I snagged an advance review copy of Dante's Inferno on Thursday and started playing it yesterday during a traditional Newfoundland snowfall (picture the sandstorm from the Mummy; big demon face and all, only made of snow). Being hip deep in the bottomless pit I have to say...what a crushing disappointment from Visceral Games. After all those amazing hard-sell developer diaries, we gamers get a title that is perfectly mediocre. I'd put it on the same level as I would games like X-Men Origins: Wolverine Conan (which after a second play through I'm now convinced i forced myself to love the first time because I'm a huge fan of the character). But make one thing for certain, this is no God of War. It's not a Heavenly Sword, it's not even a Ninja Gaiden 2.
The game blows it's pace by the end of the second circle and starts stumbling. The combat sequences are comprised of telltale enemy waves which either take place on a circular platform or in a long hallway. Every story sequence seems to be comprised of Dante running forward while yelling "Bee-truss!" in a low Welsh growl. From what I've been told, the game only gets worse before the final battle, and one of the lower circles of hell apparently is made up completely of challenge rooms (pull of 5 air-combos, or kill everyone without using magic).
The morality system holds no consequence, rather serves to hinder gamers by powering up one attack form whilst crippling the other. I was super disgusted when after fending off the attacks of a demonically corrupted Cleopatra during the all-too short ascent up the tower of carnal sin (elevator ride), I reach the top and instead of going toe-to-toe with a fifty foot tall demon, I instead had to fight her chosen warrior in a stilted battle of attrition. Same could be said of Greed, which promises to pit players against Pluutus, the fallen greek god of wealth, only to have him turn out to be nothing more than a puzzle room, and the real boss battle taking place atop the wheel of fortune (just a stone platform) with another stiled war of attrition against another enemy Dante's size. I'll get into this a lot deeper in my actual review early next week, but rest assured; it seems that outside of Sony's Santa Monica studio, no one else in the gaming industry has figured out the formula that makes God of War work.