Community Review: DmC Devil May Cry

Just like last year started off with the ending to the Mass Effect saga, this year starts off with potentially one of the most divisive games. While it won't likely stir up as much controversy as ME3's ending did, this is certainly not the Dante we're used to - is it a change for the better? Have your say here.

When they released the first trailer for DmC, I was in the middle of my last stint at Kotaku AU. I'm not ashamed to admit I jumped on the hate bandwagon straight away, criticising the new Dante. Sure, he's supposed to be over the top, and cocksure. But he had some style about him. Old Dante didn't need to flex. But when I see new Dante punch a bouncer and write expletives on his clipboard, I just think... Wanker.

And that's saying something, because Sydney-siders have a somewhat tempestuous relationship with club bouncers.

Being anti-establishment doesn't equal coolness. Angst on its own may help those with similar angst relate, but it doesn't equal style. It's as if Dante is in that adolescent stage of believing coolness comes from being a bit of a dick. So this new DmC, in my eyes, has a lot to prove. Is new Dante a wanker? Or did I just get the wrong impression?

Furthermore, can Ninja Theory really capture the style of gameplay that Devil May Cry games are known for? Will they make it easier? With they hold your hand? Or will they simply give you the tools to wreak havoc, as previous games did, and let you figure out by yourself how to get that S rating?

I never played a Devil May Cry game for its story, but I'm more than open to it having one. Easier said than done. To me though, I'm worried that it'll fall in line with a worrying trend of franchises losing their way. Metroid Other M, C&C4... These games failed to capture what the franchise was about, and future games will be met with excitement, but also a raised eyebrow. Once bitten, twice shy.

I didn't get a chance to play DmC over the weekend. I don't have much memory of what happened, other than there was some sort of birthday involved, and I had woken up in a bathtub full of spicy Korean chicken chops. I guess I can tick "chicken bath" off my life list. We've all got that goal, right?

While shopping, I also noticed the JB Hifi price was around $70, while the Steam price was closer to $50, so I decided to wait a little longer and play the PC version in 1080p with 60 FPS. When it unlocks, I'll walk into the game with an open mind. I really want to like it.

So, no spoilers guys, but how is it? Is Dante ruined? Is he just different? Or has all this been overblown, and it's just another great addition to the series? What of combat? Is it deep? Is there a variety of combos? Is it as focused on skill as it should be, or is it noobified?


Comments

    Having never played a Devil May Cry game before, I really enjoyed DmC. Fun combos.
    And Dante, while being a bit of a wanker, definitely has a more serious side shown in the game.

    Pretty good. Didn't think much of Virgil's hat

    Played it on and off over the weekend and finished the third level.
    Still getting the hang of the angel/demon weapon switching but is pretty good so far.

    It felt like Bayonetta May Cry in terms of combat, with most of the combat mechanics being cribbed straight from Bayonetta's notebook instead of Devil May Cry's. A few of the boss fights were interesting, but generally they didn't seem as intense as the original series. I'm also in the camp of the difficulty, or rather challenge level being a lot easier than either Bayonetta or the originals.

    In terms of story, despite the pretty standard plot, the characters were well defined and Ninja Theory did an excellent job of maintaining the characters of Vergil and Dante that had been built up over the previous games. The parallels to the old story line were there too, with a few tweaks. My biggest gripe was that they kind of lost the reasoning behind the series name, though there is *that* scene (The Lilith handover scene) which a large number of people have totally misunderstood despite the pretty obvious character development and foreshadowing.

    All in all, not a bad reboot and completely different to what I was expecting. I think if NT listen to fan feedback the next (obvious) game will be a lot more in line with what people were expecting.

      This sounds very encouraging. I was a big fan of Bayonetta's combat. Maybe I'll just bump it up to hard? There's not really time to finish games like this twice these days.

    I'm really enjoying it. I'm about halfway through and have just unlocked the Devil Trigger ability.. and let me tell u, it really opens up at this point..
    It's a great nod to the old series how Dante changes appearnce when he is in Devil Trigger mode. His hair goes all white and coat becomes red.
    Also, the level design is some of the best I've seen in a while. There are some really unique and trippy areas you will get to explore. I'm enjoying the story so far too.

    I've played Devil May Cry 1 (didnt finish it), and Devil May Cry 3 (largely forgettable), and I think this is a great reboot to the franchise.

      I went back to DMC 1 and 3 recently expecting them to have aged and still found them to be excellent personally, DMC certainly has some design issues and I'd forgotten how obvious it was that the game was originally a resident evil game but it still retained that awesome atmosphere, soundtrack and ultimately solid gameplay. DMC 3, despite having played it plenty of years back, I ended up enjoying it more than any current gen action game, except maaayyyybe bayonetta, I really was surprised by how well it's aged, literally my only niggle is the camera angles still being frustrating at times.

      DmC on the other hand.... just... blargh, I couldn't care less about the hair and makeover really, don't like the new look but that's hardly something worth worrying about, and the gameplay is actually good, I was expecting okay after the demo, but it's better than okay, it's no DMC 3 or Bayonetta but there's nothing really wrong with it. What I absolutely couldn't stand was the plot, I don't think I've trawled through something this pretentious in a game since... well books/movies, I'm almost done, and while I'm trying mighty hard to ignore it and enjoy the solid gameplay, I just can't, the writer is so blatantly bad while clearly thinking he's making some kind of subtle social commentary, and Dante himself, yikes, he used to be an cocky guy belonging in the C movie plot he inhabited, now he's just a dick that apparently thinks swearing makes him mature... and that abortion scene... wow. Old Dante was barely a character, but that was fine, in fact it was kind of the point, new Dante is a bad character, for me, that's the difference. I realise I read much more into plot/writing/character development than most gamers due to my background but the ugliness of it in DmC has been so in my face I found it impossible to ignore.

      /rant
      /still a solid action game worth playing if you're hankering for some demon spanking.

    I don't get it. Dante knocks out a bouncer, writes his name on the list and makes an appropriate one-liner, he's considered an unlikable wanker. In DMC3, he treats CERBERUS like a puppy, and he's considered too cool for school. It's the same attitude, one just swears.

    I noticed that despite a lot of complaints, the new Dante is very much the same as the old Dante. One key difference though is that new Dante has a CHARACTER ARC. You remember those? They were important in games a decade ago, replaced by one-note marines who we're expected to care for when their love interest dies.

    As for combat, you really have to ask yourself a few questions. Is it "easier" because it is? Or because you have TEN YEARS of DMC experience under your belt that you can notice all enemy patterns? Another point, were the old DMC games "harder" because they were? Or because they were clunky? I remember many of times screwing up good combos or platforming sections because the games were clunky and I would always miss by an inch. I still remember knocking an enemy up, jumping up to him, and missing an aerial combo because he was just a pixel away from me. New DMC just allows me to make up missed jumps with other means of movement. I'm not fighting with the game for a high rank, I'm playing with the game for a high rank.

      Interesting points Neo - I'm really looking forward to seeing where they go with that character arc.

      I feel like I'll be okay with the ease as long as skill is rewarded. If you can beat it and enjoy the story with a C average as a normal player, that seems about right. Taking the time with your combos will be rewarded with the better grade, and perhaps better gear. Everybody's happy. There's something to be said for being forced to learn techniques, but I remember the old games as just always leaving that up to the player.

      Interesting point about the character arc, since while they certainly happened in games a decade ago they were primarily superficial barely there 'now you know we've reached the game's climax' plot devices. While there's nothing really wrong with that, it's a far cry from strong character development.

      As for the difficulty I agree, but while I haven't gone through the game on the hardest difficulty and probably won't, I'm not convinced it's impossible to make the highest difficulty harder, going back to DMC 3 I get butchered on Dante must Die, and even find normal a struggle till I get back into the swing of things, while DmC had been awfully breezy.

      For the old games, 1 was bit clunky, definitely though more solid than I thought it'd be going back to it, 3 I very much disagree, it's still the masterwork of what it does in my opinion ( I prefer the focus on fewer enemies to bayonetta's barrage even if this was only due to system limitations). It's one of the most polished and fair combat systems out there, it punishes your mistakes (or granted, lack of knowledge of the library of combos) but is almost never unfair, just really really hard. I challenge you to play say, Darksiders and Lords of Shadow then go back to DMC3 (as I unintentionally did), it was an astonishing experience in good game design vs okayishhhhhh design.

    Another point to bring up, has everybody seen that "DMC3 Combo" video? You'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen it, it has like 6 million views. Seems to me like they were inspired by that video (which is awesome) and wanted to create a game to allow you to do that stuff. By making the combat more streamlined to do that same stuff. You might think it's lame or "easier", but if you did pay attention to that video, you would know that a lot of the combos he does are next to impossible to pull off due to the control layout. Some of the combos include stuff like, "Rapidly tap O while holding square and the lock-on button".

      I'll look that up! Seems relevant, maybe worthy of a post even?

    Would it be better to grab a copy of Bayonetta or this if I was looking to jump into this genre?

      yeah it will be heaps cheap now and it was good fun. Not as many puzzles and DMC

      Bayonetta should be pretty cheap now, so grab both ;)

    I decided to get the DMC HD Collection and play it from 3 to 1 then play the new one. 4 .... 4 is better not spoken about ..

    Gotta say it's refreshing to see a DmC topic that hasn't erupted into a flamewar between haters and fanboys(give it time though). I've played the game, and it's got its obvious strong points/weak points. As far as the story goes, it's definately stronger than its ever been, with characters displaying actual character arcs as Neo said. And the theme of demons controling our banking system and media is a refreshing spin to demonology(and not that far-fetched when you think about it)

    As for the combat/gameplay, well........ I'm not sure where I really stand on that. The control layout is definately easier to handle, and that's a good thing-especially with a 'dedicated launch button. I remember in DMC4 how awkward it could be to perform high time/helmbreaker. Like, if you held the thumbstick a fraction away from the enemy you're fighting, the move wouldn't register. Holding down LT/RT for different weapons takes some time to get used to though.

    But with that being said, I don't feel there's enough of a challenge from the enemies. The bosses will give you far less of a fight than they should, and there are only a few enemy deployments that'll bite back abit towards the end of the game. For the most part, it's like most of the enemies are there just to wail on. It's fun in the same way that a Dynasty Warriors game is fun-but not in the way a DMC game should be fun. Put it this way. I don't consider myself to be all that good at video games, yet my lowest ranking on "Nephilim" difficulty has been an "A".

      One point to add about the bosses is that instead like previous DMC games, most of the bosses have their own level, or the area leading up to them have very little fights. I think that may make some people think they're easier, considering in previous DMC games you fought bosses at the end of a full level and not just an area. Where some of your health and items could become depleted from previous encounters. It also lowers the tension because you're not worried about dying and restarting the level as much anymore so your actions are more cool-headed and leveled out.

    Played the first couple of levels on the weekend. As a long time fan (only skipped 2 because it looked bollocks) I can honestly say that Ninja Theory have absolutely nailed it. It feels like a DmC game...but better than that, it feels like a DmC game via way of Bayonetta. I don't know how I can praise it more than that. Oh, and a bonus thing...the writing isn't laughable gibberish. Solid performances, solid script.

    New DmCs Dante is no more of a self righteous douchebag than the older one, whom was an exaggerated character that I was always seeing as a parody of itself written by a 13 year old on red cordial.

    The new game should only be played on the highest difficulty available, the one-hit Hell and Hell mode is where the game shines and everything comes together.

      But it was a parody of itself, it's actually kind of funny when you think about it. Original Dante is essentially a parody of New Dante. I'm surprised by how many people praise the plot/characters, different strokes for different folks I guess.

    Oh but yeah, it's really easy. But that makes sense; Capcom gave it to another studio to make it more accessible. I have no problem with that, and once you complete it there'll be harder difficulties unlocked anyway.

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