When the first concept arts were released with a new Dante and it was told the series will be getting a reboot by Ninja Theory, creators of Enslaved and Heavenly Sword, fans of the devil hunter, me included, were worried and blamed Capcom for losing its identity and turning Devil May Cry into a generic hack’n’slash game. Now the new (and improved?) Dante has come to us with his new tale on saving mankind from the forces of evil. I can happily raise my hand and admit how I was wrong… partly.
DmC takes place in Limbo city, where demons live among humans, but in a parallel universe named Limbo, hidden to the human eye. In the middle of all of this we have Dante. A juvenile, foul-mouthed, ladies man and part-time demon killer, who also happens to be a Nephilim. The big bad guy this time is a demon named Mundus who has ruled over the world for millennia and is now controlling the people with not fear nor brutality, but with soda drinks and news stations, propaganda at its best! He is also responsible for the murder of Dante’s mother and the imprisonment of his father, Sparda. Mundus sees Dante as a threat and therefore tries to eliminate him. Dante survives the assault and shortly after is confronted with “The Order”, an organization dedicated to destroying Mundus. Now with the help of Vergil, Dante’s brother, he seeks vengeance for his parents and the salvation of all humanity.
The plot of DmC has a great start introducing the interesting setting and characters, but it never really takes off grabbing your attention. You just play the game to progress without being engaged to the story. Though, cutscenes are a joy to watch and the facial expressions of the characters really bring them to life showing their emotions. Unfortunately the dialog isn’t nearly as good. Dante’s lines are trying to be good punchlines, but they mostly fall flat to only cursing, with some exceptions. I personally like this kind of smack talk, but after hearing Dante say “F*ck you” to every enemy boss, even I crave for more variety.
That’s not saying Dante is lacking personality. He has it, but it needs to be refined for it to stand out from the mediocre crowd. Later in the game DmC introduces new characters, that feel out of place, and tries to spice things up with a couple of twists in the story,but they feel forced and predictable just like the ending of the game that sets up the sequel.
The shining star, or rather supernova, of DmC is the city Limbo itself. When Dante goes from the human world through portals to Limbo to fight demons, he goes into a whole new world. A world that has amazing scenery, a world that is parallel to the human world, a world that tries to kill you. Yes, the city forms, closing and opening new paths for you to take. Seeing a shipping yard in ashes and floating containers is one thing, but being inside a tv newscast or running on neon lights in a club is a whole other thing. You will be stunned by the level design and one can only imagine how long it took Ninja Theory to make them the way they are. Kudos for that.
Combat has changed to a little slower approach,but still has the fast and action-packed combat feel to it you can expect from DmC. You start off with your signature
Rebellion sword and your dual pistols. Later you earn the ability for “Demon” and “Angel” powers, which are activated by pressing either one of the trigger buttons. Both powers include two weapons that differentiate from each other. Demon weapons rely on pure power and destruction, but are slow. Angel weapons are geared towards crowd control and are fast to use, but do minor damage. You also get two additional guns, a powerful shotgun and a gun, that shoots explosive rounds. Above all this, you have Dante’s signature Devil Trigger that turns him into a full demon making killing enemies a breeze. It also acts as a homage to the original DMC series, but personally I thought he looked dumb with white hair.
With this kind of arsenal you can kill enemies in a lot of creative ways. It takes time, but after mastering your weapons you can experiment with different combos and even use, if you wish, every weapon in a huge, destructive combo! It’s even encouraged because of style points. The more diverse combo you can make and maintain, the more points and better rank you will get. But beware, getting hit will reset your score. At the end of each level you are graded and, based on your performance, given a rank and skill points that you can spend learning new abilities or improving your weapons.
Because of the variety of weapons, the enemies on the other hand are a bit of a let down. Sure, there are enemies that require different tactics and specific weapons to kill them, but the designs are generic and you have basically seen every enemy type half way through the game. The boss battles are fun to play though, requiring you to learn the attack pattern and striking at the right moment.
Aside from the combat platforming has a big role in DmC. With the new weapons comes also Demon Pull and Angel Lift that let you either pull Dante towards objects or objects towards Dante. (They can also be used in combat against enemies). These sections are quite frequent in the game. First they are simple “pull-pull” actions, but towards the end of the game they get trickier eg. “pull-pull-dash-lift-pull-dash” that require more finesse from the player, but after seeing Dante flying over the beautiful scenery feels rewarding and is a real treat for the eyes.
The game gives you some incentive to replaying. Though, DmC doesn’t have any multiplayer component, it has online leaderboards for each mission and after completing the game you can start a NG+ with all of your unlocked weapons and skills. DmC has multiple difficulty settings from very forgiving to die in one hit, so everyone will likely find the most suitable for them. But you need to complete the game multiple times in order to unlock all the difficulties. Another thing you can do is finding all the collectibles from Lost Souls that give you more souls (money) to keys for opening mini challenges gaining more health or more devil trigger.
In the end DmC is a good game. The weak story is unfortunate, but the stylish combat and absolutely amazing level design make up for it. The reboot was, if you may call it, successful and this was a good first entry to the series. I just hope when the inevitable sequel comes along, they will hopefully improve on the story and the character of Dante. Then it’s going to be crazy!
Score = 4/5
Will you play it in 12 months = No
Available On: PS3, X360, PC
By Kari The Platinum Stig
Game purchased by Reviewer
Images from Capcom