Hell’s never looked better: E3 preview-Dante’s Inferno

As part of the press, we got to see a sneek peek at a number of games that were not open to everyone on the show floor. All I have to say is this: hell has never looked better! EA’s Dante’s Inferno is sure to turn some heads when it comes out.

Based on the first part of the poem Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri, it tells the story of Dante and his trip into the depths of hell to get his wife back after she was seduced by the Devil. So Dante must make it through Limbo, the Styx river and the Nine circles of hell!

Concept art from Dante's Inferno

Concept art from Dante's Inferno

The graphics looked stunning as Dante makes his way through hell in order to get his love back from the Devil. Each level looked great to me, with a variety of looks. From the greenish glow of the River Styx, the blue grays of Limbo and the traditional fire and brimstone of one of the levels of hell.

Attacking with the Death Scythe, which is a huge scythe that is attached to what looks like a huge spine, Dante is able to spin, slice and preform special kill moves on enemies. In addition to the scythe, Dante also has a Holy Cross which is able to be used a a long range weapon. The combos looked pretty darn good. At certain points in a fight, a player can activate a cinematic scene where button combos are used to trigger epic scenes of goryness if the combo is timed just right.

The enemies had some interesting designs. On the “what used to be human” enemies, the variety ranged from a huge slow tubby thing that put Left4Dead’s Boomer to shame, to what Senior Producer Justin Lambros called “Un-baptized Babies” which were small children like things that had what looked like scythes for hands. Apparently some of the enemies were those who represented the Seven Deadly Sins (so, Tubby would represent gluttony). In addition to these once human enemies, there are of course demons of hell that will come to kill you, including large demons such as a dog like creature that you can take control of and decimate the field. Literally. As the ground below you starts to fall apart you must climb your way up columns that are falling apart. So just because you have a big puppy that will do what you tell it to doesn’t make you invincible.

Dante's Inferno Screen Shot

The boss battles look to consist of timing your hits and creating great, fantastic scenes with button combos. The two bosses demoed for us were of Phlegyas, the ferry man of the River Styx and of King Minos the one who judges the dead in Limbo.

One big feature that most of EA’s games that were exclusive to the press had in common was the ability to choose how small details go in the story. The one demoed was the choice to execute an enemy of Dante’s, well at least he was an enemy while alive. Before boarding the boat on the river styx, the choice was given to either punish or to forgive the man who was on the river’s shore. The choice made was to punish the man and Dante quickly dispatched the man with little hesitation using his Scythe.

I will have to admit, for being the first day of E3, I was very happy that this was the first game that I got to see! I can certainly say that this game has caught my attention and will with 99% certainty end up in my game collection.