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Dantes Inferno

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Winners of the Dante's Inferno sin contest!


Feb 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
For our Dante's Inferno sin contest, we wanted you to take a picture or a video of yourself doing a sin. Thanks to AttentionUSA and Electronic Arts, the prizes were well worth the eventual damnation. First place prize of the ...
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Dante's Inferno-themed burlesque show in LA tonight


Feb 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
You like violent videogames?! Do you like religion?! DO YOU LIKE WOMEN GETTING NAKED?! Well if you live in Los Angeles, then you're in for a treat tonight. Devil's Playground Burlesque will be at the Dragonfly Nightclub on Sa...
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Schedule for Dante's Inferno DLC revealed


Feb 09
// Nick Chester
When it comes to downloadable content and Dante's Inferno, Visceral and Electronic Arts aren't messing around. In fact, according to a slip that shipped inside the retail game box, they've got it planned through at least thro...
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It's a Dante's Inferno mega giveaway of extreme awesomeness this week! Thanks to AttentionUSA and Electronic Arts, we're giving away a bunch of Dante's Inferno-themed prizes this week -- 19 prizes, to be exact! Up for grabs a...

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Dante's Inferno not coming to Middle East (legally)


Feb 08
// Jim Sterling
Surprise surprise! Dante's Inferno, a game about a mental Christian who carves a cross into his chest and visits a Hell full of big-breasted demons, is not going to be released in the Middle East. Apparently they might have s...
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Toys R' Us all about free stuff this week


Feb 07
// Matthew Razak
Here comes the deal train, hop aboard if you're looking for a free game, an Xbox 360 controller or action figures. Toys R' Us is holding a sale all week on every videogame in the store that costs $29.99 or more. If you buy th...

Review: Dante's Inferno

Feb 05 // Nick Chester
Dante's Inferno [PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360 (reviewed)]Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsTo be released: February 9, 2010MSRP: $59.99 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. You'll use standard "light" and "heavy" attacks to wield Dante's scythe, a massive blade yanked from the bony hands of Death himself. The size of this weapon is evident in the gameplay -- it feels substantial with each blow you land, the weight of the weapon felt in every sweeping swing and combo. The combat is solid, unyielding, and deliberate. Compared to a recent title like Bayonetta, where the combat is fast and frantic (almost to the point of confusion), there's never a feeling of losing control when Dante's in combat. Dante also wields a Holy Cross, a ranged attack that can be used alongside his scythe. While the Cross can be used on its own to stave off enemies or clip the wings of flying enemies, it truly shines when used alongside Dante's scythe. Toss an enemy into the air and blast them with the light of the Holy Cross to keep them there. Or hop into the air and continue punishing them with your scythe before slamming them into the ground with the Holy Cross. Groundbreaking combat gameplay? Not really. But when it feels this tight, and this responsive, the "this is just like another great game" argument doesn't hold much water. It's a great thing the combat feels so good, because you'll be doing a lot of it. Yes, there's minor platforming. Sure, there are some puzzles Dante will have to work through as he makes his way down and through the circles of hell. But the focus here is most definitely on combat -- it's obvious that Visceral made this an early priority, and it shows. To keep things fresh, the game throws in upgrades via a skill tree, split into two paths -- Holy and Unholy. Progression is based on gameplay choices the player makes -- punish enemies and unlock upgrades in the unholy path; absolve them to continue on a holy path. Relics can also be equipped to augment Dante's abilities even further, which keeps the skill set feeling fresh up until the game's end. Visually, Dante's Inferno is stunning, both from a technical and artistic standpoint. Visceral's vision of hell -- based on Alighieri's text as well as a broad range of artists' interpretations (including its own) -- is as impressive as it is morbid and twisted. As you move your way through the circles -- from Limbo to Treachery -- the distinctions are clear, in both enemy design as well as the environments, many of which feel alive: contorted bodies and moving are part of the terrain, and you can hear their screams and howls echoing in the air. When you think it can't get more f*cked up (the souls of aborted babies attack with you their razor blade arms), it does. As you dive deeper into hell, you're in for a real treat, as the level design becomes more jaw-droppingly morbid and perverse as you plunge towards the final Circle of Hell. 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. The trip through hell, for some, could be considered on the short side. During my first playthrough, I blew through the game in a little under eight hours. It also should be mentioned that the game's play time is extended by an arbitrary set of arena-like challenges tossed at you towards the game's conclusion. It did feel a bit odd that all of a sudden I was being tasked with killing X number of enemies in Y seconds, which seemed more like it should have been a separate game mode than shoehorned into the game's narrative. (Of note, it sort of will be -- the game's disc reveals a cooperative multiplayer challenge room design mode, "The Trials of St. Lucia," which will be made available as DLC in April.) Who knows whether or not Visceral was truly sincere in wanting to, in some way, introduce gamers to Alighieri's classic work? It's clear it's done its homework, even channeling more obscure trivia and facts from the real-life Dante Alighieri to flesh out some of the game's narrative and characters. And it certainly does a commendable job of structuring a dramatic, more briskly-paced action-style narrative from the bones of the original piece, told through some of the most breathtaking pre-rendered cinematics seen in gaming. When it comes down to it, you're going to get the best Dante's Inferno experience when you let go. Let go of the comparisons. Let go of your contempt for what it may or may not do for and to the source material. Just let go and have fun. 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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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 accla...

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A closer look at Dante's Inferno pre-order NECA figure


Feb 04
// Nick Chester
Electronic Arts sent over a fancy little Dante figure (seen above, absolving my cat of her sins) today, the same one you'd receive for pre-ordering Dante's Inferno at shops like GameStop. There's a reason I don't work for our...
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Screens from the Dante's Inferno Super Bowl commercial


Feb 02
// Jim Sterling
Stupid post is stupid.  Three images from the Super Bowl commercial that Electronic Arts will be airing to promote Dante's Inferno. The one where they can't say "Go to Hell." Yeah, that's right. We're posting screenshots...
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Dante's Inferno DLC details leaked: Mission maker, co-op


Feb 02
// Jim Sterling
Dante's Inferno just sprung a massive leak, and now it's squirted news juice all over our clean white shirts! A poster at NeoGAF has revealed a load of downloadable content details for Visceral's upcoming game. The package wi...
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Dante's Inferno can't say 'Go to Hell' during Super Bowl


Feb 01
// Jim Sterling
Dante's Inferno is gearing up for one of the most prestigious advertising slots that America has to offer -- a spot in the Super Bowl commercial lineup. However, there's going to be a sacrifice in order to reach such a huge a...
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Dante tears sh*t up in this trailer


Jan 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
EA released a new gameplay trailer for Dante's Inferno and you can watch it by clicking the little play button above.  They spend a fair bit of time focused on the ridable monsters bit, but we already saw this stuf...

Dante's Inferno: Poem meets game, scythe meets face

Jan 29 // Nick Chester
"There’s an argument to be made that in obliterating their soul forever, you’re actually doing them a favor," Knight admits. "But in that moment, when a giant scythe is sticking into their face and coming out the back of their head, I’m guessing it feels like punishment." Knight makes a good point, and Dante's Inferno has a wide range of animations and punishment variation to back it up. This thing gets torn in half. That thing gets the scythe in the face. This other thing gets pummeled with that same scythe's handle. And let's face it -- this is a videogame, and tearing things apart in deliciously vicious ways is simply fun. So why then would you want to Absolve anything? It's in Dante's Inferno's skill upgrade system. Killing enemies will unleash souls which act as currency for purchasing new abilities, but which abilities you can purchase is dependent on your "Holy" or "Unholy" level -- punish an enemy, gain Unholy Righteousness, absolve them and earn Holy Righteousness. Broken up into two parts of a traditional gaming skill tree, Unholy abilities generally deal with scythe-related combos, with Holy combos upgrading Dante's cross combos. (Both tracks offer various other upgrades, such as health, as well.) While it won't be necessary to commit to one side, it certainly won't be possible to upgrade both in full by the game's end. Trust me, I tried.  "You should be able to level up fully on one side or the other, in a single play through," Knight explains. "but not both." You'll also notice that it's far faster to Punish enemies -- it happens in a rapid series of quicktime events that allows the action to progress quickly. Absolving takes a bit longer for the player, slowing down the action. As Knight explains, this was intentional. "We wanted the choice to be more than numerical in nature, it should be reflected in the animation, the weapon choice, the visual effects, etc.," he tells me. "So that the choice truly influences your play style and play experience over the long run.  Either Dante is really a brutal bastard, a holy warrior, or a bit of both." Working my way down through the circles of hell, the imagery became even more twisted than was hinted at in the demo. Scalable walls made from the twisted bodies of the damned, creatures and demons with oozing orifices, newborns blades for arms, and monsters gaping, drooling maws. The word "sick" comes to mind, some coming close to pushing the boundaries of "too far." But as Knight explains, the team did show some restraint. The design of one character in particular (whose name I'll omit to avoid a potential spoiler) was scaled back because it was too, as Knight puts it, "distracting." "[Its] entire body was made up of sex organs," he explains, "penises for fingers, that sort of thing. But that was part of our process... leveraging imaginitive concept artists to push the boundaries so that the game didn't feel like a generic fantasy game, but a really twisted vision of hell." This twisted vision spills over into the game's environments, directly inspired by the poem where possible.  "Most of the circles are well described in the poem," Knight says. "Violence, the seventh circle, is described in great detail -- the river of boiling blood, the centaurs, the wood of the suicides, the burning sands, the waterfall, and so on."  In other cases, circles that were only briefly touched upon by Alighieri had to be fleshed out for the videogame, building upon ideas from the original work. Knight uses the the Lust storm, the mud and rain of Gluttony, and stones that crash against one another in Greed as examples. Inspiration from sources outside of the original work are seen throughout the game as well -- Boticelli's early Renaissance drawnings of The Divine Comedy, the illustrations of Gustave Dore, the sculpture's of Rodin, the paintins of Bosch and Beughel. Visceral even worked closely with fantasy and science fiction illustrator Wayne Barlowe, who published his own interpretations of the Inferno in the late 90s. In action -- whether playing it on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 -- it all comes to life at 60 frames per second, without exception. This focus on the technology was an early mandate, Knight tells me.  "I told the team almost on day one that we were going to make a 60fps game," he says, "and this this was less a technology problem and more of a will-power problem. There was a lot of angst over this decision, we're all now 100% confident it was the right decision, and don't regret it for a moment." With that said, it looks like fans of fast-paced, third-person action and combat should head into the game expecting exactly that. But is Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy required reading before entering Visceral's vision of hell? Knight says that call is up to the individual; he points to book to movie adaptations saying "Some people like to read books before seeing the movie version, and others don't want it spoiled." But in the case of Dante's Inferno, the adaptation is "quite loose," he explains. You won't ruin any of the game's major plot points and twists by reading the poem first, but you may recognize nods to the original work, like the three harpies above the Gates of Dis.  "We are aware that we're making a game, first and foremost, and that the vast majority of our audience will not have read the poem, and won't evne know how loose we are," he says. "At the same time we have a great admiration for The Divine Comedy, and tried to include as many details -- large and small -- as we could." "Now, whether 'Demon #5 that you slaughter is a character you can point to in the poem," he tells me, "that's not something we worried much about. Demon killing is what the game is about; if that's not your cup of tea, then definitely curl up by the fire with the poem." But if you are interested in sticking a giant schthe into a demon's face and having it come out the back of their head, Dante's Inferno hits shelves on February 9 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. 
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Having recently played through some updated preview code of Visceral Games' Dante's Inferno, a question ate at me -- what punishment could there be that's worse than being in Hell?  The question comes from one of the gam...

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EA drops mad dime on Dante's Inferno Super Bowl ad


Jan 27
// Nick Chester
Spoiler alert! If you're going to be watching the Super Bowl, prepare to "go to hell." IndustryGamer has confirmed through sources Electronic Art's marketing dollars are getting pushed the limit to secure a Dante's Inferno ad...
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Dante's Inferno 'Dark Forest' DLC also coming to 360


Jan 26
// Nick Chester
PlayStation 3 owners who pick up a copy of Dante's Inferno: Divine Edition get treated to free downloadable content, a prequel level called "Dark Forest." In fact, since all versions of Dante's Inferno for PS3 are this "Divin...
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'Leaked' proposed Dante's Inferno products are hilarious


Jan 22
// Nick Chester
Leaks. They happen in the videogame industry, probably more often than publishers and developers would like. People just can't seem to keep their mouths shut. The most recent "leak" just hit our inbox, and the tipster writes,...
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Dante's Inferno anime gets fancy London movie premiere


Jan 20
// Nick Chester
Hey, if you live in the UK... go to hell! With the premiere of the Dante's Inferno animated film that is! *rim shot* The Film Roman animated production will makes its premiere at West London's Apollo Theater on February 2. Mo...
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Committing fraud leads to a dark place in Dante's Inferno


Jan 11
// Samit Sarkar
Remind me not to defraud anyone, ever, because even the slightest mendaciousness will land me straight in Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of Hell. Roughly translated from Italian, “Malebolge” means “evil ditch...
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EA releasing three new scores in the next few weeks


Jan 10
// Matthew Razak
EA has been ramping up its music release for the past few years since launching EA Recordings in order to release games' soundtracks on their own. The latest three to hit the market will be for their three biggest games comin...
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Dante's Inferno demo now available on Xbox Live


Dec 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Dante's Inferno that has been available on the PlayStation Network for the last few weeks is now up on Xbox Live today. The "Gates of Hell" demo starts you off at the very beginning of Dante's Inferno with Dante making h...
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Our horrifying Dante's Inferno ornament arrives


Dec 22
// Nick Chester
Just because the holidays draw near that doesn't mean the weird Dante's Inferno-related crap I've been getting in the mail is slowing down! Nope, today a horrifying ornament -- as seen on the Internet! -- arrived. Wrapped in...
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Dante's Inferno has Xmas gifts for you and they're sick


Dec 20
// Jim Sterling
Dante's Inferno is still squeezing out as much crazy PR as it can, and with Christmas just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with Visceral Games completely grossing everybody out? Just hit this link right h...
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Guest Blogger: Visceral's Vincent Napoli talks Dante's Inferno's Cross combat


Dec 16
// Vincent Napoli
[Editor's note: Visceral Games' Vincent Napoli is the Lead Combat designer for the developer's upcoming title, Dante's Inferno.] Dante wields two main weapons against the enemies of the Inferno. One of them, a magical cross i...
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EA puts a little Dead Space in Danteís Inferno


Dec 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Europeans, rejoice! Looks like your version of Dante’s Inferno will be better than the American version. How so? Dante’s Inferno Death Edition will feature lenticular artwork, a few documentaries, the full soundtr...
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Dante's Inferno demo impressions, full video playthrough


Dec 10
// Nick Chester
Detractors have said many negative things about Visceral Games' Dante's Inferno. But let's keep one key point in mind -- many of them (in fact, most of them) haven't played it yet. For PlayStation 3 owners, that changes toda...
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Dante's Inferno gets PS3-exclusive 'Divine Edition'


Dec 10
// Nick Chester
Visceral Games and Electronic Arts are showing the PlayStation 3 a lot of love with Dante's Inferno.  First, a demo for the game goes live on PlayStation Network first later today. Now, the developer and publisher have a...
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Dante's Inferno getting a live stream event ... from Hell


Dec 08
// Jordan Devore
The hot new thing in this industry appears to be live video streams in which members of a development studio goof off, answer questions from fans, and give a demonstration of the game in question. Yes sir, Dante's Inferno is ...
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Dante's Inferno demo to hit PlayStation Network first


Dec 01
// Nick Chester
As promised, Electronic Arts will be delivering a Dante's Inferno demo this month. Small caveat -- PlayStation 3 owners will be getting a two-week head start.  The publisher has confirmed that the demo will hit PlayStati...
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Mass: We Pray is really a Dante's Inferno viral


Nov 20
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Earlier this week, we got an e-mail about Mass: We Pray, a Wii-like game where you Church at home. The Web site and video for the "game" was pretty outrageous, and pretty much bordered on heresy. Well it turns out the whole ...
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Story: Dante's Inferno has one


Nov 18
// Brad Nicholson
If I was a bad dude, the last damsel I would choose to distress is one who pals around with a large guy named Dante, who just happens to carry around a scythe composed of bone and sinew all hours of the afternoon. But bad gu...

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