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Going for style: A DmC Devil May Cry review

Posted by on January 21, 2013 – 8:45 pm
Dante and Vergil team up in Ninja Theory's DmC.

Dante and Vergil team up to overthrow Mundus in Ninja Theory’s DmC.

Last Tuesday, Capcom released the newest entry into the Devil May Cry series: DmC Devil May Cry. This latest iteration garnered much attention when it was revealed that Ninja Theory Limited (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved) would be taking the reigns and spinning a darker, more modernistic tale for everyone’s favorite demon slayer in this go round. Luckily, this stylistic change brings a much needed injection of freshness to the series and makes it well worth the time and money.

The game itself follows a much younger Dante as he wrestles with his mixed demon heritage in a structured human world secretly controlled by demon overlord Mundus. Dante drinks, smokes, brawls, and generally comes off as a punk kid with an appropriate devil-may-care attitude until he is enlisted by his twin brother Vergil (along with his accomplice Kat), to knock Mundus off his throne and free humanity.

Dante gets a new look and attitude in Ninja Theory's take on Devil May Cry.

The Arbiter is one of several demon weapons Dante uses to bring the pain. Image courtesy of Capcom.

The game, for all intents and purposes, feels very much like a Devil May Cry game at its core. There are several variations of demon and angel weapons alongside firearms that Dante can equip to easily chain devastating hack n’slash combos. Demons come in numerous types and are affected by certain weapons, making combat move variety even more complex depending on which enemies you are dealing with. These are the things that Ninja Theory needed to deliver on to satisfy DMC fans and it did so very well.

What is a welcome breath of fresh air to the series is the art style and the game writers’ take on the old tale of Devil May Cry. Instead of being locked in an antique world exploring old fortresses and castles for demons to slay, the game throws out a slew of intriguing environments and twists the story to suit a more modernistic evil. Mundus controls the world not only through demons, but through media sources (such as the Raptor News Network seen in the games’ trailers) and a mind-controlling substance infused with a popular soft drink. Dante is less of a demon slayer with a heart of gold than he is a selfish troublemaker with little concern about the world that has shunned him.

Once you're pulled into Limbo, the entire world begins to work against you.

Once you’re pulled into Limbo, the entire world begins to work against you.

These changes give way to even more gritty and colorful set pieces such as a demon prison, nightclub, and city environments. Dante also finds himself being flipped back and forth between Limbo, a world where demonic structures and demons can be seen, and the real world where those things lie invisible to the naked eye. In Limbo, environments are given a more burnt look where structures crumple and large words crawl across the floors and walls to unnerve you. What’s great about DmC is that it doesn’t overuse the concept of Limbo to provide a place for Dante to demolish buildings in massive demon fights scot-free, but actually utilizes it to create unique missions and incorporate it into story progression.

The game runs for about 20 missions and can be completed in about 10 hours. The real lasting power is the four difficulties available to players once finishing the game on Nephilim mode (hard difficulty), as well as the collectibles, achievements, and secret missions that can really eat away time through multiple playthroughs. Overall DmC Devil May Cry is a welcome retelling of Dante’s origins for fans of the series and will serve as a great entry for those who have never played the games before or simply want a new hack n’slash experience. Either way, it is definitely worth the $60.