DmC: Devil May Cry review (PS3)

ABizzel1 | 632d ago | User review
Reviewing: DmC: Devil May Cry
A sexy, bold, new take on a fan favorite, or a reject from hell
Few games have received as much hate, controversy, and cause an all out fan war between the optimist and the pessimistic as much as Ninja Theory’s and Capcom’s reboot of the beloved franchise Devil May Cry. 2 years since its TGS announcement the game is finally among us, but has Ninja Theory and Capcom crafted a superior Dante and friends, or was all the condemning just.

To answer that question simply, it would be yes and no. DmC: Devil May Cry is a great attempt at rebooting the franchise that is only held back by a lackluster story, presentation, and annoying game design choices. But even through its minor downfalls, DmC manages to be something that is missing from many of todays games. FUN. Right off the back the game kicks things into high gear with Dante spending a night with the ladies to be waken up, in the nude, by Kat a psychic / medium / witch / rebel with a demon hot on your trail. From there you are thrown into the new world of DmC. Limbo. Limbo is the single greatest improvement Ninja Theory has added to the franchise, and should be carried on from here forth. Limbo takes the normal boring world of DMC and throws it into a hellish playground for demons to affect the real world without their presence being known. It’s concept is typical for handling such situations, but it’s execution in-game is flawless and truly sets DmC apart from every other game in the franchise and every other hack and slash out there.

But as great as the first 10 - 20 minutes are it’s still a standard, but beautified tutorial of the games basic controls and gameplay. And upon beating the first mission, your next mission throws you right back into another 10 - 20 minute tutorial as you gain access to your demon and angel powers. So the first 20 - 40 minutes are literally tutorial for a game that’s 8 - 10 hours long.

However, after completing the first 2 missions of the 20 Mission game, things begin to really develop, as you take on the hoards of demons standing between you and the demon King Mundus. But unfortunately that’s all the story ever really develops into, which is disappointing considering Ninja Theory’s strength in storytelling in it’s previous games. DmC like it’s predecessors is a story about performing a demon hunting job and seeking revenge on demons for hurting people, or in this case breaking up Dante and Vergil’s once happy family. At times it’s interesting and clever, then it’s dumb and vulgar, but it never really gets past that which is truly unfortunate.

The cast is a mixed bag ranging from good to mediocre. The game is at it’s best when Dante, Vergil, and Kat interact with one another. Both Kat and Vergil (although Vergil is vastly different in personality from previous games) are thought out characters and from the beginning their roles are clear. To get this mess of a Dante headed down the right path towards salvation. Dante is a far cry from previous installations as well. He gives his infamous 1-liners with a hint of charm, and innuendo, but he’s also vulgar and extremely cocky which can be unappealing for a protagonist you’re planning on spending the next 8+ hours with. If I had to compare the two I would say Old-Dante is a J-Pop Rocker, while New-Dante is straight up Punk Rock and doesn’t give an explicit about it. That being said New-Dante does grow on you by the end of the game, and it’s a shame that Ninja Theory went to such extents to give the bad-boy look and fell when mowing down armies of demons like nothing was more than enough. The major villains and bosses are all forgettable. Ninja Theory did a great job at conveying how the demons have taken over the world with a contemporary twist, but the characters themselves are completely underwhelming and sometimes flatout ugly in design (Lilith).

The writing doesn’t really fair any better either. For the most part it’s standard game writing, but the vulgarity of some parts of the game seem completely out of place for the typical hack and slash. The phrase “FU” is used at least 5 times throughout the game, and its use is just pointless. One piece in particular stood out where Dante and Vergil shared a brotherly spat about who’s better at what, with Dante saying “I’m stronger”, Vergil replying “I’m smarter”, Dante replies “I’m better looking”, and you think it end there as both smirk, but then it’s ruined by Vergil saying “I have a bigger D!@#”. Its just moments like those that make the game feel dumb and vulgar instead of witty and charismatic. But for what its worth the game does a slightly above average job at telling a decent story.

While the story and writing may have not lived up to expectations, surprisingly the gameplay has. DmC is by far Ninja Theory’s best work in the gameplay department. DmC plays beautifully and is full of depth. Like previous games you start off with the trusty sword Rebellion and the twin pistols Ebony and Ivory, and can unlock new attack and abilities to improve your movepool of attacks. But unlike the previous games instead of using Red Orbs you earn upgrade points to upgrade skills. It’s a nice improvement as it allows you to freely spend those Red Orbs on much needed Health and Devil Trigger upgrades.

Angel and Demon modes are new additions to the franchise and the second greatest improvement to the game. Personally I’m a huge fan of the free combat in the originals (especially DMC 3 and DMC 4). However, the addition of Angel and Demon modes adds a layer of strategy that simply wasn’t in the originals. But not all is good regarding these new abilities. Early on it can be a bit confusing and takes a while to get use to especially coming off of previous games. You’re better off playing a few levels of Heavenly Sword to prepare for DmC’s combat. Later in the game there are also enemies who are completely unaffected by one of your new forms, or one of the new forms and Rebellion which can be annoying when fighting large groups of enemies filled with multiple immune demons. It’s one of the bad game design decisions that make DmC stumble on its way. The whole point of DMC games is to master combos and juggle multiple enemies, but with no lock-on a misplaced attack can interrupt your momentum and cause you to miss out on getting a perfect SSS score. DmC is all about fast and frantic crowd control, but hitting an immune enemy and stumbling back just breaks your rush.

Another thing that break immersion are the after mission rankings. Although rewarding and inspiring replays, they ruin the flow of the story when you end a mission. Instead of taking them out they should be implemented in the say way Bayonetta does to keep things flowing along.

Beyond combat however, DmC is also a platformer at heart. Using your Angel and Demon powers you must traverse through the stages and safely guide Dante through obstacles that are easy at their hardest.

Probably the biggest problem with DmC is the engine running the game, Unreal Engine. For the most part the game looks solid, but for such a high profile game you’d expect better (Gears of War 3 good). There are some annoying graphical errors / choices such as a weird shadow effect that sketches it’s way across the characters faces that mar the game. On top of that there are common Unreal Engine problem such as delayed texture loading, screen tearing, and frame rate issues. It’s expected seeing how Unreal Engine has struggled to run smoothly for most games on the PS3, but unfortunate considering Ninja Theory's history and experience developing for the PS3. There’s also an unforgivable lag in the upgrade menus. But not all is bad. The time in Limbo is some of the most captivating work in the game, and there are times where the game becomes so artistic and Zen-like that it feels like the game is being created by two very different minds (chalkboard).

Overall DmC is a success with some unfortunate, but fixable faults. As I said at times the game feels like it was developed by two different minds. For every great idea there’s a minor annoyance that could and should have been discussed and fixed well before the games release. The combat loading screen is pretty cool, but there’s a lot of loading and the loading screen of Dante and his mother Eva often results in quite a long waiting session. The controls are completely customizable which is great, but the lack of a lock-on button to target enemies is a step back. The weapons are some of the best in the franchise, and you get them by beating a boss like previous games, but why do each boss give you access to a weapon they don’t even use. There’s a training mode and challenge missions to test your develop and improve your skills while offering longevity, but DmC is easier than any of the previous games to begin with, and getting better allows you to blow through the game effortlessly. For those who want the series known difficulty you must play on Nephilim from the very beginning. Then there are dumb ones like the world drinking Succubus juice, and Dante and Vergil being immune to it, but somehow stepping in it burns Dante like a genital rash he may or not have contacted prior to the game... And for all the mention of Dante’s newfound Angel abilities and lineage there’s no sign of Angel’s in the game outside of paintings.

DmC is a good game. It has its share of weaknesses like most games do, but it also has some great strengths. Ninja Theory brings the world of Devil May Cry to life like Capcom never has. Limbo, Witches, Demons, Mediums, Psychics, and Spray Paint spells all sell the lore. When Dante and Vergil share a scene together it’s some of the best moments in the game, but whether that’s because of their prior history in older games is unknown. The new Dante is very rough around the edges and will be a hit or miss with most fans of the franchise. But he eventually grows on you especially when he opens up to his more heroic side, and we get to a glimpse of the old Dante we know and love. The game has a very anti-climatic ending that could have been handled so much better, but after beating it all I could think about was wanting to play more, which proved to me that through all the negatives DmC was a worthy successor to the franchise, and if Ninja Theory and Capcom can take the best of both worlds they've created and blend them together, then they will have something truly special on their hands next go-around. DmC won’t change the minds of those who have already labeled it, but it’s here, it exists, and it’s worthy of the name it has taken on.
Ups
Ingenious Ideas and Concepts
The world of Limbo
Surprisingly deep gameplay
Downs
Annoying Design Choices
Engine and Graphical glitches
Can be Immature and unnecessarily Vulgar
Score
8.0
Graphics The game looks solid, but there are some weird shadow effects and funky looking character designs for the bosses. Unreal Engine prevalent problems show up in full force on the PS3 version.
9.0
Sound Voice acting is great. Music ranges from Rock, Techno, and Dub-Step which jels with the very contemporary world and feel of the game.
9.0
Gameplay Angel and Demon modes add a new type of strategy that the series was missing. However, free form combat will be heavily missed from the previous games.
8.5
Fun factor The game has it's faults, but after beating the game I wanted more (the sign of a good game IMO). The story was fair but the action, while different, was true to the Devil May Cry name. Presentation hurts to overall fun factor.
0.0
Online There's no online mode; however, there are leaderboards to track your ranking against your friends, and the entire world.
8.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
ABizzel1  +   632d ago
This game isn't going to turn any naysayers into believers, but let me start by saying it is a good game.

My final score may seem a bit higher than the review indicates, but I really enjoyed it. The games major failing are Presentation such as frame-rate, screen tearing, lagging menus, graphical glitches, texture loading, and a mediocre story.

That may seem like a lot, but none of that takes away from how enjoyable the game was.

One thing I really wised they had changed was to keep Dante and Virgil on good terms in the end. I really enjoyed seeing the brothers being pleasant with one another, and working together. It really gave them a moment that the older games didn't have.
Heavenly King  +   630d ago
It is a "good" game in general, but it is not a good DMC game. So, for those wanting more DMC, this is not the game for them.

Hopefully Capcom will understand this, and will have the 2 series going in parallel so that everyone can have what they enjoy, and capcom gets more sales.
Norrison  +   630d ago
It's A REBOOT for fucks sake.
zerocrossing  +   630d ago
DmC is not a bad game, I can admit that and heck I don't mind saying I actually enjoyed it for what it was, it's just a poor DMC game and that's a shame.

My personal score is 7/10 and I think that's pretty fair all things considered.
ABizzel1  +   628d ago
LMAO. Come on, you know you enjoyed it just a bit. Give it a 7.5 for me ;D
Minartis  +   628d ago
I'd give it 9/10 - the most fun I've had since Bayonetta!
DivineHand125  +   630d ago
The DmC reboot is better than the previous DMC games in almost every category. It has better music, Better level design, better story, more enemy types than any other dmc game(new one almost every mission), better controls where you can easily switch between all your weapons in mid combo, No fixed camera so no more awkward level traversing, more believable main character and no more Dante trying too hard to be cool. The only negative i can think of is engine choice(unreal engine) and lack of polish.

The ones that are killing this franchise is not Ninja theory or Capcom, its the so called "fans" that want to bash a perfectly good game without even playing it for the sake of wanting Capcom to continue to push out the outdated game design from last gen.
#2 (Edited 630d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(14) | Report | Reply
ABizzel1  +   630d ago
I wasn't one one of the 2 that disagreed with you, but I wouldn't say it's better than all the previous DMC games.

If I had to rank them in order form best to worst it would be:

DMC 3
DMC 4 (Gameplay)
DmC
DMC 1
DMC 2

IMO DmC and DMC4 are on the same level since both had great strengths and glaring weaknesses. I explained the weakness of DmC in my review, and DMC while having the best gameplay in the series and good graphics also had a completely underwhelming story, setting, and cast outside of Dante and Trish (I did not like Nero).

If they could somehow take Ninja Theory's Setting and Ideas and blend them with heavy inspiration from DMC4's gameplay, and upgraded graphics + an exclusive art style (a look of it's own) then they will have the best DMC ever on their hands.
#2.1 (Edited 630d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
DivineHand125  +   629d ago
Your the first person I've seen that prefers dmc4's gameplay to dmc3 since that was 3's selling point. In your rankings why did you put dmc3 over the other dmc games if it wasn't for the gameplay because i know it couldn't be for the story.
I personally was disappointed with the gameplay in 4 because Nero's arm slowed down the combat and i couldn't pull off some cool looking combos like in 3 and the weapons you unlock weren't that useful/impressive. Though i did enjoy Nero's "shining Fingers"(gundam reference) in the end.
IMO, what could make this game perfect would be if they didn't use the Unreal engine and took more time to polish. I Also think they should have had more weapons and more major bosses in the game. Also maybe a better story. I Hope they add angel trigger in the next game and more info on his angel lineage.

As for your review i don't think the online category should be there while story is absent. Worst like how you said the story in your opinion was mediocre. Also in gameplay you said this game lacks the free form combat that was present in the previous games; i completely disagree with that because i think the combat has never been this fluid before where you can switch between any of your weapons in mid combo to keep the chain going but i miss the sword styles from dmc3.
ABizzel1  +   629d ago
I didn't say Nero's gameplay made DMC 4 good, it was Dante's. Dante from DMC 4 had the best gameplay in the series IMO.

DMC 3 was the better game because it just did everything right. Presentation (Story, Writing, Graphics, Audio, Pacing, etc...), Gameplay, and Appeal (Fun, Length, Multiple play-throughs) are the 3 categories I use when reviewing all my games. DmC and DMC 3 were the only game to get Presentation right in most categories, on top of that DMC 3 had great gameplay and appeal.
Blacktric  +   630d ago
"The DmC reboot is better than the previous DMC games in almost every category. It has better music, Better level design, better story, more enemy types than any other dmc game(new one almost every mission), better controls where you can easily switch between all your weapons in mid combo, No fixed camera so no more awkward level traversing, more believable main character..."

"and no more Dante trying too hard to be cool."

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

All these try hards trying to pass their opinions as facts... It's like it's a comment written by NT PR team...
#2.2 (Edited 630d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
DukeN13   628d ago | Spam
Blacktric  +   628d ago
".....Probably because these people have actually played the game through in it's entirety."

-Making the assumption that I haven't played the game yet to invalidate what I've said...

So typical.

"I'm a huge fan of the series - have all 4 original games, plus the HD collection , the anime and the mobile phone game, lol.
And in my opinion the new DMC game is great - I'd rank it second behind DMC 3."

Being a huge fan of the series or owning every single thing that's related to the series does not make you a better fan and it certainly does not make your opinion more valid.

"DmC's Dante starts off cocky and arrogant but he changes a lot during the game - by the end he's pretty similar to the old Dante ."

pfffppptpfptpfptpttt

Oh I'm sorry did you say you've played and finished the game?

I hope this hilarity never stops...

------------

Edit: "There you have it people - the mindset of a hater"

^ and this is the mindset of a typical, desperate DmC/NT apologist. I bet you're still one of those who thinks that people hate the game because of Donte's hair while running your mouth about how open minded you are. Also your shallow attempts at wit falls short not unlike DmC.
#2.2.2 (Edited 628d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(7) | Report
DukeN13   628d ago | Spam
Minartis   628d ago | Personal attack | show
nathan spencer  +   622d ago
As a huge fan of the DMC games i have to admit that this new one is simply brilliant!!Gameplay is perfect,story is finally interesting,and Dante is full of life and personality and you can sympathize with him,don't get me wrong i love ''old'' Dante but he was just cool and nothing more.Give it a chance and you will love it!!

Time for a little Rebellion!!

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DmC: Devil May Cry

Average Score 8.3 Reviews(365)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US 25 January 2013
PS3 Release Dates
US 15 January 2013
AU 17 January 2013
EU 18 January 2013
PS4 Release Dates
Wii Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 15 January 2013
EU 18 January 2013
AU 17 January 2013
Xbox One Release Dates