So let me first get this out of the way. I don’t care what Dante’s hair colour is or how old he looks this is a reboot, to reboot a game yet repeat the same things you were doing before is completely absurd, the series needed freshening up and that is precisely what has been achieved. The original games on the PS2 were amazing I don’t think anyone is doubting that, the series is sold on its ability to drive rich story with incredibly intricate fighting, using spectacular sword combos interwoven with Ebony and Ivories spraying of bullets helping you juggle your opponents in the air. DmC simply had to meet all of this criteria to live up to its hype, which it has not only met but completely improved on.
Devil May Cry 4 was a good game but it never really held up the fans expectations for what the series had already given. The introduction of Nero as the protagonist felt tacked on in a desperate attempt to rejuvenate an ageing series. DmC however manages to take everything that DMC4 wanted to do and improve in every way.
Dante is as cocky and arrogant as he has ever been, the game doesn’t overplay this with the character coming across as genuinely likeable, you want to learn more about his story and you want him to succeed in his mission. His restyling fits in with the new more contemporary theme, there are a few nods to the original story which hardcore fans will love while new players to the series won’t feel like the are missing something.
The game opens with speed gauge set to 11. Dante is woken (surrounded by scantily clad women) by a towering demon that wishes to remove some or many of his vital organs. This plays out similarly to the colossus boss fight at the start of God of War 2. They throw you in at the deep end give you a sword and some guns and make you fight through hordes of demons and eventually a boss fight. The sheer speed at which this game starts is a sign of things to come, demons pop up around every corner as you are never too far from the next fight. The fighting style in this game is impressive, I was first somewhat sceptical as Ninja theory is the same company behind the awful fighting system of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Yet in DmC they have created one of the most enjoyable fighting systems of any action game. Combos are reasonably easy to execute as the game uses one button for sword attacks and one for gun attacks, however this is further complicated and dare I say made more interesting with the introduction of different weapons. The added swords, scythes and shurikens make chopping up demons that little bit more enjoyable. While some of these weapons are more effective against certain enemies, they also help to freshen up and add to combo techniques.
DmC is unique in the series as it is the first to apply platforming to the already individual game-play. You are given two grappling hooks which allow you to leap forward to ledges and pull ledges closer to you. This is very rarely frustrating, you will sometimes fall off and lose a small amount of health but it won’t be enough to make you smash the TV, give up gaming and move to a small island where there are no consoles, only coconuts and regret. In older hack and slash games the tireless mashing of buttons would often become a chore, in DmC however the rich story and implementation of versatile jumps, pulls and grabs livens up the game-play while also making you yearn for the next fight.
Boss fights are an integral part of combat based games, DmC more than lives up to this expectation. The boss fights are enjoyable, however they are not as frequent as you might wish with entire missions dedicated to just the one fight. The fights themselves are quite impressive, the stylish sword fighting combined with the grappling and platforming makes them both challenging and entertaining.
Collectibles also make a welcome return to the series, there are hidden keys to collect which open challenges based on familiar aspects of the game, as well as health vials and demon power to upgrade your abilities and weapons. The hidden challenges provide an extra incentive to the game, yet the rewards for completing them are often underwhelming. If you are the kind of gamer that is happy to replay games several times then you’ll have plenty to do with DmC as certain collectibles require abilities which only unlock later in the game, However if you just want to play through the whole story then move on to the next release then you might find yourself frustrated by places that you just can’t get to the first time around.
DmC makes a triumphant return to PS3 and Xbox, the improvements made from the previous games are vast, making the experience more enjoyable than ever. The contribution this game will make to the combat based action genre on the whole is in itself ground breaking. Stunning visuals, combined with fluid, stylish game-play topped off with a soundtrack, provided by Noisia and Combichrist, which (quite literally) shouts you into battle, make this reboot the best in the series so far and a potential early contender to be one of the games of the year.
The demo is now available to download on both the PSN and Xbox Live, also why not check out the launch trailer just above.