Ninja Theory’s striking reboot of Devil May Cry – also known as DmC – remains one of the most polarizing takes on a beloved franchise in recent memory. Back when it was revealed in 2010, people were quick to jump on the fact hero Dante had changed radically. Gone was the silver-haired demon slayer with the shimmering six-pack and cocksure attitude, instead replaced by a skinny chap with black hair that looked like he should be auditioning for the latest Twilight flick. And yet, folk were quick to ignore the gameplay, which not only adheres to the core template, but throws in a few twists for good measure.
Fast forward two years and it staggers me that people are still complaining over Dante’s look, and even more so slagging off the game itself before they’ve even played it. Now, I prefer the original Dante; he’s iconic, and I’m not a fan of his new look or the need to change the story of his origins. However, I’ve accepted it. I’ve moved on, and am ready to embrace the game itself, which looks bloody fantastic. After all, the core of DMC’s appeal has always been its gameplay, i.e., those intuitive, over-the-top combat mechanics allowing gamers to seamlessly transition between sword and gun-based techniques, racking up insane combos in the process.
Crucially, Ninja Theory’s DmC delivers on this by the bucket load. Dante is able to swap weapons on the fly, but more importantly, his Devil Trigger-style attacks have also been preserved. This time though, there’s a nice twist in the shape of Angel and Demon powers, each one giving him access to new weapons and attacks. This injects a nice flavour of strategy and diversity to the proceeding. Oh, and did we mention Dante reverts to his traditional white hair and red coat combo while in Devil Trigger mode?
In fact, the game features more nods to its predecessors than people give it credit for. The environment of Limbo City is designed to evoke the locations of previous games, being that Dante will be locked in an area when surrounded by enemies. The addition of puzzles too should keep things fresh. Cosmetic differences aside, there really isn’t any reason why fans shouldn’t at least give Ninja Theory’s effort a punt; all the ingredients are there, and from the look of it, there’s every chance we should get that quintessential DMC experience with an intriguing twist through in to the mix.
All in all, I can’t wait for the game to be released and hopefully silence all its critics with what is sure to be one of the best action/adventure experiences of 2013.
DmC: Devil May Cry is due out in January 2013.