DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition Review

While the trend of re-releasing last gen games on new hardware isn’t always a welcome one, I do like that DmC is now available in “Definitive” form. It’s a game that sales wise did okay, but they weren’t the figures that Capcom were hoping for. Unfortunately with bigger, more powerful hardware, the AAA game has to sell a ridiculous amount of copies to just break even.

So, is this the definitive version of the game? Well, yes and no. On the plus side it has all the DLC that came out, from alternate costumes to new modes. On the downside, technically there are a few issues, some of which I can’t remember being in the original release. Graphically it still looks good (not The Last of Us good), but a decent upgrade. There were however a few performance issues that soured it a little.

During the first boss cut scene the game actually froze for a couple of seconds before the “loading” message appearing, which did break up the flow a little. A few overlapping audio issues occurred during a later level (Dante somehow managing to speak over himself) and weirdest of all, moments where it seemed like the camera was getting caught on the environment. Almost as if the skybox wasn’t quite big enough, so as I jumped forward in the air the camera refused to follow before snapping back behind Dante once I landed. So there are some technical quibbles I have, thankfully the core experience is still as good now as it was two years ago.

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Controlling Dante is a joy. What starts off with a few combos and a sword quickly turns into a deep and rewarding system with plenty of ways to dispatch the demon hordes. With angel and demon weapons, as well as your trusty sword and guns, you’ll soon be juggling everything in your path, getting an SSS rank along the way. Although, it may be my lack of skill since, but I’m finding it a lot more difficult to hit that top rating than I was originally, which makes me think it’s been tweaked slightly for this version.

What really got the most mixed reaction (aside from Dante’s new look) was the story, and new attitude of our hero. Somewhat baffling to me, as I never saw old-school Dante as having much of a character. Anyway, new Dante is certainly your typical angst ridden protagonist, but he does have somewhat of an arc as the story progresses. From not caring about anything to wanting to protect the world, the story here I feel is more interesting than people gave it credit for.

The story also helps set the stage for some excellent levels and boss fights. From ruined streets to a crazy, demon infested nightclub. Limbo (the world that exists in parallel to the real one and Dante is able to travel to) allows the art and design team to really go crazy with the environments. Floating platforms, upside down towers and the like are all commonplace. Then there are the bosses, giant, scene stealing creatures, or in one case, a holographic head. And with plenty of hidden items, upgrades and harder difficulties, replay value is surprisingly high for such a single player experience.

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As already said, the definitive edition contains all the DLC that came out. While some are cosmetic (old Devil May Cry costumes for instance), others have a lot more meat to them. The Bloody Palace (unlocked upon completion of the main game) is essentially an arena mode where you have to beat wave after wave of enemies.

The other big piece of DLC included is Vergil’s Downfall. Set after the events of the main game, it’s a nice add-on, however it almost feels like it was made on the cheap. The cut scene quality takes a drastic nosedive as what were superb in the main story are now reduced to low rent motion comics.

At its base, the core DmC gameplay has also been tweaked with the amount of damage certain moves do reduced, alterations to the parry system, and this is on top of a new Turbo mode (which speeds up the game by 20%) and new difficulties. It’s clear that Ninja Theory have taken on board the criticism and improved the overall experience.

I was slightly sceptical when DmC was announced as the latest in a long line of re-releases on the current crop of hardware, but Ninja Theory have exceeded my expectations. If you have yet to experience the game then this is the perfect time to do so, if you’ve already played through it, then there’s still plenty new here to make it a worthwhile purchase.