Straight out of the gate I’ll say this about the Devil May Cry HD Collection on PS4. It is almost exactly the same half-arsed remasters of Devil May Cry 1-3 that released on PS3 six years ago. If you had that, you’ll gain nothing here. Well, perhaps convenience, a slightly higher resolution, and another three sets of trophies if you’re that way inclined. Then again it also means you will own another copy of Devil May Cry 2, and even one copy of Devil May Cry 2 feels like too many.
As such, there’s little point saying too much about Devil May Cry HD Collection. The following points still apply.
- The remastering of all three games is inconsistent. Short of remaking Devil May Cry 2, there was nothing a remaster could do for it anyway.
- It’s astonishing how different each game is from the other.
Now, we’ll have a brief retrospective of each Devil May Cry in this collection, because that’s really all that’s left to do
Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry’s biggest crime is that it makes me feel incredibly old. It’s just over sixteen years since Dante’s debut adventure, and the point I personally thought I’d found my favourite new gaming icon. While it’s a bit of a mess by today’s standards in terms of visuals, I still find it the most ridiculously pleasurable hack n’ slash game I’ve ever played. The combat is simple relatively-speaking, but that really works in its favour.
Devil May Cry so often felt like a love letter to charmingly naff 80’s action horror, as well as the obvious influence (The Matrix). Now time has made an absolute mockery of dialogue that was wonderfully whiffy in 2001, and if you embrace that, and the aged look of it, it’s now even more like a fawning tribute to 80’s action horror. As a result, I have fallen in love with Devil May Cry all over again.
Of course, a combination of nostalgia and it fitting my particular niche plays a big part in that. I still strongly maintain that Devil May Cry’s stylish nonsense stands up in spite of how much it shows its age.
Devil May Cry 2
Perhaps I was lucky that it took until I was in my early twenties before a video game sequel so severely disappointed me. Or it’s simply a testament to how absolutely wrong Capcom got Devil May Cry 2.
Being honest, Devil May Cry 2 is, at least on paper, an okay game. As a sequel to the corniest slice of blood-stained sunshine to ever be captured on a DVD? It is there that Devil May Cry 2 fails.
The tone got a little too serious, the repetitious setup is tiresome, and the combat just does not feel fun. Nothing has changed with time, and while the game looks decent, it again doesn’t feel quite right for Devil May Cry.
It’s truly a firm reminder of the difference a handful of creative people leaving could have on a sequel back in the day. I don’t feel the same anger I once did for it, but in its place is sheer apathy for a dull, uninspired sequel.
Devil May Cry 3
I know there’s a pretty common consensus that this is a huge return to form after the mire of Devil May Cry 2, but a lot of that is simply because Devil May Cry 2 was so utterly bland.
Make no mistake, Devil May Cry 3 is definitely a good Devil May Cry game, probably the third best personally speaking. It still doesn’t quite recapture the goofy spark of the original though, and young Dante is far better executed in Ninja Theory’s reboot than he is here. It is nice to have Vergil more involved though.
The combat though? This is arguably up there as the best combat in the entire series. It remains a satisfying game to play to this day. The style and flow of fights is what encapsulates the feel of a Devil May Cry game as it should be. It’s just a shame it falls a bit short of the goofy personality that made the series famous.
Does Devil May Cry HD Collection Fill My Dark Heart With Light?
The remaster on these games wasn’t great to begin with, and six years later, with no additional tweaks, it’s a tad insulting to be served the same Gothic Gruel. I adore the original Devil May Cry, even now, but it looks really rough in places (especially in certain cutscenes where they never jazzed them up to begin with). Devil May Cry 2 is still a dull fuddled mess, and Devil May Cry 3 remains enjoyable as ever. It’s hard to justify this PS4 version of the HD Collection. It would have an extremely hard task to convince any newcomers curious about the series that this was ever considered a big deal as a franchise. And fans will already have been slightly miffed at the quality of the PS3 version, so what incentive here?
The Devil May Cry HD Collection could have served up a reminder of why Devil May Cry can be something special. Sadly the effort is just not there.