It feels as if anything I say about DmC will not matter. I haven't played DMC1, or DMC2, and I've played very little of both DMC3 and DMC4. Suffice to say, I'm hardly even a casual fan of the franchise with this latest installment being my first real attempt at getting into it.
Everything should be pissing me off or at least making me cringe a teensy bit, no? Isn't that what being a fan of this series is all about?
But hey, screw you. This game is fun to look at!
Whoa! I know how a game looks usually doesn't mean much shit in the end... but look! LOOK AT THAT! Not just at Dante and him being all super sexy, but at the environments. They're...
Whatever you have to say about the supposedly dumbed down lot of the experience, there is no denying they put a hefty amount of work into the visuals. And while the game certainly feels like an Unreal Engine game in the worst possible ways (inconsistent framerate, texture pop-in, etc.), the actual art direction/assets are honestly phenomenal. I only wish I had bothered going for the PC version.
This is actually, probably, the only straight up action title that's made me pause for several minutes to take in the sights. Journey is jealous, Super Mario Galaxy is in self-loathing, and the Atari's best have all taken their cyanide pills.
Now, for the many many of you not too concerned with the visuals, I am personally having a lot of fun with the combat system so far as well. No, it doesn't flow quite as smoothy as I remember in DMC3, thanks much to the seemingly needless pause between certain moves/combos and the sometimes finicky camera, but it's still a fun time. Like that extra helping of seasoned fries you ordered with your meal. It's not that lovely plate of steak you see sizzling next to you, but it fills you up nonetheless.
I find that a good handful of my analogies revolve around food. Probably shouldn't eat when I'm doing this.
What I find pretty neat and intuitive is that you switch weapons with a mere hold of either L2 or R2 (on the PS3), pulling off similar combos as you would without holding them. These weapons offer up basically whole different styles as well as new moves. It's a very welcome change of pace from what I'm used to seeing in multi-style combat systems. Had the game been a little better with it's sense of flow, this could've been some sweet as heck gameplay. Worthy of the DMC franchise? Well, I'm not too sure. But it's certainly worthy amongst some of the better combat systems I've used.
Oh this is a great segway into talking of the boss I encountered early on! It was pretty sweet. And wubwub has never felt more appropriate. He had the right amount of challenge, variety, surprises and visual flair to already set the bar high enough for future boss fights. He felt like a legitimately well thought out first boss fight. Not astonishingly difficult, but not offensively easy.
And speaking of surprises, what I'm incredibly surprised about is the platforming. It's fresh, stimulating and I never saw it coming. I did know the game would have platforming, but not in this vein. It's awesome! So far, the game has been split about 50/50 between platforming and combat. Neither overstay their welcome at any point and it's thankfully no worse or better than the combat. The gameplay feels well molded and consistent.
Only other gripe? Well, supposedly, the combo system has been super casualized. And, well, indeed. It has been. But I'm not a "go for the high score" kinda dude with games like this. If this were an impressions blog on Geometry Wars 3, now, then you might see me go a little more into it.
As much as I'm enjoying the gameplay/graphics side of DmC, I'm finding it hard to fully enjoy the story side of it. This game's story.. is a Two-Face. One handsome, polished side... one imperfect, sometimes straight ugly side.
The good? I'm really enjoying the acting. For the lines and context these actors are given, they do a fine-ass job. Especially Vergil. He is always very sincere with his movements, inflictions, everything. I don't know much of the DMC4 Vergil, but this one's alright with me. And Dante DOES, on occasion, make me laugh. Whether he finally, successfully drops a tasty one-liner or tosses an empty can behind him to land perfectly in a nearby garbage canister. This guy is so slick!
But, not always. In fact, he's usually more along the lines of try-hard cool. An adolescent take on older Dante's truer cool.
Bad? The "satire". It's been said before here, and I agree.. the game thinks it's more clever than it actually is. There's hardly anything edgy or interesting about big business secretly controlling the people through debt, lies and... soft drinks? Yeah. This game is taking a few hints from Futurama of all fucking things. Adding in some of that "insight" from the game's writers, and these guys definitely have their own heads up their arses.
What doesn't help is that it's just not executed all that well. Perhaps chalk it up to the sometimes lackluster dialogue. Though, had it been at least a little more interesting, maybe it wouldn't be too bad at all. I'm getting a kick out of Bob Barbus, though. Who doesn't love a good O'Reily spoof, eh? Convincingly detestable, he's the shining White Knight in this otherwise very ordinary concept. Though, still a bit rusty.
You'd probably think I was lying if I told you I'm actually going through the franchise at the moment, mainly, for the sake of... homework? Yes, homework!
I have been tasked to do a comparison essay on any two or three topics and I have chosen to do it on these two "versions" of Dante. It's a great excuse to play some supposedly great games that I haven't had the pleasure to play much of. Not only am I typing up this impressions blog but I am essentially doing a write-up of the entire franchise. I'm going into their weapons, personalities, the enemies they face, etc.
I feel like JURNALIZM.
I'm having a great time here. Even if the story does sometimes get in the way, I can't wait to wrap up my perspective on the franchise. And I may even post up my character analysis here when it's done.