Forget the white hair and hang up that red leather coat, there’s a new devil hunter in town.
Think of Capcom’s most prolific action titles and any gamer worth his/her salt would immediately tell you about the whirlwind of swords and bullets that is Devil May Cry. First released in 2001, the original Devil May Cry took the world by storm with it’s over the top combat, excellent platforming and torturous difficulty levels. After a decade of adhering to a very “Japanese” perception of what an action game protagonist should look like, Capcom decided that a reimagining of the franchise was needed. As a result, UK based developer Ninja Theory was chosen for their resume of fast paced action games that were heavily influenced by the original Devil May Cry (Heavenly Swords and Enslaved). The result is a dirty, violent, vulgar yet witty entry into decade old linage of demon killing.
Initial reaction of the dramatic change in direction and developers was almost universally negative, many longtime fans questioned the ability of developers Ninja Theory and some fans even sent death threats in the form of comic strips and death metal songs. Despite all this Ninja Theory not only managed to refine the generally absurd and convoluted story of the previous DMC games into a slightly absurd and convoluted tale of vengeance.
Names like Dante, Mundus and Virgil would be familiar to anyone who played the previous DmC games but Ninja theory gave them each of them a new facelift making them each of them unique from their original Japanese counterparts while still retaining the personalities that we all know and love though it’s disappointing that they left out DMC’s iconic femme fatale Trish in this reimagining. The old Dante was the epitome of a very Japanese anti-hero cool; boyish facial features, flowing white hair, red leather coat and a certain cocky flair to his demeanor. The “new” Dante we have here is somewhat of a wisecracking smartass ;he is vulgar, unapologetic but possesses a certain cockney swagger in his demeanor. It’s always amusing to see exchanges between Dante and the Demons who are just as rude and unapologetic, nothing is funnier than watching a thousand year old demon scream “F**K YOU” right before getting sliced into bits or a giant “F**K YOU DANTE” scribbled on the walls.
Enough of the characters and settings, the meat of the Devil May Cry series is in it’s over the top combat and I am happy to inform you that DmC is still the fast paced and exhilarating game that first captivated the world a decade ago. The game starts you off with Dante’s iconic broadsword “Rebellion” and twin pistols “Ivory and Ebony”. As you progress through the game, you are awarded with new Angelic and Demonic weapons which are actually glorified light and heavy attacks. Angelic weapons hit fast and wide which makes them good weapons against crowds of weaker enemies however when the going gets tough Dante’s demonic weapons come into play, crushing demons with a single swing. All of DmC’s weapons intertwine with each other in a intricate combo system that is simple enough for your average gamer to grasp but deep enough for hardcore DMC fans to spend hours in the training room perfecting combos and juggles. Switching between Angelic and Demonic weapons by merely holding the left or right triggers, and changing weapons of a specific alignment is just a tap of the D-Pad away. It’s actually possible to use Dante’s entire arsenal of weapons in a single combo, provided the demon does not perish halfway through the combo. The combat of DmC is hard but never unfair; each and every attack is telegraphed, every time you die it’s your fault. Enemies start using attacks in the higher difficulty that you’d have never seen in the default difficulty which actually encourages multiple playthroughs.
The highly addictive style point system from the previous games returns in DmC. For the uninitiated, style points are awarded for every attack Dante deals to the enemy so the longer your combos, the more points you’ll receive and a tally on the side of the screen rates how stylish you’re fighting.
This reimagining of Devil May Cry is a shining example of a series reboot done right, it captured all the elements that made the original great in the first place while injecting its own individuality.
Ratings: 4.5 stars out of 5
By Chen Kangyi
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