Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dante's Inferno: From AWESOME to BLAH in 3 Levels

I have tried a few times now to put my thoughts regarding Dante's Inferno into writing. An essay on how the level design is a great strength for the first two levels, and a major weakness through the backend of the game. Starting off with the very first soul you can punish or absolve is Pontius Pilate really sets the mood. By the end, you're encountering such legendary historical figures as "Merchant from Florence." If you're going to adhere to the actual epic poem, well, don't. You already have Dante wandering through Hell using Death's Scythe to cleave demons in half. "Faithfulness to source material" is a Charon that has already sailed.

Again, after writing that paragraph, I had to pause for a few minutes and do something else (reading a WWE Money in the Bank PPV recap) before continuing. I am THAT ANGRY over what a WASTED OPPORTUNITY this game is! The great moments out...and by the time you get Heresy, which has no's like the designers gave up. Anger is another circle that is just dull. No boss, just a series of fights while dealing with a giant demon that in turn, leads to a fairly cool moment. For five seconds. Then poor design brings it right back down to earth again.

I can not fault the graphics or the control, which is tight like the backside of Emma Watson. (She's 18 right?) The music, well that I can fault. There is not much music to be found in the depths of Hell. What little is used, serves to highlight the action on screen which is cool and all but the ambient sounds gave the Wife of Thunder (WoT) a headache.

In fact, the ambient sounds are perhaps more annoying than the seagulls from Deadliest Catch. Climbable surfaces are made of screaming souls that DO NOT SHUT UP. Some of them shout things specific to that circle, such as "I'll slit your throat and feed it to you" in the Circle of Violence. Most though, are just moanings and wailings. Nevermind the disturbing noises of the evil demonic babies with razorblade arms.

This is a game that for the first two levels, I thought was amazing. Then merely good for the next two (Gluttony and Greed), but once it hit the fifth level, Anger, I just wanted to get it over with as soon as I could. The final boss fight against Lucifer was satisfying at least. The ending? Not so much.

Is Visceral really, honestly planning on a sequel for Purgatory? I've read that poem too, and unlike the Inferno which lends itself quite well to a video game translation actually, Purgatory does not. The essence of Purgatory is that it is a place of...well...waiting. Not good, not bad, just boring.

Which sounds an awful lot like a game they already made.

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