Back in 1981, Atari sued Phillips. The latter had released a Pac-Man clone for the Odyssey 2 titled K.C. Munchkin, and Atari believed the game was similar enough that it infringed on their exclusive home rights to Pac-Man.
The courts ruled in favor of Atari on the grounds of plagiarism, as even though K.C. Munchkin contained changes (including moving dots instead of stationary ones), the “feel” of the game was the same, according to the judge. Phillips was forced to pull copies of their games off the shelves, although not before a significant number of copies sold, making it currently one of the more common games on the system.
So, what does a nearly 30-year old lawsuit have to do with someone venturing into hell to fight Satan himself? A lot, actually. Dante’s Inferno is shameless in its attempt to rip off God of War to the point where it is easy to believe the source code is the same. While the industry jokes about knock-offs and how other games are “inspired” by one another, this is the KC Munchkin fiasco once again, minus the lawsuits.
Dante’s Inferno is offensively bland, to the point where not a single creative idea, beyond the art design, has been implemented. The product reeks of shameless corporate licensing, taking advantage of a famous poem if only for the name. It is as disrespectful to the source material as it is to modern gamers' intelligence.
To count the ways this is familiar tripe would take hours, about as long as the six- to eight-hour campaign. Every jump, every inane puzzle, every fatality, every enemy, and every unlockable is a direct copy of the Sony franchise. Dante’s weapon, an oversized scythe, even extends into a chain, whether to jump across a chasm or take out a radius of foes surrounding him.
Dante’s Inferno is not even smart enough to fix the flaws. Each fountain, containing either health, mana, or money in the form of souls, requires button mashing to access. Demon doors ask the same, a monotonous, pace killing task with no purpose, point, challenge, or satisfaction. The only puzzles involve moving blocks, flipping switches, or pushing levers. If they provide a challenge, it is only because the answer is illogical or ridiculous or maybe even unclear.