DmC is a great addition to the Devil May Cry series that does everything right. Well almost. The game is short, and I do mean short. Clocking in at under 12 hours it took me only a day to get through it the first time. The replay value is fairly high though, if only because various areas are off-limits until you get the right weapon. While previous entries often used this gimmick to get players to come back for more, the way DmC handles it is horribly disappointing. You can’t explore anything….ever. The levels are excruciatingly small and painfully direct, so much so that all the “secret” areas are sadly, quite easy to find. The stages look amazing and all, but the size compared to any other DmC game is just depressing. A lot is tossed to the way side in the mad rush for the finish besides stage size. The story gets crushed in the process. Virtually all plot points are wrapped up immediately after being introduced making for a very sparse plot. The foreshadowing is so direct that characters might as well be telling you whats going to happen to your face; and the most interesting side plot: how limbo effects the real world, is more or less ignored, to my supreme disappointment.
The action is as fast paced as ever, though the new combo system can feel slow to respond. The timing for combos has been eased up on and often feels more akin to a fighting game like Tekken or Guilty Gear than DmC has traditionally. The pauses are there to give you ample time to switch weapons in mid combo using either the left or right shoulder buttons; the shoulder buttons also give you the ability to pull yourself towards enemies, or to pull enemies to you. Nero’s arm was my favorite part of Devil May Cry 4 and DmC brought it to life with amazing results. As DmC gives you the choice on how you close the space between you and your enemy; allowing you to drag them over or go visit them in person yourself. It’s all up to you. Switching Weapons with the shoulder buttons during battle is both simple and elegant, allowing for any number of crazy combos with all the weapons if you really want. The stages seemed claustrophobic in size, but that is easily forgiven and forgotten when the floor drops out from under you in all it’s scripted glory. There is a distinct lack of enemies to balance out the smaller stages in a somewhat disappointing compromise, though my biggest gripe has to be the forced one on one fights. They were entertaining at first but lost their charm as the game progressed. The two on one fights where you have to juggle two monsters that can’t be fought at the same time because each one is only hurt by a specific weapon were particularly annoying: break the action quite nicely into tiny little pieces.
While the graphics overall look fairly good, the shading in particular was more than just sub-par. For the PS3 at least. Using the Unreal Engine might not have been the best of ideas, but aside from some flaws, overall the game looks breath-taking. Now that the camera actually moves, you can stop to appreciate the beauty and effort that went into making the stages, and you can see where you’re jumping. Which is always nice.
The music for DmC has taken quite a few steps away from the rock that was always the mainstay of the series and moved into the neighborhood of ‘electronic’. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but as a fan of rock music, it’s a little disappointing. The music is otherwise great, and from time to time brings some of that old rock back in the form of Combichrist. Though for the most part the tracks are quite subdued.
DmC has an expected number of flaws for the first entry into the series, but they are easily overlooked giving you an enjoyable fast paced, action packed foray into a shiny new re-imagining of an iconic series. Hopefully future games will be longer and more “plotty”, because when I got the end of DmC, I was all set to sacrifice some virgins if it meant more game time.
Publisher: Capcom Developer: Ninja Theory
Release Date: 1/15/2013 Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Online: Leaderboards Only Online Pass: No
Game Cost: $59.99, £49.99/€59.99 EU
ESRB Rating: M, for too many strippers