However not everything is directly ripped straight from other character action titles. Dante's Inferno has a few tricks up its sleeve including a unique leveling system that grants powers up on a Holy and Unholy basis depending upon if you want to Absolve or Punish the souls you come across as you traverse the depths of Hell. There is also a large selection of relics that can be sought after and equipped in different combinations to give Dante either offensive or defensive bonuses. Overall Dante's Inferno is a nicely designed game, with many familiar genre mechanics. It plays well and moves fluidly but nothing in the gameplay really stands out as overwhelmingly unique.
Where Dante's Inferno is able stand out in though is its art style. The visuals are dark and grisly and entirely fitting of the source material. Visceral has done a wonderful job of adapting the epic poem's version of Hell. It is uncanny how accurate parts of the level design are to what Dante wrote in his poem; in particular the Suicide Wood and the Burning Sands are both strikingly accurate in their depictions. While it may not be the poet Dante traversing the Circles, this is most certainly Dante's version of Hell. Dante himself looks good and his animations are for the most part, silky smooth. The enemies that Dante faces though are the real stars of the game. From simple zombie like souls intent on making Dante join them to over-sized Gluttons whom spew bodily fluids in every direction, Visceral has created a horrifying bestiary that fits the tone of the game perfectly. Complementing the visual style is a solid soundtrack composed by Gary Schyman, which is filled with chanting choirs that perfectly accompanies the screams of the tortured souls trapped in Hell.
In the end, Dante's Inferno is not the most polished game on the market and it suffers from many of the same things that God of War II did on the Playstation 2 nearly three years ago. But it is a solid character action title and can offer quite a bit of fun for gamers. Sadly the biggest draw for the game, its namesake, is also its biggest detriment. The story of the game following along with the path of the poem takes the element of surprise out of the game and most gamers will quickly figure out whom the final boss is.
If one can get by the big quirk of the game making sweeping changes to the epic poem's core story and the little quirks that come along with the genre itself, Dante's Inferno is a good game to give a chance. It offers a lengthy adventure: I put 12 hours into my play through of it that features some exhilarating, if somewhat familiar feeling, battles. With God of War being a Sony exclusive, XBOX 360 only owners could do far worse than giving Visceral's game a shot. However if you do own a Playstation 3 you may want to think twice because they will have the giant elephant of God of War III to contend with shortly.
Presents a solid charcter action title that offers up plenty of fun button mashing.
It copies quite heavily from other charcter action titles inheriting those games issues in the process, while presenting its own unique issues with derrivative, trial and error based puzzles.