Published on January 22nd, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
DmC: Devil May Cry Review
Developer: Ninja Theory
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC
Release Date: Jan. 15, 2013
Some of us remember playing the first Devil May Cry game years ago, falling in love with the gun-wielding, sword-swinging Dante and the battle with his brother Vergil. However, it seemed to take the series three games to get the full realization of the conflict between the two, and what Dante really is all about.
United Kingdom-based studio Ninja Theory (Enslaved, Heavenly Sword) decided to take the franchise in a fresh new direction with the Dante reboot, DmC: Devil May Cry. Many DMC fans were in outrage over their new, younger Dante, but what fans have to understand is that: It’s not so much how the character looks, but if the story is told in a way that stays true to the franchise. DmC does that.
In DmC, we play as a teenage Dante, before the white hair and all red jacket. The game seems to feature a much more realistic approach to the brotherly conflict than past games in the series. Instead of being a half-demon half-human, Dante is a Nephilim, a cross between an angel and demon. Dante and his brother Vergil, both being of the mentioned descent, is the only biological fusion that can take out the demon king, Mundus. Dante is recruited by his brother Vergil to take down Mundus, the demon king.
Along the journey, Dante is pulled between two worlds: the everyday world as we see it, and Limbo, a world run by demons. It seems that whatever happens in Limbo affects the real world outside.
It is here that DmC starts to show its fangs. Ninja Theory did a really solid job with the combat system and mapped the buttons in a way that is both simplistic and well interfaced. Throughout the game new weapons and abilities are gained (upgrade points are gained and spent to acquire new ones). Red orbs are also collected and are used to upgrade your moves. Combo and weapon swaps are all done on the fly — no pause menus or inventory screens. It is as simple as holding down a trigger button and mashing the standard or heavy attack buttons. These different combinations are Dante’s demon and angel forms, granting him a weapon per form. Aside from these attacks, Dante wields the standard Rebellion sword and his two favorite guns: Ebony and Ivory.
The combo systems works well and feels very fluid. You can enter and exit any form at any time and the controller will vibrate during your combos to give you an idea when to mash your next attack move.
Dante can even pull himself to enemies or bring enemies to him. Doing so won’t interrupt your combo(s). Enemies also are pretty easy to fight off, unless you get enough of them together. Enemy animations will give you an indication when they are set to attack. They will give you a specific gesture, or change color. Some enemies can only be killed by fighting them in a particular form. The forms are Dante’s two powers. His Angel and Demon Powers, which can be used by holding one of the trigger buttons. Battles may seem easy, but do keep in mind the harder the difficulty, the harder the fights. Luckily the game mechanics keep the combat fair.
Unlocking new moves will give you the opportunity to try them before you buy. You can practice these moves before spending your hard earned points.
The world Ninja Theory created for DmC is beautiful. From the real-world environment, to the spirit world of Limbo, every area has a brush stroke art style and thrives in this fantasy world setting. However, even though the world is stylish and combos are fluid, the camera is a pain. There is no lock-on system and, when fleeing, you never seem to get a solid angle. I’ve even fallen through holes in the ground due to the camera not being able to catch up.
Other than the lackluster camera, the game itself is short. DmC can be longer played on harder difficulties, but the general game itself is roughly around nine hours. With a story that is this deep and could have gone in many different directions, the general meat of the game is cut pretty thin.
The end of each mission brings with it what DmC fans have grown to love. At the end of each level, rankings will show you how each mission was completed based on the speed in which you finished and the mound of style points you accumulated. All of these points go towards fans trying to achieve the coveted SSS rank. To achieve the SSS rank you have to go through a level without dying, using a health orb, collect all lost souls and red orbs throughout the course of a mission. You also have to perform combo(s) very well and get a high enough combo chain. These points go toward your upgrade points that can be used to purchase new combo moves and health items.
DmC: Devil May Cry does not feature any multiplayer, but does have a bunch of unlockables, especially if you hate the “NEW” Dante look. If you beat the game on the hardest difficulty you can unlock the classic white haired, red coated Dante from previous games. The re-playability is there, especially if you are a completionist.
The Boss battles are what you would expect from a Devil May Cry Game. Big. Very Big. In fact, each boss battle will require you to utilize all of your fighting forms and combo maneuvers. Some bosses are obviously harder than others, but just as satisfying when you beat them. Some have two to three meters of health, just like past DMC bosses. Each boss acts just like enemy characters. They will give you a quick indication of when they will attack and which move they will use, so it evens the playing field.
DmC: Devil May Cry is a much better game than some of the fanboys may give Ninja Theory credit for. There was an outcry about the reboot, and that it didn’t stick to the true core of the franchise. DmC, however, is the fresh breath of air that the series needed. The combo system works great, and Dante is more of a drawn-out, believable character now. The story is true to the series’ roots. It’s just made with a more believable twist.
It leaves me to wonder how the series will go in the future. I have strong hopes going forward, and anticipate what Ninja Theory will do with its future.
[xrr label=”Rating: 8/10″ rating= 8/10]
+ Solid Story
+ Gameplay Mechanics
– Camera Angle