Strip away marketing and PR controversy, and forget for a moment that Dante's Inferno is a videogame interpretation of a literary classic (albeit loosely).
Sure, Visceral Games -- the talented team behind the critically acclaimed Dead Space -- has taken a bit of flak for its attempts to turn Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy into what could most easily be described as a "big-budget third-person action videogame."
But I think some people had forgotten that Visceral knows how to make fun, technically impressive games; Dante's Inferno is no exception. Despite what could be consider some "me too" gameplay, Visceral delivers one of the most surprisingly solid games I've played in quite some time.
Dante's Inferno [PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360 (reviewed)]
First, let's deal with that elephant in the room -- Dante's Inferno borrows heavily from from predecessors like God of War, and similar games in the genre. There's simply no getting around it, and even bothering to try is foolish. But if you're going to wear your influences on your sleeve, you need to show and prove yourself... do it well, or do it better. In that respect, Dante's Inferno impresses, with solid third-person action that certainly feels familiar, yet throws in enough of its own tricks to make the action feel fresh and fun from start to finish.
If it sounds like I'm giving Dante's Inferno a tongue bath, it's because...well... I am. As a fan of third-person action, I knew I'd enjoy the game, but was caught off-guard at the game's overall quality and polish. Still, it's not without its issues, yet it should be noted upfront that they don't really dampen the overall experience when all is said and done.
You're not going to find a wholly original gameplay experience with Dante's Inferno, but that doesn't mean it's not a hell of an entertaining package -- it's one that fans of action shouldn't miss.
Score: 9.0 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
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