When Capcom revealed it was going to let Ninja Theory develop and reboot its popular Devil May Cry series, this was met with tepid reception for long term fans of the franchise.
The main thing fans hated was the way the English developer changed the appearance of Dante. His white hair was gone and fans detested his short “emo-styke” black hair.
However, was all this negative reception for the game premature?
As a fan of the Devil May Cry series, I too was sceptical of the way the direction the game was heading towards.
The new Dante reminded me a lot of Hayden Christensen (who butchered the Star Wars prequels) and I did not feel as if Ninja Theory would be able replicate the series’ fast paced combat style of gameplay. Having played and finished the game, I must say that this reboot is actually pretty good.
The main thing I loved about DmC: Devil May Cry is its story and the way Ninja Theory was able to create characters that we can actually care about.
In all honesty, the previous Devil May Cry games did not have any compelling stories and they did not explain to us properly about Dante’s past.
This game is like the Batman Begins or X-Men: First Class for the Devil May Cry series.
When we first see Dante, he’s forgotten everything about his childhood and is just spending his days boozing and sleeping with any girl he can hook up with at his local nightclub.
His life drastically changes when a demon named Mundus (who killed his angel mother) learns of his existence and wants him dead.
Once he meets up with a mysterious human girl named Kat, she introduces him to his brother Vergil who reveals to him his past and Mundus’ intentions of controlling the world.
Without spoiling too much of the game’s story, I was intrigued by it throughout the entire game. Here the game explains more about Dante’s and Vergil’s parents and also why both of them become rivals as seen in Devil May Cry 3.
It’s a perfect prequel to the series and is doesn’t stray too much from the original Devil May Cry canon as initially thought by long term fans of the series.
The one thing that might disappoint fans of the series is the gameplay. Some parts of the gameplay has been retained, but the overall level design and some parts of the combat has changed that might not be received as well by some fans.
For one thing, the previous games played more like the old Castlevania video games. That is to say it was a mix of puzzle solving and finding keys to open locked doors along with exciting combat against many unworldly creatures.
DmC: Devil May Cry however focuses heavily on combat and action only and the level design is mostly linear. Apart from a few platform-style jumping obstacles, there was only one puzzle that you needed to solve in the entire game.
That’s not to say that this game is just a “dumb” hack-n-slash video game because it’s not. The combat in this game is neither too easy nor hard.
The combat is very satisfying thanks to the arsenal of weapons and combos that Dante can accumulate throughout the entire game.
Some of the combos and weapons will be familiar to fans of the series but there are a few new things Dante has added to his repertoire too.
One of my favourites includes a grenade launcher that you can attach onto enemies before you can blast them back to hell.
Dante has “Angel” and “Devil” weapons and they glow blue and red respectively. The Angel weapons allow you to repel to higher places which is very helpful to the aforementioned jumping segments you will have to go through during the game.
The Devil weapons allow you to grab and pull enemies and objects towards you. This is helpful when enemies have shields or enemies that are flying above you.
Graphically, this game is dirty and gritty but done in a good way. The graphics are supposed to look “ugly” because the demons always pull Dante into limbo and he’s never really fighting in the real world in this game.
The visuals are stylistic, although it may not be good for everyone. There is one boss you have to face in a nightclub that has bright flashing lights that might give some people seizures.
Be warned if you have sensitive eyes and want to play this game.
One thing I liked about DmC: Devil May Cry compared to its predecessors is that you can control the camera for the very first time.
The previous games all had fixed cameras that feel very old and outdated playing them in this day and age. Even Devil May Cry still had fixed cameras even though it was only released in 2008.
Another thing I liked about the game is that it focused on having a quality single player experience. If there’s something wrong about modern games these days is that the developer is pressured to include some sort of redundant multiplayer mode.
As a result of this, the single player mode is usually short and rushed.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case in DmC: Devil May Cry as it offers a quality 10 hours or so experience that has a lot of replay value.
You can even challenge yourself even more by choosing even harder difficulty settings when you complete the game.
As a fan of the Devil May Cry series since the beginning, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed DmC: Devil May Cry.
Ninja Theory did a good job of telling Dante’s past and the story is riveting and engaging throughout.
Not to mention the gameplay is full of fast paced action that hack-n-slash fans will enjoy. Hardcore fans of the Devil May Cry series might still dislike the lack of puzzles and “casual” style of gameplay, but they might find themselves pleasantly surprised with the game if they start playing it.
Lasting appeal: 8.0