Wow, what an interesting day to decide to start my first D-Toid blog entry. The fan backlash at DmC is the latest development in the gaming world and here are my thoughts on this little kerfuffle. (tee hee....fuffle)
I don't speak for the others, but in my long winded rant in one of today's articles, it wasn't the hair colour that bothered me. Hey, I'd be fine with a hair color change; give Dante dark red hair and freckles for all I care (I haven't seen a badass ginger since Rorschach and hey, I enjoy their company). It's everything else about this new direction that's causing a backlash. The style of Dante's character seems like too much of a departure even for a reboot; i.e. the "different kid who's holed up in some unnamed barbaric secret facility that studies his powers in an inhumane manner" intro we're given, the complete shift in character iconography (Dante had flair, lovable arrogance, flippancy), but now from the little we've seen he's potentially the dark brooding, gritty genrihero mixed with a young punk look.
The footage certainly is interesting and in no way bland or boring, at least to me. Personally, I would have been a bit more accepting of this direction if some changes were made. For instance, if when he was putting out his cigarette on the creature he was whistling or humming with a smirk, no rather a happy smile; not some "I'm badass smirk", but rather, "Hey you guys, just finishing up my cig. I'll be with you in a moment!" This would have added some balance to what we've seen without drastically shifting the mood of the trailer. I get that things are supposed to be intense, brief and cryptic, but inserting a little personality into our protagonists is never a bad thing. Overdoing it with the humour would be distracting from a promotional standpoint; they are making a brand new iteration of the game and are trying to stick to a particular framework and tone, so slowly building on things is a sensible priority here.
Back to my point about what I would have done differently. I actually would have been a bit okay with this bold and uncertain new direction if despite all of the hell he's going through, he tries to hold on to his sanity with some snark, a deflective smile and a little levity. Basically, have the man trying to use humour to survive his nightmare. Another idea that came to mind, in the mugshot picture having him act “Deadpool-like” would be interesting; despite his horrible injuries, he's telling the audience with his face "Meh, don't worry about this, it's just a scratch! You should see the other guy! Hah...ow, broken ribs aren't that funny at the moment..."
I'm no grand writer, but I think doing the above ideas would at least give him some sort of personality in comparison to what was shown. Some people have a problem with the smoking, I actually don't mind it. I did honestly like the shot of him reclining on a gargoyle and enjoying a drag. Personally, I'm not a smoker, but this character isn't supposed to be me, it's supposed be an interactive avatar allowing for different experiences. I remember from my days in theatre class, my teacher told us that when building a character, use different quirks and actions to help build them up. In this case, the smoking can give him some personality in between battling and cinema sequences. In the aforementioned moon scene, after him taking a drag on the cigarette, adding some humming or whistling of the game's theme, or even some generic theme (if you want to avoid the 4th wall breaking of him humming the game's theme) would be a nice add on and show how a hero unwinds from a intense day of creature slaying.
Look, overall, I can understand how some of us come off as whiners when disagreeing with this direction. The thing is, it's all about perspective; when something others deeply care about is drastically changed, they will react in a very vocal manner, while another group shrugs and says “get over it.” Though, when something affects the dissenters they'll be as upset as the previous group. To be fair, it is very early in this game's development and it is our first look at well...anything. So things could be quite good, really good or bad. We the general public just can't know yet; those who are working on this know all the little secrets and developments, so I as much as it bothers me, I want to be hopeful and patient. In the end the problem is the things shown were quite a significant departure to a popular and beloved character. I've not played Infamous, but I could feel the pain of the players who felt the lost Cole. I'm for a reboot, but it would be nice to see a little familiarity here. I've seen how new takes on old characters' personalities can ruin what people loved in the first place. If this game is a solid game offering a fresh new and clever experience, then I will eat crow. As Dr. Phil says “do you wanna be right, or happy?” I'd rather be wrong and end up happy.
.....did I just end my first blog post with a Dr. Phil-ism....oh this cannot end well for me.