DMC Devil May Cry: Review
First and foremost, let me be honest. Being a huge fan of the previous four Devil May Cry games, I jumped on the hatred wagon for DMC. I was probably one of the loudest and most obnoxious of the haters that I knew… “They cannot change Dante, he was fine the way he was! I don’t want this scrawny little loser! He is not masculine enough!!” Blah, Blah, Blah… Everyone knows the arguments. But you know what…. I LOVE THIS GAME!!
And I could not be happier to be eating my words.
Our story begins with Dante waking up after a night of heavy drinking and sleeping with strippers, only to find he is being hunted by a powerful demon. After an amusing cut-scene that involves a naked Dante, conveniently placed debris and slow-motion pulling up of pants, with the help of a human by the name of Kat, he defeats the demon and meets his long-lost brother, Vergil. Dante soon learns that he is a Nephilim; a species born from an Angel mother and Demon father, and that they are the only ones powerful enough to defeat Mundas, the demon king. Considering Mundas was the very same demon that murdered his mother and enslaved his father in hell for eternity, Dante obviously had extra initiative to help Vergil in bringing Mundas down. As far as the story goes it’s basically a mash up of the original Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening.
But it is still a Devil May Cry after all, so you can expect to be slaughtering demons by the hundreds in a totally over-the-top fashion. Ninja Theory did a wonderful job of improving on the controls, making it so you can change between weapons much more smoothly than before. With a simple hold of the R2 or L2 buttons (PS3) and Left or Right Trigger (360) you activate your Demon or Angel weapons, thus allowing you to fluidly switch between weapons on the fly. As a result you are able to pull off some amazing combos with this system; it also stops you from using the same attacks over and over again, giving you five full sets of attacks to use at any time you desire.
They also fixed one of the biggest problems I had with the previous games, the upgrade system. Before, you had to spend your hard earned Red Orbs (in game currency) on both items and new attacks and abilities. This made it very difficult to decide between buying a health upgrade and unlocking a new attack for your favourite weapon. However, this has been changed with the simple addition of the White Orb. They are kind of like experience, slowly filling up a gauge and giving you an upgrade point when it gets filled. White Orbs are gained from having style in your demon slaying and finish each level with a high rank, so they are easily obtained, leaving you free to spend your Red Orbs on the important things.
The graphics seem to be a lot smoother and finished than seen previously, and by how fast paced the game is I was very surprised to see how nicely the game ran. Other than a few frame-rate issues during cut scenes and one instance of a texture not loading, it was basically flawless. It’s also great to see how varied the play locations are; one mission you are running about a street and a few later, fighting in a game-show Limbo version of a nightclub that looks a bit like Tron. There is even a boss fight where you go inside an upside-down demonic TV station to fight a giant floating digital head.
I must say I was disappointed at how easy the game was. Playing on the hardest starting difficulty and then the first unlocked difficulty, Son of Sparda mode, I breezed through in a matter of hours. I was shocked to look at my stats and see that I had only died four times and all were due to falling off ledges, thanks to the impossible to aim ‘Angel Boost’ ability. Boss fights seemed more like puzzles than actual fights… Jump, dodge, jump, attack, repeat… and it was like that for most bosses. I miss the days when boss fights were actually hard. I remember being stuck fighting Nightmare in Devil May Cry for weeks! It was only when I farmed enough Red Orbs to buy the Double Jump ability and the most health I could that I eventually defeated him. Even then, it took me about an hour to beat and I finished with the worst rank possible.
They also changed up the way that the Devil-Trigger works. What was once the ability that unleashed Dante’s full potential is now… just… kind of… useless. Where it once temporarily gave the ability fly or summon lightening or run faster or deal increased damage, now it just catapults enemies into the air and holds them there until you either attack them or run out of trigger. You still regenerate health, but other than that, it has no use. The only times I ever used it was when I really couldn’t be bothered fighting a certain enemy, or the one boss where you HAVE to use it to kill him.
DMC Devil May Cry is a solid game and I don’t think I’ve ever had this much pure fun playing a game, since I first played Vanquish. You should be able to finish the story in about six or seven hours, but there is plenty of replay value when you get to the REALLY hard difficulties, where you die in one hit.
If you are a fan or Devil May Cry and were sceptical about this reboot, give it a go. I was very happy for the opportunity to change my mind, and I don’t say that very often.