A Family Reunion
The game’s story takes place before the original Devil May Cry. Dante’s demonic father, Sparda, who stood up against his netherworld home to save humankind also had another son - Vergil. While Dante perpetuated his father’s altruism, Vergil fell into the clutches of evil. The game retells one of the most dramatic tales of sibling rivalry, as Vergil and his minions from hell challenge Dante to battle.
The fast-paced action game sees Dante chasing his brother and taking it to demons in an imposing tower that springs up mysteriously. Dante is equipped with both melee weapons and ranged weapons and both can be used simultaneously whilst despatching hordes of demons. The game also features a basic but rewarding combo system, which tracks just how well you beat up enemies and ranks you with Style points after each mission. Currency is in the form of glowing “blood” orbs that are left behind from enemies, which can be used to purchase power-ups, new moves, abilities or resume points.
The game also introduces the concept of different fighting styles, granting the half-man, half-demon expertise in four areas--evasive, close-range, long-range, and counterattack and guard. In slight role-playing fashion, each style can be upgraded to develop a specific proficiency and unlock powerful manoeuvres. The combat through-out the game is intense and genuinely fun - however some players can still find themselves generating RSI in one hand after sweating out a battle against an “end of level boss”.
There are also clever puzzles, hidden items and secret missions that keep players on their toes with some levels requiring some serious thinking - something that balances up the typical hack and slash game perfectly. There are also unlockable costumes and plenty of extras to keep players involved if the storyline doesn’t, which would be most unlikely.
Looks Are Everything
Everything about DMY3 is cool. Dante saunters around like a rock star and all of his animations are fluid and stylish. The graphics in Dante’s Awakening show off an impressive layer of polish, which is a sight to behold on the PlayStation 2. Dante has never looked better, with a detailed character model whose expressive face shines during the real-time cinematics that are peppered throughout the game (all of which are cleverly written and translate perfectly with the game). More importantly, Dante’s broad array of movements noticeably reflects the different styles you can choose as you play. Surprisingly, Dante’s foes show off nearly an equal amount of detail, which enhances their twisted and evil dispositions. Best of all, the smooth animation on the enemies brings them to life in an eerie way. While we can understand the motion-captured quality of the animation on the humanoid characters, we’re impressed and disturbed by the less-conventional creatures and wonder just how the team animated some of the game’s multi-legged critters so well.
Luckily the developers have taken care with camera positioning and the game plays out like a well executed movie with effective angle changes and lighting everywhere. Only in a couple of areas is your vision obscured and every scene looks jaw-dropping. The targeting system in the game helps keep the focus where the action is and you can’t help but feel cool as you slice your way through level after level of minions.