First Level: Dante’s Inferno

How excited am I to have Dante’s Inferno in my paws? I’m reading the manual, I’m that excited. This manual doesnt say “Press X to attack”, this manual commands you “Study these controls in the hope you may find salvation.” No pressure then. Let’s plop the disc in the PS3 and… An update for this software has been found… Grrrr… Only 21MB though so done in a jiffy… OK start game and.. Setting up trophies.. Grrr.. ‘Press Start’ and.. Do I want to connect to an EA sever? Grrrrrrr… Do I want to send anonymous usage stats? For Satans sake let me play the game!!

At last the game menu arrives and with it our first of many, many pairs of digital tits, a whore is fondling herself in the background of the menu so do not play this when Grandma is in the room. Start game and.. Adjust Gamma correction and brightness.. Grrrrr..Done… Difficulty level.. Grrr.. and at last we’re loading! Is this a trick? Can I actually play the game now? Yes! NO! Here comes the intro! Grrrrr!

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The recent demo was the first short section of the game so I will assume you are familiar with it. A quick battle with Death to nab his scythe, more digital tits, more killing, yadda yadda, ‘Beast master’ etc before we pass through the big door where the demo ended. What could be behind those doors? I bet you did not guess a skydiving (or perhaps ‘Hades plummeting’) cut scene which is used to signfy our arrival in the Underworld.

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Your task is to crawl across a ‘wall of the damned’, a rotting cliff face made up of the living dead. It is truly repulsive, and yes here comes the first God Of War comparison; GOW had a very similar ‘wall of the damned’ but Dante’s ‘wall’ makes it seem like Kratos was climbing over cupcakes and kittens. This game is superbly gross, I’m sat here watching the wall pulsate and ooze and grope and … eurgh. It’s just nasty.

The scale and detail of the game is showcased here, the area is huge with massive rotting faces spewing who knows what over you as flaming corpses rain from the sky, screaming as they plummet past. Visceral won awards for the superb atmospherics of Dead Space and if there is any justice they will win awards for this. Relentless screaming and moaning assaults you ears, demons roar, babies wail and thunderous music occasionally breaks through.

A quick cut scene introduces Charon, the demon who is tasked to ferry souls to Hell but of course this has a Visceral twist. Charon is not just the ferryman, he is the ferry. More scything and more climbing follow, this time past cages of lost souls who plead for your help. Breaking through a massive door reveals another huge area and in the background hundreds of damned souls walk on to Charon. Shortly after you meet the first of the feature characters from the poem, Pontius Pilot, who you may either absolve or punish. We haven’t had some tits for a while but fear not, animated and and in-game tits ahoy! A battle follows on the ship and then a set piece akin to the start of Uncharted 2 – but with demons and tits.

The first boss battle is with King Minos, a huge towering character who likes nothing more than spearing you with his tongue. It’s frantic and well paced fight and this is what I was thinking during the final quick time section;

“No.. No he’s not going… Yes he is..  The tongue.. Those spikes…Oh sweet Jesus that is just vile! I really did not need to see that!”

A quick word about combat – it’s awesome. The screen explodes in fireworks of blood and limbs and the addition of the cross weapon adds even more destruction. For some reason it reminds me of the old arcade game Nemesis; Your scythe is your main weapon but you can fire off some shimmering Cross blasts to ward off other enemies in much in the same way the additional weapons pods in Nemesis helped out you.

So we have Dante, Bayonetta and Kratos in what is starting to become a crowded market. Bayonetta plays it for laughs and is bonkers, Kratos is oh-so-serious and revels in Greek mythology whilst Dante gorges itself in horror and vomit. In terms of game play they may be similar but when it comes to atmosphere they are poles apart.

Right, onwards to the ‘First Circle’, I just need to gut this living door.. ewww..

If you’ve not bagged your copy of Dante’s Inferno yet, you can pick your copy up from Amazon here, and help TSA in the process.

Additional: I played a little more after writing the above and reached the first circle, “Lust”. Highlights include Cleopatra’s disfigured nipples flicking out black tongues and licking themselves whist she climbs up the side of what can only be described as a huge penis, following Dante has he travels up the inside of the ‘penis tower’  – on a lift powered by orgasms.

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