Sunday 15 March 2015

DmC: Definitive Edition

Like most of the gaming public back in 2001 I played the original Devil May Cry. I played the shit out of it and thought it was, well, good. Don't get me wrong, I think it's massively influential to the hack-and-slash genre, but it just didn't wow me. I know I'm in the minority there, but aside from the pretty awesome boss battles it didn't completely blow me away. That said, I loved the character of Dante, the world itself, and the bizarre and disturbing characters that inhabited it. I had fun but it didn't entice me to play the rest of the series. I know I suck, right? Anyway, after not really thinking about the series for a few years the most recent entry in the series was released in 2013. It caused a massive stink up in the DmC community, as with it being an “alternative reality” (PR code word for “we just reboot you're childhood, assholes”) it was a far cry from the original four games. I played a bit of it back then, but does this re-release add anything new to game? Yes, but beyond a few new additions the game remains identical.

Developed by Ninja Theory and out now on Playstation 4 and Xbox One comes DmC: Definitive Edition, an updated version of the Devil May Cry reboot that does add new content to the game, but ultimately won't sway gamers who didn't like the original release. The game takes place in Limbo City; a modern day location that is secretly run by demons. The demons have the city, as well as the inhabitants of the city, completely under their control. However, one man who isn't under their evil control is Donte... oh... excuse me, Dante. Dante, the offspring of a demon and angel, must work towards exposing the demons to the world, and ultimately face off against the head demon himself, Mundus. This reboot basically takes all the same characters of the original game, re-imagines them, and firmly bases its story in the modern day, alongside swipes at the media, politics and the world we currently live in.

DmC is a third-person hack-and-slash and gameplay-wise is very, very reminiscent of the original 2001 game. Though you'll spend the entire game roaming from area to area, the entirety of DmC is purely focused around combat, and it's a good thing it's awesome. You have two weapons at hand-  Dante's sword Rebellion, and also his twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory. From performing combos with your sword, knocking your enemies up into the air, only to keep them suspended in the air with your pistol fire, DmC's combat is incredibly fast, fun and challenging. However, beyond slicing and blasting demon minions, DmC lets Dante tap into both his angelic and demonic sides, with each one changing how he fights. In Angel mode Dante wields an incredibly quick scythe-like weapon, while in Devil mode he uses a slow, yet more damaging weapon. Both modes are fantastic, and offer up two entirely different play-styles outside of the generic weapons available. The best aspect of this comes about when you activate Devil Trigger mode, as this allows Dante to rise up into the air while unleashing a flurry and extremely powerful moves.

However, though combat in DmC is really great, the dialogue and characters just left me cold. Some of the dialogue spoken in DmC is beyond cringey, and most of this falls on the shoulders of the redesign of Dante. Like seriously, there's a part in which Dante gets into a shouting match with an ancient demon with the two of them screaming, “F*CK YOU!” back and forth. In this game Dante isn't just full of himself, he's annoying. He looks like he listens to Blood on the Dance Floor, drinks at Starbucks daily, refuses to consume gluten, only watches obscure films, and actively uses hash-tags and memes in his daily speak because it's “ironic, dude”. I hated him in this game, and genuinely resented the fact that I had to play as him through the entirety of it. He drags the whole narrative down, which outside of his cocky, shit eating grin face is dark, disturbing, gothic and, well, often very f*cked up.

So chances are you've already played this game in 2013, and right now you're thinking, “dude, get on with it, what's NEW in this release?”. A good bit, actually. New to the game is the ability to manually lock-on targets during combat, visuals that run in 1080p at 60fps, a new difficulty called “Gods Must Die Mode”, a mode centred around stringing together combos called “Must Style Mode”, a mode that tries to replicate the difficulty of the original Devil May Cry, the ability to play as Vergil in Bloody Palace, new costumes which include the original Dante's outfit, a mode that speeds up gameplay by 20%, as well as a slight reworking of enemies and bosses attack patterns. It's enough to make the experience feel fresh.

Overall I thought DmC was a great game that outside of the terrible main character, had me hooked for its entirety. Sure the new Dante is shit, and sure the dialogue sounds like it was written by a 15 year old knee deep in puberty, but the slick combat was enough to keep me playing.

DmC: Definitive Edition, despite Dante and his awful dialogue, gets a 4/5.


Denis Murphy

DmC: Definitive Edition at CeX

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