I’m no stranger to hack-n-slash action games. I love the fast paced attacks and actions that keep me on my feet as I pull off flashy moves while dodging and parrying incoming attacks. I have always been a fan of the Devil May Cry series, and Capcom has delivered four stylish and challenging games in the franchise. Now, handing the reigns to Ninja Theory, Capcom hopes to bring new life to the series with a reboot in the form of DmC: Devil May Cry. I can safely say that Ninja Theory has kept things fast and furious while introducing a new perspective on the story.
The story begins with Dante, a loner who really cares for nothing but cracking wise, getting laid and killing demons. Through the help of a mysterious group of resistance fighters, he realizes that the entire world has been brainwashed and enslaved by a major demon. This resistance group, led by his long lost twin brother Virgil, is trying to take down this overlord and free the humans that have been enslaved for years.
The story is very coherent in DmC. I always knew what was going on and why things were happening the way they are. As crazy as it gets at times, I still found the story to be fun, entertaining and very engaging. With the help of some amazing voice acting,and fantastic facial animations, the story and cut scenes really shine.
Of course, a Devil May Cry game would not be complete without some amazing combat. DmC has this in spades. (It should be noted that I played the entire game using the Xbox 360 controller.) Dante has his trusty sword, Rebellion, and his dual pistols, Ebony and Ivory at the beginning of the game. These two weapons alone offer up dozens of different combos. Over the course of the game, Dante will gain a heavy axe, a group-clearing scythe, boxing gloves that are made of stones from hell and many others to take on the minions limbo.
Depending on the button presses, players can launch enemies in the air, chain multiple strikes into combos, switch weapons on the fly and string together some really insane attacks that will decimate anything unlucky enough to get in the way. While holding either the right trigger or left trigger, you will enter either a demon or angel state and begin using the equipped item for that mode. For instance, starting a combo with Rebellion, holding the right trigger to pull out the heavy hitting axe and then finishing the combo with the angel scythe is not only viable, it is encouraged through the point score system. Dante also has his ability to call upon the Devil Trigger. When activated, all enemies on the screen are launched into the air and suspended helplessly. Also during this mode, Dante’s health will begin to regenerate and his attacks do more damage.
There is also a new ability in Dante’s arsenal. Much like Nero’s possessed arm in Devil May Cry 4, Dante has a special grapple in both demon and angel forms. The angel version hooks to enemies and pulls Dante to them while the demon type pulls enemies to Dante. Using these grapples is essential for keeping combos going, not to mention that it looks pretty awesome while it’s going on. The grappling hooks are not just for combat, but also critical for navigating levels. There are some exciting platforming sequences that required me to think quickly and switch between grapples.
As in previous DMC titles, there is a scoring system that rewards players based on variety and length of combos. Using different moves and different weapons in an encounter will offer up more points that contribute to the end-of-chapter ranking. Depending on how well you perform, upgrade points are distributed that will allow you to purchase new moves and consumable items. There are a ton of new techniques to learn, but you don’t have to purchase blindly. A practice mode is available for most skills in the upgrade menu.
There are keys and hidden doors littered throughout the levels. These lead to special challenge rooms that test the player’s skill and strength. Completing these challenges will yield health and devil trigger upgrades.
Ninja Theory has a knack for fantastic character design and facial animations. In this case, they’ve applied their skill to the level design, also. Dante is constantly being dragged by demons into Limbo, a warped, disgusting and dangerous perversion of the real world. Buildings begin to crumble and shatter; roads break apart and create bottomless pits. It is not a very nice place to visit to say the least. All of this looks fantastic in cutscenes and in the game engine. If your PC can run it in the highest settings, you are in for a very nice treat.
There really are some amazing set pieces that had me on the edge of my seat. The situations are as crazy as the environments, and the action is flashy and very stylish. The great thing is, the momentum is never hindered by quick time events. Most of the things players will be doing is handled through regular combat.
The game will take approximately eight or nine hours to complete, but when the story is over, the game is just beginning. Returning to completed chapters to improve my score was just as fun and rewarding as it was the first time around, and if you’re looking for a better challenge, there are numerous difficulties that become unlocked after successive plays, offering up a variety of difficulty enhancements. Don’t forget to pick up the keys and unlock the challenge doors you may have missed the first time. There’s enough content in this game to last players well past the 30 hour mark, and even though I just finished, I really want to go back and play it again. I never do that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this game, but the camera angles could have used improvement. Multiple times, I found myself getting hit by an enemy off the screen or found myself slashing at an enemy I couldn’t see. It is never game breaking, but it is a little annoying. The platforming with the grappling hooks is not bad, but the standard jumping from one platform to the next is hit or miss mainly due to Dante’s stiff jumping.
If you had any doubts about Ninja Theory handling this reboot, let me alleviate your worries. This is the best Devil May Cry game I have ever played, and I’m a long time fan of the series. The combat is flashy, engrossing and complex. The scoring system and multiple difficulties are enough reason for players to come back for another time through, and the story and characters are all well acted and look fantastic. The game really is just pure fun to play. On a high end PC, the game looks amazing in cut scenes and in the fast-paced combat. If you are an action game fan, you owe it to yourself to own DmC. You will not be disappointed.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.