Half angel, half demon, all awesome
Listen up: Whether you love it or hate it, the first new Devil May Cry game in five years is almost here. Capcom has entrusted Ninja Theory to reboot one of the most revered hack-n-slash franchises ever made, and its radical take on Dantes world promises a stellar mix of old gameplay with a new aesthetic. If youre as stoked as we are to take the new Dante for a spin, you wont be disappointed; we can say with certainty that this is one of the most intense action games youll play all year.
But say youve convinced yourself otherwise, thinking that the old ways were superior to any newfangled, 30FPS tomfoolery. Were here to tell you something of critical importance: Loosen your clinging, stubborn grip on the past, and surrender yourself to DmC: Devil May Cry. By striking a balance between Eastern and Western sensibilities, Ninja Theory has crafted a game that youd be remiss to not be thrilled about. Need more to go on? Here are nine pieces of overwhelming evidence to get you take a seat next to us on the DmC excitement train.
A new take on a beloved series
Your knee jerk reaction might be a feeling of longing for the ways of old, but think of what DmC: Devil May Cry can do for the greater good of hack-n-slash gaming. Ninja Theory took great care to appeal to old fans, while engaging an entirely new audience--one thats about to be introduced to the wonderful world of graded sword-and-gun combo killing. Up until now, one of Capcoms most beloved franchises had its best days behind it. DmC has the potential to usher in a new generation of Dante fans who are just as enthused as you are.
Not insanely difficult
It wasnt just you: If you werent prepared to put in the work, DMC and Devil May Cry 3 were fairly user-unfriendly. Sure, you might love the old Dantes character design, his wide repertoire of attacks, and the imaginative hellscapes he explores. But if you werent ready to bash your head against a brick wall of difficulty until your fingers were covered in blisters, you mightve never made it past the first third of the game. Those disillusioned gamers will be happy to know that average human beings will, in fact, be able to complete DmC.
Its not that the combos are dumbed down; on the contrary, theyre as complicated as ever (more on that in a bit). But the Normal mode, which used to send casual hack-n-slash players packing, is now an enjoyable, mildly demanding trek through the game. Hardcore DMC fans can think of it as a brisk warm-up, while the less-adept demon hunters can actually experience a DMC game all the way through without tearing their hair out.
unless you want it to be
Maybe you favor a more arduous type of gaming. If the punishing difficulty is what you love about the old DMC games, DmCs hard modes are there to punch your ego directly in the nuts. Once youve left the cozy womb of the default difficulty, the gameplay becomes more in tune with the unrelenting challenge of DMC or DMC3. Rooms you once breezed through are now packed wall-to-wall with buffed enemies, who just couldnt wait until the later levels in the game to say hello before murdering you.
The additional difficulty levels you know and love, like Son of Sparda and Dante Must Die, return in all their incredibly frustrating glory. But they cant compare to the most masochistic and infamous of them all: Hell and Hell, which combines the boosted enemy AI of a Hard mode with the deliciously mean twist of Dante dying in a single hit. If you want the right to call DmC easy, go beat Hell and Hell first. Let us know how that works out for you.
Tons of new weapons
The son of Sparda has always had a thing for huge arsenals, and DmC keeps that tradition alive with a host of unique weaponry. Of course, Dantes trusty demon-slicing sword Rebellion is back, as are his cherished Ebony and Ivory dual pistols. The iconic moves that act as his bread-and-butter damage dealers, like the Stinger, Helmbreaker, and Million Stab, are back, meaning your muscle memory for go-to combos will still be valuable.
Dantes new toys play off his mixed heritage, with respective angel and demon weaponry assigned to the shoulder buttons. On the demonic side, youve got the slow-but-brutal Arbiter axe, which can slice even the toughest enemies to shreds, and some slick molten Eryx gauntlets that let you hilariously annihilate monster faces with charged Falcon Punches. The angelic armory offers up the lightning-fast Osiris scythe, which can rack up loads of damage in the blink of an eye, and the Aquila, spinning blades that enable area-of-effect violence. You can also switch between the two sides on the fly, ensuring that therell be hundreds of ways to combo into an SSS grade.
Mixing your Angel and Demon moves
Start training your middle and ring fingers now, because youll need them to maximize your combat effectiveness in DmC. Once youve built up your stash of supernatural armaments, youll have to get into the habit of swapping between them mid-combo, using the aforementioned shoulder buttons, to dole out the more damaging attack strings. The dual uses of your powers arent purely aggression-based, either: Dante has access to a suite of movement-quickening abilities thanks to this angelic and demonic birthright.
As you traverse the stages, youll make great use of an Angel Dash to sail over baddies heads or zip across a particularly large pit. In combat, things get even more complicated: Youll have to gauge, moment by moment, if youd rather yank an enemy to you (a demon move) or pull yourself to them (angel). Take these mechanics to the air, and the trickery expands tenfold. If you fancy yourself a sword-fighting wiz, this trio of mobility options will open up all new opportunities to show off your extravagant demon murdering methods.
The young Dante is still badass
We understand your concerns. Youre frustrated that Dante now has a penchant for cursing, or has a smarmy grin, or has black hair. This character that youve known and loved across four installments has changed--and change can be scary. But think back. Did you ever imagine that one day, youd be vehemently defending a man with a Beatles haircut, clad in a red trenchcoat and no shirt? A man who uses snide taunts as a combo-extension game mechanic (unfortunately absent in DmC), and says This is gonna be one hell of a party!
Keep your heart and mind open to the alternate-universe Dante, and you might have an epiphany: This Dante is cool in his own way. Hes like a sword-wielding version of Jesse from Breaking Bad: You might think hes a pompous douche at first, but his smug attitude is tempered by a genuine compassion for his affiliates. Also, despite what you might think, hes got plenty of slick one-liners besides dropping f-bombs in the middle of a boss fight.
An intriguing take on established lore
Just in case you werent absolutely sure, DmC is an alternate-reality take on Dantes history, keeping the same basic plot framework but portraying the demon killers origins in a novel way. Dante doesnt yet own his own nightclub, and hasnt yet explored his fair share of haunted castles and mansions. Hes just an ambitionless young gun who finds himself occasionally sucked into a nightmarish alternate universe.
Previous games have obsessed over Sparda, the Legendary Dark Knight that spawned Dante and his cool-and-calculating brother Vergil. But well finally get to see the holy side of things with insight into the life of Eva, the compassionate mother who Dante can barely remember. The new lore may not be quite what youre used to, but its just as engrossing. And, really, its no more of a drastic change than Dante-doppelganger Nero taking the spotlight in Devil May Cry 4.
A fresh approach to level design
Previous DMC games have styled their stage layouts in two primary ways: a labyrinthine Resident Evil-style maze, or simplistic, open areas that made you focus on the enemies and little else. DmC tries something different, pushing and pulling apart levels like an accordion. Giving that the very realm of Limbo City is against you, you never really know when the floor will be ripped out from under you, or the walls of an alleyway will smash together in the efforts to crush Dante like a gnat.
Theres also a bigger emphasis on platforming, which actually ends up being a perfect break of pace between strenuous battles. Using a combination of your Angel and Devil grapples to swing, glide, and dash around a stage is far more satisfying than simply hoofing it between fights. And each new area employs an entirely unique aesthetic. One moment, youre running through a hellish amusement park; the next, youre slicing demons in an ethereal, upside-down mansion.
Colossal boss fights
Remember how everyone went nuts over the opening level in God of War II, with the takedown of a colossal sentient statue? DmC starts out just as strong, pitting you against a gigantic hellbeast before youve even finished getting dressed. The boss fights weve seen thus far have all been grandiose affairs, pitting Dante against hideous demons that are ten times his size. Your reward for downing these colossal fiends is often a self-satisfied quip from Dante as their body lies mutilated before him.
Also, without spoiling anything, its worth noting that the later boss fights are incredible. The gameplay mechanics used to take down these increasingly impressive villains are fairly straightforward, but the visuals behind some of them are stunning. Youll know what we mean when you face off against Bob Barbas, the Raptor News anchor thats a demented mouthpiece for the forces of Hell. Think Tron meets The Lawnmower Man.
Something wicked this way comes
With all that to look forward to, any action game fan would be pumped to play DmC. If youve been converted, welcome to the fold--so glad you could join us before next weeks release. If youre not excited, well, dont buy the game, and dont forget to swing by the market and pick up another jug of Haterade on the way home from work. For the final verdict, be sure to check back next week for our full review of DmC: Devil May Cry.