Announced back in 2010 during the Tokyo Game Show (for those who do not know, it is a video game convention that is basically Japan’s E3 or Gamescom), Capcom surprised many about a fifth Devil May Cry game was in production. Not only that, but it was a reboot being developed by Ninja Theory, known for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and the PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavenly Sword. The fans erupted into madness after discovering how Dante was given a completely different design and origin. Capcom and Ninja Theory tried to calm down the chaos by revealing more of the gameplay and behind-the-scene footage, showing how it is similar to the old series as well as trying to give it a new fresh start.
This article will NOT address any spoilers in the game, so any of you who haven’t played the game yet will not have to worry about being spoiled.
What is a better way to start off a reboot to a franchise than by showing pole dancers in a strip club, then having sex with Dante in his trailer home afterward? Dante wakes up butt naked (you know, for the fangirls) the next morning and flashes his junk to Kat, a psychic who rushed to his front door to warn him that he is being followed by the demons and getting dragged into Limbo. After some stylized dress-up, Dante gets into action and kicks a lot of demon ass. Right before the Demon Killer slays a Hunter, the demon refers to Dante as the “son of Sparda” and how they finally located him. Dante is sent back to the real world, then afterward, Kat plead him to help her and the organization she is a member of, The Order, to kill the demon king Mundus. Kat took Dante to the secret headquarters of The Order, where he meets the founder of the organization and twin brother, Vergil.
Admittedly, the story is quite interesting with the whole concept of demons secretly corrupting mankind by brainwashing them through news television and poisoning their soft drinks. Also in how there is a resistance to fight back against the demons. The character who gotten the most impressive re-imagining is Mundus, who is now a humanoid demon that controls Limbo City through debt and spies on every human within the city. However, most of the characters are hit-or-miss. In the first half of the game, Dante is the loner-type, self-centered, and only wanted to kill Mundus for vengeance when he killed his mother Eva. Towards the middle is when he starts cracking out one-liners and that there’s more to humanity than he originally thought. The dialogue is not better either as some of the writing felt too cheesy, like the infamous scene with Dante and Poison.
The Devil May Cry franchise is known to be the father of the modern hack and slash genre, that inspired many titles such as the God of War franchise, the Ninja Gaiden franchise, and the spiritual successor Bayonetta. Like in every other title in the series, Dante is able to perform quick combos with his sword, the Rebellion, and his twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory. Once unlocking it, Dante is also able to switch between Angel and Demon modes. He obtains Osiris while in Angel mode, which is a scythe that can rank up faster combos and grapple onto objects and enemies. In Demon mode, Dante uses Arbiter, a slower but heavy-hitting scythe that can also yank objects or enemies closer to him. A little after acquiring Angel mode, Dante will learn how to glide to help him in platforming bits. Towards middle of the game, the demon hunter will unleash his inner demon and pulls off Devil Trigger, which slows down time and launches every enemy in midair, so Dante can perform aerial combos while regenerate his health.
The combat is fast-paced and pretty fun to play. Everything that is true to the combat from the previous games is here and Ninja Theory did alright with it. Later in the game, it requires you to switch your weapons to attack color-coded enemies (Example: Blue enemies will only get damaged if you’re using your Angel weapons), making you think up a different strategy to defeat them. While the combat is fine, there is some flaws with it. If you have not known about it yet, it is ridiculously easy earning the S rank or better when performing combos. You get points pretty quickly, but you lose two ranks if you get damaged. However, you can obtain those ranks back in an instant if you dodge enemy attacks and fight. Another problem is that the game lacks a lock-on mechanic, making it frustrating dealing with airborne foes. I have to give props to Ninja Theory with the fantastic level design in this game. Every level is excellently designed, brightly colorful, and fun to play through. And don’t get me started on how awesome the boss fight against Bob Barbas was.
The gameplay can be pretty fun to play, even with its flaws. The level design is one of the best you will see in a recent game, which is this game’s major strength. The story, while is really interesting, is brought down by the underwhelming script of dialogue. The new characterizations to Dante and Vergil may or may not win over all of the old fans. Overall, while Devil May Cry 3 still proves to be the best one in the franchise, DmC: Devil May Cry is a well-developed game.