DmC: Devil May Cry Review
- Posted January 14th, 2013 at 07:31 EDT by Michael 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
(continued from previous page) ...These are can be used to purchase items such as healing stars and yellow orbs allowing you to continue from the spot if you kick the bucket. More crucial however are upgrade points, which you spend to enhance your move set, increasing the potency of an existing move or learning a new technique outright. You’ll farm these from scoring high chains and from secret missions, which are unlocked by hunting down and using special keys throughout the environment. Some require a bit of thorough searching, adding a nice dimension to the otherwise linear rollercoaster that makes up DmC’s dazzling locations. Likewise, freeing lost souls rewards you with copious amounts of red orbs, giving you plenty of excuse to venture off the beaten path where available.
Meanwhile, punctuating the lengthy combat sequences is some pretty intense platform segments. Many of the locations are broken up into floating platforms, requiring some pretty precise leaping on Dante’s part. These also make use of our hero’s Angel and Devil powers, requiring you to switch between the two in order to pull yourself towards an objective or literally pull chunks of the environment toward you, creating a platform. My feeling is they could have been even more challenging, perhaps forming the basis for some interesting environmental puzzles and offering a more cerebral take on the DMC series. Alas this wasn’t to be, but they nonetheless offer a welcome break from the bread-and-butter swordplay. Even more compelling are the bosses. Indeed, these are very much a culmination of what players have learned up until a specific point, interweaving platforming and combat into one challenging, blood-pumping spectacle. Hacking away isn’t an option here; a dollop of strategy will be required to quickly and efficiently dispatch whatever hulking monstrosity blocks your way, so be prepared to dip deep into your arsenal.
Visually, Ninja Theory has put their stamp on DmC, there’s no mistake in that. The western influence is palpable, from Dante’s swagger and cheeky Union Jack-adorned coat, to Limbo City’s demonic playground of corruption and consumerism. Things get even more dynamic however, when the bustling metropolis drags Dante into Limbo. This hellish environment brings out the demonic undercurrent that runs throughout the city; roads crack revealing gaping chasms, buildings are reduced to rubble, and graffiti-ridden walls paint a bleak tale of things to come. Even more impressive are some of the smaller locations. There’s a seemingly innocuous nightclub that transforms into a vibrant, demonic play house - complete with thumping speakers and neon-lit pathways that can only be traversed by having Dante switch between Angel and Demon powers – to a heavenly realm filled with sumptuous vistas.
The story, while quite absurd, is told via some stylishly-realised cut scenes, and thanks to some decent voice acting holds up pretty well. Dante’s expletive-filled pre-battle rants are sometimes a bit contrived, though he mellows somewhat as the game approaches its climax and develops a little more sensitivity to the situation and those around him. The soundtrack is just what you’d expect from a DMC game: brutal, fast and chock full of growling vocals that complement the frantic combat to perfection. With 20 missions to tuck into, the game provides plenty of bang for your buck, and with multiple difficulties, concept art and the desire to increase your overall mission grade available, you’ll be plugging away at DmC for months to come.
Overall, DmC: Devil May Cry is a superb reinvention of a classic series. Regardless of your opinion of the new-look Dante and his rejigged backstory, DmC plays just like any of its precursor titles, while adding its own flavour in terms of aesthetics and emphasis on platforming sections. All in all there’s not a great deal to fault here; some load times are a bit on the lengthy side, and there’s the odd hiccup during cut-scenes, but overall DmC is unequivocally one of the most stylish, rewarding and compelling action games you’ll play this generation. Don’t miss it.
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