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Full disclosure Ė never played a Devil May Cry game in my life, so to speak to the traits of the reboot in relation to its predecessors might be overstepping my boundaries a bit, but in terms of a singular game, DmC is stellar. Also, I usually don't post my reviews here and save them for my personal website while just leaving the interesting stuff for Destructoid, but with all the controversy over this title, I figured my two cents was overdue.
Platform: PS3*/Xbox 360/PC
Genre: Hack Ďn Slash
ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language)
Players bemoaned a reboot of Devil May Cry for quite some time, fearing that Ninja Theory would destroy the series. I didnít have much to say on the matter, since Iíd yet to play any of them. For the same reason, I didnít find myself overly excited about this new one. On a whim, I downloaded the demo and was immediately hooked.
Come full release, the game is everything the demo promised and more. DmC circles around Dante, a Nephilim born of a demon father, Sparda, and angel mother, Eva. His twin brother Virgil makes himself known and enlists Dante on a mission to destroy Mundus, the demon king at the head of the demon hold on mankind. He also killed their parents, so thereís a personal stake in the matter as well.
Right off the bat, the game is blindly bloody, inappropriate and sharp. It is my understanding that it grasps the intricate button mashing of its roots with admirable accuracy. Combat is nearly spotless. Dante is always acquiring new weapons, all of which can be cycled through swiftly in the midst of battle and all of which are valuable in their own way. Where many games present you with myriad weapons only useful as environmental tools for the level in which they were introduced, DmC keeps all the weapons relevant, tailoring only boss battles around their use, and even these donít narrow your options for slaughter.
Additionally, enemy types are varied from start to finish, then appropriately amped up as you hit the higher difficulties on multiple playthroughs. These help to focus your attention and force all the weapons to be utilized, training you in the varied combat necessary for higher style rankings without you even knowing it.
Collectibles also make an argument for tackling the game at least once more. There are lots to be had, and many of them in early stages canít be accessed until the player acquires weapons from later levels, paving the way for those secret missions and health upgrades.
I did encounter a progress-halting bug as two weapons seemingly disappeared from my inventory. An internet search found only one other soul encountering the problem, and after turning off the system and booting up another level, they returned. I can only hope the other guy had the same luck.
Graphically, this is a really pretty game, but shadows can be blocky, especially across faces, and itís hard to say if this was an artistic decision or a glaring ugliness. The soundtrack is also killer. Under no other circumstances could I tolerate the heavy punk lining every level, but while tossing enemies to the skies and ripping them to shreds, there could be no other way about it.
The story, while somewhat predictable, is engaging enough. Ninja Theory recognized there wasnít much to it, and so paced it pretty quickly so the player could go back and do it again. No one is very deep and Danteís affection for the human Kat isnít touching, but itís better to take it for what it is, especially considering even Dante isnít taking it very seriously. His conversations often consist of ďFuck you!Ē before tearing into battle. He does spin off a great one-liner once in a while, and it all rolls together to keep the game from being too dark and mundane.
More prevalent are the literary allusions. Using the Divine Comedyís characterís names makes the gameís roots obvious, but the nature of the game can keep it subtle at the same time. While no one is surprised that Virgil is the leader of the Order that comes to recruit Dante, just as the writer Virgil led Dante Alighieri through hell in the Inferno, the relevance of Danteís ascension of Mundusís tower towards the later stages of the game didnít resonate with me until Kat said ďYouíre going to have to go up five floors of hell.Ē Finance is located on the eighth floor of the building, and while fraud on this floor was likely, perhaps they would have been more appropriately located on the fourth floor with gluttony. Nonetheless, the more well-read of the gameís audience will appreciate the nod to 14th century Italian literature.
This is a game Iíd love to get through again on a higher difficulty or two, so hopefully my backlog will allow it sooner than later.