Electronic Arts’ upcoming game, Dante’s Inferno, is using an unlikely ally in its latest publicity stunt. Instead of going with the Xbox or the PlayStation, they are using a Church’s game and unique game system. Well, sort of.
In a controversial move, the latest game trailer is “hidden” in a web page promoting a video game console called Mass: We Pray. This imaginary console comes with stools and cross shaped controllers that look like WiiMotes and supposedly simulates the experience of attending mass. When any of the links in the page are clicked, the page changes to the latest trailer for Dante’s Inferno.
Dante’s Inferno is a re-imagining of the first part of Dante Alighieri’s classic poem, The Divine Comedy. The game focuses on the journey the author takes through the nine circles of hell accompanied by the poet Virgil. It pictures Dante as a knight who has to battle his way through hell to rescue his beloved Beatrice from Lucifer.
Dante’s Inferno will be available on February 9, 2010, for Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP
Promotion for the game has focused on different sins which are explored throughout the game. This latest stunt was focused on heresy. When the web page changes from the Mass: We Pray version, text appears explaining that mass without an ordained priest amounts to heresy and whoever does this is condemned to the sixth circle of Hell.
Even though the relation with church may sound odd for a hell-based game, the original material is firmly rooted on the teachings of the Christian church and serves as an allegory for the punishments reserved for each of the sins.
I read the first part of the poem a while back and I really liked it. It painted an impressive scene of each circle and helped establish a mythology for all references to Hell. If the game can convey these images it should at least be visually stunning.