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Stewart: DmC Devil May Cry Review

BY SAM STEWART | JANUARY 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Crazy stories, insane difficulty, and ridiculous amounts of style are all trademarks of the action-game genre, and few series have ever implemented all three of these characteristics as well as Capcom’s Devil May Cry series.

Capcom surprised fans when it passed the series off to rookie developer Ninja Theory for a reboot and even allowed it to change series protagonist Dante’s look. Fans raged for two years about the new Dante, but when it came to actually playing the game, Ninja Theory proved it knew exactly what it was doing with DmC, creating one of the best action games I have ever played.

At its start, the game introduces us to Mundus, a Demon King that wants Dante dead.

Dante is a Nephilim, the spawn of an angel and a demon, and the only thing that can kill a Demon King. While being hunted by Mundus’s demons, Dante is taken into hiding by a group known as The Order and persuaded to aid them in the fight against Mundus to save humanity.

Ninja Theory takes a few stabs at American culture by having Mundus be the owner of a large bank, controlling humans through liberal news and soft drinks.

DmC’s world feels very different from its predecessors, which mostly focused only on the supernatural, but this bothered me less than the game’s overall crudeness. From the opening scene in a strip club to the talks between Dante and Mundus near the end, the game is much more profane and sexually charged, truly earning its M Rating. Devil May Cry dialogue has always been silly, but DmC is so over the top it was hard not to be put off.

While the story can be a little obtrusive at times, the game makes up for it one hundred times over once you start fighting.

What sets the Devil May Cry series apart is that it isn’t just about killing enemies, it’s about being good at killing them. You are constantly graded on your combat performance, encouraging you to take risks for a bigger combo and better score. The combat has always worked well, and DmC borrows heavily from its predecessors, but Ninja Theory has perfected it with a new weapon system that allows you to switch between all of your weapons by holding a trigger.

By the end of the game, you have quick access to eight different weapons, allowing for an infinite number of attack combinations. Adding to the fun is the plethora of upgrades available for each weapon, all of which can be removed and redistributed at any time.

Combat provides the highest highs during game play, but the terrible platforming sections are never too far away. Your killing sprees will constantly be interrupted by short platforming sections, which start out simple but quickly become convoluted reaction time tests once the game implements two different grappling hooks and an air dash. They are often frustrating, especially when all I want to do is get back to the action.

These platforming elements allow for tons of hidden collectibles to be scattered all over the games levels, but many of them require late game items to access, forcing “completionists” to backtrack or replay the game. This is hardly necessary, considering how much replay value is offered by the seven difficulties.

As for the “New Dante” controversy, he looks fine, and the same can be said for the rest of the game. The normal world is a boring place, but every trip into the ever-changing demon world of Limbo is an exciting one.

Streets crumble and building collapse in an attempt to stop Dante, and the Demon King’s commands appear in giant bolded letters in the environment for all demons to see.

Dante’s movements look great, especially during a long attack chain. Certain enemy designs are slightly disturbing, but that’s just all the more reason to put them down.

Accompanying your danse macabre is a soundtrack filled with heavy metal and dub step perfect for beating your enemies to. Whether you are a fan of the music or not, it fits perfectly with Dante’s cocky attitude and the hellish levels.  

Ninja Theory’s DmC is an unexpected masterpiece and maybe the best Devil May Cry game to date. Even against a tidal wave of fan outrage, it stuck with its vision and proved all naysayers wrong (whether they will admit it or not). Any objections I have to the story or platforming are drowned out by my raving praise for the combat system, and I sincerely hope other action-game developers take good notes when they see this game.

All I can think about is playing more of it, which I intend to do ASAP.

Reviewer Score: 9.25

DmC Devil May Cry
Released: Jan. 15, 2012
Published by Capcom
Developed by Ninja Theory
Cost: $59.99
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
ESRB Rating: M for Mature


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