Devil May Cry Review
Just like so many contraversies in the gaming industry, in the end everything turned out alright, and Dante has been reborn and ready to expand the franchise even farther. Capcom’s upcoming reboot title ‘Devil May Cry’ is a tailored, exciting experience that fans of the series should be excited about.
Ninja Theory, the same company that brought players popular action-titles like ‘Heavenly Sword’, have developed a story-driven action title that delivers a solid gameplay experience. The reboot of the series was met with some strong resistance when Capcom first introduced the newly redesigned look of the lead protagonists ‘Dante’. Initially fans felt that the character looked a little to ‘Emo’, leading to some backlash from the community. During the game however the new design fits perfectly, and the ‘new Dante’ working inside the artistically beautiful level-designs make for a terrific pairing.
In the past the ‘Devil May Cry’ sereis have taken several paths when telling the story of ‘Dante’ and his family. Fans of the series know that the character is the spawn of an Angel and Demon and his relationship with his family is usually the backbone of the game’s narration. Dante has also been a sort of a mystery, with iconic powers and a cloaked backstory, previous games have always paralleled Dante’s own storyline with that of the game’s. In ‘DmC’ however the story of Dante is what really shines. Player’s will learn more of the character’s true past while using some of the best gameplay mechanics the series has ever seen.
Everything about the game is an artistic improvement over previous installments. The characters and environments in the game are more realistic, even though they are dealing with supernatural elements. Combat has been completely overhauled but streamlined more that changed. Traditional weapons and the same combo-style gameplay remains in the game but improved and more defined than previous titles. Although the basic combo-mechanic remains as the staple of the gameplay, there are far more options available to the player. That goes for all aspects of the game. The story is far more direct as well, it’s a concise narrative that blends mystery with exploration and offers solid revelations as a constant pay-off for the player. It does this without dragging out familiar plot-points or teasing story-line twists for to long.
The ‘mission structure’ of the game remains as the staple of progression. Dante is Human for most of the beginning of the game, relying more on a tactical and acrobatic combat-style in order to vanquish his demon opponents. It’s a welcomed beginning to the game, it allowed to master one-side of Dante’s powers and combos before moving on to more advanced options that are available later.
[quote_right]Personally I enjoyed the Angelic mechanics of Dante best, but the option and effectiveness of all three ‘Dante Versions’ is well-balanced and fun to use.[/quote_right]This really allowed me to become accustomed to the new Dante and enjoy and learn the new elements of the game. Of course ‘Human’ is just one of the options that Dante has at his disposal, releasing both his angelic and demonic powers is something that each ‘Devil May Cry’ game has to offer at this point and ‘DmC’ doesn’t disappoint. Players will eventually be able to switch seamlessly between all three forms (human-angelic-demonic), each of which comes with a unique playing style and arsenal.
Personally I enjoyed the Angelic mechanics of Dante best, but the option and effectiveness of all three ‘Dante Versions’ is well-balanced and fun to use. While Angelic-Dante uses fast-paced strikes, it’s Demonic-Dante that really brings the power-hitting combos. Ninja Theory did a terrific job of making each version fun to use and tactically useful. This seamless transition plays well during the game as combat has become so much more fluid than previous versions. The technical design of Dante’s fighting animation makes fighting and combo-chaining extremely intuitive yet was still very challenging to master. The addition of mid-range combo-strikes and take-down animations make fighting a large group easier to chain and offers the player a chance to attack a far away enemy to keep the combo alive. All of this combo-ing is important if you want to achieve the best possible score at the end of the level.
[quote_left]Unlike other games that feature similar ‘crowd-based’ combo attacks, the camera doesn’t pan out to give you a broader sense of the situation, instead the game simply tries to follow you as you chain from one attacker to the next.[/quote_left]Ninja Theory borrowed some popular combo-mechanics from action-titles that have been released over the past few years. Enemies often times have a ‘unique tell’ in their opening move that allows you to recognize and react to their attack with a proper dodge or counter-attack. The only minor setback to the ‘large crowd’ combo string is the camera. Unlike other games that feature similar ‘crowd-based’ combo attacks, the camera doesn’t pan out to give you a broader sense of the situation, instead the game simply tries to follow you as you chain from one attacker to the next. This can sometimes lead to less than ideal angles in which to effectively control the situation. At other times I would attack the wrong target, something that a lot of these games suffer from but it was never frequent enough that it became a detriment to my game.
In general the reboot of ‘DmC’ is exactly what a reboot should be; the game remains true to the core-concept of the character that was established in previous games but interweaves new mechanics and a fresh approach to the story-line.