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Dante’s Inferno
EA Games

Based on Dante’s epic poem about descending through the 9 circles of Hell while being guided by Virgil, who you may remember as the owl-guy from Mighty Max. In an effort to bolster buzz EA Games launched a series of contrived promotion gimmicks, including trying to claim the game was being boycotted as “immoral” by staging fake protests with paid bible thumpers, and bribing reviewers with $200 checks, which we here at Racket are still waiting to receive. The only thing blasphemous about this game is the sacrilegious perversion of literature it is committing. Good thing selling people on gore and weird-ass gothic imagery is like shooting fish in a barrel. In this case a barrel filled with blood and writhing body parts. Wayne Barlow, the designer behind Guillermo del Toro’s films, provided the concept art. But for all its desire for edginess and raw carnality it brings little new to the table. They had a premise handed to them on a silver platter and still managed to mess it up by making it seem less like a  feast and more like warmed up leftovers. It feels like an elaborate and tightly form-fitting gothic themed God of War skin.  The hard-on for the GoW franchise is repackaged, capitalized on, and rammed down the public’s eager throat with much the same tact as the way silicon replicas of beloved porn stars are made into shiny branded dildos.  Belabored language and quickly repetitive game-play reduce the thrill of the experience far too soon into it.  Much as Kronos devoured his own children this game is going to be eaten alive by God of War 3.

-Laura Gaddy