Review: DmC (Devil May Cry) (PS3)

Few things draw the ire of gamers more than unnecessary reboots, this much has shown over the years, with series such as ‘Splatterhouse’, ‘Golden Axe’, and ‘Altered Beast’ recently managing to straddle the line between god awful and downright offensive. That being said, once in a blue moon, reboots are done right, and while some may not agree with me, I feel that this is one such rare occasion.

Coming from the highly acclaimed, yet relatively small studio ‘Ninja Theory’ (of Heavenly Sword fame), the new Devil May Cry, or 'DmC', is a game that is so damn sure of itself that every crazy thing it tries is actually pulled off near flawlessly. And believe me, this game really is a visual treat. Not only are the facial animations spot on (thanks to the Morpheme animation system), but level design often borders between beautifully ambient, and joyously indulgent in symbolism and subliminal messaging.

At any given time, you could either be walking along an upside down platform, thrust into a crazy mirror dimension inside a river reflection, become the star of live national television during a boss fight inside of a machine, or dance between the literal soundwaves of a night club’s heavy, pounding bass lines. Not to mention the plethora of messages on the walls which glimmer in and out of inter-dimensional existence, telling you you’re getting lazy, fat, and idle. One such set of offices toward the end has no qualms in reminding you that ‘debt is good for the soul’, and ‘need is greed’. Each of these small messages are cast within their environment by demons that control the world (think ‘The Illuminati’), twisting and corrupting the thoughts of human beings, while feeding them poison to make them complacent. It’s all very political, and all the better for it.

Anyway, enough of the political messaging and anti-corporation plot points, this here is a videogame, and I think it’s about time we started talking about the game part.

DmC is a pretty standard fare action game, though what sets it apart from other games of its genre is just how fluid the combat system is. It is incredibly easy to switch between weapons on the fly, combining angel weapons, demon weapons, guns, and regular old swords with the press of a button. This system allows for some excellent combos, and downright fun gameplay.

Unfortunately, while all of this is great to watch and fun to play, the game itself is not very challenging the first time around. Achieving an ‘SSS’ rank can become as simple as blowing a whistle once you unlock certain ‘Devil Arms’, and even on Nephilim mode (The first hard more you can play), you’ll find the final boss is one of the easiest in the game. Fun, oh boy is it fun, but it is also easy. All of this will be somewhat of a problem to the dedicated DMC fan, who will be completely accustomed to DMC3’s crazy hard gameplay (even on normal). Thankfully, all of this clears up once you unlock ‘Son of Sparda’, ‘Dante Must Die’, and ‘Heaven/Hell and Hell’ difficulties. It’s within these difficulty modes that the game really dances with the best of the series previous instalments. It’s just a shame that at least one isn’t unlocked from the beginning.

Outside of the combat, the game has some brilliant platforming elements included. The level design is fantastic, the environmental artist deserves an award, but environmental art is nothing without solid level design, which, thankfully, is fun to play around in. The first level of the game throws you in the vicinity of certain fairground rides, most of which you can use to your advantage to gain environmental kills, rides such as the waltz, which allows you to fling enemies great distances once they have been knocked up into it. The game is as fun as past DMC games to kick demons around in, and just generally have a blast with the combat system.

All in all, this is a game that will most definitely be a ‘love or hate’ thing when it comes to gaining new fans. Some will complain about the difficulty, writing, story (which is still above mediocre), and how the new Dante is ‘too edgy’. Others will hopefully approach the game with an open mind, embracing the new look and feel of an old, beloved franchise. The gameplay is there, it’s solid, it’s built well, and most of all, fun. When it comes to playing videogames, what more could you really need? Coupled with some great design, a certain degree of artistic merit, a fantastic soundtrack and some great characters, I see no reason why you should not at least give DmC a go. It’s a fantastic ride, one that will likely leave more of a mark on you than you expect, just as it did with this reviewer.

I’m giving this bad boy 9 demon sex scenes out of 10.

Comment 1
George Prax's picture

I've only played a couple of hours so far but goddamn is this game bonkers. I'm really enjoying it two missions in, varied gameplay and while I've seen everything here in other games before it's all very fun. I like the combination of various weapons especially and how they flow in the gameplay. Definitely a good way to start the year.