|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visceral Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 9, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While making our way through an ancient structure that looked like a castle, we found a nice surprise in one of the hallways. Walking down a corridor, we came upon the spot where Charon's head had become lodged in the wall after being torn off and thrown by your tamable creature earlier in the demo. It was a really nice touch that made me laugh quite a bit as I pushed it back out of the wall, sending it plummeting. In this castle, players will also find a shade, which in the finished game will give players the option to either punish or absolve them.
Punishing shades will be easier, giving you a guaranteed number of souls (in-game currency), while absolving them will be a bit tougher, involving a mini-game which will earn you many more souls if you win, but failing the test will result in you getting nothing for your troubles. This is one of the many aspects of the game that are said to reflect the theme that it's usually easier to do the wrong thing than it is the right.
Speaking of which, another discovery in this castle screams of controversy and a grab for attention. As a game based on mixing violence with some form of Christian beliefs, Dante's Inferno will likely be heavily scrutinized upon its release. Surely making matters it worse is the inclusion of unbaptized babies that the player will need to kill to survive. Alone, these babies aren't much trouble, but they will always come in hordes, swarming the player and making it difficult to move and fight. These babies are small, evil-looking, have blades instead of arms from the elbows down, and are sure to cause an outcry in the non-gaming media as the title approaches its release date, thereby granting it a ton of free publicity.
Finishing up the demo was a fairly formulaic boss fight with King Minos, the judge of the dead. Running in circles was often enough to avoid his basic strikes, while it was occasionally necessary to grab onto glowing grapple points on the walls to avoid larger attacks. Players will need to wait out Minos until the opportunity arises to attack his vulnerable underbelly, allowing you to drain most of his health. After this, you probably already guessed it you'll need to successfully complete a QTE in order to impale his tongue on a spiked wheel, spinning it quickly to almost split his head in two.
Taking a classic poem and turning it into a video game seems like a radical idea, but the game itself feels pretty solid so far. The heavy reliance on QTEs found in the demo was a little disappointing, but it is an established mechanic in these types of games used to show off crazy action sequences that would be difficult to convey otherwise. QTEs aside, the combat in the game felt good, even if a little reminiscent of controlling Kratos, and the tamable mechanic has real promise. Be sure to check back as more information becomes available closer to the game's release date.
CCC Staff Contributor