The Milking of… oops…The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII continues with Dirge of Cerberus. An action game starring the dark and mysterious Vincent Valentine, the gun-toting bonus-character from the original FFVII, Dirge unveils new details on the brooding hero and treats fans of the series to some exquisite cutscenes with cameos aplenty. Judged solely on its action, Dirge of Cerberus is average at best. But when you look at it as a form of interactive storytelling catered to the millions of people that bought FFVII, there’s more than enough to enjoy.
In a nutshell, Dirge of Cerberus tells the tale of the struggle between the World Restoration Organization (good guys, half of whom wear Parappa the Rapper toques) and Deepground (bad guys, with a fondness for fluorescent blue). Kinda-vampire Vincent Valentine finds himself fighting the good fight and discovers that his dark past is the key to this conflict.
But for an action game, this one's basic as hell. You basically run around, shoot lots of things, punch lots of things, find things, unlock things – repeat as needed. In an attempt to add variety, there are escort, stealth and turret stages, but there's nothing especially glowing in any of these modes. Each stage also has side missions that help determine your score, such as killing X number of enemies, finding Y number of items and protecting Z number of allies. Compared to games like Devil May Cry and God of War, the action feels underwhelming and antiquated.