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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Darksiders’ vs. ‘Dante’s Inferno’: Action game showdown

    Every fan of the action genre has been anxiously waiting nearly three years for the release of Sony’s “”God of War III,”” the Greek mythology-inspired epic coming March 16. Two games in the “”God of War”” vein were recently released, and I’m here to tell you in five minutes or less which is most likely to ease your impatience during the next two weeks.

    DARKSIDERS

    “”Darksiders,”” the brainchild of revered comic book artist Joe Madureira and developer Vigil Games, was released on Jan. 5. You control War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in his quest to prove his innocence after being framed for starting the apocalypse early. To do this, you’ll traverse varied locales and dungeon-crawl your way to your eventual goal. Some inventive “”Panzer Dragoon””-style parts of missions ease the repetitiveness of the combat by giving you a flying steed. During these sections, you fly on a predetermined path with limited control as you focus mostly on shooting opposing flying enemies out of the sky.

    Overall, the game’s combination of “”God of War””-style combat with “”Legend of Zelda”” exploration sequences works well as you’re forced to be good at both combat and solving complex puzzles. The art style is a standout from other titles in the genre and features a superb use of color never seen before in a game set in the apocalypse. “”Darksiders”” is one of the rare, slightly derivative games that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

    DANTE’S INFERNO

    In this game inspired by Dante Alighieri’s “”The Divine Comedy,”” you control the hero Dante on his quest to rescue his fiancée Beatrice from Hell’s clutches. You do this by carving a bloody path through fantastical creature designs across all seven circles of Hell. Obviously, Electronic Arts has taken some liberties with poetic license and the story, but to make “”Dante’s Inferno”” an action game requires a certain amount of flexibility. The level design is rather fantastic, as Visceral Games has created a fascinating interpretation of Dante’s Hell, filled with adult themes and at times an overwhelming sense of disgust.

    It’s too bad that the rest of the game doesn’t hold up, because the entire second half is boring, predictable and dull. There’s nothing interesting about the combat system — the highlight of any action game — and it lacks depth. Once the novelty of actually travelling through the circles that have influenced our Western idea of Hell wears off, all you’ve got is a watered-down variant of better games out there. At its core, “”Dante’s Inferno”” will eventually just serve as an example of why there have been very few games ever based on classic literature.

    Verdict: With only enough money and time for one action game to hold you over until the release of “”God of War III,”” “”Darksiders”” should earn your vote. It stands tall on its own merits and, despite its shortcomings, it’s easily the most enjoyable title of its kind already released.

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