Dante's inferno is one of my favourite games of all time, pretty much all my life I've been fascinated with the various mythologies about the afterlife and so I had of course already read The Divine Comedy (the game is based on the first section of this epic poem: Inferno) and while the game does not follow the book exactly, I love the way they've adapted it to make a cool story and some stunning environments (this is definitely not a hell I'd like to be stuck in).
The gameplay of Dante's inferno is predominately hack and slash with additions of holy and unholy powers and some magic. Two talent trees are available to choose from: holy and unholy, which effect your holy cross and scythe attacks respectively, you earn souls by killing enemies which can then be used to buy abilities in the talent trees. Another system allows the player to grab weak or weakened enemies and either punish or absolve the enemy, which adds to either the unholy or holy bars which unlock new abilities in the respective talent trees. Magic abilities are also available to heal yourself or damage enemies and use up mana. Relics are found scattered throughout the game and when found can be equipped to enhance abilities or magic. Boss fights use a lot of button prompts which can make them tricky at first if your not very good at that kind of thing (like me) but makes them boring and easy when replaying.
Like I said earlier the environments are amazing as each level of hell is modelled to represent its sin like genital shaped buildings on the level for lust or lakes of molten gold for greed, this really sets the mood of each level making sure there is no doubt what the poor souls are being punished for, every level is also given background and depth by your guide/historian of hell Virgil who quotes extracts from the poem.
For me its this great story supported with wonderful levels, simple but effective abilities and unique sin based enemies that makes the first and future playthroughs of this game brilliant, however once you have everything (all abilities, relics, magic etc) you're practically invincible and while a lot of people would hate that, I love it as I can destroy anything in my path and laugh while I do it.
By Alan Wright