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"Dante's Inferno" a fun but familiar game

Not many people would expect a 14th century epic poem to serve as the source material for a video game.

The folks at Electronic Arts and Visceral Games thought differently when they adapted Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” into the video game “Dante’s Inferno,” which was released Feb. 9.

The game really only deals with the first book of the poem — “Inferno” — with protagonist Dante descending to hell to save the soul of his fiance Beatrice.

Dante battles through the nine circles from the poem while trying to find Beatrice. The game might prove controversial in some circles because of its source material.

It’s a dreary setting and a mostly depressing journey, which can be expected considering the location of most of the game. But the art direction is pretty impressive and paints a dreadful representation of the “Inferno” from Dante’s poem.

The game has drawn numerous comparisons to Sony’s “God of War” series since the first trailer was released. After playing the game, it’s pretty apparent why those comparisons persist.

Controlling Dante is just like controlling Kratos from “God of War.” The way Dante accumulates his healing and magic are also similar to the way Kratos accomplishes the same.

There is the same button-mashing mechanic to open doors, a similar leveling system for powers and largely the same style of battling through a variety of enemies and bosses. To defeat the bigger bosses, the game uses the familiar mini-game of sequenced button mashing.

The similarities, however, aren’t a deal breaker.

“God of War” is one of the great games in video-game history, and it was a matter of time before a similar game came out. Whatever points “Dante’s Inferno” loses for its similarities to “God of War,” it quickly recoups them with fun gameplay, an interesting story and impressive graphics. Don’t let those comparisons stop you from trying the game out.

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