Visceral Games’ hellish hack-and-slasher Dante’s Inferno, and Ubisoft’s real-time WW2 strategy game RUSE, now feature backward-compatibility support on Xbox One.
Dante’s Inferno launched in 2010, a year or so after Visceral Games’ excellent third-person sci-fi horror Dead Space, and its announcement came as something of a surprise; it was quite the departure for publisher EA, whose back catalogue wasn’t exactly bursting with action games inspired by 14th century Italian poetry at the time.
It did, however, provide EA with a suitably moody netherworld explorer to compete with Kratos, the gloomy face of Sony’s similarly-styled, and hugely popular, God of War franchise. Unfortunately, Dante’s Inferno – which featured solid enough hack-and-slash action, and a ghoulishly engaging take on the nine Circles of Hell – suffered in comparison to Sony Santa Monica’s astonishing God of War 3, which released earlier that same year.
Sadly, Dante’s Inferno received relatively lukewarm reviews (“It’s not a terrible game,” said Eurogamer, “It’s just not an original one, and it’s arrived a little too late.”), and a sequel was never to be – despite the first game showing plenty of promise, and ending on a cliffhanger suggesting that further adventures in Purgatory were to come. We can only be thankful that the universe – and Visceral – blessed us with perhaps the only video game to end with a final confrontation against Lucifer and his giant, hypnotically pendulous dong.
Moving on, RUSE, which also arrived in 2010, offered a real-time strategy experience inspired by the Allied invasion of Nazi Germany during World War 2.
Although familiar in many ways – your goal is to build and manage units on the battlefield, in order to thwart the enemy’s advances – it featured one big, marvellous twist. This came in the form of Ruses, which enabled players to disrupt an enemy’s intelligence gathering. A successful Ruse could alter the position and presentation of units on the map, severely diminishing an opponent’s capacity for effective planning.
Eurogamer liked RUSE’s innovations a lot, awarding the game an 8/10: “RUSE offers a pleasing dichotomy: historical wargaming, but with a spanking, modern engine, and a clever new interpretation of intelligence versus counter-intelligence. Granted, it takes some liberties with historical facts and the efficacy of certain weapons, which will doubtless grumble-up the odd purist […] But none of that is where RUSE’s appeal lies. It’s brave, and manic, and fun to play, and that’s everything it needs to be.”
If you still have the original Xbox 360 discs of either Dante’s Inferno or RUSE, just stick them in your Xbox One and away you go. Otherwise, you can purchase both games digitally on the Xbox Store – Dante’s Inferno costs £14.99/$14.99 USD while RUSE is £8.99/$19.99 USD.