Video Game Preview: Dante’s Inferno
There are days that I find things that are fun, joyful, informative, and make me feel good about what I do. Then there are days where I learn about other things. Today is one of those days, and the video game Dante’s Inferno is the reason.
Before I go any further, this is graphic. It not pleasant. It definitely plays off of religious themes. And I really do not suggest any child read any further. Nightmare will like just be the start of what they go through.
You have been warned.
When I first noticed the video for Dante’s Inferno I was captivated by the title. Obviously it is in reference to the medeival poem of the same name which is part of the Divine Comedy (not that there is humor). The poem details a trip through the 9 circles of Hell. The goal was to travel closer to God. This is directly based on the Christian religious beliefs as of the 14th Century.
Hell, as described by Dante, can be broken down into Upper Hell (the first 5 Circles) for the self-indulgent sins; Circles 6 and 7 for the violent sins; and Circles 8 and 9 for the malicious sins. Each level lower is more horrific a punishment for sinners than the last.
The video game takes these ideas and runs with them. There are plenty of changes from the original source material. Such as a back story on Dante, making him a knight that fought and commited multiple sins during the Crusades. That he is on a quest to save the soul of his beloved Beatrice, whose innocent soul was taken to Hell.
As part of this quest, Dante fights Death to start on the path – gaining Death’s scythe. The scythe is one of 2 main weapons that you have in the game. The other is a cross.
The scythe is an attack weapon that takes multiple forms. It also adds to the negative morality your charater has. The cross keeps foes at a distance and exorcises them adding to the positive karma. It is stated that defeating all the foes is possible using the cross, but the diffulty is far higher.
There is no question of the surrounding in the game. The visuals, virtually from the start of the game, leaves little question. They are expressive of the pain and torture that Dante’s Inferno has always expressed. And I have to believe that the designers have spent many nights waking in cold sweats. Plus it gets worse the furhter the game goes for a look at them