When it was first unveiled, the new DmC Devil May Cry already drew the hate of almost every previous Devil May Cry fan out there due to its new portrayal of Dante, which took on a new hairstyle and trench coat. Leading up to its release, DmC seemed to woo the hearts of series followers again with its faithful recreation of the original’s gameplay style but lost it all again with the new Dante’s personality, which screams that of a rebellious teenager. With the game’s release though, only one question needed to be answered: not whether it was a faithful reboot or not, but whether it would be a good game on its own merits.
DmC stars the new (and some would argue inferior) Dante, a nephilim, or offspring between an angel and demon, as he goes on a quest to kill Mundus, a demon lord who’s killed Dante’s parents. Along the way, he’s joined by brother Vergil, also a nephilim, and sidekick Kat, a human who has access to witch powers and can help Dante along the way. Diehard fans of the original may decry the new Dante as an immature one who simply tries too hard to be edgy, and early footage of a drawn out exchange of “Fuck you’s” with a succubus and a nude Dante flying through his destroyed trailer with only slices of pizzas and other debris covering his phallic certainly support that notion. However, the bulk of the game features a Dante with a “devil may care” attitude and cheesy one-liners just as in previous titles and is sure to throw any concerns out the window for open minded Devil May Cry fans.
In addition to the game’s script and writing, the gameplay has stayed just as faithful. As players traverse and jump on platforms through levels, sections will periodically close off as hordes of demons rush toward Dante. Unlike other hack and slashers, like Dynasty Warriors, where players go through levels by mashing on a single button, DmC encourages players to vary their attacks to get as high a combo rating as possible and rewards them accordingly with more upgrade points. With four accessible weapons at any point during battle, the possibilities and variations of combos in DmC is astounding to contemplate and even more satisfying to pull off. Players who are even more skilled or dexterous will take great pleasure in switching weapons mid combo with a press of any direction on the d-pad, which makes every fight as exciting to watch as they are to partake in.
A milestone of the Devil May Cry series, difficulty has been slightly sacrificed for this title. On the default difficulty, or even the upper tier of which is titled the “nephilim” difficulty, the game is unlikely to make battle hardened demon slayers even break a sweat. Despite pandering to newer players who simply want to experience the title, DmC still has a challenge awaiting those willing to brave it in higher difficulty settings like the Son of Sparda mode, which features new enemy waves and attack patterns rather than a simple health boost. No matter their skill level, players are sure to be tested with this game.
At times, however, players will feel slightly cheated out of the game’s rewards. This is especially true of earlier levels in the game where sections are effectively restricted not by skill cap but by tools that players simply do not have access to yet. Upon a second playthrough, these can be spotted and unlocked, easily giving players the coveted 100% completion rating. It feels like an artificial way of creating replay value and players are being bamboozled the first time through. In addition, though the game offers many exhilarating segments, the tension is usually lost through some monotonous segments where players have to wait long periods in between platform jumping or are restricted to running.
Beyond the gameplay, the game’s visuals are astoundingly beautiful and imaginative. Though gritty interiors and cities make up the bulk of the game’s environments, they’re supplemented by underwater, upside down cities, digital spaces, and dance floors of a night club that are all fitting of the game’s new atmosphere and audience. As with any Capcom action title, fans can also expect to see large boss fights where Dante will have to scale both the bosses and the environments in order to expose their weak points. No challenge seems too daunting for Dante and that undeniably adds to his “cool” factor that only makes players enjoy being him more.
In the face of several games with outdated mechanics, like those in a certain survival horror series featuring zombies, Capcom has managed to team up with Ninja Theory to make a title worthy of the Devil May Cry label. DmC’s fast paced battles that demand players to be creative and quick with button presses are a hallmark of the series and does it justice. Small flaws hardly hold the title back and I, for one, welcome this reboot and any sequels or DLC to come.
- Fast paced battles
- Both accessoble and challenging
- Fun to either watch or play
- Dante is as clever and witty as ever
- Too many slow paced segments
Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360; Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Ninja Theory; Players: 1; Released: January 15, 2012 (Retail), January 25, 2012 (PC) ; ESRB: Mature ; MSRP: $59.99 (Retail), $49.99 (PC); Official Site