Who wouldn’t want to dispatch Hell’s finest with some heavenly combos and a wicked personal armory? This reboot of the classic Devil May Cry series will leave your thumbs aching and your head spinning.
The original Devil May Cry series paved the way for the hack and slash genre of the previous generation consoles. The combat driven narrative brought out the perfectionist in all of us and chaining together the most ridiculously insane combos with panache was mouthwateringly satisfying! This time around, Capcom and U.K developers Ninja Theory have joined forces in this retelling of Dante’s origin story.
Dante has had somewhat of a makeover since we last saw him. Long gone is the anime-esque white hair and burgundy velvet trench coat. Now, Dante is thrust into 2013 sporting a modern gothic-punk look with an attitude to match. As a ‘Nephilim’ (child of angelic and demonic entities), Dante would be forgiven for being a little confused, spending his days sulking around thinking that nobody understands him. He seems to get over it pretty quickly (after about the first 2 minutes of gameplay actually) and is called upon to help save humanity from the clutches of the Demon King Mundus.
A perk of being a Nephilim is that Dante can exist between the human world and Limbo. Unfortunately, this is also where the spawn of Hell likes to gather and it is up to Dante to plough through the infinite hoards, with the assistance of Kat, a psychic medium and his brother Vergil, head of anti-demon organization The Order. As Dante nears his goal of finding Mundus, his trust in his allies is tested and true intentions are revealed.
At first glance, it might seem that traipsing through Limbo, facing the never-ending onslaught of devilish creatures is enough to test anyone’s patience. Thankfully, Dante is gifted with an array of weaponry fit for… well… a Nephilim! Those that are familiar with the franchise can breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of the trusty Rebellion sword and Ebony & Ivory pistols. These weapons are the foundation for stringing together the basic combos. As the story progresses, new weapons are made available, each with a specific feel and purpose. A new feature for DmC is that weapons are now either branded as angelic or demonic and the mastery of both will ensure your survival to the end. Angelic weapons, like the Osiris scythe allows for light, fluid motion and manipulating enemy positions with speed and agility. Alternatively, demonic weapons, such as the Arbiter axe, provide slower, more powerful blows capable of staggering and finishing off the toughest of opponents. The idea behind the new variation of weapon types is to create a unique experience for the player, especially those who want to ramp up those combo points with liquid flair and effortless flamboyance. As always, with DmC, it is ultimately up to you to decide which skills and weapons to upgrade.
Overall gameplay is technically smooth and has a fantastic cinematic quality that links cut scenes fluently with gameplay. When Dante is transitioning between the living world and Limbo, you can see the world around you changing in real time and transforming into a ghastly alternate reality. Similar to the previous games, DmC remains to test even experienced gamers. The same format exists, keeping with the soul of the genre, of battling through waves of enemies to then confront a difficult boss. For newcomers to the series or less technical gamers, this layout can become a little grating at times with the focus primarily on the combat. However, there are plenty of other objectives to complete in the levels, such as locating lost souls or keys that open secret doors and revealing bonus levels. For those that are gluttons for punishment, there are 7 levels of difficulty to slash your way through, reaping many hours of additional gameplay,
Looking at DmC, visually it delivers. Successfully creating an unnerving atmosphere in the absence of anything ‘scary’ can be difficult, but sometimes, just walking down an abandoned street in downtown Limbo does the trick. DmC continues with the gothic ambience as seen in the previous games and slots it in seamlessly with modern cityscapes as well as hellish nightmares. Vivid colours really pop, enhancing these surreal environments and are a welcome change from its dark and dingy predecessors. However, it is the music that really prepares you for some oncoming high-octane action with blistering guitar riffs and screeching vocals. Co produced by electronic group Noisia and metal band CombiChrist, this mind-blowing soundtrack drags DmC into the modern era as well as complimenting Dante’s character very well.
If nothing else, DmC is sure to entertain with many hours of button hammering, fizzing combat. However, the experience as whole has hugely benefitted from a reboot and those who are familiar with the series will appreciate the new features and relish the opportunity relive Dante’s origin story. DmC, as a combat driven action title has held together the soul of the franchise, while enhancing all in-game features to create a unique experience for everyone.