There have been a number of controversial games that have come within the last few years but none have quite met the fan rage of DmC Devil May Cry. The original creator of Devil May Cry was not on the project, it is a reboot of the series, Ninja Theory, a company that had only made two other games at that point, were to be the developers, and the biggest cause of dismay being the new look of Dante. To be perfectly honest, the original new look of Dante from the alpha build of the game I even hated along with his new attitude (the smoking did not help) and I was originally against it. But eventually I got over it and tried to focus on what would be of the gameplay. When the demo came out, many elements of the alpha were changed and Dante looked drastically different, closer to his voice over and motion capture actor Tim Phillips. So me, being a bit more willing decided to drink more of the Capcom Virility and decided to go in. So did I hit the jackpot or would I have to tell Capcom to “flock off?”
DmC’s mechanics have some similarities to the original series. The square button fires the long range weapon, triangle is mostly for quick weapon attacks, circle for heavier attacks, and X to jump. The difference now is that the triggers have completely different actions than the older series. R1 and L1 are dedicated dodge buttons and R2 and L2 are used for demon and angel weapons respectively. After a little bit of finger gymnastic training the controls become quite easy to maneuver and are really fluid. One slight cause of frustration is the lack of a lock-on. The auto-lock on works very well and it is rare that I ran into many problems with the system but it can be wearisome mistakenly grabbing an enemy that is not attacking when trying to disrupt or parry the one that is. The scoring system is similar to the older series by using letter ratings in the mist of combat from D to SSS. To veteran players of the series it will seem easier to max out the style gauge simply because it is. The style levels do not degrade as quickly as the other games. The game runs at 30 frames per second on consoles and works smoothly. Personally, I am happy Ninja Theory (NT) did not try for 60; simply because the Unreal 3 engine is showing its age and slowdown/lag could have really became a problem. For those that want 60 frames, get the PC version.
The story of DmC is probably the most in depth story that has ever been in Devil May Cry game. Many of the elements of the older game stay intact. Of course, the game centers around Dante and his involvement with the group the Order. During this, he has contend with the armies of Mundus and the hazards of the world of Limbo. The world of Limbo that Dante is dragged into never really outstays its welcome and allows for shifting landscapes and extremely vivid colours. It keeps play interesting by adding more of a platforming element. The music is well done and serves its purpose to get the player hyped for the fight and the balancing is good enough that it never becomes a distraction. Combichrist and Nosia’s songs are a nice mix of industrial rock and techno/dubstep and vibe with the environments they are used in.
Dante’s backstory is different as now instead of being the child of a human and a demon he is now Nephilim, which by this game’s meaning, is the child of an angel and a demon. His mom is still Eva and his father is still Sparda. Very little of the core story elements from the first series have not been changed. The new look and characterization of Dante is a big sticking point that a lot of people are not going to get over but he has a trait that is nonexistent in the older games: character development. His actions and ambitions change over the span of the game and, even though a bit more serious than the former incarnation, is a satisfying character to continue the series with. All of the characters are well acted and are portrayed with motivations that are consistent and overall the game is a great satire of consumerist culture and rule by media. The bosses, though few, are some of the more entertaining and inventive fights I have had the pleasure of playing in a hack and slash in a long time.
The game is an 8-10 hour play through on normal difficulty and it is easier than any other game in the series. This is understandable since NT is trying to make the game accessible to first time players. There is still enough challenge in the harder difficulty level with remixed waves and ones that require more strategy than just the same combos over and over again to get good scores. The game can become maddening on Dante Must Die and Hell & Hell difficulties but the tools given are enough to survive with a little practice.
Though there are problems here and there with the lack of a manual lock on and some graphical pop up issues, DmC Devil May Cry is a game worthy of the series name and makes me interested in seeing what the future will hold for the rebirth of the franchise. With the Vergil’s Downfall DLC coming in the near future and the possibility of more content to expand the new lore of the series. Even though it may take fans a little while to come around the corner, I think that they will eventually come to like the modern Dante and the situations that he gets himself into.