It’s not always a great idea to re-visit a classic like The Divine Comedy, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll get away with it. Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders’ modern English retelling of Dante’s opus, which starts off:
‘About halfway through the course of my pathetic life,
I woke up and found myself in a stupor in some dark place.
I’m not sure how I ended up there; I guess I had taken a few wrong turns.’
is a terrific example. About halfway through, I gave up and put it in a bag under the stairs.
EA’s demo of Dante’s Inferno looks like more of the same, though it’s hard to really judge from a demo. I realize that changing Dante from a poet to a hard-assed Crusader who stitches crosses into his flesh might make for a more exiting game, but it also sort of stomps on the face of the original’s premise. Instead of waking up to find that he’s been living a less-than-righteous life, the game’s Dante hacks his way through a city of Muslims before being told by Death hisownself that chopping people to bits constitutes a sin and that he’s going to Hell for it. In the place of self-actualisation, Dante fights off Death, then fights his way through the Nine Circles on his way to redemption — and to rescue his wife, who was nabbed and pulled into hell when Dante bitchslapped death and stole his scythe.
The game so far is pretty as hell, and shows a nice mix of 3D action and animations — and some 2D animation where warranted. But the demo at least is a breathless, discordant mash that takes a great piece of Western literature and reduces it to a mash-and-slash game with some overwrought Christian allegory and the occasional flash of tits.
When the final product lands, I think I’ll give it a pass.