Rating : 9 out of 10
Developed by Ninja Theory for Xbox 360 and PS3
Published by CAPCOM
Played on PS3
Gorgeous ScreenCaps credit to sSOPHOo
With so much negative press over the re-design of protagonist, Dante, I was wary going into this game. I’d been a long time fan of the original series; Having played them when I was younger and falling in love after some, then, terrifying enemies and laughable banter, there was both excitement and a touch of dread in a reboot.
In the end, opening the game, slipping in the disk, I was nothing more than excited and, thankfully, all the hate this game has seen from fanboys proved to be entirely unfounded.
Run on the Unreal Engine 3, the game offers stunning graphics and, unlike many games today, a fluid tie between cut-scenes and gameplay. You’re gifted with realistic cinematics that go right into gorgeous scenery and flowing character movement, credit to motion capture. The design of enemies is new and fun, though a few left me running around the area because fuck I did not want a chain-saw ripping through me. Yeah, a chainsaw, whose rip track is laced with the shrill and horrified screaming of a man underneath. But they rendered stretch marks on one character, for God’s sake. That is simply amazing to me.
Graphics come last to actual control and story, though. Devil May Cry has always had a setup which encourages players to step away from the mess of button mashing and instead use combos and specials. This reboot holds with that, featuring a variety of weapons and different combat styles depending upon those weapons. Some enemies will only take damage by demonic weapons, where one that’s spawned alongside them will only take damage by angelic weapons. The combat is fun and always refreshing, new enemies being introduced even in the very last levels. In fact, I only had one complaint about the combat and character movement throughout the whole of the entire game, and it was with the jump. The physics of the jump only communicate height, as Dante’s jacket switches up, but there is no implied movement forward. And so, with how high Dante jumps, it’s difficult to get an idea of just how much forward he’s moved, leaving for some frustrating platforming, of which there is, surprisingly, a lot of. It’s redeemed by later abilities, thankfully, but it was something I continually looked to my brother and bitched over. It was a good ’scape-goat, at the least.
The level design though, gosh, I could go on for hours. They all hold a very haunting note about them, but each are unique and my favorite is, perhaps, Lillith’s club, where there’s booming bass music, challenging fights, and gorgeous, vibrant light-show inspired surroundings. The soundtrack meshes with every bit of the game flawlessly and provides a wonderful throwback to the old series of Devil May Cry. Everything is forever refreshing, pulling you further and further into the game. There are no quicktime events to interrupt the flow and story of the game, only fun combat, and a well paced rise in difficulty. Each level holds its own sort of lure which compliments the story.
Encouragement for replay is high, having various collectables and unlockables and inaccessible areas at the time of first playthrough, as well as some disgusting difficulty levels (I.e. Enemies with standard health but Dante dies in a single hit).
The story has to be what most people hold their skepticism in. Don’t worry, it’s just as solid and entertaining as the level design and combat. Dante’s re-design is something that I, personally, love. His one-liners are still there, he still loves pizza, in fact, it blocks out his junk in a cut-scene, and his hair begins to turn white at the end. I’d argue that, should you see this game get sequels (that it really deserves), you’ll see Dante grow and shift into the Dante we saw in the previous series. The writing team did a gorgeous job, creating drama and believable conflict that brings the player in to have them make their own convictions. New concepts are introduced well and the story is well established, if a little contrived at first. Character relationships take time to develop, as they should, and because of this, you develop your very own feelings about the characters. There’s quite a few clever story elements to boot.
So while there aren’t too many boss fights and the game isn’t terribly long, everything is beautifully done and well executed. The game is fun, through and through, with innovative levels and smooth controls. Dante’s re-design was near flawless and so beautifully done that I spent a solid two hours after beating the game gushing over how much I had simply adored every bit.
Y’know, except for that fucking jump and that horrifying chainsaw track.