…and found playable but lacking in taste. If all the over-the-top ad campaigns weren’t enough for you, a demo has been released for Dante’s Inferno. At the end of the demo, it proclaims these as the highlights of the game:

  • Fight through the 9 Circles of Hell
  • Epic story adapted from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  • Fast-paced, intense combat at 60 frames-per-second
  • Punish the damned or absolve them
  • Over 60 upgrades and modifications

While four of those might be true, I think calling this an adaptation of Alighieri’s work is a bit of an insult. It’s akin to calling digested food an adaptation of a gourmet meal. The Divine Comedy is an epic piece of literature, appreciated for centuries. There’s very little about this game that can be considered redeeming.

Now, let me assure you that the game plays fine. It was made in the same style as God of War or Devil May Cry, and plays well for games of that style. The controls are responsive and the attacking system works great. I wish that there was some control over the camera, though. I kept trying to move the camera around with the right stick, but instead that just makes you evade attacks. The game has pretty good graphics and some of the cutscenes are well done, but some of the visuals are completely unnecessary. When Dante returns home to find his wife dead in the demo, for some reason, she’s bare breasted, and her ghost is fully nude. Later on in the full game, players can encounter creatures that have even more graphic depictions. I believe it’s Cleopatra that spawns demons from her breasts and an otherwise female-looking demon, perhaps some sort of succubus, has a giant phallic growth protruding from her nether regions. This game seems to be what anti-gaming advocates imagine when they decry video games as a corrupting influence on society. Yes, it has a mature rating, but it seems like the people who are old enough to buy the game are well past the stage where this game would be anything but obscene. Perhaps the clincher is the three words you receive for finishing the playable part of the demo: “Go to Hell.”

I can safely say that this game isn’t going to be my cup of tea, but for those who are still interested, it comes out February 9, 2010 on PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

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