|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: A2M, 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: March 1, 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 your choices may not have a huge impact on your adventure, making your way through the nine circles of Hell is still a fun time. As with any good third-person action adventure title, you can expect there to be plenty of platforming and puzzles to go along with the solid hack-and-slash gameplay. Although your path through the inferno is rather linear, there are still plenty of one-off areas to find if you're looking hard enough. These areas will usually earn you extra souls, a traveler to judge, or a Judas coin, which will get you a large lump sum of souls after every five collected. The puzzles you'll typically find aren't anything too difficult, ranging from the pulling of levers to pushing crates into specific positions. While not overly challenging, they do provide some much-needed rest for your thumbs after long stretches of mashing hordes of demons to death.
Boss battles also provide a nice change of pace from the typical straightforward hacking and slashing. However, these can prove to be quite difficult. Whereas you likely won't have too much difficulty with the first boss of the game, later run-ins with bosses can get a bit more challenging. This is partly because their weaknesses become slightly harder to spot. Your first boss battle will require you to do little more than to watch out for prompts that appear in the corners of the screen in order to avoid death. In contrast, to beat some of the later bosses might require some trial and error as well as really learning your adversary's tendencies. Even so, they can be quite fun to tangle with and some can even provide a serious sense of accomplishment upon dispatching.
Surprisingly, the visuals are nothing to scoff at either. While obviously not up to the standards of the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions, Dante's Inferno looks quite good on the PSP's screen. Dante himself, as well as most of the enemies found in the game are quite detailed and have a decent amount of animations. You'll still find some incredibly large areas and set pieces, although sometimes when the space is too large or there is too much going on onscreen, the game can slightly hiccup, even pausing for a couple of seconds sometimes in order to load. Still, this doesn't often cause any serious problems with the gameplay besides the occasional breaking of a combo.
If you're in the market for a third-person action adventure title for the PSP, your first choice still has to be God of War: Chains of Olympus. However, Dante's Inferno is no slouch, easily coming in at a close second. With its responsive and varied combat, great visuals, decent story, and surprisingly lengthy campaign, it is definitely worth a play-through. Hopefully more people will give this game a chance on the PSP since they won't be forced to make the difficult decision between this, Bayonetta, or God of War III.
CCC Staff Contributor