Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry reboot has attracted much controversy, chief of which is the decision to give series hero Dante a radical makeover. While the original demon-killing badass was very much Japanese-influenced – right down to the flashy red coat and white hair – DmC’s Dante looks more like he would be seen auditioning for The X Factor. Wielding undeniable swagger, contemporary clobber and a new hair cut, this hero is very much Ninja Theory’s baby.
Yet despite all the moaning and groaning from fans over the new-look Dante, we feel that he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his Capcom stable mate, and has plenty of merits of his own. As such, having finished DmC and coming away highly impressed, we decided to cobble together 5 reasons why we love new Dante. Yes, some of our reasons are tongue-in-cheek, but since when did DMC take itself seriously?
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1) He’s half-Angel, half-Demon
One of the most emphatic changes that Ninja Theory hammers home is Dante’s origins. Unlike the original, who was born of a Demon and a human, DmC’s hero is Nephlim; that is, half-Angel and half-demon. This new spin adds even more dimension to Dante’s character, as he is able to wield both Angel and Demonic powers, expanding his already ample arsenal even further. Not only that, but it creates something of an internal struggle in our hero, as he never quite feels where he belong, and not being human can’t quite bring himself to feel part of our world. Overall, we feel the Nephlim concept is far more intriguing and we would like to see it explored further.
2) He gets on with his brother
The conflict between Vergil and Dante in the original games was an undeniable highlight; sibling rivalry usually does make for a compelling backdrop. However, we’d always wondered what Dante would be like if he teamed up with Vergil from the outset, and DmC offers just that. The pair share great chemistry, and their banter is some of the more amusing dialogue in the whole game. What we have here are two highly disparate personalities – Dante’s rambunctious nature is often contrasted with Vergil’s elegant, more refined qualities – and as a result makes for a memorable ‘partnership.’
3) Devil Trigger evokes classic Dante
Dante may look different, but there’s still a few nods to his previous incarnation too. Most prominently, we see the cocky Nephlim receive a makeover during Devil Trigger mode, complete with red coat and white hair. While we embraced Dante’s new look, we found it admirable that Ninja Theory opted to doff its cap to the classic aesthetic we all know and love, while still maintaining its own creation. If that wasn’t enough, you can also obtain a white-haired Dante costume after completing the game, and there’s a cheeky nod to old-school Dante near the beginning, where after existing a clothes shop a white wig lands on Dante’s head, to which he replies “Not in a million years” to himself in a mirror. It’s a great little dig at the whole controversy surrounding Dante’s new appearance, and Ninja Theory’s way of saying ‘this is our game.’
4) He’s a babe magnet
Yes, you read right. Whereas old-school Dante had his way with women, much of his exploits remained ambiguous; did he and Trish get it on, or was it strictly a professional relationship? New Dante however, doesn’t muck about: we first meet him in a club pulling a couple of stunners, who he then takes back to his trailer and proceeds to have his wicked way with them. And judging from the scratches on his back and the lip-stick-penned message on his arm, it was a pretty productive night. We love this side of Dante; the apathetic, rebellious persona he carries at the start of the game is something we rarely saw of his predecessor, even in his younger days in DMC3. Hey, a demon killer’s gotta get his kicks somehow, right?
5) He’s the connoisseur of combos
The heart of DMC is always about the dynamic combo system, and in that respect, Dante doesn’t disappoint. His arsenal, augmented by Angel and Demon powers, is just as diverse and refined as the original hero’s weapons load out, and capable of delivering some stylish hack ‘n slash action. In fact, Dante actually has it better than his predecessor, as he can now grab foes or pull himself towards them, something which only Nero had the ability to do in the original games. This affords some of the most comprehensive – and at times, difficult – combos in the series to date, and allows Dante to switch instantaneously between weapons to rain down death in the most stylish manner possible. Furthermore, the motion-capture is superb, and you really get to feel the weight of the weapons our hero wields; sometimes his cock-sure nature gets the better of him, misjudging swings so that he buckles under foot briefly. As such, Dante feels more alive and dynamic than ever before, and we love him for it.
Love or hate Dante's new look? Let us know in the comments section below.