"Dante The Demon Killer has a nice ring, don’t you think?"
His mother murdered, his Father trapped in a prison of endless pain, rebellious teen Dante joins forces with his twin brother Vergil to liberate a demon ruled earth. Capcom presents a controversial re-imagining of the Devil May Cry series from Ninja Theory, the studio that brought you Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
Ok, lets address the elephant in the room, the controversial redesign of the Dante, since his reveal he has gotten nothing but hate from fans, many referring to him as ‘Donte’ or ‘Dino’ (Dante in name only). While this design may and will discourage some gamers, after playing through the game he does still feel like Dante. At the beginning of the game he is a much younger and immature Dante then we have ever seen previously and comes off as unlikeable and arrogant. This changes however as the plot develops, he begins to mature and find a purpose in his war against evil, because of this he becomes very likable, though his potty mouth is still a little irritating.
The supporting characters are a mixed bag, Michael Fassbender look-alike Vergil is definitely the strongest supporting character, being the only likable one from start, though he is not without flaws with his motives switching almost on the fly because the writers feel the need to make him like the original Vergil instead of his own character though in some areas though he is completely different. Kat only exists to bring out Dante’s good side, yet another tragic female character that was abused as a child. The villains are pretty by the books though surprisingly you feel a slight sympathy for the main villain during the events of the game, even though he’s pure evil.
More importantly how is the gameplay? Fun, very very fun, the fast and addictive combat that has been a staple in the Devil May Cry series returns with force, yet this time it is a lot easier to play, a major plus for newcomers, despite this there is still a lot of depth to it which will attract hardcore fans of the series who by the way will want to start on the hardest difficulty available.
Combat and Weapons rely on Dante’s classic sword Rebellion and Guns Ebony and Ivory along with ‘Angel’ and ‘Demon’ weapons, the blue Angel weapons use fast, low damage attacks that focus on crowd control, whilst the red Demon weapons do the exact opposite, when enemy types that can only be hurt by certain weapon types are brought into the fray it turns combat into a puzzle making you think about what enemies you should be focusing on, this stops the combat from being mindless button mashing which is definitely a strong point. if only the camera wasn’t a pain at times on more than one occasion it decided to freak out during combat. The other problem with combat is the lack of lock on which is strange for a hack and slash, luckily the game seems to know exactly which enemy you want to attack, well most of the time it does.
One of the game’s biggest strong points it is presentation and its level design. We are living in the end days of the Unreal Engine 3 it has been used countless times over this generation since Gears of War. This team at Ninja Theory took the unreal Engine 3 and used it in a special and unique way. The game is set majorly in the world of Limbo, the realm between life and death. With this in mind the creators have the ability to let their ideas for level design run wild. The art style of the environments you will be spending 9 hours per playthrough running through are beautiful, in the course of 20 missions throughout the game you will be in over 10 locations all varied and unique. These range from a strange floating prison, to the opening of a news broadcast and a nightclub (a personal favourite). The Musical score that accompanies you through these stages ranges from pounding club music to screaming metal. The soundtrack as a whole, is patchy. The game has two composers, The Dutch Electronic Music trio Noisia and the Norwegian aggrotech band Combichrist. Noisia score the ambient music and boss fight themes (except the final boss) all other combat music comes from Combichrist. The music composed by Noisia works wonderfully, it’s simply melodies combined with electronic quirks with an underlining hint of aggression creates a wonderful atmosphere to roam around in. However when combat begins these melodies are taken over by stock riff heavy metal, the combat music seems… lazy. Every other aspect of the game has seemed to have been modernised to appeal to a new audience except this one. When you have Noisia on staff (who are currently on top of their game and have never been more popular) there was no need to have another band record combat music.
All things considered, this is a very enjoyable game, and deserves to be a part of the Devil May Cry legacy. The amount of hate and critism this game has received is just a huge overreaction from people who didn’t even give the game a chance. The game play is fun an addictive, the art style is unique and beautiful and the game stands up on its own rights against Bayonetta, the God of War Franchise and the rest of the games in its own series. DMC: Devil May Cry placed a smile on my face which it rarely took away and is definitely worth your time.
Review by Jarrod Beauchamp & Ellis Atkinson
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