Ninja Theory has brought something fresh to the table, a new game from an existing franchise. That’s right, Ninja Theory has unleashed a new Dante to consoles with DmC: Devil May Cry. Published by Capcom, one of the company’s most popular franchises makes a return to households in a rebooted title. Released on January 25th of this year for both Xbox 360 and PS3 (both in physical and digital copy), this new title has done what might be the unthinkable: grab what Devil May Cry means and take it to the next level. With a new storyline, new character design, gorgeous and twisted environments, DmC: Devil May Cry is a game to keep an eye on. Keeping the same formula of a hack and slash game, platforming and deep combat, much has changed since the game was first announced.
Dante? He’s back, but he’s different wether we like it or not
Dante is back! with his trusty demonic sword Rebellion and his faithful girls.. I mean guns, Ebony & Ivory. As much as hardcore Devil May Cry fans would like to want the silver haired Dante back, well, it won’t happen. Dante comes back in this reboot title featuring a new look and a new origin. He’s not half demon anymore. Dante is the spawn of a breed between his demon father Sparda and his angel mother Eva. Not only he is back, but also his twin brother Vergil. The DmC Dante might not be as cocky or witty as the previous design of Dante. This Dante is something special. At the beginning of the game, he’s just the typical arrogant who doesn’t need help or doesn’t thinks about other’s safety. He’s just a plain demon killer. He’s not afraid to curse at another demon (which happens in a pretty cool boss fight). His personality does evolve throughout the campaign, but it’s only Ninja Theory’s first game of DmC. This Dante doesn’t like to dress all fancy, he does like his coat though. The final design of DmC Dante did justice to the game as he did manage to fit in with the gorgeous environments.
Environments: Limbo, meet Dante.
Limbo is all that is to know about the environments. There are so many colors involved in Limbo, that it might make someone dizzy or deeply excited to traverse these twisted levels. Every level provides different platforming options, from cages to bridges or wood breaking apart or crates spinning at incredible speeds. Limbo becomes one of the most important aspects of this game for being able to bring something unique. Imagine Dante walking down the street than the floor starts shifting. It brings that sense of not being predictable of what might happen next. Of course, the occasional cutscene gets in the way, but the platforming is interesting, it’s fresh. Also the platforming evolves during the first levels, taking away the necessity of jumping from one place to another while Dante can Angel Boost or lift himself thanks to the Ophion Lift.
Combat: bring all the toys! Dante has some demons to kill
The Devil May Cry series has been known for the character’s ability to be able to pull out flashy and stylish combos against enemies. DmC is not exception, because it simplifies the combat and gives players to necessary tools to go up against hordes of demons. The concept of Dante being bred by an angel mother and a demon father was not only for story purposes. The reason to expand this concept is because Dante has an Angel Mode and a Demon Mode where he can switch freely from one mode to the other, meaning changing between different weapons that provide interesting options. Take for example the Osiris, a scythe giving to Dante to use for crowd controlling, or the Arbiter to lay some good damage against enemies. Angel weapons have the advantage of being fast, but their damage can increase if players keep attacking with it. Demon weapons on the other hand are those that pack a punch, but are slow to execute and can give openings for attacks from the enemies. Here is where the dodge move comes in handy. Usually in previous Devil May Cry games, players had to jump out of tricky situations or continue attacking to avoid getting damaged. DmC makes it different with the dodge button, where Dante can evade an enemy attack and with a certain upgrade, he can increase his damage output or be briefly fast and invincible. What about flying enemies? Angel Lift and Demon Pull come to play here. Muscle memory is going to take a while getting used to since the controller scheme is designed to be switching from Angel and Demon weapons to maximize damage and gain bonus ranks. The popular S, SS and SSS are back and players will know when they achieve this when they hear a brief scream shouting the achieved rank.
Combat deepens as players purchase different upgrades for the collection of weapons Dante will acquire. This can be done through collecting white orbs that can be exchanged to upgrade the arsenal. Another great feature about this new Devil May Cry title is that players can practice their own custom combos through the training option. The right side of the screen shows the possible moves Dante can perform and then players can let their imagination take care of the rest. Sadly, there is only one enemy to practice against with and no rank is being shown from all the different moves that are executed.
The only problem about the combat is that there is no lock-on button. Imagine demon pulling shield from flying demons, then more demons appear and they interrupt the consequent demon pulls and screw up the score.
Extras: What else comes with this sweet game?
Remember the secret missions? they are back and players can replay them whenever they want,but they must unlock them by collecting different keys scattered throughout multiple levels. The reward for completing this missions are cross fragments that will increase Dante’s life by collecting four shards. Multiple difficulty levels can be unlocked by beating the previous levels. The music is produced by Noisia and Combichrist, presenting a mix between electronics music and aggrotech that really fits in with the environments.
Verdict: Should DmC stay or leave?
DmC: Devil May Cry picks up the classic formula and gives it a fresh looks. Combat is accesible and deep, though rewarding. Environments depict a twisted, dark world where players will come to admire for the uniquely approach the developers have taken. Boss fights are incredible and provide different approaches to defeat them. Enemies do belong to the twisted environments as their designs show how varied the strategies players must approach to defeat them. Enemies range from the lesser types to those who can give a hard time to defeat. The music in DmC sets up the mood for Limbo and is rewarding where it motivates players in combat. DmC is an excellent addition to the hack and slash genre and hopefully Ninja Theory develops a sequel.