GAME NAME: DmC: Devil May Cry
DEVELOPER(S): Ninja Theory
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
GENRE(S): Action, Hack ‘n Slash
RELEASE DATE(S): 15 January 2013
Imagine a world where the devil is in charge. Not hell but the real world, the one we live in. The devil controls powerful figures, the media, banks and more. He does this all through debt control. This is the world Dante finds himself in, in Devil May Cry, as Mundus seeks to exercise his power over the world and control everything. Permanently.
Dante and Mundus have a bit more history than that, as the latter is responsible for the death of the former’s parents. A life has been taken away from Dante, a life that he can barely remember, but with the aid of others he starts to piece it together and starts to plot the downfall of Mundus. It feels slightly surreal discussing the story of a Devil May Cry game, but that is what Ninja Theory does so well. They create worlds and characters that we are forced to care about, and this is something that DmC: Devil May Cry excels at.
Dante meets a medium named Kat who can open portals between the real world and the demon world and Dante also meets his brother Vergil who runs an organisation called The Order, which is set on bringing Mundus down. Dante and Vergil are Nephilim, children of an Angel mother and Demon father. Nephilim are an extremely powerful breed of being thanks to their two natures and that makes Dante and Vergil the only ones that can bring Mundus down. Mundus realises this loose end exists (thanks to Dante being a little less than subtle) and tries to take out Dante before it is too late. Dante… has other plans.
Dante’s new look has been a contentious issue, one that has plagued Ninja Theory and Capcom ever since the game was announced. I can confirm that as a big fan of the series I have not been bothered one bit by the change in look of the main character. In many ways I even prefer it, but what is most important is to note that Dante is still the same nonchalant, big-headed, sarcastic, facetious badass that he has been throughout the series. None of the character has been lost at all, and those focusing on just his look really need to get over it.
The DmC games are notorious for their combat, with combos the order of the day. DmC: Devil May Cry does not let up in this area at all. Dante has 3 forms, human, Angelic and Demonic and each form has different weapons to use. Of course Ebony and Ivory return, Dante’s loyal pistols, along with Rebellion, his trademark sword. But Dante also unlocks more weapons along the way, each with a different power set and with each weapon being effective against particular enemies. The combat is as entertaining as ever as players will try to string combos together using the various weapons. The better your combo the better your score will be at the end, because Dante is obviously all about style. For those that have never played a DmC game, you will get skill points per mission for effective and varying combos, for taking little damage, for mixing up weaponry, for finishing in good time and for not using any aids. This results in a mission score at the end, with leaderboards available to compare your scores with friends.
Upgrades to abilities, weapons and moves make the combat even more in-depth as Dante takes on hordes of demons in the world of Limbo. This world is parallel to the real world but cannot be seen by ordinary people. One of the most amazing parts about the game is how Limbo has been created. The world splits apart in front of Dante’s eyes and results in a completely different outlook on the terrain. Dante will have to use his abilities to get from platform to platform while taking on enemies that the world spits out at him. Cities that attack Dante, a club level that runs like a game show, or how about a tower’s reflection that happens to be the actual tower in Limbo? DmC has it all really with some of the best level design ever seen all culminated in the last chapter which was one of the best, most unique levels I have played in the current gen. You have to see it for yourself. The word ‘special’ comes to mind.
There are many enemies that plague the demon world of Limbo. Some old foes return such as Harpy’s and witches – both of which have been re-imagined brilliantly. There are plenty of new enemies also and Dante is never short of something to say about each of them. The great thing is that each enemy has a weak spot, meaning that you have to time and plan your combos to be effective. It means that you can’t just mash buttons together and hope for the best. If you don’t use the correct weapons at the right time you will lose momentum. You also have to learn when to dodge attacks meaning that concentration will be of utmost important when playing. And of course you can use Dante’s Devil Trigger, which is a some nice throwback to the previous games in the series and which gives Dante a considerable advantage for a brief time.
The boss battles have always been a highlight of any DmC game and this is another area where DmC: Devil May Cry stands out. From the very first boss where you fight a Hunter you realise that Ninja Theory have put a lot of effort into making the battles memorable experiences. Once more you will need to figure out weak spots and be strategic around how you attack and defend, making it a rewarding experience.
There is much more to DmC than just combos and fighting. The platform sections are pure bliss as Dante uses all his abilities to get across Limbo in one piece. There are lost souls which need finding on each level, as well as keys to unlock doors and secret missions. These secret missions range from killing a certain amount of enemies in a short time, to more restricted missions where you can only use one type of weapon. Complete these missions and you get a reward which will come in handy at some stage.
DmC also has plenty of difficulty levels to enhance replayability. At the start you can choose between an easy, medium and hard level, but complete the game and a new mode opens up, complete the game in the new mode and more modes will unlock also. These modes make the challenge even tougher, with one hit deaths, or more waves of enemies for example. That is not all, as Bloody Palace mode will be added for free shortly after release, which is another mode to keep you busy.
DmC: Devil May Cry is one of the most enjoyable hack ‘n slash games I have played in years. Everything about the game is as solid as one would hope. It should more than satisfy long-term fans of the series and is likely to bring in some new fans also. The music, combat, visuals, enemies and story come together to make an action-packed experience not to be missed. Forget about Dante’s look, buy DmC and go kick some demon ass!