Slated for release in early 2010, a project by Visceral Games lets you play the underworld explorer: Dante's Inferno. Your guide is still Virgil, although he plays a smaller role than in Dante's poem:
And yes, your job is primarily to kill demons -- but the visuals are amazing!
The devs point out that their Dante is an extreme reimagining of the 13th century poet and policitian who authored the Divine Comedy, which is rather obvious from the start. Not only is this guy running around with a scythe nearly twice his size, he's actually quite apt with it, butchering defenseless demons and what not.
Players will find series of brutal animations to discover, depending on how you want to finish off your enemies, and that scythe allows Dante to control certain (very large) demons by shoving the blade in their skulls. Hey, there are worst ways to travel in Hell than riding on the back / head of a giant rampaging abomination. Phlegyas, pictured above, is just one of many such monstrosities you'll be hitching a ride on.
But I can't reiterate how engrossing the visuals are for this game, especially if you're familiar with the original Divine Comedy; the devs have made en effort to design the characters as they are described in the poem, "only angrier," given that everything is now trying to kill Dante instead of letting him pass through with somber indifference.
A nice example of this is the blind King Minos, Judge of the Dead, who appears in the game as Aligheri portrays -- a monstrous hybrid between man and snake. In the poem, he "shakes the urn and calls on the assembly of the silent, to learn the lives of men and their misdeeds," his tail wrapping around his body a number of times equal to the soul's assigned level of Hell. In the game, he is still rather ugly and... tries to kill Dante. If you manage to defeat him, you'll be treated to a graphic death-scene, involving a spiked wheel and Minos' tongue. Go ahead and fill in the blanks on that one.