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DmC: Devil May Cry – why we’re torn

Is it just us, or is there some kind of behind-the-scenes mandate within the game industry to make over gruff supermen as waifish teenagers? First, InFamous’ Cole MacGrath was transformed from a scowling tough guy to a smirking punk (which was later reversed). And then this morning came the announcement of DmC: Devil May Cry. Not content to simply replace him with the more youthful Nero, DmC completely re-imagines Dante – the buff, charmingly arrogant half-demon who single-handedly defined PS2-era badassery – as a skinny, narrow-jawed, emo-looking teen with barely so much as a single white hair.


Above: DANTE???

While our UK counterparts appeared to be indifferent to the change, the knee-jerk reaction in the US office (and at other parts of the internet, apparently) was immediate and negative. Yes, we get that it’s showing off Dante’s origins, which – given the path he takes later in life – probably weren’t all that cheery. Yes, we know that many people who grow up muscular weren’t that way in high school. And yes, we know that most people with premature white hair didn’t have it as kids [Edit: and while we at first mistook that dusting of white hair on New Dante's crown to be a light reflection, it still doesn't count]. But some things are sacred, and the appearances of gaming icons are among them. Besides, do we really need a Devil May Cry: The Phantom Menace? A Devil May Cry Babies? Do we really?

On the other hand, that trailer looks pretty badass. And as much as we’d like to keep the increasingly whiny fires of our own nerd rage stoked and hot, we’re intrigued to see where developer Ninja Theory goes with this.


Above: See? It might not be the end of the world after all

To be honest, the series has needed a shot in the arm for a while now. Devil May Cry 4 was good, sure, but nowhere near as good as the first and third games (and having to double back through the game after getting halfway through didn’t help, either). And if we had to pick a developer whose job it would be to revitalize the series, Ninja Theory would be high on our list. While it maybe didn't reach the biggest audience, NT's PS3-exclusive Heavenly Sword proved the developer could do a fantastic job with stylish brawling, which is essentially what DMC has always been about. And more recently, positive previews for Enslaved: The Odyssey West lead us to believe the studio hasn't lost its edge.

The thing is, as cool as its pedigree and its announcement trailer are, we're still left with lingering doubts. It's always possible this could turn into another disappointment along the lines of Final Fight: Streetwise and Bionic Commando – both, incidentally, produced by DmC publisher Capcom – and certain details in particular leave us a little suspicious. We always got the impression Dante operated in a world that wasn't quite like our own, where soaring Gothic architecture was commonplace and monsters showed up in public frequently enough that fighting them wouldn't land someone in a nuthouse. Hell, we've never seen so much as a police officer in any of the games, so the idea of an acrobatic powerhouse like Dante being arrested, even as a wet-behind-the-ears kid, is suspect by itself.

So we're uneasy, but it's our job to keep an open mind. And to be fair, what we've seen so far (especially removed from its Devil May Cry context) looks awfully damn promising. We'll wait and see whether this wiry punk claiming to be Dante is the series' salvation or its death knell; in the meantime, you may want to check out the rest of the new screens.

Sep 15, 2010

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95 comments

  • masana82 - February 9, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    There is something called CONTINUITY, and back in Devil May Cry one, we see a picture of Dante and Virgil as babies and thei had white hair. "The third game, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, serves as a prequel to the first game and features a cockier, teenage Dante. While developed by the same team that did the second game, Devil May Cry 3 was much better received than the previous installment for staying true to the original." (wikipedia)
  • Genericpenisjoketista - September 22, 2010 3:46 a.m.

    @nemesisuprising It's kind of strange to think that tobacco and nicotine could do anything to buzz a half-devil's synapses, yeah? If point-blank explosions don't effect him I find it hard to believe that cigs can do anything.
  • nemesisuprising - September 21, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    BTW when dante was originally designed the developed the number one ruel he had for dante was "he is an anti-smoker" so yeah lol
  • fallendevil7x - September 18, 2010 6 p.m.

    I don't see why this HAS to be Dante it could always just be someone went batshit insane after fighting demons lost his memory except for a memory of Dante. But then again I could always be over thinking things and they could be just trying to change Dante which witch would be bad,but if there was the other option there could be a lot of good scenes where Dante shows up and he is like who do think you are taking my name and giving me a bad name. But I might just be hoping for to much and this may just be taking Devil May Cry in a different direction which could be go both ways very easily.
  • RandomRaptor - September 17, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    NO! BAD CAPCOM! BAD NINJA THEORY! If this is, as a lot of people seem to think, an attempt at westernization, then it is a backwards one. They've gone from muscular, wise-cracking badass to a 17 year old, homeless, heroin addicted, broody "punk", who seems to be wearing a coat about 5 sizes too big for him. That's actually quite appropriate, seeing as how I strongly doubt that this emo-ish, failed cosplayer of dante will ever fill the original's shoes, or his coat. I mean, look at him. Just look at him. That is not Dante. My God, that's not even Dante's wimpy, bland, broody second cousin Nigel. This twig of a poser wouldn't even manage to lift Rebellion, and he'd never hit anything with Ebony and Ivory. His hand's would be shaking for want off his next fix! I am sick today. I had previously assumed it was because of bacteria in my body. Now I know I am having an averse reaction to the perverse, cynically marketed WRONGNESS that capcom and Ninja Theory haave unleashed upon the world. I believe it's known as Warrior Within syndrome and it hasn't been so bad since Bomberman: Act Zero. They should not just be embarassed that such a thing has been placed in the view of the general public. If they have any semblance of a conscience, they should be deeply and thoroughly ashamed.
  • DeepIsh - September 17, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    Dante does NOT have a weapon ripped off from the sword and whip of PROTOTYPE. He has an awesome huge badass sword. And he fights puppets for some reason.
  • pr0tostar - September 17, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    Soo... is there any stated confirmation that this even the REAL Dante? For all we know he could be a demonic possession induced case of dis-associative identity disorder or something. The rehab thing I think is trying to subtly indicate that. Yeah, that'd relatively (to Nero) make this a old hat, but with an interesting psychological twist.
  • Spybreak8 - September 17, 2010 5:03 a.m.

    One of my friends pointed out that that mug shot looks a lot like a Justin Beiber look lol.
  • rangermaster240 - September 17, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    Am I the only one who thinks new Dante looks like an alcoholic lesbian?
  • Genericpenisjoketista - September 17, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    @Cloven64 It's just good to see someone with the same passion towards the series as I! I actually liked Nero-- not as a main character, mind you, but I think he's good as a supporting character. NO ONE can knock Dante from the top, though. Not once, not never. I just want to see the family reunion that we're all expecting: Virgil and his son, Nero. (I want that to be the truth so badly). Maybe Nero can fill his father's dark soul with LIIIGHT!
  • TriforcePlayer - September 17, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    DO NOT WANT
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - September 17, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    I think the old Dante looked like more of a pansy..but who the hell cares? He still is a badass!
  • Clovin64 - September 16, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    @Genericpenisjoketista Dammit man you're making me blush, but thank you for reminding me about DMC1's infamous LLIIIIGGHHHHTTTT scene, which is without a doubt the greatest momment in DMC history. I hope I'm wrong about DMC being dead. I need my beloved Dante back. And Vergil. And maybe Nero. Okay, not Nero.
  • santaclouse37 - September 16, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    Once I watched the trailer, I actually didn't mind the new look. The one bit where he does a kind of ground pound with the city in the background (which would make for a nice song lyric), I was reminded a little of inFamous. I'm pretty excited about Team Ninja developing, and as a final thought, did anyone else get a total Fight Club vibe from the first picture?
  • Felixthecat - September 16, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    Also, doesn't ANYONE think that the series was becoming a little "samey" after DMC4? The franchise need's sprucing up a little. And if I WAS gay and the new Dante WAS real, I'd bang him. Deal with it.
  • ChuckB - September 16, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    @Genric all they have to do is not call it DMC and they're good. Hell, this seems like a perfect opportunity to turn into the Crow.
  • JamesT - September 16, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    @ Tygerclaws Devil trigger does not make your hair white. Dante in DMC 3 had white hair from the beginning. He only got the ability to devil trigger later in the game. You are thinking of Dragon Ball Z. Derp.
  • Lionzest7 - September 16, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    Honestly, I think the game will likely be good, but at the same time if this is dante I feel as though they're completely tearing up a character they built. I mean change is nice too, and everyone knows DMC won't continue to be good if it stays behind bayonetta, but realistically to destroy your character for a new game seems silly. If this is another new introduced protagonist it would worry me also, considering there are plenty of demonslayers now (trish, dante, lady, nero).
  • TheWebSwinger - September 16, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    DAMN that's a sweet trailer. And Ninja Theory's making it? Pleasant surprise, IMO.
  • Cleanser247 - September 16, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    Good story Mikel!

Showing 1-20 of 95 comments

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