Dante's Inferno
Dante's Inferno Hands On Preview - On the Road to Hell
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Going with the new EA sentiment that Dante’s Inferno’s promotional campaign will piss off as many video games are evil people as possible, Dante’s Inferno’s demo will whip up a stir on Xbox Live on December 24th – the eve of Christmas. If you have a PS3, the demo should be available today. Last week we went hands on with the demo and as usual, we’re going to some throw words at you and see if any stick.

Getting the formalities out the way; the demo takes around 30 minutes to complete from start to finish – provided you don’t get stuck on any scene – and will deliver the very beginning of the game. In the build we went hands on with, we we’re treated to silky CGI cut-scenes and the opening scenes of Dante’s journey into hell.

The demo kicks off on the docks of Acre as Dante battles through wave after wave of enemies as an esteemed warrior of the Crusades. When I say wave after wave, I kid you not, there are more than a few to wade through. The game controls as you’d expect any hack-and-slash title to control – left trigger to block, X for a light attack, Y for a heavy attack and A to jump. The control mechanics are responsive and by using the right thumbstick – which is a quick dodge – it can make for some fun and fairly long combos. As you defeat the wave of enemies and progress inland, Dante will ultimately take a knife in the back when he’s least expecting it and so a showdown with Death himself will occur.

The Death fight is a traditional early boss for titles of the genre, with Death demonstrating only a few move sets. Blocking is essential, and he/she/it can easily be put down by mashing the light attack button when they’re not attacking. The end of the boss scene will set you up with something that might be deemed too frequent in Dante’s Inferno – quick time events (or QTE’s if your hip). A series of button presses allows Dante to dispatch the bringer of Death with a gruesome finishing move, ultimately allowing him to grab his Scythe for personal use. No, Dante won’t be harvesting fields with it. He’ll be harvesting souls instead.

The story then takes Dante on a path back to his mistress, Beatrice, moments before she’s pulled into hell for reasons unknown. During this short sequence of events Dante will find himself in a crumbling church – now equipped with a glowing cross that can be used to deal range attacks – as he attempts to enter the underworld and bring her back.

The demo does a good job of introducing all the fundamental aspects of the game, from the combat and combos, to the magic and the absolve vs. punishment system. The magic, whilst powerful and a pleasure visually, lacks the ability to control where you aim it other than where you’re looking, which is hardly ideal and actually can be a little frustrating. The control mechanism is similar to the ranged cross attacks, but because your magic uses are tied in with a traditional depletable mana system, it actually becomes quite a problem.

The absolve vs. punishment system is possibly the one unique thing that Dante’s Inferno is bringing to the genre. Whether you use the right trigger to pull in a demonic entity or are given the choice for the finale of the boss scene, players will be presented with two choices to finish off foes once and for all; to absolve, or to punish. Depending on which one you choose will not only give you a vastly different animation – with the punishment scene being particularly brutal – but it will also map what powers you can unlock and how you level up Dante. Using the white souls you collect from dead enemies, you can choose which side of the RPG style tree to climb and which powers Dante can use. You can’t just build up both sides if you’ve only been using one of the finishers either, because the levels are capped. It’s hard to tell the differences between the two paths from the demo, but we’re intrigued to see how this aspect plays out in the full game this coming February.

After working through a few simple traps and some pretty archaic and murky scenes which are beautifully portrayed, Dante will have to face off against a series of demonic Minotaurs and some ten-times-the-size-of-Dante massive ogres. As it seems to be a trend with Dante’s Inferno, the aim of the game here was to weaken and then commandeer the massive ogre – who was unbelievably simple – and then to use it to kill the remaining demons, and then smash down the gates of hell and... go to hell.

Dante’s Inferno’s doesn’t really seem to add anything new to the genre, aside from the skill progression that comes from the absolve vs. punish system. It rather takes everything that works so well in other titles from the genre and moulds them together in one neat package. The emphasis seems to be on intense, gory and visceral action rather than the intricacies of the controls as you’ll often find yourself button mashing rather than focusing on complicated combos that you could expect in a Devil May Cry title. Whilst it seems that it might not match the fierce over-the-top combat that Bayonetta will bring in January, it seems to be shaping up to be the Playstation-less 360 owner’s answer to that God of War void. We’re hoping it is anyway.

Dante’s Inferno is coming February 9th and February 12th to North America and Europe respectively. The demo is set to drop on Xbox Live on December 24th.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #1 by gamefreakduf
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 06:42:01 AM
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looks pretty sexy

Forum Posts: 153
Comment #2 by Nathan LS27
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:08:03 AM
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as far as i can tell the psn demo isnt out right now

Forum Posts: 8517
Comment #3 by Nozza XBA
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:13:56 AM
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Cant wait! Looks fairly good..

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #4 by Cronic x22
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:14:47 AM
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Wasnt one of microsofts reason to charge for xbox live so we could get demos before everyone else??

Forum Posts: 575
Comment #5 by D4RKXPOW3R
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:23:52 AM
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After playing the Bayonetta demo, I have a feeling Dante's Inferno just wont be able to compete. I'm sure it will be a fun game...but not so original...reading this I see just how plain and ordinary its turning out, and I don't like the sound of it...I will find out for sure on Dec 24th...

Forum Posts: 346
Comment #6 by HarperBird
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:28:46 AM
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@3 u kinding right it looks badass!! not 'fairly gd' lol

Forum Posts: 346
Comment #7 by HarperBird
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 07:29:20 AM
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i meant kiddin

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #8 by KingsGambit08
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 08:02:33 AM
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This seems like a game where the story will be so cool, that as long as the controls don't kill me, it's going to be fun as hell (pun not intended). Please don't ruin the story. Please.

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #9 by Webb [STAFF]
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 08:16:23 AM
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@#8 - I think they're relying on the story to be one of the main features. It's hard to assess that from the demo though.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #10 by divine loki
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 08:26:22 AM
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Looks mint cant wait

Forum Posts: 312
Comment #11 by Kronos1982
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 10:16:52 AM
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Sounds amazing. I hope it is the equivalent to God of War for 360 owners. I have GOW3 on preorder, but this may keep me busy until then. Well, this and Bad Company 2, BioShock 2, Mass Effect 2, and MAG. Jesus, and I thought 2009 was a huge year for games. Will check out the demo today!

Forum Posts: 300
Comment #12 by toonsage
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 10:49:14 AM
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well webby if you say its half an hour of demo then thats better than what god of war 3 gives..beat that demo in 5 minutes =/ nice screenshots btw ^.^

Forum Posts: 8517
Comment #13 by Nozza XBA
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 10:55:03 AM
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#6 Yeh fairly good.. It looks good but com'on, does S.S.D.D. ring a bell?!?!

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #14 by Gabriel Man 187
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 11:45:45 AM
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Bayonneta SUCKS!

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #15 by ItBeNickYo
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 02:06:50 PM
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Yeah, it sure does.

Forum Posts: 1068
Comment #16 by The Bum-Mobile
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 04:48:26 PM
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Oh dear, 2010 seems like the first year to be action game palooza...

Dante's Inferno
No More Heroes 2
Possible No More Heroes on 360

I'd say GoW3 but I don't have a PS3.

Forum Posts: 153
Comment #17 by Nathan LS27
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 08:46:49 PM
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Bayonetta is fantastic and after playing dantes inferno on ps3 i can say that its pretty fuggin sweet as well

Forum Posts: 158
Comment #18 by enderflame
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 08:47:31 PM
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The game sounds really great and I'm planing to get the game when it comes out, but the stories all off. It should start with a lion, leopard, and she-wolf blocking your path and Virgil (where is he, he is a major part of the poem) a shade leading you through the gates of hell.

Forum Posts: 446
Comment #19 by R6soldier
Friday, December 11, 2009 @ 03:48:06 AM
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Great game...good graphics...and its up on PS3

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #20 by Phantom Morph X
Friday, December 11, 2009 @ 09:39:37 AM
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Looks cool!
My wife is going to give them all redemption for sure, that's the way she plays... me, I guess it'll depend on the achievements.

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #21 by Webb [STAFF]
Friday, December 11, 2009 @ 12:57:44 PM
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@#18 - Virgil is in it. He appears briefly at the end of the demo. He's your guide through Hell.

Forum Posts: 72
Comment #22 by Velocity Exe
Saturday, December 12, 2009 @ 05:16:21 AM
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Sounds pretty awesome, might give this a buy.

Forum Posts: 750
Comment #23 by RedstaR
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @ 08:05:37 AM
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just finished the demo earlier, pretty damn fun.. definitely worth my $60

Forum Posts: 134
Comment #24 by Kaboozez
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @ 09:16:35 AM
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It's this or Bayonetta. I will wait for Webb's review.
Both games look awesome

Forum Posts: 363
Comment #25 by seven43861
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @ 08:05:03 PM
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The only reason I'd even consider purchasing a PS3 would be because the demo for this game came out for it first. Can't wait.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #26 by SPORK94
Monday, December 14, 2009 @ 12:42:58 PM
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Played The Beta At ComicCon09 Its Kinda Like Devil May Cry/GOW/Shadow Of The Colossus I Found It Fun And A Nice Game To Fill Up The Hole We Are Missing In The PS3 Excusives

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #27 by jsec
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 @ 09:25:00 AM
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pretty sure the absolve vs punishment system isnt unique. sounds about like every other rpg with a moral choice system. and your choices determining which tree you gain skills and abilities in? pretty sure thats been done before as well. no big surprise though. EA doesnt know the meaning of "unique" or "original".

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #28 by Fligger
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 @ 11:26:53 AM
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I got this game as well as Darksiders on pre-order. Can't wait for them to come in, definitely lookin' forward to both of these titles.

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Game Info
Visceral Games
Electronic Arts


US February 09, 2010
Europe February 12, 2010

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