DmC: Devil May Cry Review
- Posted January 14th, 2013 at 07:31 EDT by Mike Harradence
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Forget all the controversy surrounding Dante's new-look. DmC is one of the most compelling action games you'll play this generation.
- Superb visuals
- Intuitive and satisfying combat system
- Great boss battles and varied bestiary
- Linear level design
- Some long load times and brief stuttering during cut-scenes
Rebooting a beloved franchise is no easy feat, as developer Ninja Theory found out when tasked with overhauling Capcom’s iconic Devil May Cry series. DmC: Devil May Cry is the Cambridge-based studio’s take on the 11+ million-selling stylish action franchise, at the centre of which has been much controversy over the new look protagonist, Dante. Gone is the refined white-haired hero of old, replaced with a younger, womanizing punk with a bad attitude and a penchant for potty-mouthed outbursts. To say the reaction to this new look has been polarizing would be a colossal understatement; Ninja Theory admitted things got so bad they were even inundated with death threats. Yet, beneath all the superficial sartorial bitching about the series’ demon-slaying badass, this reboot is as quintessentially DmC as any of its predecessors – perhaps more so, in fact.
DmC takes familiar characters but puts its own spin on the decade old series. Dante is back, as is his brother Vergil, although this time the pair aren’t at war, but rather working together to take down the demon Lord Mundus. At first, Dante doesn’t give a toss about helping out; we first meet him whoring and boozing it up down the local night club and lazing about in his trailer. Things soon change when the demons track him down, mind. Unlike the previous games however, which looked to gothic castles and fantasy landscapes for its backdrop, DmC adds a contemporary edge to the proceedings. Demons wage war on the humans not just with the scythe or sword, but with the backing of multimedia influence. TV networks and addictive health drinks corrupt the weak minded, giving Mundus absolute power over the sprawling, neon-lit metropolis of Limbo City.
At its core, DmC firmly adheres to the adrenaline-fuelled hack-‘n-slash DNA of its predecessors. This also means that the game is largely a linear experience, with little in the way of freedom aside from finding the odd nook or cranny for secrets (more on that later). Combat is the meat and potatoes of the action: Dante is armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons – both in the melee and firearm variety – and aside from making your way through areas, most of your time will be spent massacring a variety of demonic baddies. Of course, killing foes is only a small portion of the combat. The grading system, an intrinsic element of the series’ combat, once again makes a return, encouraging style, variety and precision in your attacks. Players who simply mash away at the attack button will probably dispatch most foes easily enough, but don’t expect to get higher than a D or C. However, those who employ as much at their disposal as possible will start raking in B, A and S ranks.
Dante can mix and match attacks. You can slash at foes with your trusty sword Rebellion, juggle them with pistols Ebony & Ivory, batter them with burning gauntlets and slice them to pieces with the mighty arbiter. Indeed, the amount of possibilities is overwhelming once you unlock all of Dante’s arsenal; however, the intuitive control system makes chaining combos together a breeze. Dipping into your expanded armaments is simply a case of hitting the D-pad (firearms) or holding down either R2 or L2, for either Demonic or Angel powers. The former tends to be more aggressive, while the latter allows for more refined, swifter attacks. As mentioned, keeping things varied is the key to bagging higher scores. Knowing your move set and how each attack works is paramount; simply arbitrarily switching between weapons every few hits may mix things up, but you need to know what you are doing in order to successfully create a winning combo chain. Once you nail things, you’ll be unleashing death in a visceral, bloody hail of stylish slashes and bullets before you know it, making combat a joy to watch and perform.
All of this is tied directly into your overall mission rank as with past games. The higher the score, the higher the grade you’ll receive at the end of a mission. Other staples returning include red orbs, which are obtained from smashing pieces of the environment, slaughtering benevolent, spider-like creatures and most predominantly, from slain enemies. These are can ... (continued on next page)
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