DmC: Devil May Cry review – Does the new Devil May Cry title live up to the hype?

There haven’t been that many games that had both so much hype and negative criticism as the Devil May Cry reboot. Capcom announced that Heavenly Sword creator, Ninja Theory, would be taking the demon hunter Dante, and adding their own twist to an action-heavy game where combo and styling are everything. The early game trailers and redesign of Dante left me, a hardcore Devil May Cry fan, upset and wondering the fate of the series.

The early 2010 art and game trailer didn’t do too much for the series as it mostly showcased Dante as a rebel teenager inside a crazy house…an idea that eventually was changed. As time passed new trailers and gameplay footage made the game a bit more interesting. It wasn’t until E3 and Comic-Con that gamers really started to get excited. The new Dante was then added in the roster for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, letting players get a feel for his fighting style and abilities in the game.

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The game focuses on an edgier and younger Dante. He doesn’t have any memories of his past and lives a wild life full of women and danger. He is also rash and and bitter. The problem arises when a young girl named Kat appears to him and warns him that he is being hunted by a demon. After a small scene where Dante who is completely naked, he then flies into his pants in slo-mo as his trailer is getting destroyed. Soon after his sword, “Rebellion”, comes out of his back tattoo.

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All the fighting in the game takes place in “Limbo”. Dante gets pulled into it all the time as the devils and demons try to kill him. With the help of Kat, who is able to use mystic powers, he can enter and leave limbo. She also guides him throughout most of the game. She soon reveals to him she works for “The Order”, a secret organization that’s trying to stop Mundus, a demon who is currently controlling the world and is currently hunting Dante. He then meets Vergil, who he doesn’t recognize until visiting their family home. Dante soon learns he is a Nephilim, a cross between devil and angel, making him and Vergil the only two who can stop Mundus.

Ninja Theory adds some sense of humor when it comes to the previous Devil May Cry titles. My favorite scene is towards the beginning after Dante finds all his clothing, a gust of wind places a white wig on him, making him look like classic Dante. He immediately takes it off and responds, “Not in a million years.”

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Gameplay

Ninja Theory worked to keep the classic style and feel of the original titles while adding their own spin to the mix. Rather than equipping main weapons for Dante, they instead made them secondary weapons using the L2/R2 triggers buttons. These weapons are filed under Angelic or Demonic, which you can cycle through any time in the game once you unlock them by defeating bosses.

The combat system in the game will allow you to battle your enemies with the main weapon from start to finish, or allow you to switch between different weapons, allowing you to extend combos. Dante’s weapons include an axe, throwing stars, a scythe and a pair of gauntlets. These can be improved by upgrading damage or adding more combo moves. Sadly the cancel ability from the other titles is gone.

The better part of the game is that the world itself is your enemy most of the game, the stages will break apart or try to crush you as you rush through enemies or stages, Ninja Theory does a pretty good job messing with you on many occasions causing you to be distracted and fall or get crushed, the incorporation of a psychotic world via limbo is fun factor.

The combo system is back, but has really taken a step down. In previous games you had to be very creative and perform different combos to reach an SSS rank. In this game any combo performed over and over increase the bar as long as you don’t get hit.

Music

The soundtrack to the game is one of the high points. Composed by Noisia, the music has the electronic style from start to finish, where as the originals were more rock based. I still prefer the original rock style with songs like “Devil Never Cry” from Devil May Cry 3, but you can still get into your combos, like the Dance Club music around halfway through the game. The 36-track OST is available to listen to on Soundcloud, if you want to enjoy it without having to focus on slicing your enemies in half.

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Final Thoughts

With multiple modes from Human (easy mode), Devil Hunter (Normal), Nephilim (Hard), Son of Sparda (Very Hard), Dante Must Die (Insane), Heaven or Hell (first hit equals death for either side), and Hell and Hell (Dante dies in one hit while enemies have normal life), you’ll have plenty to do in the game. Dante must Die and Heaven and Hell have always been the best experiences in the previous title, making the game really tough as it tests your skills and reflexes.

The edgier Dante is an interesting take, and while he was just a badass in the original titles, he is more vocal and foul-mouthed. The action sequences and cutscenes are well done, but the weapons do lack that specialty in creating some amazing combos. You can still create some unique and fun ones with Dante’s arsenal though. Unlike the original titles it seems to focus and delve deeper into Dante and his family including Vergil. Vergil however is sort of a disappointment in this game. While he leads “The Order” he lacks that dark evil…that “I need more power” he had in Devil May Cry 3 that made him a villain that fans love. In DmC he has a different attitude and while being more cool-headed he retains all his original move sets, plus one new one you get to see later in the game.

dmc-07_530x330Does the game deliver?

Yes, Ninja Theory’s version of DmC does deliver a fun action-packed games which Devil May Cry fans can easily get used to, thanks to the similarities of the originals. While changing gears the reboot adds quite a bit of what Ninja Theory is known for back in Heavenly Sword. It fits into the game, but at the same time it does take away when it comes to the stylish combos. It won’t be the same experience because if it was, there would have been no need to reboot it the way they did. They do pay their respects and homage to the original series.

It’s worth picking up for sure and includes lots of challenges and modes, with upcoming DLCs to look out for like Vergil’s Downfall DLC (it’s a Gamestop pre-order bonus). Others include the Bloody Palace mode DLC and the recently announced a Dante costume pack featuring a “classic Dante” look.

Grade: B+

Title: DmC: Devil May Cry
Developer: Ninja Theory
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Rated: M
Release Date: January 17th 2013

Chris Del Castillo

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.

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