Capcom and Ninja Theory’s reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise with DmC is sure to turn off a lot of fans of the series. Gone are many of the elements fans had come to know and love about the franchise, replaced with combo-based sword and gun attacks, witty banter from our hero Dante, and some truly hideous sets of enemies. Wait a second, that sounds exactly like Devil May Cry.
See, most of the disdain surrounding DmC resonates from the fact that Dante, the hero of our story, is younger, and therefore hasn’t blossomed into the white-haired devil hunter we knew him to be in the first trilogy. He’s still just as agile, and just as mean-spirited, only younger.
That’s essentially what we learned within minutes of sitting down to play DmC at Comic-Con 2012: this is Devil May Cry re-imagined, but not forgotten. A lot of the core mechanics remain relatively unchanged, with a few little tweaks added for originality. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of Ninja Theory‘s stunning art design, which distorts the landscape into something fit for demons to inhabit. It’s not so much Enslaved or Heavenly Sword, but elements of that design combined with the Capcom’s original vision for Devil May Cry, still familiar but very much within Ninja Theory’s own wheelhouse.
Gameplay and platforming, two staples of the franchise, are still enacted with great ease, and the edition of a set of devil and angel-based powers provide a little more variety to Dante’s hacking and slashing. A combo meter will keep track of the ways in which the player can chain together enemy attacks, and the addition of a handy grab-and-pull mechanic will help facilitate that need for an ‘S’ rank nicely.
Not much was shown in the way of story; only that Dante’s enemy encounters take place in a distorted version of the real world, where only he and the demons can exist. Progress through said world is blocked at various points, forcing Dante to clear a room before advancing — once again, this is Devil May Cry.
With only a vertical slice to judge it was hard to tell just how much in the way of a classic Devil May Cry story the game is going to tell, but just looking at surface details was enough to convince me this game is the best of both worlds: Ninja Theory’s stunning attention to detail and Capcom’s wildly outrageous combo system-based gameplay. It’s still a gameplay formula that isn’t going to work for everyone, although the sales of Bayonetta and titles of that ilk suggests otherwise, but for the brief time it was available to me I was having fun.
Combat was just as fluid as in previous games, and the inclusion of a Devil Trigger Dante that flaunts the white hair (read: the more iconic look) might even do well to bridge the gap between detractors and die-hard fans. If you’re a fan of Devil May Cry then you’re going to love this game, plain and simple.
Does the more you see of DmC convince that this will still be a Devil May Cry game only with a different looking protagonist? What about the original series do you hope to see explained/explored in this game?
DmC: Devil May Cry releases January 15, 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360
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