Impressively, the game's already running at a constant 60fps - a must for fluid beat-em-ups - emphasising the elegant swipes of Dante's scythe. It may look heavy, but the weapon has the grace and finesse of a samurai sword. Which is handy, since most of the game is spent wielding it.
What really sets this apart from God Of War is the setting. While Kratos' world is one of grand, crumbling temples and towering marble pillars, Dante's trip through Hell is altogether more unpleasant.
Twisted creatures burst from doorways, lava spews from inverted crosses and bottomless, fiery pits yawn deep beneath your feet. The Divine Comedy describes Hell as having nine circles, each more horrific than the next, which suits the linear action game format perfectly.
You begin your journey in Limbo, the tamest of the nine circles, ending in Treachery, home of Beelzebub himself. Dante, a knight of the Crusades, ventures into Hell after his girlfriend, Beatrice, is murdered. The game begins with him killing Death himself in a revenge-fuelled fury, nicking his magical scythe and plunging into the abyss after her.
In fitting with the otherworldly setting, Dante has access to magic powers. He can use a gleaming silver cross to fire blasts of holy power, unleash screen-clearing magic spells and even tame Hell's wild beasts to use against his enemies. In an early level, the boatman Charon who takes Dante through Limbo is re-imagined as an ancient, ornate galleon with an animated human face at its bow. A battle takes place on the deck with hordes of imps and a 20-foot tall monster with a demon riding its back.
After injuring the beast enough, it bows its head and the game switches to a QTE event as Dante climbs its furry mane, knocks the rider off and takes the reigns to use its powers for himself. It easily matches God Of War in terms of pure excitement.
In commercial terms, Dante's could be seen as EA plugging a portfolio gap with a God of War-style actioner. But the subject matter is utterly unique. And as Dante delves deeper into Satan's lair the game will get a Hell of a lot wilder and more unpleasant. If Dead Space's awe-inspiring final boss is any indication, just imagine your final battle with Satan himself.
A shameless God of War tribute? Sure, but Dante's Inferno is epic enough for EA to sacrifice a little soul. Prepare to unleash Hell for its late 2009 release.