If you took some college lit you’re probably familiar with the Divine Comedy, or at least its Cliff’s Notes. So you’ll remember well that the author/narrator Dante was a musclebound regeaholic who slaughtered demons with his trusty, powered-up scythe, and it’s only natural that the upcoming Electronic Arts video game — set for release in 2010 — would tell it like it was.
But what you won’t remember is Dante hacking up a bunch of babies. That’s where video game developer EA Redwood Shores checks in with a little poetic license. In its fresh-in-mailboxes June print edition, Game Informer magazine was taken aback when it discovered via a demonstration that when Dante is traipsing through the limbo level, he fights unbaptized infants who were relegated into darkness when they died.
One of the freakiest parts of the demo came when babies with glowing eyes and blade arms jumped out of a hell crib and started attacking. Dante’s guide, Virgil, explains that these unbaptized babies are stuck in limbo. Did EA have any concerns about this type of enemy during development? “[There was] no reservation about the babies,” [executive producer] Jonathan Knight says. “They are based in the mythology of the medieval time, and they have nasty swords for arms and try to kill you, so basically they are just another crazy enemy.
Knight goes on to say “our adult audiences expect hell to be a pretty messed up place.”
For what it’s worth, I’m a parent and a gamer and find nothing wrong with making Dante kill virtual demon babies who jump him from hell cribs. But something tells me the go-getters who got that disgusting, in-awful-taste baby-shaker app cast into limbo will feel differently.