The rebirth of the beloved Capcom demon hunting series, Devil May Cry, has been highly scrutinized from fans twice over already, voicing their displeasure regarding the design choice for a younger, emo looking Dante. It’s in our nature to be resistant to change, but don’t be afraid, Ninja Theory has done an excellent job delivering not only an authentic DMC experience that stays faithful to the core of the series, but succeeded in crafting a highly cinematic action game that can compete with the best games of this generation.
Leaving humanity behind, in this reimagining of the series, Dante is now longer half-human, but is now a nephilim – a half-demon, half-angel being of untold power. With Rebellion (his sword) and his two favorite girls (the twin pistols Ebony & Ivory), Dante is well prepared for the demons that scour Limbo City in search for him at the command of the demon lord, Mundus. That’s right; Mundus makes a return as the main antagonist. With the help of Virility, a popular soft drink – with a disgusting secret ingredient – and a Fox News-parody network – Raptor News – humanity has become submissive empty shells of their former selves. Vergil, Dante’s twin brother, helps Dante remember his past and the two brothers plot to defeat Mundus for the death of their angel mother Eva and the exile and torment of their demon father Sparda.
The majority of the game sees Dante battling demons in Limbo – a parallel dimension to the real world run by demons. This demonic bizarre world resembles the real world, but with a twist; buildings explode into pieces, roads will contort and crumble, and structures will twist and break apart in the hope to impede Dante’s progress. Everything works together to create living breathing surreal environments that even Salvador Dalí would be proud of.
Switching on the fly between Dante’s slow and powerful demonic weapons and the fast and agile angelic ones is as simple as holding down one of the trigger buttons. Each weapon in Dante’s arsenal contains different ground and air-based attacks and combos providing an infinite amount of combinations between the weapons. Trying to combine all eight of Dante’s weapons in a seamless combo relies on precise timing, but is well worth it to achieve the coveted SSS rank.
Unlike Devil May Cry 4, which focused heavily on using firearms to juggle enemies in the air, the grapple hook attacks for both types of weapons, demonic and angelic, allows you to quickly close the gap between Dante and the soon to be slaughtered demon. It especially comes quite in handy when dealing with the pesky flying enemies.
DmC does so many things right, but it is not without a few glaring issues. Bosses are the weakest part of the entire experience, featuring easily recognizable attack patterns that can be avoided with ease. Most even reuse an area of effect attack that can’t be avoided by evading, but requires the use of the grappling hooks to launch Dante to a new platform. The cutscenes featuring the bosses and the back and forth exchange with Dante are by far more enjoyable than the actual fight against them.
Activating his Devil Trigger ability, Dante transforms increasing his power and gaining health regeneration. Foes are helplessly launched into the air allowing Dante to unleash hell upon them. When it is first acquired, Dante isn’t able to lat in this state for long. Even after upgrading the Devil Trigger, it takes forever to recharge, making it almost useless. I can only recall a mere handful of times where I actually used it.
As with most – if not all – games utilizing the Unreal engine, the PlayStation 3 version of DmC has issues with some choppy frame rates, that don’t appear to be an issue in the Xbox 360 build. Minor texture pop-in however can be seen in both versions, but I’ve only experienced it during the games cinematics and not while actually playing the game. I wasn’t able to test the PC version of the game in time for this review.
Allowing Ninja Theory to reboot the Devil May Cry series has probably been Capcom’s best move they have made in years. The adventure feels fresh, the action and combo system is god-like and Dante’s one-liners hit more times than they miss. The downside, the game ends rather quickly, clocking in around 9-10 hours, but with unlockable difficulties allowing you to play with an upgraded Dante, there are plenty of reasons to play through the missions multiple times – especially if you want to collect all of the hidden items. **** you demons, Dante is back and I can’t wait to see what else Ninja Theory has in store for my favorite demon hunter.
Note: The DmC Devil May Cry review was written based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.