Reader Review: Dante's Inferno

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Grant does, as he swings his scythe like poetry in motion.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Grant Oxtoby. If you’ve played Dante's Inferno, or just want to ask Grant more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Dante's Inferno (360)

A video game based on a poem: not the best idea for a game, but take a few liberties, make it a story about a crusader trying to save his lover's soul as well redeem his own by storming the nine circles of Hell and tell it while blatantly ripping off a certain other hack and slash game and the result isn't all that bad... or is it?


Setting: Being inspired by the 14th century idea of Hell it's a given that the game's setting is going to be far from pretty. Questing through the nine circles of Hell is an outright disturbing journey filled with screaming climbing walls, living doors that require impaling to enter and the damned reaching out for you as you jump rivers of blood and lava. Adding in the rather blatant sexual content of the Lust circle and the generous amount of nudity makes this a game you don't want an older relative walking in on you playing.

Combat: Your primary weapons of mass destruction consist of a scythe, that you 'borrowed' from Death, and your lover's holy cross. The scythe is short range but powerful while the cross is weak but gives you an auto-targeting projectile attack that becomes obscenely powerful at full strength. Much like that certain other game, the combat is heavy on combos and, combined with the option to absolve or punish your enemies and the well done mixture of sound and visuals, makes nearly every battle satisfying and epic.


Length: Once you knock over the main story, you can go through again and continue to build your stats and there is also a (rather slow paced) 50 wave survival mode. Overall, sans the second playthough and the future DLC, this only took eight hours to knock over on the normal difficulty, while the hidden items would normally offer more that enough reason to come back, all of them are easy to find and you'll probably find them all the first time.

Frustration: Yes it's short and yes it's linear, but some parts of the game nearly made me want to snap the disc in half, I was even forced to lower the difficulty when an oddly placed checkpoint stuck me at a boss fight with next to no health left. Other offenders incuded two sections that involved pushing a large object while having to fight off large waves of enemies and the scourge of this generation of games, quick-time events, that require superhuman reflexes if you want to pass on the first try.

It's fun while it lasts and it's hellish designs will make a big impression, but hardly worth AU$99. I'd recommend waiting for the bargin bin before picking up this one.

Reviewed by: Grant Oxtoby

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Dude you can't really complain about the length of the campaign if you're playing on normal and clicking down to easy for the really difficult parts.

      Why cant he?

      If he found it punishing AND short, surely thats worse, because it means a lot of the playtime was spent replaying sections.

        Sorry dude I thought we were talking about video games here, not movies.

          To be fair, I only did it for one boss battle (the 2nd last one to be exact), that I was stuck on due to my life bar being checkpointed at 1/4 full, after I beat it, I bumped it back up again.

          Even if I did play all of it on a harder mode all it would have added was maybe an hour or two and tripled my blood pressure and no game is fun when you're cranky ('cept maybe Wii Boxing)

          As for my issues with the game's length, Portal, Braid, Mirror's Edge and Brutal Legend were shorter than Dante's Inferno, but they're still games I'd easily play again and again. Length isn't a real downside for me, as long as it has some replay value, Dante did not, maybe if it had a level select so I could go back to the cool stuff, but alas no.

        Complaining about a games length when you've toned down the difficulty essentially means that every game can be critisied for its length. Hell MW2 can be finished in under 2hrs if you play on easy mode.

          so, game length includes retries?

    I completely agree with this review.
    I finished this in a week.

    One other issue i had was if you took the holy path you just basically spam your cross for most fights, which kinda annoyed me towards the end.

    I must admit the environment was awesome and the story was also pretty sweet.

    If you need a fix before GoW 3 comes out then get this.

      Yeah cross-spamming did get a little tedious at full strength, but at least the effects looked and sounded awesome.

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