While the game was originally revealed at TGS 2010 and caused quite the uproar in the gaming community upon its debut it seems that Ninja Theory has gone through plenty of trial & error and has finally made a game that Devil May Cry fans have been waiting for since Devil May Cry 3. The game isn’t a sequel to any of the previous titles and is being taken as “Devil May Cry 5” which is inaccurate. The game takes place in the early days of Dante and is completely different from its predecessors in all aspects. Combat is simplified, graphics are great and the game play is more focused on platforming than ever before.
Devil May Cry starts off simple, you play as Dante; the Son of an angel and a demon and the end result is a “Nephilim”, a Demon / Angel Hybrid. While this is a step back from the story of the previous games it seems that Ninja Theory is working on a new angle for this new Dante, we even see how Dante and Vergil were before their bad blood feud in Devil May Cry 3. Dante is an orphan who is living on his own in a trailer and is living the life on the fast lane full of excitement and promiscuity but all that comes to an end when he as a “nude” awakening from “Kat” who is sent to retrieve him for a mission and from there the game progresses. Dante later on discovers that Kat is under the orders of his twin brother, Vergil and he learns all about his bloodline. A story of how their Angel mother “Eva” was slain by Mundus and their demon father “Sparda” was made an eternal prisoner of the merciless demon king. Dante seeks to rid the world of Mundus and his corruption once and for all.
The main personalities you meet in this game are young Dante, a psychic named Kat who has been appointed by Vergil to help you on your journey and she does provide help to you now and then. Vergil is as different as Dante from the previous games, he is calm and collected and organized, Kat is a well written character whom starts off as a mysterious character becomes more interesting later on in the story and Dante himself is somewhat well interesting but he has that rebellious “punk” attitude and he is always full of angst but at the same time doesn’t over do it. He is right in the middle of being hate able to being a good protagonist, but that is for you to decide.
Dante is now better than ever, in the previous games you had to go through the pause menu to arrange your assortment of weapons and experiment with them for the ultimate combo mastery but it seems that Ninja Theory thought outside of the box and has instead refined combat to a new level. With a press of the shoulder / trigger buttons you can switch from rebellion to an angelic Scythe or a demonic Axe, with the axe being capable of damage but costs speed and time the scythe is great for speed, maneuverability and crowd control but falls short of doing damage compared to the scythe. When these weapons aren’t being used to cut enemies apart these can also be used to carry out other functions such as “Angel Lift” where Dante pulls himself towards an unreachable surface and its counterpart, “Demon Pull” comes to use when you want to bring an object to yourself which once again is part of the platforming portion of the game. But these abilities can also be used in combat to reach enemies or to bring them to you. But the scythe, rebellion, Axe and Ebony & Ivory are only a FEW of the weapons you will end up getting, we all know a Devil May Cry game is NOT complete without a good set of weapons for the player to fall back on and utilize for every combat scenario.
But these weapons serve one last purpose which I felt unnecessary and restrictive, from the course of your progression you will eventually stumble upon enemies of a particular color, they can vary from Blue to Red and can only be damaged with the use of the relevant weapon type, so if you have gotten used to being a master of the scythe then a red demon boss whom you HAVE to defeat with the demon Axe and vice versa, this will come to be as a hindrance to you if anything else. Especially since most of these enemies you encounter later on in the story get mixed with the regular enemies and soon your rhythm is off and you HAVE to start over if you get hit and lose your style point ranking which as we all know is a pain.
The only other real complaint I have is there is no auto-lock. In the previous games you could choose the enemy you wish to pay your attention on but that mechanic is now gone from this game, while it is still there and is primarily “invisible” you never really know where Ebony & Ivory will shoot or which enemies your demon pull will bring towards you unless you are absolutely sure of the direction you are facing.
Another thing that really amazed me was the AI; the AI will adapt to your style of combat and adjust accordingly. You must always be versatile and unpredictable in combat otherwise if you think mindless button mashing will get you that SS or even a SSS then I am afraid the enemy AI will simply not let you do so. If you repeat a pattern too much then the upcoming enemies will adapt to it and you will have to think out of the box. This really is a great way to encourage some more “out of the box” thinking for the player and works great for new comers of the series as well as returning veterans. My first playthrough was on “Nephilim” (Hard) and I was able to breeze through it while being a mediocre player of the previous games and being confident in hack and slash games in general, but the AI can be really challenging at times and unless you are thinking of new strategies you will inevitably be defeated by the enemies and soon it will become a nuisance for you.
Compared to the previous Devil May Cry games and seeing as how we are going into the VERY early years of Dante which even pre-date the original game where he is a grown adult and has an enjoyable appointment with Trish, The game is able to stand on its own two feet. While this isn’t the same Dante you have come to know and love you soon will, why? Well for starters the combos in the game have been significantly simplified to where you don’t need to be an EVO professional to have the combos wrote learned in order to execute a stylish “SSS” Rank Combo. While some people say that the combat has been “made easier / childish” I would like to disagree and weigh in on the opinion of others who are also veterans of not only Devil May Cry but also other hack and slash games and each of them had their qualms with DmC at first but they grew to love it and have yet to put the game down since the launch.
The boss fights are unlike any of the previous games, this time the game will have you make use of platforms and other parts of the stage to defeat the boss, while the mechanic of “Stab X to win” is still present, the game will make you work hard for it and will always keep you on your toes for the next obstacle.
While we are on the subject of obstacles I would also like to mention the absolutely AMAZING job Ninja Theory has done in level design, at any time in the game players will be dragged into “Limbo” which is a universe that exists between the real world and the demon world, and this transformation is perhaps the most amazing thing you will ever see in any Devil May Cry game, the city breaks apart, roads fly away or simply disappear and you are only left with a large remains of a once “connected” structure. You will have to use the afore mentioned “Angel Lift” / “Demon Pull” to be able to masterfully traverse these harsh and at times unforgiving terrains as some of them require flawless execution of button press between jumps. You are able to shape the world around you to your advantage and the latter abilities aren’t simply for moving large chunks of land but also come in handy when Dante and his enemies have an enormous gap diving them and you can simply use demon pull to make them fall to their deaths as you pull them towards Dante.
While the game has completely shifted away from puzzles and has taken to the world of platforming I see this as a welcome change and am grateful that my progression in the game wasn’t going to be hindered by me scratching my head for hours on end trying to figure out the “devilishly” tricky puzzles of this game.
While the console versions of the game are running on the Unreal Engine and are supposedly running on 30FPS it is almost impossible to even see said FPS. I have seen frame rate dips and slowdowns in many PS3 games but this occurrence was SUPER rare in my experience with the PS3 version. I am not saying it didn’t happen but if it did I would need to observe it very closely to actually see it.
The graphics have been significantly vamped up from the previous games. My favorite part would definitely have to be the slick finishers of the last enemy being ripped apart by your killing blow and the camera slowing down on you as you do it! This definitely made me more excited to make my finishers all the more “fancy”.
The console version of the game looks spectacular and really well made; I really can’t find a complaint against the graphics because the environment, bosses and other enemies really looked amazing as I tore my way through them.
The game world is absolutely breath taking, one minute you are walking down the human world with Kat and the next minute you are being dragged into Limbo by Mundus, the transition between these events is simply too well done and at times it’s a work of art! There is just so much “aggression” in the air and you know that unlike other games where green is the peaceful color palette you will have to learn to make do with darker shades of brown and red. The levels alone were a good part of the experience but the real icing on the cake are the over the top boss battles, without spoiling much I can tell you that some of the bosses you face are truly well animated and designed and should definitely keep you entertained throughout the battle, while I can’t go as far as to say the facial animations are on par with Halo 4 or L.A Noire I can say that the facial expressions and detail in the characters is absolutely splendid!
The PC version is a fairly well done port and can run on most systems fairly easily, the game also comes with Nvidia 3D Vision support and Eyefinity Support and runs at a silky smooth 60+ FPS with little to no difficulty.
As I mentioned earlier, the voice acting of the main characters is well done and makes them believable and actually shows the level of effort put into the acting. The most important part of any Devil May Cry game would have to be the loud, powerful music to motivate you to swing your blade and shoot your pistols in the groove! And this time the music was composed by Noisia and Combichrist and while I was skeptical at first about the early music I heard I have to say that the in-game music with a combination of the combat music really does an excellent job of making the player completely focused on the action happening on his screen and encourages the player to follow the beat and rhythm of the music and match his sword play to it.
Another place where the sound is used brilliantly is in many sequences of the game where a deep dark demonic voice will shout commands at the enemies such “KILL HIM” Or “STOP HIM” (referring to Dante of course) and at start these voices DO send a chill down your spine and even if they catch you off-guard and can even scare you (especially if you have a good sound system)
I will not go as far as to say that this is the best Devil May Cry as that is a topic of discussion for another day, I am judging this game as a new game and not going to compare it to its original series, while I did not like the lack of manual aim or the enemy specific combat mechanics (blue enemies killed with blue weapons and vice versa) I can easily say that DmC was definitely a great surprise to start off the new year! I would have to say that this is the best game this month and hopefully Ninja Theory can learn from their mistakes made in THIS game and improve upon them in the future.
The game had great gameplay, story, voice and sound design and was a great way to kick off the amazing gaming year of 2013 into gear! While I was never skeptical of this game and was always optimistic about the game I am glad I gave this game a chance and am relishing every minute of it. The AI really provided me a challenge; the game was very interesting to play and was never full of dull moments.
In order to get completion (100%) You will have to revisit all of the stages at least once with new weapons, equipment and techniques to collect keys that open secret mission doors and free lost souls which were previously inaccessible to you if you wish to earn that 1000G / platinum in this game. So the replay value of this game is easily stretched out by the expansive difficulty levels and the incentive of getting all the collectibles.
All in all this game is the complete package if you want a game without any multiplayer and you want to dive back in to the world of demon hunting after having a long dry spell, if you are a fan of the series and are the least bit skeptical about this game, then take the advice of a fellow “used to” skeptic (me) and just buy this game! You will NOT regret it.Date posted: January 27, 2013