GAME NAME: DmC: Devil May Cry
DEVELOPER(S): Ninja Theory
PLATFORM(S): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
GENRE(S): Hack ‘n’ Slash
RELEASE DATE(S): January 17th 2013
Ninja Theory’s reimagining of the Devil May Cry franchise is a reimagining done right, plain and simple. Despite the outrage plastered all over the internet, DmC is a glorious triumph for the UK based developer. Taking what was familiar from the original series, namely the characters, and putting them into a new world, has produced a fun action title that looks absolutely gorgeous on PC.
Protagonist Dante returns, with a new look that has him resembling a sneering Eastern European partygoer, dripping in attitude. His brother Vergil is here too, playing it a little more straight, a little more serious. That’s a rarity though, Ninja Theory have fully embraced the craziness of the spectacle. I challenge anyone to put a few hours into DmC and not be swept up and away by the slick combat and gorgeous visuals. Yes the story is cliched, yes the dialogue is ridiculously over the top at times, but the game is simply great fun to play.
Angels and Demons are locked in a war. That’s literally all you need to know about the story. Dante will battle an absolute horde of demon warriors, everything from simple footsoldiers to gigantic beasts that will require quick fingers and even quicker thinking to exploit the weaknesses that seem inherent. While Dante starts out with his trusty pistols and sword, Angel and Demon weapons quickly become a thing. Switching between weapons, and thus attacks, is as simple as touching the d-pad, although during combat stringing together a combo using different weapons means nothing more than touching the left or right trigger. This tightness of control is welcome, especially later in the game when you’ll find yourself battling colour coded enemies that can only be defeated through the use of Angel or Demon aligned weaponry. By rolling together these combos, you’ll earn style and the more style you earn, the better the rewards.
That’s right, it’s an RPG-esque reward system to show your progress! Every game has one these days, but here it’s a great fit. There are dozens of new moves and abilities for you to earn, and maximising your rewards is genuinely difficult as a single hit from an enemy can ruin your combo, significantly impacting on your rank score. Hell, even the environment will conspire against you at times with flooring that damages Dante if he’s not carrying the correct weapon.
Speaking of the environment, this is a stunningly beautiful game, genuinely one of the best looking games I’ve played on PC. The surroundings Dante finds himself exploring are breathtaking and fantastically imaginative. The game takes place in a Demon mirror world called Limbo, and this has afforded Ninja Theory a tremendous amount of license to play with everything from the physics to the lighting to deliver environments dripping with style and quality. This is a game that must be seen, and if the consoles are your only method then that’s fine, but if your PC is capable then go for that.
Between all this frantic hack ‘n’ slash action, tying these gorgeous visual landscapes together, we get platforming sequences. Grapple hooks and platform traversal combine with the aforementioned level design to deliver some fantastic moments, moments I’m keen not to spoil so I won’t. Suffice to say, you’ll know them when you find them in the final third.
Combichrist, a Scandinavian “hellektro” band provide the soundtrack, and it’s suitably thumping, matching well with the action on-screen. While not my cup of tea personally, what’s wrong with a bit of Bon Jovi, it’s excellently put together. With an almost rhythmic style of combat, it’s a perfect marriage. Sounds effects also work well, the weapons have a suitable pop, while the voicework is excellent.
DmC is a visual masterpiece, but to focus solely on the graphical presentation would be doing Ninja Theory a disservice. They have taken a well regarded franchise in Devil May Cry, lifted the essence and spirit of the series, and have brought it into the modern age, producing a game that is exceptional fun to play. Slick combat, tight controls, and a visual style that is truly stunning, especially on PC. To get this game so early in the year, with a likely generational shift coming later this year is tremendously exciting. If things are going to improve from here, then I’m very excited.
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