Thursday, December 24, 2009

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here . . .

There are many types of geeks in the world. There's video game geeks, D&D geeks, warcraft geeks, Baldwin geeks *cough*, Star Wars geeks, Trekkies and, least we forget, literary geeks. Lynsey and I actually met when we were both undergraduates majoring in English at a small college in Florida. Whilst taking our "great works of western literature" class we were required to read the entire "Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri. I don't want to speak for her, but I'm pretty sure we were in near total agreement: Purgatorio and Paradiso were . . . slow but the Inferno was incredibly riveting. And vivid. Holy God (see what I did there?), was it vivid.

Naturally, when we found out that a video game was being made based on this epic poem were were intrigued but skeptical. Was such an amazing piece of literature really appropriate for a hack n’ slash video game? Well, having played the demo now I can honestly say . . . I’m not totally sure yet.

At its core, “Dante’s Inferno” handles just like a typical adventure/action game. Nothing about it makes it unique, at least, nothing from the demo. Waves of demons come at you. You kill them. You move on. What is interesting and distinctive about it is the story and the backdrop. While it no doubt resembles the “God of War” series, it’s still pretty cool bitch-slapping demons with a giant cross. Was that a part of the “Inferno”, no, but artistic and entertainment license was going to be taken if this game was going to be a success. I mean, who wants to play a game where you follow Virgil around the nine circles of Hell inhaling rivers of excrement and watching people gnaw on other people’s heads. Well, who other than Lynsey and I?

No, we’d rather play a butch Dante who runs around and shows the demons of Hell what’s what. And you know, that works. I was honestly so happy to hear the opening line of the “Inferno” and that the game was actually sticking to Alighieri’s visuals that the inaccuracies didn’t really both me.

If anything, this game will suffer being a standard action/adventure game. At best, it will be a remarkably visual one with a unique story and an amazing score. Only February will tell.

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