It's not that bad actually. Whether you like it, love it, or loathe it, DmC: Devil May Cry is out and has been seeing a fair share of all of the above for the passed few days. Now, I'm just going to say it here, don't listen to the fanboys who are giving the game either a zero, one, or three. The game is far from scores like that and I doubt those people would know which games truly deserve those scores. However, I also have to say that other reviewers who give it an eight, nine, or ten might be getting caught up with the visuals and gameplay. For me, DmC: Devil May Cry is a decent game with quite a few flaws.
To get it out of the way, what do I think of the new look of Dante? Just remember that this is subjective per person. Personally, I don't like the new look nor how Dante is in the game, but it is an improvement over the initial appearance from the teaser trailer. Dante is just so boring and unappealing in this game. He is a foul mouthed, uncaring guy who doesn't have priorities and sees demons as pests rather than an actual threat. He doesn't get the proper motivation until later. He's basically the total opposite of the original Dante. Yes, I know that this is a different version, but I just prefer the original.
For that matter, most of the characters are uninteresting and bland. Vergil is completely useless during the entire story. Go figure that he's the leader of The Order, but hardly contributes anything until the end. Kat does more than Vergil in the game, but she is ultimately a weak character who's thrown in as a blatant love interest for Dante. Mundus doesn't have the same presence as he did before and instead seems and sometimes sounds like a wannabe Lex Luthor. The one character I was interested in most was a demon named Phineas.
Most of the characters' voice actors (except for Phineas) seem to have subpar performances. The voice acting is just so mundane. There are moments that call for good emotion, but the performances don't get there. These performances seemed very unspiring and directionless.
In general, the sound of DmC is rather good. I liked the metal music used, but the dubstep could have been dialed down. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not a fan of dubstep, but it isn't a negative of the game, it's just a preference of music. There are moments in cutscenes where the sound may suddenly cut off for a minor second or two. This may be attributed to the thirty frames per second, but I'm not entirely sure.
The thirty frames per second are easily detectable at certain moments, but they aren't a complete deal breaker. While there is a lot of flare and style in the game, it might be off putting to some people. Limbo, for example, is a unique world where the physical realm gets distorted and broken. The foundation literally works at trying to prevent you from getting to your goal and the demons use overwhelming numbers and strength against you. The colors compliment the weirdness of Limbo and it is compounded by the ruined architecture and intense platforming sections. Again, however, the art style may not be to everyone's liking.
Among other changes that this game had from the previous Devil May Cry games was the type of universe it takes place in. This is a world of demons, but also angels who are at war with them. The unification of an angel and demon were things of rarity, but these unions did occur which results in a type of offspring known as Nephilim. In this case, the demon Sparda and angel Eva had Dante and Vergil. The story follows this, but with a huge emphasis on Dante's past and breaking down Mundus' empire.
It becomes quite apparent that DmC has a lot of similarities with Darksiders II and those are seen easily in regards to Nephilim. The story itself is weak and scattered with a few plot holes. The script and themes put in come off as juvenile and trying too hard. I had no care for the characters or the world at large. Nothing really caught my attention, although I didn't expect the last mission to go the way it did (in a good way).
At the beginning of each mission you are able to get new abilities for Dante, items, and upgrades for the weapons. There is a plethora of upgrades you can get. White spheres represent how many points you have to use for upgrading. Items are bought with red orbs that are obtained in the classic Devil May Cry fashion of destroying breakable objects or defeating enemies. By the game's end, you'll most likely have ninety percent of this.
The game covers twenty missions in the single player campaign, but there are a lot of single missions that are just padding. One such example would be mission eighteen where you must reactivate a power chamber and it's a huge puzzle. That whole mission was padding to the extreme just to add another twenty to thirty minutes to the game. At that point, you're well on your way to finishing the game and this sudden giant puzzle stops you. You can complete the entire game between seven to eight hours.
Speaking of which, the series mainstay of plentiful puzzles have been replaced by platforming. While the platforming was something new and interesting, it can become repetitive. Sure, these are new ways to get around with the angelic and demonic tools, but I felt very stressed from it all by the end. Gliding was a new feature that gives you a good push in the air, but I became very frustrated at times as to switch from angelic hook to glide and then to angelic hook again. It all requires the same shoulder button presses, which may not transition well for some players.
As for combat, it is really well done. This is arguably the best part of the game. You can have three firearms, Dante's standard sword (Rebellion), two angelic weapons, and two demonic weapons. There is a lot of room for growth in combos and weapon usage. Switching among the weapons in the middle of combat is easy, too. You will quickly find that you will favor some weapons over others.
In my experience, Ebony and Ivory became underpowered despite upgrades and were replaced by the shotgun (Revenant); however, there is no targeting system as opposed to previous games. Sure, Dante auto targets when doing distance attacks and shooting, but it's really annoying when you're not controlling who you're targeting. Something new is that angelic weapons can be used to kill blue enemies and demonic weapons can be used to kill red enemies. This can be a good thing or bad thing given how creative you want to be with combining different weapons because this does restrict you to using certain weapons at a time.
Now, the one thing about combat that came off a huge disappointment was Devil Trigger. It is practically pointless to use unless you are out of items (so you can regain health) or are outnumbered heavily (so you can have the strength boost). When Devil Trigger is activated, time is slowed down and enemies are thrown into the air. The problem with this is that grabbing enemies and trying to keep up the momentum of moves is a hassle. If you accidentally knock them back in the air, they'll stay there until you do something about it. Devil Trigger doesn't really last long anyway and takes even longer to get. Even more so to a full bar if you're determined (although it is not necessary to fill the entire bar to activate it).
A note that should be made about Devil Trigger is that Dante's hair turns white and his coat turns red. It's kind of a tongue-in-cheek idea to the original Dante, but the whole thing is dumb considering the blatant jab that Ninja Theory takes at people who don't like the look of the new Dante. It's a major middle finger moment and it's completely immature, which in retrospective with fans acting out about the new look is understandable, but not inexcusable. Plus, it's further pointless to have the joke because they are releasing the classic Dante costume for downloadable content (which most likely you will have to pay for).
Overall, DmC: Devil May Cry is not great and not horrible, but just average. While the story and characters are lacking, the graphics are nice, the combat is great, and the weapons are intriguing. It may not be the ideal reboot to a much beloved series, but it's decent. Only the most diehard of Devil May Cry fans may not like this game. This is evidenced by Metacritic user scores.
Would I get it for my collection? Can't say that I would. The story, characters, and game length are preventing me from even making the recommendation to other gamers to buy the game now. If you must buy it, wait until it's on sale for forty dollars. If you are curious, rent it and check it out for yourself.