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DmC - Similar with much to get used to

This is part 2 of my DmC PAX 2012 experience. In my previous blog I wrote my story of going to PAX and trying out the game. - I was very displeased with the games' engine on the PS3. It didn't feel very smooth as it looks on the videos and from the looks of it, the game appeared to run better on the 360 version - Don't quote me on that, because I didn't actually play it on the 360 just looked at it in person. I also stated that I would write part 2 of the blog to go over the gameplay, and here we are!

There might be some biased included in this blog, simply because I have been very critical about this game since day 1, but I will try my best not to be and give you a fair run down of the gameplay and its mechanics. Just like my previous blog, I would appreciate you reading it before commenting. Also note that the game will be released in January, which means that a lot can change from now till then.

Action Adventure is my favorite game genre. The most time I have spent on single player games have been action adventure games. My personal best action adventure game franchise of all time are DMC, Bayonetta, God of War and Ninja Gaiden (1-2), with DMC being my favorite.

After playing the demo, these were the conclusions I drew: As an action adventure game, DmC is shaping up to be a good game. If you are just looking at the game as you would any new action adventure game, then all is good. If you are a fan of the DMC series and are expecting the game to be different with having to get accustom to new stuff, you are still good. If you are a die-hard DMC fan expecting the game to be the evolution of the franchise with next level fast DMC3 combat, then you best be careful with what you are getting into, because you might disappoint yourself at the end.

Things you have to know about the game: Unreal 3 engine - it looks different and feels different, - the game plays similar to previous DMC, slower combat (slower than DMC4, fast than DMC1), no lock-on mode, no taunt button, two attack button - quick attack and designated launcher, - grapple/pull mechanic is back, enemies float in air for a bit after launched, more frequent platforming, jump cancel and enemy step are in, Devil Trigger is stronger – same speed, strength, regen buff with the addition of immobilizing enemies and launching them in the air and longer duration during aerial combos – and new combo scoring system. I am going to try and go over some of these things. A lot of these are things you are just going to have to get used to if you are transitioning from previous iteration of the franchise.

One thing you might have seen or heard is that they are trying to make Devil May Cry more accessible. In other words, easier to get into, but still rewarding for the more advanced players. Stuff like that obviously comes with a cost, and some of the changes might have something to do with that. The control scheme definitely felt like that. Obviously me being used to previous DMC games, it felt odd for me.

Games' control (Correct me if I have anything wrong, I might have forgotten):
x - Jump
square - guns
triangle - quick attack
Circle - heavy attack / launch
R1 - Dodge
R2 - Angel Mode (Axe)
L1 - Dodge
L2 - Devil Mode (Scythe)
Left analog - Move
Right analog - Camera
L3 + R3 - Devil Trigger
L2 + x - air dash
L2 + Square - Grapple
R3 + Square – Pull
D-Pad – Weapon change

Unreal 3 Engine:
Like any game with a different engine: It doesn't look the same and it doesn't feel the same as previous Devil May Cry games. Even if you have not played the game, you might have noticed it from the videos and playing it the game's combat seemed slower. It's not ridiculously slow, but it's certainly slower than DMC3 and DMC4, but certainly faster than the first DMC.

The 30 FPS lock is something people always bring up and the thing is that it's there. It's pretty noticeable, but how you let it affect you it's up to you. I am personally not a fan of the Unreal Engine being used for this game and it was honestly the only thing that bothered me when playing the game. But again it depends on you.

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No lock-on mode:
What does this mean? It means you are going to have to get used to the auto-aim. You have to know the correct distance for being able to pull moves such as the Stinger. Otherwise you'll just end up doing regular quick slash. You have to always be pointing in the right direction for your attacks as well.

Launching enemies is not done with lock-on + backward slash anymore. There is a designated button that launches and knocks down enemies - It's the circle button by the way. Again, just one of those things that felt odd for me since I am used to holding L1 for lock-on – L1 and R1 are dodge buttons, - but again! It's one of those things that you are going to have to get used to.

I asked the Capcom representative standing at the booth if she knew if they were going to be adding it to the game. She said they were considering it and weren't too sure if they were going to put in the final version of the game. Personally hoping they do, although I can see why they wouldn't. For some people it's not fun to play while having to constantly hold a shoulder button. And I guess if they could get rid of it, why not right?

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New combo scoring system:
How do I go about explaining this one? The new combo scoring system is less about how long you can combo off an enemies without pausing while DmC's combo meter is more about the combos you pull off without getting damage. As you are in the midst of battle, the combo meter keeps adding up and your score is adjusted based off the combos you pull off.

With other DMC games you had a meter under the rank that would drop if you were not attacking enemies and drops to the previous rank. So it's less about how fast you are and more of what you can actually do without getting hit. That way people who aren't very fast, can share similar rewards for pulling off the same combo and it also promotes their dodge button – L1/R1 or air dodge.

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Grapple/Pull weapon returns; More platforming:
I remember back when this was introduced in DMC4 – Nero's Devil Arm – that there seemed to be many that weren't particularly fond of the mechanic. While it was cool, it also made combat more easy and you could pretty much disable enemies that you could grab and easily juggle enemies because of the fact that it holds in you place in the air when using it. In other words, your character doesn't drop down when you pull an enemy towards you in the air. DmC bring it back as you can both pull or launch yourself at enemies, but at a much longer distance.

This attributes to more air juggles and also the platforming included in the game. Just an observation and could just be me. But I felt like there was quite a lot of platforming in the demo that I have played and I feel that you are going to be doing that lot - Grappling on ledge, pull camera eyes, pull platforms, air dash towards platform. Not a uncommon thing for the DMC series, but they never played that big a role. With DmC you do this more frequent. There is nothing wrong with it, just wanted to point that out.

Enemies float in air for a bit after launched and combos:
I noticed this when playing that after launching an enemy in the air, they actually take a while to start coming back doing. Obviously I wasn't excepting them to instantly drop but it's long enough to consider them floating in the air. How does that affect the gameplay? It definitely gave me more time to react after launching the enemies, whether I jumped or grappled towards them to start a combo. Enemies in general after you finish performing combos in the air, take a while to start dropping and because the attack animations in general are slower, it it easier to continue to combo off them and jungle enemies in the air because there is more time to react.

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Devil Trigger immobilizes enemies:
Devil Trigger in this game is definitely a lot more powerful. Not only does it do the standard increased speed, strength and regeneration, it also launches all of the enemies in the air, practically immobilizing. From there on you can easily grapple yourself towards an enemy, start and air combo and continue doing so till it wears off and they drop down. Against bosses it slows down there attacks and also open up grapple points to inflict damage. Unlike previous games, your meter fills up by dealing AND taking damage, similar to Capcom's fighting games meter building, and the longer you are in the air, the slower it depletes. Promoting and rewarding players for air combos.

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Combos are easier to pull off:
Now this could be for many reasons: Slower combat, slower attack animations – giving you more time to react for next move, launch button, enemies floating in the air, long range grapple and pull. You can definitely pull off some cool stuff, it's just much easier due to the pace of the game. And because you always have Angel and Devil mode weapons at your disposal, that's 3 weapons to transition your attacks from.

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Random thoughts:
- When they said they were Westernizing the game, they weren't kidding. From the frequent swearing, Dante being a douche with a soft side, the dramatic writing. It's all there. At this point the only thing that I am waiting for them to confirm is a sex scene or Dante crying.
- Free camera control is great
- R1 and R1 dodge + Air dodge is kind off meh
- Game seems linear. Doesn't appear that you will be backtracking in the game
- No castles. At least not yet
- Environment are hit or miss. Some areas seem cool with all the shifting. At times it just annoying and "whatever"
- It appears that you can take a lot more damage in this game compared to other DMC games, despite the demo probably being on easy.
- You don't make the game look stylish, it does it itself

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I wrote my conclusion already at the top of the page, but to repeat it again. As an action adventure game, DmC is shaping up to be a good game. That is one thing I never questioned, despite shitting on it a lot. And if you are a fan of the DMC series, but are aware and are ready for the changes that comes with in, that includes the games engine and the pace of it then you will like it.

The game didn't feel like it was an evolution to the series. It was different, that's it. It's not particularly better or worse than the previous games. It felt more accessible and rewarding, definitely a game I could get my friend, who could never get passed Agni and Rudra, to play. If you are a die-hard fan of DMC expecting this game to be the new coming of Christ, just make sure you look more into the game before it is released, or you could just disappoint yourself.

While I disagree with the changes they are making, action adventure is my favorite genre and the game despite not being a true sequel or the evolution as I would have hoped it would be, it's still a good game and there are cool stuff you can pull off. And I'm sure once the game comes out is when people will have more time to play around and explore the games' combat more. Whether I'll get it for release or wait for a price drop is what I would have to think down the road. Because while the game looks good so far, the wow factor and connection for me just wasn't there. I'm not particularly excited for the game, even though I have tried to be and looked past the changes that they made. I guess the fact till this day I occasionally revisit the old games and still watch DMC combo videos on youtube doesn't help and part of me still can't get over the changes.

Please remember that what I played at PAX was just a demo. It could just have been an early build, and some of these things can still change from now till release. These are my opinion. If you played the game, I would like to know what you thoughts about the game.

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Kalowest2050d ago

Very, very detailed, my hopes are up for this game just alil bit more now.

Ashriel2050d ago

That was a nice read, thanks :D

I loved DMC 1 and 3 (Didn't play 4). And I'm looking foward to this one.

FinaLXiii2050d ago (Edited 2050d ago )

IF you play 4 if you will know how this one wont be any different in terms of gameplay speed plus no good old dante.

FinaLXiii2050d ago

" It appears that you can take a lot more damage in this game compared to other DMC games, despite the demo probably being on easy. " - Having you seen any green orbs around? maybe its regenerative health this time around.