Platform: PS3, Xbox, PC
Release Date: 15/01/13
DmC Devil May Cry Review
My first thoughts on a Devil May Cry reboot were dubious, especially when I got the chance to play it at Eurogamer and was left with little to say. Nothing had really changed in gameplay and there wasn’t much to show off in terms of what was new. Fortunately what I did get to play was only a small taste, and nothing like the full experience of the complete game. DmC Devil May Cry (yes, that is its full title) may be a reboot to the franchise, but it is not necessarily a remake.
This is an origins tale that would fit in nicely before the events of any of the four previous Devil May Cry games. The only thing that would suggest otherwise is how different our main protagonist and playable character Dante is from his previous portrayal in the games – the title screen alone, revealing him being caressed and unclothed by angels as he aims his fingers like a gun to one of their heads, is enough to suggest this. The intro manages to take this further, however. Slamming drinks before leaving a club with a couple of girls and taking them back to his trailer for fun times, and then… well, let’s just say that you know Dante will be going commando for the rest of the game.
If you happened to be paying attention to the intro credits during this stylish and crude montage you would notice that although the game is written and directed by newcomers to the series Ninja Theory, who previously created Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, it is also “story supervised” by writer Alex Garland. This basically means that he took charge in this department, and for good reason – this guy wrote such movie greats as The Beach (the novel at least) and 28 Days Later. Having such a well-respected writer involved, you would certainly expect great things from the story and luckily you are not disappointed. The game is now set in a modern day world where demons hide in plain site and the economy is essentially run by the lord Mundus himself. The only thing that could possibly stop him is Dante. So guess what? He sends hordes of demons to kill him.
While it sounds basic, the story, voice acting, script and most importantly the characters are all superb and will keep you locked in the moments when you aren’t physically playing the game. Your twin brother Vergil is on hand – who it’s good to see working with you rather than against you, like in Devil May Cry 3. You’re also joined by a girl named Kat, who helps you on your journey to take down Mundus, plus a few other memorable and well-created characters that fit in nicely rather than clutter the game. And this combined with the fast paced gameplay all builds up to an epic showdown. One which you may not expect. And for long-term fans, there are more than enough references to the older games of the series that will make you chuckle. Just stick with Dante’s new hair do. I promise it will grow on you!
Essentially the gameplay remains the same as before. You run through levels, of which there are 20, defeating all your enemies in the best way possible, with all the weapons and abilities that you have. The soundtrack fits in perfectly. Atmospheric when you are exploring before busting out with a variety of metal tracks when you’re taking down demons. Your standard sword is the Rebellion – your main tool to hack away at your opponents, stringing combos as you go. On top of this you will have demon weapons such as ‘Arbiter’ – a giant axe used for smashing through tough opponents – and angel weapons such as ‘Osiris’ – a scythe used for dealing with large amounts of enemies.
Having both demon and angel weapons has its other uses. Destroying red and blue doors, and also creating new ways to traverse levels such as pulling obstacles towards you or vice versa. This mechanic creates moments that are not too dissimilar from active time events – basically making sure you time everything just right in order to proceed. Ebony and Ivory return respectfully as your duel pistols, allowing you to chain together combos when you need to get closer to an enemy before continuing your onslaught. All this, alongside various new abilities and other weapons that you earn, if used in good variety and without taking damage will reward you with high scores and a sense that you have just kicked some serious ass.
The real beauty of fighting in this game is that before it happens you get dragged into a plane between earth and hell. This is the place where the demons lie hidden and try to kill you. And I use the word beauty very lightly, as although the animation can look great at times, when there is too much happening on screen it can certainly look a little tacky and used- especially when textures don’t pop in straight away. This is usually only during the scenes where you are in limbo, and you could argue that it adds a certain finesse to the morbid craziness of “hell on earth”. This being said, it is simply great fun to have the world changing around you whilst you’re attempting to either run through obstacles, or hack away at your enemies.
Seeing words emerge on the walls reading “KILL DANTE” as you fight, or even seeing the screen change to the look of a blueprint – as you recall past conversations with Kat and Vergil – add even more style to the game. Certain boss battles are well thought out too – fighting a demon news reporter being one of the strangest things to happen in a Devil May Cry game – and it’s ideas like this that more than make up for it’s slight hindrance in certain aspects of the animation. And besides, the game looks great when you’re out of limbo anyway. I just wish the marionette enemies would make a return since their only appearance in the first Devil May Cry.
The game will last you a good 10 hours. So, what is there to bring you back for more? Well, there are 21 secret missions to unlock which are essentially challenges. You can find them at different points through different levels, and you will need copper keys to unlock them, which can also be found in secret areas. Some you will not get to discover or access first time around, but with new weapons and abilities gained it just gives you more of a reason to play through the game again and discover them all. These weapons and abilities will also carry over if you decide to take on the game on one of the 4 harder modes, which will unlock in turn as you complete the game again on each one. If you thought the game was hard enough as it is then this will be a true challenge for you. As such there is also a training mode where you can better yourself in preparation for this. As for me? I can’t wait to try the game again on a harder mode and offer myself a bigger challenge. Artwork and costumes can be unlocked too, and although some of the art looks stunning it’s not necessarily something that would bring you back for more like the various modes and secret missions.
Dante is back – new, improved, and better than ever. Some may shun the gameplay for being too repetitive, or the game itself for being too short. Anyone who has played Devil May Cry before will know that it is all about how you kill your opponents, with true style, and perfecting it before you come back for more and more on harder difficulty modes. Just be prepared to have a lot of patience if you want to take on Dante Must Die mode! Speaking of which, how about DMD Dante Must Die for a sequel? You like that? I came up with it all by myself!
Hack N Slash games are a dying breed and to be honest, they rarely tend to impress. However, the Devil May Cry series has always managed to succeed even if the gameplay has remained extremely similar throughout. DmC could be the best of the bunch since the original Devil May Cry hit the shelves in 2001. It could even surpass the likes of God of War, in gameplay if not in presentation. Failing that it is simply a great entry into 2013.
Fast-paced, fun and stylish gameplay
Excellent characters and decent story
Extra modes to bring you back for more
Slightly too short
Minor animation issues
DmC has beaten my expectations. I thought it would be near impossible to improve on gameplay that would never have seemed to have much else to offer. The reinvention of a younger Dante, whose character seems more real and likeable than before; a decent, sometimes gripping story, with non-stop fun gameplay throughout - this will appeal to long-term fans and newcomers alike.
The brand new trailer for DmC sees Dante waking up to the worst hangover ever and doesn’t even have time to get dressed before being set upon by demons and worse…DmC Devil May Cry Review,