Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dante's Inferno First Impressions

I am on the boss of Lust right now. This is the second circle out of nine. I am assuming they get longer as you go, so I am going to toss a number out and say I am 15% done with the game. So far I am pretty let down. The circle of Lust was probably the biggest let down since Fable II. I spent the entire circle in an elevator going up being attacked by monsters. I didn't see any people suffering, or any vast expanses of storms. Just an elevator taking me to the top of some tower where I am having a boss fight.

It has already become clear to me that Visceral games spent more time and money on hype and advertising than the actual game. I suppose that's a good strategy if you only want people to impulse one of your games and then never trust you again. Among the HUGE amount of press releases and information about this game out on the internet was a set of "Dev Diaries" where the developers revealed some cool stuff about the game, and each diary was themed to the nine circles. The gameplay/cutscene footage they showed for the circle of Lust wasn't in the actual circle of lust. They either cut it, or made JUST FOR THE FUCKING PRESS. It's really sad.

Anyway on to more specific complaints. There are (so far) three types of enemies: fodder, demons, and mini-bosses. Fodder are like zombies, and demon babies stuff like that. This is the set of enemies I have a big problem with. This game incorporates this mechanic where once enemies are wounded enough, you can press right trigger next to them and enter a sort of cut scene of you killing them. You don't have to do it this way, you can just keep beating them up until they explode, but punishing/absolving them gets you bonuses so you want to do it as often as possible. Now with fodder enemies you don't need to weaken them to enter this animation. You can simply press right trigger next to them and you immediately stab them with your scythe and are given the choice to punish or absolve (X or B). Once you do this, they die immediately. While you are in the animation you are invulnerable to attacks. So what happens if I get attacked by 40 fodder enemies? I press RT+X 40 times. What happens if I get attacked by 120 fodder enemies? I press RT+X 120 times. Are they for real? Did no one catch on to this? They should at least make me hit them a little first? So 80% of the enemies I have "fought" so far die in one hit, and during that one hit I am invulnerable. Boring. It's sweet that I have all these badass scythe combos though. Thanks.

I'll give the game credit where it's due though. The combat is amazing. The moves look beautiful and the combat is more fluid than any game I have played of this genre. Even if you are in the middle of a combo, you can press any other button to cancel out and evade, or block. You never get "stuck" doing some huge move. The boss fights are epic and cool. I look forward to more combat as I level up.

Here is my big concern. I played the demo of this game before it came out and I enjoyed the combat immensely. But once I got done with the demo all I could say was "What a terrible demo! It didn't even show my anything epic, or anything vast and infinite." Usually games with badass elements give you a taste of one of them up front. I am 15% done with the game and I haven't had a taste yet. I am afraid they have nothing to show me.

No comments: