Devil May Cry (Xbox 360) Review
Posted by Mark Salmela on 02.04.2013
Dante has returned and he’s just as badass as he was before.
Title: Devil May Cry
Developer: Ninja Theory
Rated: M for Mature
DMC is exactly what I want in a reboot of a classic franchise. It still has the heart and soul of a Devil May Cry game, but features a new art style and makes just enough changes in the core combat that it feels fresh without feeling like a totally new game. Quite frankly, after Devil May Cry 4, the series needed a reboot. DMC4 was a great game but the development team over at Capcom was clearly running out of ideas for the franchise. By the end of DMC4 you were just fighting all of the previous bosses a second time in an endless parade and were backtracking through the same areas you’d already completed as Nero. It was a great game but you could tell the series had run out of steam. A prequel by a brand new team with a slightly different take on the franchise was exactly what DMC needed.
The most notable change to DMC is the art style. When DMC was first shown off people went bonkers over the new, seemingly emo Dante, complete with black hair instead of the traditional white hair. Well fear not, for this is probably the best Dante has ever been as a character. Some people might not like all of the swearing, but I think it fits in perfectly with the story, and fits in perfectly with Dante’s personality of not giving a rip about almost everything. Dante has some genuine funny moments in the game, and there are a lot of nods to previous games that will make longtime fans of Devil May Cry happy.
The level design is truly amazing in Devil May Cry. DMC features a new purgatory world called Limbo, where all of Earth’s demons are toiling away. Dante keeps getting dragged into Limbo throughout the game, and the game is at its absolute best when things are going completely crazy in Limbo. The world will literally change around you while you’re playing the game. I never once grew tired of seeing the world stretch and contort itself around Dante as you navigate through the levels. There’s more platforming than ever before in DMC, and with such well-designed and visually appealing levels, you won’t mind when the game appears to be showing off just how awesome it actually is.
Just like the original Devil May Cry games, there’s a heavy emphasis on the relationship between Dante and his brother Virgil. In DMC both Dante and Virgil are Nephilim, which means they’re the spawn of angels and demons. Their mother is an angel, and their father is a demon. Since they’re Nephilim they possess the power to kill the demon king Mundus, who’s secretly controlling the world by bringing the economy to its knees. The story itself isn’t anything to write home about, with the lone exception being the interactions between Dante and Virgil. Right from the beginning you can see the tension between the 2 and you can tell that while they have to work with each other that they don’t fully trust or like each other.
Now onto the real meat of DMC, the combat. DMC includes a new system where Dante has a human form, a demon form, and an angel form. In human form Dante uses his trusty Rebellion sword, hacking and slashing through enemies while also making use of his trademark firearms. You can switch between any of the three forms at any time, even mid-combo. Dante’s angel form includes 2 different weapons which focus on ranged combat and crowd control, while Dante’s demon form includes 2 heavy weapons that focus on annihilating one enemy at a time in exchange for being slow and heavy. You’ll run into various enemy types that can only be killed by one particular form, meaning you’ll be required to master all 3 forms of Dante in order to beat DMC.
In addition to switching between the 3 forms of Dante at will, players also have the ability to grapple enemies toward him from a distance or traverse himself over to an enemy. DMC is truly a sight to behold when you can grapple yourself from enemy to enemy, switching at will between all 5 melee weapons mid-combo and mixing in his trademark pistols Ebony and Ivory. The enemy designs are all very cool and fit in with the world created by Ninja Theory. The enemies look genuinely scary at times and it’s always a treat to watch Dante insult these demonic hellspawns before letting you go wild taking them out.
The one real complaint I have with DMC is that it seems a little too easy at times, even on the harder difficulty settings. Every fight in DMC is fair in that enemies have some sort of visual or audio signal right before they attack, and most enemies have unique signals for each of their individual attacks. If you are willing to invest yourself into learning the mechanics of DMC, it’s not hard to become an absolute monster given the impressive weapons and combos at Dante’s disposal. The only time DMC ever feels cheap is when it throws a screen full of enemies at you, and there are a couple of enemies in that crowd that can only be taken down by one of Dante’s specific forms, meaning you’ll have to try and focus on killing one specific enemy in the group before you can be effective at taking out the rest of them. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the game had a lock-on ability.
Just like the other DMC games, each weapon has an upgrade tree where you can buy new combos and attacks. As you progress through the game you’ll collect upgrade points which can be spent on these upgrades, and as long as you make sure and take a look around each level you’ll start to max out the upgrade trees rather quickly. There’s also a currency system used for purchasing additional health or other upgrades, which will come in handy when tackling the hardest difficulty settings.
- Fantastic art style and presentation. This game looks gorgeous.
- The weapons are creative and a lot of fun to use. You’ll look forward to every fight.
- The boss battles are clever and unique.
- Dante is just as cool as ever.
- The enemies look great and there are a lot of enemy types that are extremely different from one another.
- The main story will take 10 – 12 hours to finish, but once you beat the game you unlock a remixed mode of the game that changes up what enemies you face and when in the game. There’s a lot of replayability.
- The story in DMC games has never been very good.
- The camera can be a bit of a pain to control.
- Enemies that require Dante to be in either demon form or angel form can feel very cheap when combined with a room full of normal enemies.
- There should have been a couple more boss fights.
- The arbiter weapon is a little too overpowered. You’ll probably rely on it a lot.
Would it kill you to say please?
Devil May Cry is an absolutely fantastic game. It’s everything I wanted in a Devil May Cry reboot. Dante is just as awesome as ever, the weapons are a lot of fun to use, and the enemies are a lot of fun to fight. Devil May Cry was one of the innovators of the action genre and DMC ranks up there with the best in the genre. There are a lot of other action games coming down the pipe very shortly, and they certainly have their work cut out for them. If you’ve ever enjoyed a third person action game such as Ninja Gaiden, God of War, or Devil May Cry, you need to pick up DMC. It’s that good.
The animation and graphics are top notch for this generation. If it wasn’t for the occasional hiccup or stutter this would easily be a 10.
Switching between any of the game’s weapons mid-combo is a treat. DMC is a deep action game that is approachable.
The music is catchy and fits in with the world of DMC. There are very few games where the soundtrack sticks out as a highlight, and DMC is one of those games. The voice acting is also great.
10 to 12 hours for the first playthrough might be shorter than some expected, but there’s a lot of replayability and anyone who likes the game should definitely play through the remixed mode
Devil May Cry is a blast to play. If you love action games, you’ll love DMC. Simple as that.