Did you know that Dante’s Inferno was book written in the 14th century? Did you know that EA turned this classical epic poem into a crappy God of War rip-off video game? It’s true. They turned Kratos into Dante, Ares into Lucifer, and have you fighting the infernal damned with Virgil as your guide through the circles of hell as you try to save Beatrice (Dante’s wife in the game). It is mostly a crappy and humorless game that sells itself with the Dante Alighieri brand and the lure of lust, greed, violence, and all those other deadly sins. It takes itself too seriously in its narrative, and yet the circle of lust is a giant penis tower filled with giant vaginas. It’s competent, but nothing great.
What LibraryJournal and GameCouch find in the game is that it is a victory for literacy. Liz Danforth talks about how it would otherwise be extremely hard to get a student to pick up an ancient book. EA has made it accessible.
The crappiness of the game could even be a boon to the book. The game leaves you somewhat disappointed in their vision of hell, and makes you wonder about the source material. It did it for me. I had read the Inferno before but the game made me want to examine the hell presented in the game and I picked it up again. For an intensive and incredibly great breakdown of the differences between the book and the game, Destructoid has a three part write-up detailing what does and does not work in the game.
Of course, this topic is interesting to me because of the somewhat unique intersection of libraries and technology. It would be more interesting if Dante’s Inferno (the game) was more interesting and lived up to its potential.