Friday, December 11

Can Kratos & Dante live side by side? (Dante's Inferno Demo impressions)

So you've seen the stories suggesting that Visceral's new button masher is a God of War clone, and if you have not played the demo yet let me tell ya, they were right. After checking out the demo last night it can not be more clear where the inspiration for the mechanics in this game came from. From quick time events to the power up system the game-play aspect of this title is ripped straight from the code of Sony's God of War titles. Maybe that is why EA is giving so much love to Sony with the early demo, and exclusive content, in an attempt to stave off lawsuits.

That all being said Dante's Inferno demo is great if not a little short in actual game-play, but you get enough to get a feel for everything by the second run through. GoW rip off or not this is looking like its going to be a good game with a great story. The character details in the cut scenes are some of the best I have seen in a title this generation and the comic book style animation used for other cut-scenes is also very cool. If you are a fan of Dead Space, also from Visceral you will recognize this art style from the Dead Space action comics that proceeded that games release.

On the game-play front you start out with a halberd but quickly gain Death's scythe, which is a pretty awesome looking weapon. Once powered up using white orbs, you unlock additional combos and the ability to grab your enemies. This is where we start to see some unique aspects of DI's game-play. When you grab an enemy you are given the opportunity to either punish or absolve your enemies. To punish you will simply press square and rip them apart but by rapidly tapping the circle button you are able to absolve them with a beam of holy light. At this point Visceral has said that this mechanism will effect how you are able to level up your abilities in the power up screen. The final aspect of the game-play is the magic system which comes available at the end of the demo. The magic system seems to be the most unrefined portion of the game-play as you are unable to focus on a particular enemy due to the systems direction based mechanic. This aspect was a bit frustrating as the player tends to waste most of their mana trying to aim the proper direction and hit an enemy.

All together DI looks to be a fun experience and I can't wait to see how the story evolves since my 14Th century poetry reading isn't quite up to snuff, this seems like just as good a way to experience the classic piece of literature. EA and Visceral may have timed this game perfectly since so many have recently revisited or for the first time experienced the first 2 GofW games and may be stoked for GofW III but want a familiar game-play style in the interim. It is however that this could backfire on them due to the similarities? This reviewer however will definitely be checking it out, because when it comes to game-play mechanics I say "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Also don't forget you get to ride this guy too.

David Allison 12-11-2009

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