DmC: Devil May Cry Review

Dante's Look May Have Changed, But the Action Hasn't

dmc1.jpg

For players having grown up with an ivory-haired, pizza-gobbling, double-entendre spewing Dante, Ninja Theory's brazen re-imagining was a tough pill to swallow. The "snot-nosed punk" replacing the iconic demon hunter very much resembled a trashy teenager was certainly a different sort of protagonist. But time passed, and the fires of rabid fan ire grew dim. Finally, Ninja Theory's vision of DmC: Devil May Cry hit shelves, and when the dust settled, a younger and much more powerful Dante emerged: half-angel, half-demon, and all brilliant.

This is a Devil May Cry for a brand new generation of fans. Ninja Theory ingeniously co-opted the familiar characters and lore of the established franchise, spinning a glossy tale packaged with an angsty aggrotech soundtrack that explores a dystopian future. Enter a world overrun by debt, gluttony, greed, and a sickeningly biased news network spinning its own falsehoods in order to maintain peace through deception -- sound familiar? The demon king Mundus controls the world along with these tools as well as subliminal messages, communicated by some of the most striking visual effects seen in a game for quite some time. The Order, led by a much more reserved, dapper Vergil (Dante's twin brother) seeks to bring down Mundus once and for all. But Vergil's not alone. Kat, a female member of The Order, is tasked with summoning Dante to aid in their quest to overtake the city from Mundus. She's able to communicate with the demons in Limbo that most ignorant humans cannot see or hear, and as such is an invaluable tool for the cause.

Together they'll eventually bring down Mundus, but to what end?

It's a fascinating story than the franchise has ever told, with decidedly more believable characters. Dante's a smart-aleck brat, but his sense of right and wrong is more clearly defined than ever before. He's well-equipped with clever one-liners rather than arrogance, and though he sports a foul mouth he's a blast of a character.

 

Of course, you won't be sitting around for too long soaking it all in. DmC is all about the action, and this time around it delivers sword-slinging, button-mashing, Ebony and Ivory-toting carnage the whole way through. The familiar combo system has been retained and refined, making it easier to attain the coveted SSS-ranking for stylish performances in battle, and Dante's selection of weapons are deadly and powerful. 

All of Dante's weapons can be upgraded via trips to statues placed throughout each chapter, and power-ups return for purchase via the famous red orbs from the previous games. There's plenty of room for improvement for each weapon, with noticeable progression for those who love to sprinkle in new combos.

And then there are the boss battles. DmC brings with it a host of some of the most visually arresting combat scenarios seen in video games in the past couple of years. While they aren't exactly fresh when it comes to battle patterns or mechanics, the art direction is top-notch, especially that of the Bill O'Reilly lookalike Bob Barbas, which is easily the coolest matchup in the entire game. It's such an interesting affair that even the game's final battle can't compete, and thus the game falls a bit flat at its conclusion with a brawl that satisfies, yet doesn't reach as far as some of its lesser boss battles do.

 

DmC: Devil May Cry is not the same demon-hunting saga we knew and loved. It's better. It's matured considerably, making a jump into the real world that injects it with some much-needed humanity in the midst of the tale of angels and demons. Dante is real and vulnerable. Brotherhood is sacred – but the idea of Dante is not, and we're certainly glad Ninja Theory took a chance to create something new and different. We can't wait to see what's in store, and more specifically, what this Nephilim is really capable of.