of the games released in this modern market (Call of Duty coming to mind straight away).

The first I have to mention is the story, which is nothing like the book, those of you looking for an accurate adaption of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, are looking in the wrong medium entertainment, try Theatre, Music even, but a game has to be exciting and visceral (no pun intended). So Visceral Games (or Redwood Studios as they were during Dead Space; or 'another EA studio pumping out the Simpson's game for every console every five years) set about adapting 'the fifth gospel' into an action-packed, 'serious-arcade' slash-smash-action-rpg-fighting game, so liberties are taken.

Dante is no longer a troubled poet and politician, but rather a sinning Crusader in the Holy army led to Jerusalem in the 13th century and, without spoiling the story, Dante believes his sins are absolved for this 'noble' cause. Of course they aren't or else he wouldn't be in Hell, and those who have played the demo will realise that his love Beatrice (in the book he never actually spends his life with Beatrice but loves her indefinitely) is dragged into Hell for a bargain made, so the story is truly a very loose adaptation; I can guarantee you won't find yourself fainting and conversing with the local sinners, merely deciding the fate of the rest of their after-life.

So, with the story laid down, I can kind of critique it for being so for from the original, but this critique falls flat when you look at what makes an entertaining game, and this game most certainly is that. Although it's not that long (I tried my hardest to stretch out the story and it took me just over 10 hours) the relatively small amount of hours are full of high-octane, visceral (sorry) action and puzzles.

The game-play is smooth, silky smooth, in fact you can attack with the scythe, pulling off crazy combos and it will never lag, and it looks mind-bendingly good. Visceral Games boast that the game-play never drops below 60 frames a second, and it's hard to believe how they managed it with such lush level design and complex graphics. And then I thought, the whole game is very linear, in fact you don't control the camera at all because there is so little space for exploration. So very small levels, without huge spanning environments mean that bucket loads of shoe polish can be applied to what is actually there, and do you know what? I don't care.

The experience detracts any need for mass exploration; there is nothing worse, in my mind, than traipsing field after boring field to find something that I really couldn't care about. Finding enemies, and bosses and puzzles in this game really grabs your attention and drags you in. I can safely say I never really felt the need to want to go and explore everywhere I could see, I just wanted the action. Many can criticise this game for being too simple-minded, like the drunken brute in the pub, but it really isn't. It's straight to the point and every hour of the game is full of something to do, you'll never be trudging back to NPCs or mindlessly shooting respawning enemies.

No. This is arcade fighting, with updated graphics, updated morality choices, loads of RPG elements and a story line we care about. And you will want to play on, even if it's not to see the newer enemies, or for the greater challenge, or to follow the story, it could be simply for the level design

Every single level is so drastically different, and that is where the game is very accurate in its portrayal of the book. The design is taken straight from literature it is based on; most of the game looks how I imagined it. I can safely say that if you want an intense arcade fighter with all the graphical complexity and RPG element upgrades, with spectacular level design, monstrous bosses and Biblically smooth game-play, this is a game you will enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, solid, but not earth-shattering, 6 April 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Dante's Inferno is primarily an action-adventure fighting game played from a third-person view - similar to Devil May Cry or Bayonetta - with platforming and environment-based puzzles thrown in to break up some of the levels. You control Dante, armed with Death's scythe a Holy Cross that fires a volley of energy as a projectile attack, and magic based attacks, you must journey through the nine circles of Hell to reclaim the soul of your beloved Beatrice from the hands of Lucifer.

I approached this game with a relatively open mind. I've never played the God Of War games (which I hear Dante's Inferno has `borrowed' heavily from), but I'd enjoyed other fighting games such as Devil May Cry, Bayonetta and Castlevania. I liked the look of the art style, the demo was good fun, so I picked it up.

The first thing that struck me was the presentation, the good voice acting and the fluid combat. It didn't seem too challenging to be able to clear hordes of enemies with a few simple button presses. As a fan of horror, I found the presentation of the environments even more impressive Dante descended into hell..... but then things started to unravel a little....

The art style that started off so impressively, and remained so, did become quite samey as the story progressed. A later level set in a forest helped to break up the presentation, but many of the other levels are simply a series of similar-looking corridors that lead into open rooms to allow for an inevitable onslaught of baddies. The environmental puzzles were fun to start with, but boil down to turning levers, switiching switches, or moving blocks, and seem thrown in just to give you something else to do other than kill things. These sections are also hampered by frequently bad camera angles which often lead to unfair trial-by-error deaths. I found the combat in the earlier levels was frustrating, but it took a little perseverance and practice. Ultimately I found the combat to be one of the most rewarding and fair systems I've encountered in this genre, and the skill-tree that you can use to upgrade Dante's abilities was well thought out - do you upgrade your evil powers which improve your scythe attacks, or do you upgrade your good powers which improve your long-range cross attacks? Sure, it is no match for Bayonetta's outrageousness, but the fighting engine is solid and fair, and it is one of the few systems which really made me want to push myself to improve my skills and beat the opponents, rather than slam the joypad down in anger when I was defeated.

I played through Dante's Inferno on the default difficultly so my views are based on a complete 10-12 hour playthrough. Overall I recommend Dante's Inferno, but there are some minor points that detracted from my enjoyment. If you're a fan of fighting games and have a penchant for the grotesque, this is well worth a look.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from Hellish..., 11 Mar 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I, like many, was put off this game at release by some pretty average reviews. Some sites like CVG gave it excellent reviews, but overall it only got an average of about 7.7/10. I must say that I am completely at a loss to understand why. What an action-packed, brilliantly designed, brilliantly gory, gorgeous slash-em-up. True, it may borrow heavily (shamelessly steal) from the likes of the God of War series, but it does it so well. In fact, in most departments it wipes the floor with God of War. As with other games by Visceral (the Dead Space series for example), the graphics and sound design are excellent. It's such a shame that this game went under most people's radar. If you love games and don't mind a gallon or two of blood, you owe it to yourself to buy this game!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dante's FUNferno, 15 July 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I bought this game for a cheap thrill to tide me over until the likes of Space Marine later this year. But as I begun to play this title I slowly realised what a solid game this is. The combat is excellent, the voice acting is incredible and the game world is incredibly detailed. The game has a very ominous and creepy atmosphere and is very addictive in nature, It is a hack and slash, with a puzzle element, which would not normally attract me, but the story is so well executed, and the environments and creatures you fight are so well designed, that the game seems less repetitive because of the ever changing environments and enemies. The 9 circles of hell are all different and have unique enemies. Overall the game looks great and the combat flows incredibly well. Well worth the cheap price it is at now. A fun, addictive, creepy and beautiful game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere between hot and lukewarm, 10 Mar 2011
By 
G. Hanks "hanks1980" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Visceral live up to their namesake as we're sent on a blood soaked trawl through the nine circles of hell in the videogame adaption of Dante's Divine Comedy.

Calling it an adaption is quite inaccurate and could give the wrong impression that this game aims to be considered high art, however with the combat heavy focus and no real dedication to the poem's narrative it should be more considered as an "inspired by the events of...."

Dante's Inferno is a hack and slash adventure that follows the template set out by God of War very closely with the now standard block moving puzzles and switch/lever pulls, combined with over the top combat and lashings of claret. When comparing it directly to God of War it doesn't come across favourably but on its own merits it is a playable, if somewhat frustrating adventure.

Combat flows fairly smoothly with a combination of light and heavy attacks along with grabs, dodges, blocks etc... Mapping a holy cross ranged attack to a face button increases the combo possibilities for dealing damage up at a distance which allows the player to mix up strategies and enemy targets on the fly. Sadly Dante often has problems locking on to enemies and this can prove frustrating as you desperately try and focus on a particular threat only to fire attacks at someone you don't want to start targeting yet. When simple errors like this occur they can potentially lead to lost life situations, especially at the harder moments. The anger level warms.

To save players from going insane you can't drop off any ledges that may cause instant death, with a jump being the only way to send you hurtling to potential oblivion (or hopefully the next platform.) However, one of the main combo finishers that is used in the game (due to its great stagger potential and that it's hard to interrupt) sees Dante leap high into the air before slamming his scythe down upon hapless enemies. Unfortunately, if you're close to the edge of a platform this can often lead to Dante jumping off the edge of the platform into inevitable insta-death hell. This is quite an oversight as during a combo you often don't have control over the positioning of your character as the animation takes over. Dante certainly moves around during combo's a fair amount, even firing off ranged attacks leads to a step forward, and there are several cases where the game can essentially kill the player quite unfairly. The anger levels get hot.

Outside of the combat there are a fair few platform sections, some of them can work quite well with a generous use of continue points to reduce frustration. There are a few moments where you're expected to fight quite a tough battle against a strong selection of foes before being thrown in to a series of platform sections where platforms crumble in advance with virtually little time to respond. The fact that there is a secret to pick up before this as well means that it will take a few arduous retries before success occurs. Sometimes the camera works against the player as well, a few rope swings are painfully frustrating as you can't even see the point you're swinging to and the camera finds the least helpful place to put itself for judging perspective. The anger level simmers.

To finally hammer the nail in the coffin of the player's patience there are several sections where turning a lever, or moving a block, is required whilst being attacked by enemies. If you haven't levelled up the right spells (that grant you temporary invulnerability) then these sections are almost impossible as each time you're attacked you have to take care of the enemies whilst the switch or block slides back to its original position. The anger level boils over, pads fly, game discs smash and loud screams are heard by the neighbours.

Fortunately these moments aren't incredibly frequent but they do occur enough times to sour the taste of what is generally a competent broth.

Visceral have attempted to add a sense of morality into the game giving you the option of absolving or damning certain tortured souls and historical figures in hell. The problem is that the execution is short-sighted as they have tied these acts directly into the levelling up system. All new powers are gained by collecting orbs that are dropped when you defeat/damn or absolve. This means that your choices are not guided by any sense of morality, more what powers you want to unlock next. If you want even the remotest chance of having a balanced Dante for combat then you're given no choice but to bend your morality to the whim of the levelling up system.

The game starts to lose momentum around the halfway point, most of the impressive scenes and interesting locations are played through in the first half. It doesn't help that Virgil (your guide and narrator) is like the Molyneux based hype-machine of hell and tells you about the fresh new horrors awaiting, the likes of which you cannot imagine only to find out you're stuck in what is essentially a boring set of arena challenges. There is a constant raising of hope to see what new and obscene horror will step forth next but it just gets more disappointing the more you play. When compared to Castlevania and God of War which both manage to consistently deliver impressive locations, set pieces and design it just becomes a slog in Dante's Inferno by the end. It's a shame that more effort wasn't made to delve into the horror aspects of a trek through the lower circles of hell as the potential for exploring the macabre is near limitless considering the setting.

Conversely the first half of the game is actually quite impressive, there are some great moments near the beginning and the Lust circle is particularly gruesome in a disturbing sub-erotic way. It's certainly not a game for prudes and mixes up stashes of gory executions, rivers of blood and death with the occasional bit of nudity thrown in. Those with a penchant for the gruesome and savage will certainly find their fill in the beginning stages.

So it's by no means essential then, but not shabby either. There are much better examples in the genre but if you have the inclination for more hack and slashery after you've ticked off the big hitter then you'll be met with an entertaining but flawed adventure that breaks too many promises that its narrator can't keep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing game, 1 Aug 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
When I saw the previews I wasn't impressed. Another castlevania clone. Then i tried the demo and loved it. I'm playing it right now and the plot is amazing, and the game itself is lots of fun. Solid gameplay, amazins story, great music. A really good choice
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing game, 1 Jun 2011
By 
D. WEBLEY-PARRY "Groovy!" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I've been playing video games for over 20 years, and I can honestly say this game makes it into my ALL TIME Top Ten games.

The sound and graphics are truly awesome, and its depth really makes you think you're actually there. The images and ideas for the nine circles of hell are nothing short of frightening, and even the lower class enemies you have to defeat give you an overwhelming sense of dread.

The gameplay itself is straight out of the "Devil May Cry" style, and the controls are very easy to master. Plenty of save points and power ups ensure you don't lose interest by dying all the time, and there are plenty of new combos and fighting techniques to master as you "Punish" or "Absolve" the damned souls of hell. You also get a strange sense of satisfaction as you wander through hell and discover the souls of the likes of Pontius Pilate, and decide whether or not to free them of their torment, or MAKE THEM BURN!!!!!!

If this game isn't in your collection, you're either under-18, or there's something wrong with you.

Get it. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, smooth, visceral fun, 14 May 2011
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I'd been looking forward to playing Dante's Inferno for a while, and I wasn't disappointed. Although it starts off with a slightly dodgy premise and gameplay, it doesn't take long to get good. Modifying the premise of the original poem - Dante is now a soldier who fought at Acre and committed moderately dodgy acts - and gets stabbed in the back, but ends up defeating death, taking his scythe and returning to his love, Beatrice. Sadly, Beatrice is DOA - and not only that, but taken by the devil to be his bride. Dante starts on a journey to regain his lost love and set things right.

Visceral Games have done a great job with the game - it looks and runs gorgeously. It's a pleasure to control - the game does rest on combos, but they're not difficult-to-remember-devil-may-cry combos - they flow quite naturally.

The difficulty balance is also good - the bosses are tricky but not too hard. The devil is suitably tough, but rightly so. The rest of the bosses are pretty spectacular - from the giant three-headed cerberus, to the devil himself. Although some of the monster usage is a bit lazy - you'll encounter a couple of new demons per circle, but the game does then regurgitate the same ones you've seen before. The beasts are mostly suitably disgusting and gruesome, and so are the levels - people crying out, trapped souls, rivers of fire - all rendered with due care and attention. It feels really cinematic sometimes, and real care and attention has gone into it all.

You can customise your abilities nicely, choosing from holy and unholy abilities which power up your cross or scythe respectively. There's the nice twist at the end, a visceral trademark, that you can keep playing the game with your abilities in the same state as they were in when you finished the game, as well as unlocking a few other nice bits and pieces.

Above all, it's an enjoyable game to play, easygoing, spectacular in places and eminently playable. It looks and feels great, and although there are a few drawbacks, it's definitely a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Darksiders ish, 23 April 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I personally liked this game, though it strays from the original text in the sense that beatrice is meant to save dante and not the other way around haha. But as far as gameplay goes i like it, good hack and slash with some nice animations and good story telling. bit cumbersome at parts and maybe a bit more in enemy ai would have been nice but otherwise enjoyable
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Damned if you do..., 26 Jan 2011
By 
P. A. Irving (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I was expecting a full-on God of War clone when I received Dante's Inferno for Christmas. That's not a bad thing. God of War is an excellent franchise and, being PS-exclusive, it makes sense that someone would want to convert that to the XBox bandwagon. At first it seemed it was going to deliver on this front. It's got a very fluid fighting system and scores of enemies to fight through, and it's got epic scale battles with epic scale enemies. It's even got some of the same button-press sequences to stop things getting too mindless (it's still mindless but it means you have to concentrate). But what it doesn't have, despite the involving storyline and the poetic inspiration, is the depth that the God of War franchise manages.

It lacks depth in gameplay. There are simple environmental puzzles early on to keep your grey matter in gear but these get less evident as the game goes on. They never really gain more complexity than pressing a switch or moving an object or turning a wheel while simultaneously battling monsters, and are frequently very taxing in terms of multitasking, but there's nothing here that really tickles the brain cells. It's hard not to know what to do. Even in boss fights, for the most part, there's little more to figure out than that some atmospheric quirk is deadly and your primary objective is to exploit said quirk. Platforming is frequently poor with the 3D often more confusing than it is convincing. The enemies start to reappear and reappear and gang up and reappear some more until any sense of variety established early on has all but been forgotten. It really does get repetitive very quickly and, had it not been a gift, I may not have persisted with it.

Which would have been a shame, because the storyline works. Initially it's about Dante rescuing (ish) his wife from the devil that has taken her soul. As you go, you realise that Dante himself isn't a terribly nice chap, and his sins, as you'd expect, come back to find him out. He's committed pretty much all of them and gets his comeuppance in pretty much every circle of hell there is. Though it does present a very severe Christian morality throughout, making for a chillingly inflexible interpretation of hell, there is something of a sense that you can be absolved of sin as long as you kill everything that tries to get you. I can't work out if this is meant to underline or satirise the morality it alludes to; probably both.

Everything in game is very epic in scale and you really do reach a point where the feeling of lowering yourself through the circles of Hell is all too realistic - in part because of the repetitive gameplay - primarily due to the well-rendered backdrops and imaginative (for the most part) interpretations of the themes from the poem. Voice acting is generally good both in cut scenes and simply when you are climbing up the limbs of oppressed denizens of hell who give out utterances connected to the circle they are in. The whole atmosphere becomes very claustrophobic despite the huge environments you travel through. One massive criticism of the game is the lack of a first-person point-of-view button that would enable you to take in some of the breathtaking artwork that raises the game above its somewhat tawdry gameplay. There are instances where there is a huge God/Titan/Thing with teeth in the background and all you can really see at any given time is its feet. This is a disappointment when scale is something that the artists have clearly worked so hard to create. All in all however, the presentation is very good, the story keeps you interested and resolves wonderfully and the experience at the end is quite rewarding.

So why isn't it better? The aesthetics are wonderful, the sound is atmospheric and morbid and grim, the game is fun if repetitive, but ultimately for something that is based on a masterpiece of literature, there's just too little here. There's no interactivity with NPCs beyond the silly condemn/save dynamic that is just a shallow mechanism for levelling up and has no discernible consequence in the game. Though you meet mythological figures, they have no impact on the story as you go. You don't have tasks to complete nor do your actions affect them. It's all a very linear and inconsequential experience and for such an ambitious project, it shouldn't be. God of War did the same thing with characters from Greek mythology but incorporated the figures into the game fully, making for endless involvement with the mythical word that was its inspiration. Dante's Inferno just doesn't do that. It doesn't do enough to involve you in Hell, it just puts you through it.

Maybe I'm being too judgemental. I didn't not enjoy the game, I just didn't love it either. It's something I played and finished and now it's on my shelf. There's just not the depth that I like in games of this sort to keep me coming back, and I suspect the same will be true for most of the people for whom the subject matter is appealing. If you're looking to bash some buttons and spill some blood and encounter some truly unpleasant enemies, go for it. But maybe rent it, or buy it second hand, or borrow it, or something. If you're looking for something that'll keep you coming back after a week, or after you've finished it (this will probably happen first), then I'd look elsewhere.
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Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360)
Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) by Electronic Arts (Xbox 360)
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