Xbox 360 Video Game Review

Dante’s Inferno

Let me first preface this review/commentary by saying “Interesting Video games aren’t always that interesting”. You as the player start out as “Dante” a soldier returning home from the crusades. Dante is sick of the wars and crusades and now seeks only to return to his beloved “Beatrice”. Upon arriving at his home however he is greeted with the dead bodies of family and that of Beatrice. Not only that but the forces of darkness have somehow enslaved her soul and have taken it to the darkest depths of hell. Apparently, she made some kind of bet with the demon who took her and now her soul is the property of the Demon. This you discover is as a result of and based on some betrayal of Dante’s. There are quite a few cut scenes that help the player to understand the plot, whats gone on and what will need doing in the future. Now having said that, . . although the cut scenes are done in a cartoonish, and not so realistic format, they still are very graphic. Frontal nudity on dead bodies that talk and turn into ghosts that get sucked away by Demons!? Maybe that’s not so good for the younger video game generation.

We learn early on in the game that the Bishop grants clemency for all the sins of the soldiers as they are doing “GODS” work. Yep you guessed it. the bishop apparently doesn’t speak for GOD and now Dante is cursed. Here begins Dante’s nearly impossible Journey onto hell to rescue not only Beatrice, but to redeem his immortal soul. As the game progresses it brings you through several layers/circles of hell(as per Dante’s Inferno) the poem. With the help of a Poet, and his own grim determination Dante will succeed. Oh and also he will require a gamer with good hand eye coordination, AND extreme patience. The first boss type creature Dante fights is “death” himself, who comes to take Dante’s soul to hell for his sins. Now obviously feeling betrayed by the Bishop and wishing to redeem his soul, he decides to decline Deaths invitation to hell (haha invitation). Of course what ensues then is a fight with Death himself for the right to continue your journey toward the rescue of Beatrice and ultimately Redemption. Also if you win you get his Scythe! Your average gamer will read a preview like this and conclude. . hey maybe this game is for me? It sure sounds good! In my opinion, it is NOT!

The first fights in the game set the tone for the next 6 hours. The armies of ghouls and hellspawn attack you in waves. Using a combination of buttons you do “special” attack moves. Wow! that’s original. Upon successfully finishing off wave after wave of attackers you move to the next area. Rinse and repeat. Use soul points collected from vanquishing the unclean to train for larger and more powerful attacks. Again Wow! that’s a little ‘been there done that’ don’t you think! Needless to say my disappointment continued onward with the arrival of the head bosses. Once again an unimaginative and standard boss fight fare was to be had. Attack the boss jump back/sidewise then block. Jump back in attack one or two times. . jump out of the way. Continue as necessary until level complete. I will not describe any more of the levels or bosses as they are distinguishable by name, and appearance and level only. Not by any difference in moves you will make or style of game you will play. In other words, you are basically just fighting and killing to unlock more cut scenes and progress the story. We all love cut scenes, but I for one am not a fan of repeating countless moves on countless enemies just for a cut scene.

Good points? Yes the Graphics are good, the cut scenes are of excellent quality and full of very gripping drama. They tell a story that is amazing and awe-inspiring, brutal and yet strangely compelling. The boss fight scene graphics and overall appearance of the unclean hordes is pretty good. Undead babies with scythes even attack you at one point!! what?. . Once again warning “Danger Will Robinson” probably NOT I repeat NOT a game for the younger crowd.

Bad points? Uninspired level design, standard fare level clearing gameplay, is just a little old these days. Same old button combination fighting you would have seen in the Conan Video game. It’s been done, it’s a little old and I know that today’s video game consoles are capable of running a much better game. The boss fight tactics are reminiscent of “arcade” style games (fight= jump back, hit, jump back, hit) etc. And the hardcore gamer will soon find himself bored and unimpressed.

Overall My recommendation is to leave this game on the shelf. Or if you need to see for yourself rent it for 1 day. That’s all it will take for you to either beat the game or decide you hate it. Years ago this game might have rated 7. 5 out of 10. With today’s technology and in comparison to other great titles for the Xbox 360 it rates a 5 out of 10 at best.

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