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Ninja Theory

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Ninja Theory's Unreal Engine 4 tech demo leaks


Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Jun 02
// Abel Girmay
Ninja Theory, the studio behind DMC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, seems to have had one of their tech demos leak. Entitled, The Beggars Opera, it's not known if this was ever meant to be the studio's next...
Neat photo
Neat

Ninja Theory talking unreleased games at GDC Europe


Footage of a next gen game and other pitches that never came to market
May 15
// Steven Hansen
Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved) co-founder Tameem Antoniades will be delivering a keynote at GDC Europe, which will include some details on some of the games and ideas the company has worked on over the last 14 years ...

Review: Fightback

Dec 20 // Chris Carter
Fightback (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 5])Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: ChillingoRelease Date: December 19, 2013MSRP: Free-to-play (the bad kind) Fightback makes no grand promises of offering up in-depth adventuring or exploration -- it's a single-player fighting game through and through, with elements of the brawling genre. You can't actually move, as everything is done on rails. By swiping or tapping at certain parts of the screen, you can throw punches or kicks, duck, and jump. The result is a game that feels arcade-like in nature, but doesn't really bring anything unique to the table. If Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the perfect example of how to do an '80s action homage right, Fightback is the antithesis of said homage. Everything from the incredibly generic hero and villain (the latter of which just looks like Mundus from DmC), to the "your sister has been kidnapped" story arc is painfully bad, and not in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. At any given point I can't tell if Ninja Theory is paying respect to brawlers like Final Fight, or ripping them off. Instead of offering up fresh takes on these tropes like the Matt Hazard series attempts to do, Fightback kind of just copies and pastes them with reckless abandon. It's depressing, because it's entirely possible to do irreverent comedy these days and pull it off. Blood Dragon did it, so did Shadow Warrior. But Fightback's dialog and setup are so lazily executed, that it actually disgraces the source material. [embed]267752:51973:0[/embed] Having said that, the touch controls actually work, despite the shallow nature of the fighting mechanics. Enemies will come at you on the left or ride side the screen, and all you have to do is tap or swipe on the correct portion to attack. Tapping throws a punch and swiping executes a kick, while tapping high or low on your character will jump or duck respectively. It's pretty cool to duck under a punch, have the game slow down a tad, and Double Dragon-knee an enemy in the jaw. The combo system is swift and fun, as you can basically just tap the screen to juggle or pummel foes into oblivion. There are also some old-school weapon mechanics as well, allowing you to pick up bats and other objects from fallen foes. The major holdup is with the automated movement, because enemies can just run out of your field of view, then come in for a sneak attack. Since Fightback is on rails, you have to sit there and watch it happen. It's not a deep system by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes for some arcade-like fun. Sadly, the shadow of "freemium" rears its ugly head -- most likely compliments of publisher Chillingo, who feels the need to monetize every single one of their games through any means necessary. As a $0.99 download or even as a fair free-to-play game, Fightback would have been a fun "why not?" impulse buy for a silly afternoon. But it's a bit tougher to justify a playthrough, because not only does the game have heavy amounts of IAP that can upgrade your character, but it has boosts, and the dreaded energy meters as well. At every turn, Fightback wants you to spend money. Before a stage, you can spend tons of in-game cash (with lots of reminders that you can buy more for real cash) for a temporary one-level boost. After a death, you can come back to life with premium currency. You can also equip and level-up your character through in-game currency, which you don't get that much of. All of that is somewhat manageable if you have some patience. But the energy mechanic that limits the amount of time you can play with a "finite" counter is the final straw. That's not even including the constant "link your Facebook!" messages with promises of extra premium currency, and the ads that run on the game's title screen. I'm fine with the tasteful monetization of certain games that deliver value on their own, but this is nothing of the sort. To see a developer like Ninja Theory shackled to an energy-based game feels wrong. Fightback is a waste of time and money. As a full premium game for a buck or two, it could have been a decent brawler to pass the time with. But as it stands, you're going to be waiting to play it more than actually playing it. At the end of the day, this is just another depressing chapter in the book of Ninja Theory.
Fightback review photo
Put down your dukes
Ninja Theory is one of the most interesting developers in the business. They have the opportunity to develop high-budget, low-grossing games more often than pretty much any other studio in existence -- then move on to another...

Ninja Theory photo
Ninja Theory

Report: Ninja Theory may shift to mobile development


Not in a million years?
Nov 21
// Chris Carter
[Update: A representative at Ninja Theory has denied these claims, stating that they are open to mobile and console development. It appears as if Tameem was mouthing off. Again. Someone really needs to implement a "no talking...
PC Port: Enslaved photo
PC Port: Enslaved

PC Port Report: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West


Get .ini with it
Nov 08
// Patrick Hancock
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has finally made its way to the PC after years of hanging out exclusively on home consoles. It's always been a beautiful and enjoyable game so I was excited to jump back into it on the computer. ...
Enslaved photo
Enslaved

Enslaved Premium Edition out now for PC and PS3


Do it for Andy Serkis
Oct 24
// Jordan Devore
The Premium Edition of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West can now be downloaded on Steam and PlayStation Network, with the former release being a first for the title. After DmC, I was hoping this earlier Ninja Theory project would...
Enslaved photo
Enslaved

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West re-releasing on PC and PS3


Namco Bandai confirms "premium" version
Oct 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
My favorite of Ninja Theory's games is looking like it may get a second chance to shine. Namco Bandai has confirmed reports that a new, premium version of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West will be seeing release on PlayStati...
New Ninja Theory game photo
You better buy this one!
Ninja Theory, developer of the recent, divisive DmC: Devil May Cry, has a new trailer up on its website that chronicles its work during this soon to be recent generation. Spliced in is also a more mysterious project featurin...

Fightback photo
Fightback

Ninja Theory's latest game is Fightback for mobile


Not at all what I was expecting
May 24
// Jordan Devore
DmC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West developer Ninja Theory has turned its focus to mobile gaming, at least for right now. The studio's new game, Fightback, is a free-to-play brawler destined for Google Play a...
Heavenly Sword movie photo
Heavenly Sword movie

Heavenly Sword is also getting the movie treatment


Direct to video, though
Apr 23
// Dale North
Ratchet and Clank gets all the spotlight this morning as far as game-to-movie adaptations go, but another is looking for some gamer love. According to the very end of Variety's article on the film, in addition to Ratchet and ...
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GDC

Ninja Theory talks reboot and shows off unseen Dante art


Dreams and Madness
Mar 29
// Alessandro Fillari
Just two months ago, DmC: Devil May Cry was released and caused quite a ruckus. While this unique entry in the Devil May Cry franchise didn't exactly light up the charts, and remains a contentious title with series fans, at t...
Vergil DLC video photo
Vergil DLC video

Gameplay videos for DmC's Vergil DLC are surfacing


Watch this 18 minute video while you can
Feb 21
// Chris Carter
If Capcom's short teasers aren't satisfying you while you wait for DmC: Devil May Cry's upcoming DLC, Vergil's Downfall, a few users in Europe have redeemed their codes before the March 5th release date, and have uploaded so...
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PS4 Megaton: Tameem Antoniades loses the DmC Dante hair


Shave his head? Never in a million years
Feb 20
// Jim Sterling
While some argue the PlayStation 4 reveal event wasn't as full of megaton announcements as it should have been, many glossed over one important and startling bit of news -- Ninja Theory's Tameem Antoniades has hacked off...

DmC's Vergil DLC about 3 to 5 hours of new content

Feb 14 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
DmC: Devil May Cry: Vergil's Downfall (PC, PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360)Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: CapcomRelease: February 2013MSRP: $8.99 I went hands-on with just the first level of the new downloadable content, and it begins with Vergil being transported to the house he grew up in as a child. Don't worry though, you'll be exploring new environments and you quickly discover this isn't just a repeat level from the main story. In fact, areas in general have a more abstract feel to them, similar to the secret areas and challenge rooms as Ninja Theory wanted to do a slight shift in tone with this content. Plus cutscenes are all more like a motion comic crossed with an anime now, as opposed to in-game animations like before. Combat wise, at its core Vergil has the same basic traits as Dante. He has his main sword attack, a projectile sword attack, plus his Angel and Demon sword attacks. All of this will be upgradable the same way as Dante, just not as deep and with less weaponry. He won't have access to his Angel and Demon attacks at first, but he is able to use their pull moves and that's where you'll see the biggest difference between to two brothers. Vergil will teleport for his dodges, and his pull moves. It's quite jarring at first, especially after you got so used to the way Dante did it. With Vergil, he's able to teleport enemies to himself, or he can teleport right to them. The same goes for when you're using Angel or Demon pulls on platforms. As for the story, you're playing as a very disheveled Vergil. Downfall aims to wrap up the story between the brothers as Vergil tries to make sense of what went wrong. Vergil doesn't think he's a bad guy, he was trying to do what was best for humanity. Dante will be making appearances in Vergil's Downfall, but it doesn't look like it's actually the savoir of humanity. This hell-like dimension appears to be screwing with Vergil, and after a little challenging fight with a new enemy type, Vergil is stabbed once again by what I'm guessing to be a Dante imposter. Or maybe it's all in Vergil's head? We'll know for sure when the new content is released later this month.
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Vergil's Downfall
The upcoming downloadable story content for DmC picks up right where the game finishes, so needless to say this will be one spoiler filled preview.      At the end of DmC, Dante plunges his sword into...

DmC  photo
DmC

These DmC combo videos are SSSENSATIONAL


Savage! Sadistic! Sensational!
Feb 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
DmC: Devil May Cry was a blast to play, and one of my favorite things to pull in the game were all the crazy attacks and combos you can string together. Capcom-Unity pulled together a few videos fans have made stringing toge...
DmC photo
DmC

DmC: Devil May Cry PC patch update gets detailed


Bunch of minor things get fixed
Feb 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
An update has hit the PC version of DmC: Devil May Cry on Steam this week. The updates address a minor bugs, and tweaks some things affecting gameplay. Game balancing wise, demon evade provides less damage and style boost, an...
Devil May Cry's satire photo
Dominic Matthews explains DmC's themes
Rock, Paper, Shotgun had the opportunity to sit down with Ninja Theory and learn a bit more about some of the motivations behind the design of DmC: Devil May Cry, specifically from a narrative perspective. Ninja Theory’...

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Combichrist's DmC: Devil May Cry soundtrack available now


There's two soundtracks!
Jan 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Did you know DmC: Devil May Cry features two full blown soundtracks? Noisia released their 36 track album earlier this month, and consists of mostly of dubstep, electronic and ambient style of music for the game. It's availa...

Not-review: DmC: Devil May Cry on PC

Jan 27 // Jim Sterling
DmC: Devil May Cry (PC)Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: CapcomReleased: January 25, 2013MSRP: $59.99Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI) DmC: Devil May Cry initially suffers from the same thing so many major PC releases seem to suffer from these days -- a visually repugnant opening cutscene. Cutscenes are poorly compressed and afflicted with an offputing overabundance of screen tearing, as seems to be the way with most big PC titles (Note: Enabling VSync also applies to cutscenes and will stop the screen tearing -- thanks readers!). I really wish they'd sort that out, especially given the PC's reputation as the home of superior visual quality. It's always a terrible first impression for any game to give off.  Fortunately, the cutscenes are anomalous to the overall package, which looks absolutely stellar and sits comfortably above the console releases in terms of raw graphical splendor. The PC version boasts a greater draw distance and high definition shadows to craft a world that's far easier to get absorbed into. With enhanced textures thrown into the mix, this game is an eye-popping revelation to anybody who's just got done playing through the console alternative.  Of course, the most significant attraction is the framerate. While the 30 frames-per-second found on Xbox 360 and PS3 were a huge sticking point in the minds of concerned Devil May Cry fans, such a problem is non-existent on this 60fps option. Those lamenting the lost of half the framerate will get exactly what they want here -- a game with silky fluidity and a greater level of precision.  These factors combine give us a game that just feels much more tangible. I've played a fair few PC versions of games after originally taking them for a spin on consoles, and DmC is definitely at the higher end of the noticeable improvement scale. The game really "pops" off the screen in a way the Xbox 360 version simply can't. Of course, if you're a PC gamer, you knew that already and are just here looking for validation -- consider it done! The biggest caveat has to be that you're likely going to want an actual controller, as opposed to mouse-and-keyboard. I'm not a fan of third-person action titles with traditional PC controls at the best of times, but DmC's reliance on multiple button presses during the heat of combat makes it almost unplayable in my experience. When you're holding down multiple keys to switch Dante's weapons, hitting Shift to dodge, and trying to keep Dante pointed in the right direction, all with one hand, it's an exercise in total frustration. Not to mention, an analog stick is always going to be better than keys for nailing direction-based combos.  One other complaint, also linked to mouse-and-keyboard, is the menu system, which is not at all optimized for PC controls. You can't use your mouse in menus, which isn't a problem if you take my advice and use a controller, but is an annoyance for anybody forging ahead with the usual input method. The game has most certainly been designed with controllers in mind, and the PC version is not prepared to make allowances for anything else.  In my humble opinion, the game's still a great time no matter what system you acquire it for, but if you want the best visuals and a framerate worthy of the franchise, DmC on PC is the way to go. Its cutscenes are as bad as can be expected, and keyboard input is a dog's mess of an experience, but if you've got a controller and an eye that demands the best visuals possible, this is the DmC you need. 
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60 frames-per-second put a Christmas in your eyes
DmC: Devil May Cry has been out for a while, and I think everybody's said what they need to say about it. Whether you're a supporter of the game, a hater of the game, or you were busy making up stories about human babies bein...

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DmC: Devil May Cry gets a prequel comic


The Chronicles of Vergil
Jan 23
// Chris Carter
If you're itching to get more out of the world of DmC: Devil May Cry, today is your lucky day. Titan Comics has just announced that a tie-in comic series is now available on ComiXology.com, and will be coming to print soon. T...
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Original Dante!
After I beat DmC: Devil May Cry the other day, I unlocked the white-haired Dante costume. Essentially, it's the new Dante in his same "new" style, with his old hair color. It was small concession for fans who really cared wha...

DmC photo
DmC

See what new Dante thinks of the whole white hair issue


DmC: Devil May Cry
Jan 14
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
In the first level of DmC: Devil May Cry, Dante gets a little surprise while taking on the game's first boss. The video is below the fold as the thumbnail is a a bit spoilerish.  [Thanks, Zak!]

Review: DmC: Devil May Cry

Jan 14 // Jim Sterling
DmC: Devil May Cry (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed], PC)Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: CapcomReleased: January 15, 2013 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) / January 25, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Let's not beat around the bush. Those looking for hardcore action in the same vein of the previous four titles will be disappointed. DmC: Devil May Cry is easier. It's simpler. Chaining combos and gaining S ranks are not challenging at all, at least on the normal difficulty setting. It doesn't run at 60 frames-per-second on consoles. For some, the alteration of these elements will have killed the very essence of Devil May Cry, and to those people, I can only sympathize, because this game simply is not for them.  This is not to say, however, that every fan of prior installments shall walk away empty handed. Those who came to the series predominantly for its commitment to ridiculousness, its audacious sense of style, and a combat system that leaves them feeling highly amused, have everything they need for a fantastic time, and may find themselves favoring Ninja Theory's effort more than any other game in the series.  [embed]242002:46309[/embed] Retelling the story of the Son of Sparda, DmC seems to take most of its narrative cues from the classic Roddy Piper movie, They Live. Humanity is being kept docile and unwittingly enslaved, Earth's "reality" little more than a mask for a Hellish alternative world full of subliminal messages and twitching abominations. Dante is one of only a few capable of seeing the world as it really is and entering the twisted mirror world of Limbo, where messages like "OBEY" hide behind advertising posters, and consumer products are revealed for the monstrous intoxicants they really are. DmC lays the satire on thick -- perhaps a little too thick -- skewering the finance industry, FOX News, and consumer culture with little mercy and less subtlety. At the heart of this is Dante -- an angrier, more aggressive, less camp take on the iconic protagonist we've come to know who, over time, becomes no less affable for all his differences. The story is as silly as a Devil May Cry story's always been, but thanks to some solid voice acting and terrific motion capture animations, it remains believable and suffers from no deficit of enthusiasm.  While DmC retains much of the aesthetic charm of the series, there are many differences under the hood. DmC is a quicker game overall -- its combat is less methodical and precise, though not as deep as a result. Progression through a chapter is likewise lacking in obstacles and puzzles, but instead emphasizes swift traversal and platforming. As much time is spent navigating ever-twisting corridors and chasms, grappling and gliding through the air, as it is hacking demons to pieces. Again, this will disappoint some gamers, but others -- myself included -- shall appreciate a title that feels overall less ponderous and more fluid.  The foundation of Dante's adventure is the ability to embrace both his demonic and his angelic qualities. By simply holding the left or right shoulder buttons, Dante is able to access angel and demon weapons respectively. In his normal form, Dante wields his traditional sword and twin pistols. His angel form eventually utilizes a scythe and whirling blades designed for crowds of enemies, while his demon form can access a brutal axe and a pair of molten fists that deal huge damage at a cost to speed. Dante can also grapple enemies, a'la Nero from Devil May Cry 4, and again his two forms utilize this ability differently, with the angel grapple pulling our hero toward opponents, and the demon grapple pulling enemies towards him. As the game progresses, Dante's on-the-fly form changes are increasingly emphasized both within combat and without. Aside from recurring enemies displaying immunity to certain weapon types, there exist floors that deal damage to Dante if he's not in the right form, and various grapple points that must be dragged or clung to, with the player often required to change form and grab obstacles multiple times in mid-air. These requirements give platforming sections a more thrilling edge than they'd otherwise have, though I feel Ninja Theory could have made them even more demanding than they are. They look and feel great, but I was always waiting for something incredibly complex from the environments, and never quite got them. That said, optional secret missions can be unlocked to explore the concept further. These timed missions demand certain activities be completed utilizing specific forms, or really expand the platforming into something more taxing. Players are rewarded with health boosts after completing every four secret missions, though finding the keys and the doors required to discover them is a challenge in and of itself.  With access to so many instantaneous weapons, switching combat styles to rack up bonus points has never been easier, and even a moderately skilled player will be casually grabbing "SSS" rankings provided they keep it varied. Again, if one's joy came from feeling accomplished in these rankings, this will be a cause for consternation. For those who want a lot of weapons with which to beat the stuffing out of hordes of enemies, DmC has them supplied to an ample degree. It's a solid combat system, one that definitely fails to reach the levels of depth found elsewhere in this particular series but, in all honestly, stands head and shoulders above the majority of most action games.  What Ninja Theory may have lost in the streamlining of the combat, it more than makes up for in terms of atmosphere and level design. Limbo, inspired as it may be by eighties sci-fi films starring Scottish wrestlers, is as twisted and oppressive as it is colorful and varied. While Dante fights through each chapter, the world contorts around him, hateful messages popping up on walls and floors, encouraging Dante to fight back by yanking debris and pulling himself toward higher ground. The way in which the environment serves as both a narrative device and dynamic obstacle course yields elegant results, making DmC's twenty levels some of the most intriguing and original I've seen in quite some time.  Nowhere is this more evident than with the bosses. From a foul-mouthed vomiting succubus to the cackling digital head of a demonic Bill O'Reilly substitute, each boss battle is bombastic, memorable, and gloriously stupid. Many of them provide environmental puzzles as well as combat challenges, blending the two gameplay elements remarkably well as Dante swings from platform to platform before seizing an opening in the foe's attacks and closing in. Like elsewhere in the game, many of these huge fights focus on Dante pulling objects or pulling himself, a focus that brings some delicious imagery during one particularly motherly battle.  The artistic stylings of Ninja Theory, previously showcased in Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Journey to the West, are surprisingly well adapted to the Devil May Cry universe. While the clashing colors and animation styles bear Ninja Theory's unmistakable signature, the various demonic entities all retain a classic flavor, treading the line between "cool" and "unsettling" while boasting no shortage of visual intimidation. The aforementioned environments really run with this style, and areas such as a glitzy, near-psychedelic demon nightclub and a section taking place within a Raptor News logo are difficult not to fall in love with.  The game's soundtrack evokes memories of Devil May Cry 3, providing some shameless background combat tunes, most notably from growling makeup aficionados Combichrist. Like any good DMC soundtrack, the music does a terrific job of getting one in the right mood, expertly punctuating the decadent scenes of violence with equally indulgent rock.  There is an argument to be made that, when judged alongside the rest of the series, DmC is a bad Devil May Cry game. The suggestion may be debatable, but there's a potential case to be made. It's more streamlined, it's not as challenging, and ultimately it has stripped away what a significant portion of the fanbase love most of the series. However, even if one sides with the argument that this is a bad Devil May Cry game, that does not preclude it from being deemed a terrific videogame on its own merits, and in my estimation, that's exactly what DmC: Devil May Cry is.  You can argue DmC's merits as a Devil May Cry entry all the live long day. You can bicker over whether or not it deserves the share a name with the series' frankly spotty past. This, however, is not an argument I choose to indulge, because the bottom line is that DmC: Devil May Cry is a beautiful, bold, and supremely enjoyable videogame in its own right. It deserves to be praised. Action games may come deeper and harder than this, but few are as pleasurable.   [Check out our complete coverage of Devil May Cry, including the controversial design overhaul. -staff ed]
DmC reviewed! photo
Dante's Winferno
DmC: Devil May Cry is an insult. It insults the fans, who have loyally supported Capcom through thick and thin, and it insults the legacy of a most respected action series. Ninja Theory has spat upon one of the last pure name...

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DmC will get Bloody Palace mode for free after launch


Don't go beating the main campaign too quickly now
Jan 09
// Jordan Devore
For better or worse, with the direction DmC: Devil May Cry has taken, I would have figured the series' popular Bloody Palace mode would be an obvious inclusion; something familiar for long-time fans to fall back to once every...
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A new DmC: Devil May Cry trailer appears


Watch Dante walk a lot
Jan 04
// Chris Carter
If you like walking, you're in for a treat. With a trailer that rivals even the Lord of the Rings franchise on "most steps taken per running time," you'll get to see Dante walk around as the world turns to Limbo City around ...
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Vergil confirmed for DmC: Devil May Cry as DLC


DLC free for GameStop pre-orders
Nov 12
// Dale North
A post-launch DLC pack for DmC: Devil May Cry has Dante's lovable twin brother jumping in as a playable character. Capcom says that Vergil's downfall will be available after launch for $8.99/720 MSP, and that pre-o...
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DmC uses Unreal techniques to feel faster than 30 fps


Style over substance?
Nov 05
// Jordan Devore
Having previously spoken with Capcom about DmC: Devil May Cry running at 30 frames per second as opposed to the series' traditional 60 fps, we heard that "it still feels really good" from Capcom Japan producer Motohide Eshiro...
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DmC: Devil May Cry Son of Sparda Edition revealed


Things available for money
Nov 05
// Jim Sterling
The ever-wise All Games Beta has discovered an image of the limited edition for DmC: Devil May Cry, known more impressively as the Son of Sparda Edition.  As well as flashy packaging, the special edition features the Sam...
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DmC: Devil May Cry will feature four extra difficulties


Heaven or Hell mode returns!
Nov 01
// Chris Carter
One of my favorite parts of getting a fresh new Devil May Cry game is working my way up to Dante Must Die mode (read: Very Hard) and beyond. There's something about the Devil May Cry series and its harder difficulty modes tha...

Rebuilding Dante in DmC: Devil May Cry

Oct 19 // Jim Sterling
"We actually started with some concepts that were a lot closer to the original Dante, but Capcom were very keen that we took our own direction with the character and really started from scratch," explained Matthews. "So our first step was to think about Dante’s history, where he grew up, what his motivations are, what he’d been through and build an idea based on that. Attitude is critical to Dante and it’s something that was a focus in the design. Dante has been through tough times and this is reflected in his outlook on life. He looks rebellious, because he is rebellious. "Creating Dante involved a lot of people on both the Capcom and Ninja Theory teams and the character went through a number of iterations. The importance of a protagonist is so great that it’s well worth putting in the time to get it right." The watch-word for DmC is "contemporary." Capcom's desire from the start was to have a new Dante that reflected the modern world, for better or worse. The publisher very much wants to continue to crack into the "Western" market, but unlike other Japanese publishers, actually drafted a Western developer into the mix, rather than simply guess what Western gamers like and work from there -- a practice that hasn't worked out too well for some games. "Very early on in the project Capcom asked us to think about what Devil May Cry would be like if it was a contemporary movie, and that is a mindset that has stayed with us throughout development," explained Matthews. "We wanted to take what was at the heart of Devil May Cry and bring it into the here and now and give the franchise a wider appeal in the west. For example, music remains a very important feature of Devil May Cry, but we’ve taken music that is cool now rather than just replicating what was cool when the original games were made." The current Dante didn't go through too many design overhauls since inception, with Ninja Theory remaining fairly committed to the character. Instead, Matthews says the studio has worked on "finessing" him over time, with Capcom apparently giving the team a lot of freedom to work its own ideas into the Devil May Cry series. Ninja Theory believes it has a clear and solid vision for what DMC is all about, and remains confident that it can only add to the series, rather than take anything away.  One thing Matthews is particularly proud of is the design of the environments. While everybody focuses on Dante, nobody talks about what have been some pretty interesting environmental designs, featuring a world that twists and morphs around the player, and with threatening messages glowing oppressively on walls. Part of the design, according to Matthews, was to explain some of the gameplay mechanics from a narrative perspective.  "In the original Devil May Cry games Dante would be trapped in an environment by demon doors, giving him a limited area in which to fight demons," he said. "It’s a staple part of DMC. We wanted to find a reason for Dante being prevented from moving forward and came up with the concept of the world being alive and trying all it can to stop Dante in his tracks. The idea really grew from there. We wanted the world to feel like it is bursting with anger and venom towards Dante and the messages [are] one of the tools the demons are using to throw Dante off his pace." Of course, no explanation, no motivation, no amount of promise will assuage some of the fans out there, who remain angry at the overhaul and the "Westernization" of Devil May Cry.  "It’s natural for people to fear change, so it is understandable," admitted the developer. "But we feel we've made a game that the fans will really enjoy, so if people are still unsure, then get the game in your hands and feel it for yourself. If you play it and don’t like it then fine, but give it a chance. The downloadable demo will be out before the end of the year, so everyone will have the chance to make up their own mind by playing it first for free." Addressing specific points, though choosing not to get too deep into them, Matthews said that combat would be as deep as players like, stating DmC is "about figuring out the weaknesses of enemies and selecting the right tools for the job, whilst performing as stylishly as possible." For those worried about the combat being too shallow, Matthews countered by promising a "huge" amount of depth. He also empathized with fears about the framerate, but promised the game would be fluid and smooth, and that the team made it a "real focus" for development.  In truth, nothing was said that would really provide much comfort, as the developer seems quite guarded when it comes to addressing specific fears from fans. Any attempt to draw much more was met by the watch-phrase -- "play it." I suppose that's a fair enough statement from a developer who knows no amount of words will lay the rage to rest.  As far as Dante's "asshole" attitude is concerned, the developer said it was all part of the character progression. Though some fans have found the new character repugnant in his cocky ways, Matthews suggests that, "the Dante you see at the beginning of the game might not be the Dante that you see at the end. With no hope and nothing to live for wouldn't you be an asshole? If you’re given a reason and purpose in life maybe you’d change." Of course, there's always concern when a traditionally Japanese series is given over to a Western developer. Silent Hill has been out of the hands of Japanese game makers for many years now, and the fanbase has gone pretty much nuts after several sequels of often dubious quality. DmC is being presented more of a collaborative effort than one publisher farming out its property to a studio, and Matthews believes this dynamic will make for a much better game.  "Capcom have always given us their full support and they've always pushed us to follow our creative instincts. Capcom chose us because they felt that in partnership we could make a better game together than they could alone. They have allowed us on the inside and taught us a lot, particularly about combat design, something that they of course have an amazing heritage in. I’m sure some Eastern/Western partnerships may not be so open, but any problems relating to cultural differences have been easily overcome, partly down to the mutual respect between both teams." And what about Japan's reaction to DmC? We all know how Western fans feel about the game, but does Ninja Theory have any insight as to how it's performing out in Dante's homeland? "From what I hear it is going well," Matthews answered. "I’m told that Dante has proved to be a big hit with the Japanese ladies!" Well then!
DmC interview photo
Ninja Theory talks overhauls and backlash
DmC: Devil May Cry has been controversial to say the least. Ever since Capcom announced a new game, developed by Ninja Theory and starring a redesigned Dante, fans have been furious, declaring this a grand travesty ...


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