‘DmC: Devil May Cry’ Review

Jan 18, 2013 by  

DmC: Devil May Cry will challenge purists of the series with its all-new take on Dante’s story, but is the reboot a heavenly experience that successfully relaunches the franchise while retaining the series’ trademark action experience?

Ninja Theory (makers of Heavenly Sword) took hold of the popular Capcom franchise back in 2010 and faced an onslaught of outraged fans that despised Dante’s new look. Flash-forward three years and things have settled down a bit, after the release of new marketing content and a demo, but for those who are still unsure, let’s put those worries to rest.

The first thing players will notice is the change in tone. This is a much darker game that abandons the anime-style gags and cartoonish violence of recent series entries. Instead we get more realistic, adult characters. The overly elaborate costumes and cheesy jokes have taken a backseat – so those who enjoyed all the goofy banter will need to adjust. Not to say there isn’t banter, it’s just much, much better and, this time around, the script is smarter, edgier and more relatable.

Still a badass.

More importantly the game is more raw and realistic. No one would be caught dead saying any of the lines spoken in the original series, but in the new DmC, it’s not so hard to imagine. It’s a very different style, but players will still find plenty of laughs. The old DmC staples are still there, however, and there are lots of clever one-liners for new and old fans to relish. Still, the dialogue between characters is where the script really shines – a lot of credit should be given to quality performances from the voice actors. Dante is particularly great and his actor breathed new life into what had become, for some, a stale character.

In DmC Dante grows more than in all four original titles – where every game had him starting as wisecracking and fanciful with no real arc to the character. This time around Dante is more reluctant to play hero and is anything but fanciful. Instead he is a likable loner who becomes saddled with responsibility and must face his unknown past. Somehow, through this personal growth, it makes this new Dante feel like even more of a hero than the original. Main villain Mundus, who now has a face and personality to match, hunts Dante and is prevalent throughout the game as opposed to the original where he is relatively out of sight until the end.

Joining the main cast as well are Kat, a witch and semi-sidekick, and Dante’s twin brother Virgil. Virgil is neither as quiet nor evil as his counterpart, but is just as cunning and clever. It’s a fantastic cast of characters and players will enjoy getting to know all of them.

Kat shows Dante the underground resistance.

The art direction is one of the game’s finest points. As mentioned before, costume design has been toned down to feel more realistic and modern. Enemy designs are often both parts grotesque and beautiful. There are many moments in the game where the art department took advantage of several different styles to help tell the story. The story of Sparda, for example, is told through graffiti on the walls of a dilapidated park. Later the game utilizes live chalk drawings during scenes of exposition. Many of the levels benefit from these creative ideas.

Level designs are exciting, unique and a risky departure from the original series. While there are only a few puzzle elements, the different chapters are consistently original, fresh and, most importantly, fun. Dante is rarely in the real world, often being pulled into limbo (the demon world) where things are a twisted reflection of what is present in reality. This gives way to ample creative outlets and liberties with level design, often turning the world around into a hellish M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali hybrid.

Stages are considerably more linear and it’s difficult to get lost. However, with an abundance of secret goodies to discover, players will need extra time to explore all the nooks and crannies. Strewn throughout levels are bonus stages unlocked by hidden keys and lost souls, which can be released for extra currency in the form of red orbs. Orbs can be spent on everything from powerups to health refills.

Limbo is topsy-turvy.

Of course, no levels would be complete without tons of enemies to fight. There are many different types of baddies requiring a variety of different strategies. Each have their own patterns that will differ depending on the difficulty settings and learning them can be a downright chore. But that’s why we love it. Several enemies have immunities to certain types of weapons and weaknesses to others. Weapons must be changed on the fly in the heat of some intense battles – but the ability to switch things up is a highlight of the battle system, which has been refined to perfection.

It’s the best combat seen in a Devil May Crydue to the clever mechanic of angel and demon weapons. There really isn’t any other way to describe it. Dante will be given an arsenal, but this time around it’s more manageable. Weapons can be changed quickly during combat to utilize their unique properties, which is crucial to both strategy and fluidity of the game. Certain enemies will only be vulnerable to either angel or demon weapons and the mechanic carries over to bosses as well – realizing how and when to use certain weapons will be crucial.

Angel and demon weapons are also utilized outside of combat to traverse the world and the grappling hooks are one of the most important aspects of the game. The hooks can help Dante ascend to a high ledge, propel him through the air – or, most importantly, pull enemies toward him for insanely cool combos (which are much easier to attain this time around). Like before, players will get a rank at the end of a level. A good rank will score players upgrades, which can be spent on abilities both general to Dante, as well as specific to weapons. There are a ton of them and they are fairly easy to obtain.

These guys suck.

The overall difficulty is actually quite easy – even on normal mode. Players will find themselves achieving S or higher ranking by merely chaining together combos and avoiding death throughout the main story. Thankfully, there are many different levels of difficulty for players to choose from, including a Heaven and Hell mode where both Dante and his foes die in one hit or, for those masochists out there, Hell and Hell mode where only Dante dies from one hit – yikes.

There is a lot offered in DmC: Devil May Cry. From multi-dimensional characters, a deeper storyline, a revamped and refined battle system, and beautiful art direction; this is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best Devil May Cry to date. Skeptics should abandon their prejudices and give this one a shot. Everyone else should buckle in for one hell of a ride.

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Follow me on Twitter @8BitBomb.

DmC: Devil May Cry is available now for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Game Rant played the Xbox 360 version for this review.

Our Rating:

4.5 out of 5

27 Comments

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  1. The game looks amazing, Ninja Theory is one of my favorite devs. It’s surprising ( or maybe it isn’t) to see how much hate this games is getting from players though. It’s at a 3.6 on metacritic

    • Well you have to think a lot of those who’d review a game called Devil May Cry would be old Devil May Cry fans, considering how the combat in this game barely resembles the combat in the old games that should explain the Metacritic bombing.

      Oh, and 10 hours? For $60? They must be joking.

      • this game has so much replay ability. just like old dmc games and the time it takes to complete it is the same, just depends how good you are. it took me the same amout of time to complete this game is it did on 4 and dmc 1 and 2 took me less than eight hours. i replayed them all this month in anticipation for this game

        remember, bloody palace is coming soon

        • You still pay $60 for 10 hrs of experience? That you get to then play over and over and over again thanks to the silly 6 levels of difficulty?

          I’m sorry, that makes this game for me an automatic wait till $20 or less. I’ll play it, possibly like it, but first run for $60 for this? Nahhh…

          Oh, and DlC does the exact opposite for me these days, I find them annoying, overpriced and almost always irrelevant to the game itself and to top it off they are mediocre in quality at best. So the more DLC a games has the less likely I am to ever purchase any of it.

          Arkham City had one great DLC I purchased and played more than 2 times through and I’d say it was still barely worth the cost. (Simple math says I was wrong though – 2 hours for $10 when the initial game was over 30 hours for $60 = RIP OFF)

          • no its not. most games these days are 10 hours of gameplay and a lot not even that. also it took me just under 12 hours to complete the game. what game have you gotten recently that were new and more than 12 hours? not much i presume…

            bloody palace is free, dlc costumes and vergils downfall are going to cost money. nobody is forcing you to buy dlc so it shouldn’t be a problem for you

            most games that come out with hours of gameplay are mostly games like skyrim that make you do stupid quest and are really repetitive, not to mention they are extremely buggy and by the time they get patched they are about £20. this game has neither of these repetitive or pointless missions… halo has 5 hours of gameplay… now thats ridiculous, 10 is the standered for almost every game

          • Well good that the DLC is free, then I can pick it up for free when I buy the game for $15 used on Ebay in a week – when plenty of folks are done with the amazing replay value – LOL.

            Recently I’ve been playing Kingdoms of Amalur – not a bad game, tons of story, varied quests, too bad the studio is gone, but it’s well over 10 hours of “mash this button…oooh you earned a SSS ranking”.

            Listen I get it, you like the game and will probably play it a ton, I was speaking for me, and for me a single campaign playthrough may be all I have time for – as such dollars to hours is an important ratio for me.

            This game was an “on the fence” title for me (and a lot of other gamers) so a 10 hour campaign isn’t exactly swaying me to the “buy side”.

  2. This review is basically a copy and paste of every other one i have read so far.
    Hears a list of the pros and heres the end of the review.
    Fails to provide info on both the good things and the bad.
    So called professionals review this game and praise it while user reviews on many sites highlight its many faults.

    • they did… they aint gonna lie if the only bad thing is the difficulty in normal -_-

      • thats your opinion… its not a flaw. the combat system in this game is perfect. 1 button to change creates endless combos. its perfect.

        I doubt you got an s ranking with what you said. what were you playing on? easy…

        tell what they stole from movies

        sex once and you see nothing… also you dont see dante having sex. whats wrong with sex?

        the ending was brilliant though the other person should have won.

        at the end those cutscenes only happen when you knock him back… the combat flow would have ended anyway.

        • Just to be clear, I am a huge fan of the old games in the series. I played all of them and bought the HD collection as soon as it came out. I know my DmC. I, like many others, was hesitant to embrace the new game when it premiered a few years back. That being said, I have really come to love this reboot. It’s absolutely fantastic and I had very few gripes — difficulty being one of them. But they have already addressed that issue by including not just one or two, but seven levels of difficulty. So, pick your poison.

          Also, when a game has critical faults I always make it a point to address them so players will know the whole story going in. Don’t believe me? Read my past reviews. In fact, read my last few Capcom reviews. They weren’t as kind.

          • People shouldnt have to address previous reviews you have done to clarify that this one is to be trusted. The review itself should do that by covering as many aspects as possible, not just the things you like but the problems the game has aswell. It aint as if they arent there your just not mentioning them for some reason which is what i am finding annoying. People have been aware of the difficulty, or lack of, for ages.
            I am also a big fan of the Devil May Cry game both this one and the originals since the first and know just how dumbed down this is while being advertised as the opposite. Ya know like what you did in your review
            The list of things wrong with this game isnt that different from that of other games but they all have their issues addressed in reviews. Im just curious as to why you failed to mention any of the relevent ones that would affect peoples decision on whether or not.
            Like i said in the other post that got deleted. Im a fan of this new game but if is far from what you are praising it to be and i think people should be aware of that.

          • Haters gonna hate

          • And sheep will blindy follow

          • speak for yourself moron. take your bs to youtube since you seem to love that s***hole so much and stop s****ing your hate all over this site.

          • Dude you have no room to talk your all or nothing its either really good or really bad with you. You talk crap all the time and your swear to witch it clearly says not to.And you call people names why do you come to this website and act like such a douche. Were you abused as a child or something

        • “The combat system in this game is perfect”
          and thats your opinion

          Never said i got it. Its on youtube for everyone to see. You know where all the information about the game that these reviewers failed to include in their reviews is kept.

          Check out a movie called They Live. Oh and are you familiar with the marix movies by any chance. Switching Aliens and Machines for demons does not count as quality writing as we were promised.

          The fact that the sex is completely pointless. Makes no difference if there was nudity. That and the swearing is what gives this game its mature rating. A mature story and characters is what we were told was in store for us, not mature content that had no bearing other than it helped make the game appeal to young teens who could convince their parents to buy it for them.

          The ending was a cop out for the vergils downfall DLC and a sequel. It was DMC3′s ending minus everything that made it enjoyable.

          Your right those cutscenes only happen when he gets knocked back but when that takes only a few hits it breaks the flow of combat. The combat flow would have ended when the boss was defeated like it should. whats the point of those “endless combos” you speak of that can be chained together if you dont get a damn chance to use them? Plus the absenes of hard lock on sevearly shortens the amount of things you can do.
          I urge you to spend a brief time looking over forums and your to discover that people have legitimate reasons for not liking this game that should be addressed.
          You honestly cant think that backlash of this magnitude for these past few years is about such trivial crap as many make it out to be.
          People didnt just decide to hate this game for no reason. the reasons are there but fail to be addressed by major reviewers.

  3. i love this game… if it came out last year then it would have been contender for GOTY. This is my type of game and its gonna keep me occupied until Metal Gear Rising and God of War.

    Seriously, i cant tell you enough to try this game. Its fantastic and could be the best DMC if not definitely the second best. DMC3 did revolutionize this genre of game after all XD

    I think the biggest problem for the game is the difficulty, old fans will be disappointed with that even if they love this game. Also i fell like they should have managed to put another couple bosses in there.

    there is so much i wanna day but damn spoilers XD

    also its crazy the amount of hate this game is getting… makes me sad that people just cant get over the fact that they rebooted it and the one thing the want they are getting… JUST PLAY IT AND YOU WILL SEE!

    • I agree with on that

  4. Also, no spoilers, please. Those suck.

  5. people crying are just little b**ches, this game is a step up from the original series in every way possible and the only ones hating are people that dont like change. how about you sheep go crawl back under your rock and f*** yourselves b/c it’s a**holes like you guys that ruin potentially good games.

    i’m really glad they didn’t listen to the butt hurt fans b/c then the morons would be crying about the game being to similar to the original series. f***ing fangirls.

    • “the only ones hating are people that dont like change.” I’ve heard this before. It didn’t end well for that company ether.

  6. Well, I certainly hope no one is reading my review and blindly agreeing without playing the game for themselves. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you agree with mine then that’s awesome! If not, then that’s cool too! I really enjoyed it and I think a lot of other people did as well.

    I think many of us can agree that DmC 4 wasn’t exactly the tightest or most loved in the series. The franchise desperately needed a fresh start and I feel it got one.

  7. i like the new Dante but the old looks kinda classy.

  8. I thought that Dishonored would totaly be my favorite game of the year but Devil May Cry just might beat it out.

  9. Will there be a PC version of this available?

    • It seems there will be due Jan 25 according to Wiki.

      Keep an eye out for that.

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