Devil May Cry (2013) review

The Devil May Cry series, made famous by its hack and slash style of gameplay, the weapons you pick up along the way and a white-haired, young man in a long red coat named Dante. Well not any more, as Capcom and Ninja Theory release tomorrow the reboot of DmC – Devil May Cry, with Dante sporting a bit of a new look and hairstyle. But even with all the new tweaks to the looks of the characters, the story and the world around you, is it still the same old game that we have fallen in love with over the years? Well that is what I am here to find out with this review.

First of all let’s look at the story itself; here is how Capcom describes it…

‘ The Dante of DmC is a young man who has no respect for authority or indeed society in general. Dante knows he is not human, but also that he is not like the demons that have tormented him throughout his life. Caught Between worlds, he feels like an outcast. Thanks to his twin brother Vergil, leader of the anti – establishment group called “the Order”, Dante is now discovering and coming to the terms with what it means to be the child of a demon (Sparda) and an angel (Eva).’

In other words you meet Virgil who is your twin brother, then help him try to take out the Demon King Mundus who killed your mother and sent your father to be chained up for eternity. The story is a great part of the game, getting you hooked on what will happen, but one thing disappoints me a little although this won’t affect everyone. The issue is that it can get quite predictable if you have played the series before, but you could argue that it’s only keeping true to the story. If it is however your first time through, it is immensely enjoyable, with a few funny moments, a bit of drama and a ton of action included.

Now the gameplay, like most hack and slash titles, can get very repetitive, but it seems Devil may Cry might have added a bit of a twist. Not only does it have the element of ‘beat everything that comes out of the ground and walls as fast as you can’, but also includes a bit of a treasure hunt. You need to find keys to unlock doors that lead to secret missions, twenty one in total, with each mission giving you specific set of rules. For example, in one room you have to kill all the enemies, but the enemies can only be damaged whilst in the air. Now you would think that after failing a few times in these secret rooms it would get a bit frustrating, but instead of frustration, it felt like you were trying to achieve a goal. It sneakily rewards the player in two ways, one obviously being the prize you receive for completing the mission, the other teaching you new ways to play the game. However it’s not just keys you’re searching for, there are also lost souls throughout the game that need finding. Now you would think that these small things wouldn’t affect the game much, but finding the keys, doors and lost souls will reward the overall score at the end of each mission. However the time you take, how stylishly you kill off your enemies and like in the other games how many times you die or use items will also affect the score.

The game itself looks very beautiful, with a bit of a modern twist thrown in. There is a British vibe throughout the game, from Dante looking like a British punk, to Vergil who looks rather gentlemanly. But it’s not the characters looks that got my attention, but the environment itself. There were peaceful looking areas with shops and houses, that quickly turn into spike ridden masses of broken up land that actually seem to want to kill you. For example, some of my favourite moments are when you walk up towards certain doors when in Limbo that seem to turn into never-ending corridors, like something out of Charlie and the chocolate factory, creating a jumping obstacle course just to reach the door. Even the little details, like when you turn down a certain path only to then find it’s blocked by the dark spikes or even the building itself seemingly moving to block you, create a darker atmosphere within the game.

Finally we come to the extras in the game: first there is the weapon selection, here are just a few:

  • Rebellion – This is the first weapon you acquire it’s Dante’s trusted sword that was given to him by his Father, it has a mix of combos that is great to help send enemies flying through the air.
  • Ebony & Ivory – Ebony & Ivory are Dante’s duel pistols that you obtain half way into the first Mission, great for maintaining combos and decimating enemies that are in the air.
  • Arbiter – The Demonic Axe that can deliver massive blows and is perfect against enemies with shields
  • Osrisis – The Angelic Scythe and personally my favourite weapon in the game, has very fast attacks, brilliant for combos and crowd control with its long reach, but hopeless when it comes to an opponent with a shield.

Now the weapons in the game all have their own unique skill that appears to make you toggle through them quite often to achieve a better combo in-game. Also there are some areas in the earlier mission you cannot access until you have a specific weapon, usually leading to a lost soul, key or door. But when you have completed the story once, the only thing you can do is go through the story again, leading to a decent replay factor. Upon completion, in the words of Boromir, one does not simply walk into these previously untouched places, you unlock a much more difficult option of gameplay giving true fans a worthy challenge (and access to more-doors!). Now the game is fun, but it would have been better if there was something more to it, even a kind of multiplayer mode that lets two players go through the story together or even fight each other. But from what I’ve experienced there seems to only be the story mode, which is a little disappointing from a series that really seemed in need of a reboot. Hopefully they’ll release something more with DLC, but only time will tell.

I do recommend that you give it ago, especially if this is your first encounter with the series, but for those hardened DMC-ers out there we can only hope that a second title, if there is one, will have something more.

RATING – 7.5/10

LIKE I SAID ITS A GREAT GAME, BUT NEEDS MORE TO IT T

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