Does Ninja Theory uphold Dante’s good name?!! Check out the DmC: Devil May Cry review!!

Developer(s): Ninja Theory
Publisher(s): Capcom
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s):
PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
January 15, 2013
JP January 17, 2013
Microsoft Windows
January 25, 2013
Genre(s): Hack and Slash, Beat ‘em up
Rating: Mature

When I first played the demo to the Ninja Theory reboot of Devil May Cry, my expectations (and excitement) were high. I had hope for this game. Now I can say that those expectations have been met. Dante is back on top, baby! Gamers who enjoy the series have been giving the Devil Hunter’s new look a whole lot of static. I don’t care if his hair isn’t white. The true heart and soul of Devil May Cry is stylish action. And that is what we have with the game! DmC is set in a parallel world called Limbo and the city is out to kill Dante. At times, this creates environmental hazards which Dante has to get around on his quest to put an end to the demon that killed his mother and imprisoned his father. And he’s got the right set of skills to get the job done.

Dante signature move, Stinger, is still present along with Prop Shredder and High Time

Combat is still as fast-paced as ever; maybe even more so with this reboot. As you progress through the game, Dante gains more weapons to play with as he hunts down devils. Among these are a scythe and an axe. Both of these weapons are versatile in their own right as they play a major role not only in combat but also through transversal means. Building upon Nero’s Devil Bringer in the series’ fourth entry, these weapons can grapple enemies and objects, either pulling them toward Dante or vice versa. This is great for chaining together combos. You begin with one weapon and end with another in the same manner as in Devil May Cry 3. However, this is not limited to two weapons. Dante can freely switch between all his melee weapons on the fly. This is done in the same manner as Ninja Theory’s breakout hit for the Playstation 3, Heavenly Sword. In that game, the main character Nariko switched stances to perform more varied attacks which were executed swiftly. Dante puts his weight into each of his strikes much like Nero to show that power is being put behind them.

Platforming plays a bigger part in the reboot than in previous entries. In fact, one mission is composed full of platform elements. At a point in the game, Dante enters Limbo where the world is upside-down. Here, his grapple maneuvers—Angel Lift and Demon Pull—will be used extensively and at a few instances, be coupled with his Angel Dash ability. This section plays heavily on God of War 2 as Dante must grapple designated highlighted points in order to continue his journey via Angel Lift. Using Demon Pull, he can yank floating pieces of the environment toward him to move on.

Over the last decade, each of the Devil May Cry series always introduced something new. Ever had a hard time trying to lay down a combo or want to improve your Devil Hunting skills? Well, Capcom has brought in a page from their Street Fighter series. For the first time, a Devil May Cry game features a Training Mode. Hone your skills in this mode to become the ultimate demon slayer. Those who partake in the training will be reminded of Bayonetta in the way that the move list is set on the right side of the screen to give you a perspective of how to perform certain combos. Unlike the aforementioned title where you get to practice on an angel, the unfortunate demonic punching bag you get doesn’t die so wail away to your heart’s content.

Limbo looks like an ordinary city until the buildings come to life

PRO: The fighting mechanics are tight as always and with the large move set, your thumbs will be strong enough to kill a guy. The visual aspect of the game gives you the feel of a city with a sentient consciousness. I like how this “living city” idea plays out. Here Dante is in this environment that can come to life in order to take his. Buildings shift violently; streets raise high into air as if taking in a breath before suddenly falling into nothingness. Soon you enter what appears to be a quiet church until the floors shift without warning, adding danger to your progress toward the exit. Illustrating these elements truly gives the feel of being in a place where anything and everything has one purpose—to kill you. Another thing that is interesting is the way abilities and skills are purchased. But, have you ever made a bad purchase? Well now you can sell back any purchased move for a full refund of Skill Points and use them on another skill. This type of open customization allows you to fit Dante to your fighting specifications. Buy a move; don’t like it then sell that “sonuvagun” back and pick one you do like. Plus, you get to try the move before you buy it. This ability of buying, selling and trading can also be beneficial when preparing to face a boss enemy. I like this inclusion of a RPG element.

CON: My only complaint is the absence of lock-on targeting. Throughout the series, there was always the option of locking on to your enemies. That is not present in the reboot. Oftentimes, you may find an enemy dying in the middle of your combo and Dante is left swinging at the air, open to attack. And he doesn’t automatically target the closest devil either. The only targeting comes from using the grapple abilities of Angel or Devil mode.

OVERALL: Ninja Theory has stayed true to the Devil May Cry name. Reactions from fans over Dante’s redesign sparked a lot of negativity aimed at the company. However, there are those fans that came to defend the new Dante and support Ninja Theory through their progress to bring us this worthy title. The ability to pull off insane combos has been stepped up with this entry. Even though the open world fighting is reminiscent of Devil May Cry 2, the enemy sets are not too far apart to perform a good combo. If a devil gets too far away, just use a grapple move to quickly close the gap and tear him a new one. Ever since the first game was released back in 2001, Devil May Cry was about close quarters combat—fighting in small spaces. Only a few spots hold this in the reboot yet everything works out to suit a place that is trying to kill you. Final verdict: He has the guns. He has the sword. He has a sarcastic, arrogant, unflappable attitude and a unique set of skills to back it up. His name is Dante.

DmC: Devil May Cry hacks and slashes its way to 4.5 out of 5.

Until then, see you on the next level,
Brian M.