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Game Reviewed: Dante's Inferno
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
Platform: Xbox 360 (Also on PS3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: M
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Reviewers Note: This review is based off of a demo of the game only. As such there may be parts of the game that parents would want to know about that have not been included in the review.
When you hear the name Dante’s Inferno there is a good chance the first thing that comes to mind is the poem The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri in which Dante travels through hell, purgatory and heaven. This game is very loosely based off of the first part of that poem in which Dante travels through the Inferno aka Hell.
In the poem, Dante’s ideal woman Beatrice guides him through heaven. In the game, Dante is married to Beatrice. The demo that we reviewed opens in the year 1191 with Dante fighting in the third crusade. At one point he is stabbed in the back and a creature who looks like the Grim Reaper comes to lay claim to his soul. Dante is surprised that he would have to go to hell when the Bishop had promised that all those who fought in the Crusade would be absolved of their sins. Dante decides that he is not going to go out without a fight and the player must then battle Death at which point Dante defeats Death and takes Death’s scythe as a weapon.
Moving forward, Dante returns home to Florence hoping to live out the rest of his days in peace with his wife, only to come home and discover that his wife has been murdered. Her spirit then hovers over her body in which we briefly see her comment to Dante that she knew he would come, but then Lucifer aka Satan comes and steals her spirit away. Thus begins the real adventure of the game in which Dante must traverse the Nine Circles of Hell in order to defeat Lucifer and save his wife Beatrice.
What Parents Need to Know
Dante’s Inferno is played from a third person point of view. Dante has two primary weapons. First is the Scythe he stole from Death. Dante will swing this around and slash his enemies with it. Second is a Holy Cross that Dante can use to shoot what appears to be a beam of holy light at his enemies.
When fighting enemies, blood will often times splatter but bodies will quickly disappear after being defeated. There were some cut-scenes, however, that showed mutilated bodies strewn about.
The ESRB did not make any notes on the game box about bad language in Dante’s Inferno. During our time with the demo we only encountered the proper use of the word damnation.
When Dante encounters the dead body of his wife Beatrice, one of her breasts is fully exposed. Also, every time Dante encountered his wife’s spirit in the demo she was fully nude. Her lower parts were covered by the camera angle or some smoke, but her breasts were fully exposed. There is also an animated cut-scene where Dante and his wife are embracing in the nude and her breasts can be seen.
The majority of the game takes place in hell with Dante fighting demonic creatures and the spirits of the dead.
Dante has the ability with a certain move to “Punish or Absolve” certain enemies. Punishing them kills them and absolving them saves their soul with his Holy Cross weapon.
I have to give credit to the developer’s of Dante’s Inferno for the creativity in which they made a game out of the source material. The game, however, is very dark and due to the content listed above, I would not recommend Dante’s Inferno for children. Dante’s Inferno is rated M for good reason and parents should keep the above mentioned content in mind when deciding if this game is right for their family or not.