Dante’s Inferred, No?

Feb 16th, 2010 | By | Category: Prose

I do a lot of gaming. It keeps me from doing stupid things, like going out on weekends and spending money on excessively priced drinks. As a gamer I fall into one of two categories: the frat boy (the ones who actually buy EA’s sports clones, and play games with bloodlust and mass destruction), or the geek (the ones who still play Kings Quest, and also play games with bloodlust and mass destruction mainly to live out of some projected revenge fantasy against the “frat boy” type).

I’ll let you figure out which one I fall into…

EA's Dante's Inferno: Dante's in stitches. Zing!

When I was but a wee lad with the original Nintendo system there was a game by the name of Battle of Olympus. It basically used the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as a backbone plot, while stuffing it full of Greek mythology (sans Zeus procreating with every female possible). Let’s face it: with the numerous monsters, beasts, and Gods, it had all the substance to make a great game.

God of War would be another game to follow in this tradition, except you’re playing some muscle-bound psychopath, hell-bent on revenge. I like to call it Battle of Olympus: Meathead Edition.

What bothers me is when they’ll take a specific title, and bastardize it. It’s like that cliched, Hollywood approach to taking something wonderful, adding a bunch of extraneous crap, and then fucking it up beyond all recognition till it barely resembles the original masterpiece.

Get it Girl!

I speak, of course, of EA’s Dante’s Inferno. I was at first tantalized by what could have been a great survival horror game: instead what I got was a game targeted towards the “frat boy.” Blood, boobs, and all.

In Dante’s Inferno, you play as the great poet Dante–only now he’s a muscle-bound crusader (and not a poet) who likes stitching tapestry into his chest because he’s so awesomely extreme and macho like that (he has yet to discover tattoos, I guess)! After slaughtering heretics for the crusade and then conquering Death (no really… in a form of elementary school level dramatic irony you kill the Grim Reaper with his own scythe, and then take it as a trophy), Dante returns home to see something directly ripped from one of the opening sequences of Russel Crowe’s Gladiator.

His home has been pillaged. There’s a dead guy on floor, stabbed in the face with a gilded cross (the perpetrators probably needed lessons in pillaging it seems). His voluptuous wife Beatrice has been murdered, and her breast is exposed (clearly this exposure is for breast cancer awareness and/or artistic expression, but certainly not for fapping).

Extreme Sunbathing

From that point on her soul escapes, tells you something important (I’m not sure what though I couldn’t hear over her spiritual boobs) as it’s taken away by a ominous cloudy figure. We see her one last time, fully exposed, on a chapel altar in what seems to be coital bliss with an invisible force, before magically levitating in the air and disappearing like a sexy David Copperfield trick!

Nothing's worse than that not so fresh feeling.

And then it all goes downhill from there–in more ways than one.

While I’m sure the gameplay itself might be fun (if you’re into those scripted-attack games, with a touch of the ultra-violence), and it’s graphics are very detailed, this monstrosity was not what I had hoped for.

It would be like taking Pride and Prejudice and turning it into a First Person Shooter, instead of making it into a Dating Sim (one of those weird Japanese dating games where you try to pick the best choice/comment to make based on your object-of-affection’s personality, while avoiding used-panties vending machines). At the very least making it into some cat-fight over Mr. Darcy would be more believable, while keeping an element of “action.”

While the setup of the game follows Dante Alighieri’s path through Inferno, there are numerous “artistic license” changes made. For one it’s practically devoid of the metaphors, and the relations between the sins and their associated punishments. Many of the characters are now statues such as the centaurs, Minotaur, Geryon, and the resident sinners in the Malebolge just for the sake of keeping them in the game. In what I can only infer is an homage to Ridley Scott’s Legend, Beatrice is turned toward the side of Lucifer and given an evily seductive outfit to befit her change without the aid of Tangerine Dream.

Dante reminds you: get your yearly mammogram, or we'll do it for you.

Oh and he also fondles her boobs, and they make out… all this in time for Valentines Day!

As it stands, Dante’s Inferno is nothing more than another Battle of Olympus that uses a title from classic literature to garner attention. I tend to think that this a form of false advertising. It’s exactly like going to a movie based on a novel, and then seeing that the movie took liberty with creative licensing and in the end leaves you feeling cheated.

So, in lieu of EA’s Dante’s Inferno, I submit my own ideas for books improperly made into games:

Sim A Tale of Two Cities: Can you build your city up while keeping the revolutionaries down? New buildings to this edition include: the Shoe Maker, the Wine Shop, and Bastille!

Catamari Damacy’s Cradle: Ice-9 has turned the earth into a giant snowball! It’s your job to roll your bucky-ball and gather as much as you can before blasting it into the sun! Play the game, and become part of the granfalloon!

Beloved Fantasy: In this RPG you must enlist the help of the local townspeople to help exorcise your house of the spirits possessing it! This game features a unique element-themed battle system, airships, and a music score by Nobuo Uematsu!

Stephen Elkham appeared in the Defenestration office one day when Amber forgot to shut a window after closing up. In a bizarre twist of irony, Stephen actually joined Defenestration through infenestration…and a ladder. Genevieve, Andrew, Eileen, and even Ben Franklin all tried to shoo him out with various methods (Ben tried logic and reason, Eileen tried magic wardings, Genevieve tried verbal lashings, and Andrew merely whacked at him with a rolled up newspaper) while Bigfoot stood back and laughed his ass off. However, Stephen barely acknowledged any of them while creepily staring at the wall and sipping coffee. Soon after, that room was converted into the “Creepy Staring Guy With Coffee” room, and was mostly used for storage. One day, while moving some old equipment back there, Haratron had serendipitously stored a typewriter in front of Stephen. It wasn’t until a few days later that Eileen noticed that the “CSGWC” room was suddenly alive with the ticking of typewriter activity, and suddenly full of papers (one of them was the complete version of Hamlet all in caps, another was hundreds of pages with nothing more than “All werk n no plai, mayks Jack a LOLboi kthx,” and yet another was a scathing review on Jane Austen and how the Bronte sisters should’ve ganged up and shanked her via a time machine). It was clear the creepy guy had some sapience… plus there was now a seemingly endless source of material that could be added to the website (Jersey Devil was charged with filtering though and scanning in all the documents). Stephen is still referred to as CSGWC though…

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