Devil May Cry is one of Capcom’s most recognizable franchises and also a fan favorite for gamers around the world. There have been four entries into the franchise so far. This time things are different, not only is DmC: Devil May Cry developed by a non-Japanese studio for the first time in UK based Ninja Theory, but DmC is also a reboot of this beloved series.
Ninja Theory has really made a name for itself when it created Heavenly Sword on the PS3 and also Enslaved which came out to lots of critical acclaim but failed to be a huge seller. Capcom has allowed Ninja Theory, a studio masterful in combat design and story telling, to re-imagine Devil May Cry as we know it. The game is set in a different universe this time around and Dante’s character has been altered in many ways. After Capcom revealed the new direction the series would be going into, there was lot’s of fanbase-outcry but worry no more, Ninja Theory has done an incredibly good in rebooting this epic franchise, while respecting its roots.
After Dante meets up with his twin brother Vergil for the first time in decades, they set out together to fight ‘The Order‘ an anti-establishment group that is controlling humanity from the shadows, with the help of your sidekick Kat – another demon hunter Vergil recruited in the fight against The Order. Dante and Vergil were born Nephilims. They are children of an angel and demon couple and gained incredible powers from it.
Playing through DmC is an absolute delight as the characters are believable and animated incredibly well, it also establishes a plot-line that will keep you pushing forward – both of these elements are met by some of the best action game combat we have seen this generation – and that is no small feat. Ninja Theory has created a Devil May Cry universe that is second to none and simply oozes with style and interesting ways of conveying the drama which centers around Dante who is looking to get his revenge on demon king Mundus and The Order.
While most of the story is told in the ‘real world’ – the actual gameplay though takes place in ‘Limbo‘ which is the world becoming a living enemy that transforms itself and tries to stop and even kill Dante with its shape shifting abilities. Limbo is a space where buildings and roads tear apart and enemies spawn to get in our protagonists way, creating very unique level designs that couldn’t be done in a normal world.
As Dante uses his demonic powers to reshape Limbo and the angelic powers to traverse it, he often times delivers comical and snarky remarks that kept me smiling – in typical Dante fashion. Ninja Theory not only created an amazing world to play in but also filled it with the personality to match it.
DmC Devil May Cry delivers in the visual and narrative departments with very high marks but we all know that it only really matters if the gameplay is there to match it. Ninja Theory has created some absolute insane combat controls and weaponry that can be strung together with relative ease – some of the combos I managed to pull off included all weapons in Dante’s arsenal, yes that means I used all angelic, demonic and human weapons in one strung together combo. Epic.
Demonic melee weapons are slow and powerful while angelic ones are weaker but faster and human ones somewhere in the middle. Combining the five melee weapons with the two chain attack options and Dante’s ‘girls’ Ebony and Ivory make for nearly endless fun as attacks can be upgraded and improved using the earned skill points. Getting a good combo score depends on how well you string together attacks without loosing health or having a combo disrupted. DmC does a great job of telling the player what needs to be done without being punishing which makes the gameplay so much more enjoyable without being too frustrating.
When all is said and done, DmC: Devil May Cry is nothing but an action gamer’s delight – Ninja Theory repaid Capcom’s trust in the developer and created a visually stunning masterpiece that is filled with evenly balanced and breathtaking combat scenarios. The studio also managed to deliver a narrative in such a well executed way that it is hard to imagine that another developer could have done it better. DmC is an absolute must play on anyone’s list in 2013.
Score: 9.5 / 10
DmC: Devil May Cry was developed by Ninja Theory and published by Capcom for Xbox 360 and PS3 on January 15th. A retail copy of the Xbox 360 version was provided to us by Capcom for reviewing purposes.