Devil May Cry 3 is an action game developed by Capcom for the PlayStation 2. While it is the third game in the series, it takes place before the events of the original game. It is widely known for its stylish combat and it is often ranked as one of the most difficult games of all time.
Devil May Cry 3 tells the story of the main character Dante before the events of Devil May Cry 1. Dante is in the process of setting up his Demon Hunter for Hire shop. He looks and acts much more brash and arrogant than in the first game. It begins with Dante in his shop when he is visited by a mysterious man, Arkham, who says that Dante's twin brother Vergil has a gift for him, which turns out to be an attack by a horde of demons. Dante then goes after his brother, who has resurrected the ancient Temen-ni-Gru temple to break the seal blocking the demon world from the human world. If Vergil succeeds, not only will he gain the powers of their demonic father Sparda, but also cause the total destruction of the human world.
The gameplay in Devil May Cry 3 revolves around the concept of "stylish" combat. In other words, the player should perform varied attacks and combos whilst avoiding taking damage from enemies. At the end of each level, or "mission", the player is ranked according to their performance on a D, C, B, A, S, SS and SSS scale. Depending on the rank, the player is awarded the relevant number of orbs (the game's currency), which can be used to upgrade Dante's abilities and buy health and energy items either between levels, or at specific altars within a level. Enemies will also drop a certain number of orbs depending on how well the player dispatches them.
Dante has a large number of weapons, moves and combat styles at his disposal. Each combat style also has a specific move that changes when the style is upgraded. However, Dante starts the game with just his two pistols, Ebony and Ivory, and his heirloom sword, Rebellion. Later in the game Dante gains the Devil Trigger ability, which lets him temporarily transform into a demon form.
There is no block button - with the exception of one combat style where you can shield yourself from attacks - so the game is 100% offensive mayhem. Before each level, the player picks a fighting style and is given four slots in which to place two melee weapons and two guns. The selected weapons can then be switched between in real-time, even mid-combo, resulting in an effective way to build up style points and the creation of unprecedented attack sequences.
Devil May Cry 3 has often been called one of the most difficult games of all time by many critics. The factors that contribute to this are that Dante starts the game very poorly equipped, and with very low health. To make matters worse, the first mission is a large battle that takes place in a very small area. Enemies can often attack much faster than you. In addition, there is no temporary invincibility period after Dante gets knocked down like is typical in some other games of this genre. As a result, damage stacks quickly, and it can take just a few swipes in the first level to kill Dante. There is no tutorial level to speak of either, but the game is kind enough to offer you Easy Mode if you fail the first level more than three times. Also, the price for recovery items goes up after each purchase, meaning players cannot easily rely on stacking up on health. New difficulty levels are opened up after a successful playthrough, the hardest of which is aptly named "Dante Must Die".
Devil May Cry as a series is renowned for its outlandish and tongue-in-cheek cutscenes, and Devil May Cry 3 boasts possibly the most far-fetched and visually bombastic yet. This is evident from the very opening scene, in which Dante does several back flips, shoots pool balls back at enemies in slow motion, rides an enemy around the room like a surfboard (one of the only examples of something that can be repeated in-game) and gets several of the enemies' sickle blades jammed in his body and proceeds to attack his foes using them. On other occasions, Dante: rides on the back of a missile; is shot directly in the head by Lady, who he catches one-handed by the ankle after having fallen hundreds of feet; literally slices his own bullets in half after having them deflected back at him by Vergil (who uses his sword to do so); and sprints down the side of the enormous tower that most of the game takes place in whilst taking on enemies in mid-air, all the while chasing after his own sword, among others. The camera positioning during these scenes is also superb, demonstrated by a shot inside Dante's sleeve near the beginning of the game.
In all there are six different fighting styles available in Devil May Cry 3, four of which are available from the outset. The initial four can be leveled up twice with continued use, unlocking more abilities along the way. It is advisable for the player to stick to one style, rather than switching between them constantly. Fighting styles are governed mostly by the circle button in the PS2 version. It should be noted that the choice of style does not affect Dante’s basic moveset and attacks at all, but rather allows players different ways to approach certain situations, as well as mix up combat to increase style ranking. The four main styles are:
- Trickster – Recommended for beginners, as it is based around dodging attacks. As skill level increases, Dante gains double and triple dashes, wall running, and even an instant teleport ability to close the gap between enemies.
- Swordmaster – Purely offensive style based around improving Dante’s melee combat skills. Advancement in Swordmaster unlocks new attacks, such as the ability to throw Dante's blade like a spear into an enemy.
- Gunslinger – Like Swordmaster, but with Dante’s firearms instead. With Gunslinger, Dante can fire charged-up shots with his pistols, or spin his shotgun around like nunchucks.
- Royal Guard – A style for advanced players only. Through extremely well-timed blocks, echoing the parry system from the Street Fighter franchise, Dante can block any attack in the game (even from bosses) without taking any damage. In addition, a meter will charge up the stored energy which, when full, can be released to cause even more damage. Used properly, it is by far the most powerful style in the game, but very risky.
These play styles are obtained during the course of the game. They cannot be upgraded and, when activated, deplete Dante's Devil Trigger energy gauge .
- Doppelganger – Creates an exact copy of Dante, in a similar manner to one of the abilities in Viewtiful Joe . The doppelganger mimics the same moves and uses the same weapons as Dante at the time of activation.
- Quicksilver – Allows Dante to slow time around him his enemies' movements to a crawl, but preserve his own speed. It is essentially the same concept as Bullet Time .
- Rebellion – Dante’s trusted sword and keepsake of his father. This is the only melee weapon available at the start of the game.
- Cerberus – Tripartite nunchucks infused with the power of ice. Dante acquires this weapon after defeating Cerberus, the mythical three-headed dog, in battle.
- Agni and Rudra – Two talking demon swords with faces in the hilt. They are infused with fire and wind respectively. Dante takes them with him after defeating their former headless masters on the condition that they remain silent.
- Nevan – An electric guitar/scythe infused with the spirit of Nevan, one of the bosses. The weapon utilizes the power of electricity and conjures bats as projectiles. Nevan takes this form after her defeat at Dante’s hands.
- Beowulf – Set of gauntlets and boots which are acquired by Dante after the second encounter with his brother Vergil. The equipment originally comes from the Demon Beowulf which, after being seriously injured by Dante, is later killed by Vergil.
Vergil (Special Edition only):
- Yamato – Vergil’s incredibly sharp samurai sword and keepsake of his father.
- Force Edge – Derivative of the legendary blade once held by the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda.
- Beowulf – Set of gauntlets and boots acquired after killing the demon Beowulf. Despite sharing this weapon with Dante, Vergil has his own set of unique attacks and combos; Vergil cannot charge his attacks for more damage, however, unlike Dante.
Vergil possesses all of these weapons at the start of the game.
Guns and Projectiles
- Ebony and Ivory – Dante’s signature handguns. They can juggle enemies launched in the air, can fire in midair, and when Dante is airborne they will slow his descent.
- Shotgun – A close range weapon that can not only inflict massive damage, but can also knock enemies over. Can be fired in midair.
- Artemis – A weapon powered by demonic energy. It can lock onto multiple targets or shoot multiple blasts at one target, but depletes Dante's Devil Trigger gauge. Can be fired in midair.
- Spiral – A sniper rifle which is found simply lying around. Very powerful at any range, but slow to reload.
- Kalina Ann – A very powerful rocket launcher useful for tackling groups of enemies. It is given to Dante by Lady after her defeat.
Vergil (Special Edition only):
- Phantom Swords – Vergil’s only projectile weapon. He has the ability to shoot homing ghost swords at his enemies. Powerful when leveled up.
Capcom obliged those who felt the original version of Devil May Cry 3 was too difficult by releasing a special edition of Dante's Awakening. Sold for $20 as part of the PS2's greatest hits collection, the special edition made the game significantly easier with the addition of smarter checkpoints and more health items, and added multiple difficulty levels, some extra modes and the ability to play through the whole game as Dante's brother Vergil.
- A Very Hard difficulty mode. (in practice, Very Hard is merely Hard mode from the original version of Dante's Awakening, while Easy mode is a new easier mode.)
- A new playable character, Vergil, who comes with his own weapons and playing style.
- Bloody Palace, a 9999 floor survival mode.
- A demo theater that allows you to watch any of the game's cutscenes .
- A new boss fight, Jester.
- The NTSC version of the game has a Turbo mode, which speeds up gameplay by 20 percent.
- Some new cutscenes for Vergil.
These are the new items added to the special edition of Devil May Cry 3. Vergil possesses all of them at the start of the game:
- Yamato – Vergil’s incredibly sharp samurai sword .
- Force Edge – Derivative of the legendary blade/warrior Sparda.
- Phantom Swords - Vergil’s only projectile weapon. He has the ability to shoot homing ghost swords at his enemies. Powerful when leveled up.
HD Collection Version
The Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3 features on the 2013 release, Devil May Cry HD Collection. As the name implies, this version appears in full 720p HD and includes trophies/achievements. The collection was released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
- Dante's Office 7 Hells
- M-1 End (To Vergil!)
- M-2 Start (Dante's Office 7 Hells Appearance)
- Battle-1 ( Music 1)
- M-2 End (Tower (Temen-Ni-Gru) Appearance)
- M-3 Start (Vergil and Arkham Seen at the Top of the Tower)
- Stage Music 1 ( 3 Stage)
- Cerberus Appearance
- Cerberus Defeated ~ Three-Rod Ice Weapon Cerberus
- M-3 End (Lady's Appearance)
- M-4 Start (Arkham Faces Lady's Rejection)
- Stage Music 2 (Temen-Ni-Gru 1F ~ 2F)
- Enigma Appearance -
- Gigapede Appearance
- Gigapede Battle
- M-4 End (Jester's Appearance)
- M-5 Start (Blood-Goyle Appearance ~ Battle)
- Agni & Rudra Appearance
- Agni & Rudra Battle
- M-5 End (Agni & Rudra Defeated - Flame & Tornado Blades Agni & Rudra)
- M-6 Start (Lady v.s. 7 Hells)
- Stage Music 3 (Inside Temen-Ni-Gru Upper Levels)
- M-6 End ()
- M-7 Start (Catch Lady)
- Vergil Appearance
- Vergil 1
- M-7 End (Demon Awakening)
- M-8 Start (Temen-Ni-Gru Dive)
- Stage Music 4 (Within Leviathan)
- Gigapede Appearance Inside Leviathan
- Heart of Leviathan
- M-8 End (Suspicious Behavior)
- M-9 Start (Leviathan Falls)
- Stage Music 5 (Subterranean Lake)
- Nevan Appearance
- Nevan Battle
- Nevan Defeated ~ Thunder Blade Nevan
- M-9 End (Lady Surrounded by the 7 Hells)
- M-10 Start (Betrayal)
- Eternal Mechanism Set (Dante Lifting)
- M-10 End (Lady's Past)
- M-11 Start (Arkham's Death)
- Stage Music 6 (Gears Room ~ Underground Arena)
- Beowulf Appearance
- Beowulf Battle
- Beowulf Defeated
- M-11 End (Vanished Arkham)
- M-12 Start (Jester Reveals the Mystery of Temen-Ni-Gru)
- Geryon Appearance
- Geryon Battle 1
- Bridge Lowered ~ Geryon Battle 2
- Geryon Defeated ~ Get Quicksilver Style!
- M-12 End (Vergil Defeats Beowulf)
- M-13 Start (Ritual)
- Vergil Battle 2
- M-13 End (Conspiracy)
- M-14 Start (Arkham Standing at the Top of Temen-Ni-Gru)
- The Two Who Chase Arkham
- Mission Start 2 (Mission Start 2)
- Stage Music 7 (Temen-Ni-Gru After the Ritual)
- Battle-2 (Battle Music 2)
- M-14 End (Bike Action)
- The Fallen Appearance ~ Battle
- Divinity Statue
- M-15 End (Arkham Goes to the Demon World)
- M-16 Start (The Path to the Demon World)
- Stage Music 8 (Temen-Ni-Gru United With the Demon World)
- Confrontation With Lady
- Lady Battle
- M-16 End (Confiding Lady)
- M-17 Start (Arkham Pulls Out Demon Sword Sparda)
- Doppelganger Appearance
- Doppelganger Battle
- Get Doppelganger Style!
- Stage Music 9 (Demon World)
- Damned Chess Battle
- M-18 End (Arkham's Awakening)
- Stage Music 10 (Neverending Void of Hades)
- Arkham Running Amok
- Arkham Battle
- Arkham Battle 2
- M-19 End (Jackpot!)
- M-20 Start (Father-Daughter Conclusion)
- Sibling Showdown
- Vergil Battle 3
- M-20 End (Conclusion)
- "Devils Never Cry" (Staff Roll)
- Vergil Afterwards
- Total Result
- Game Over
- Super Play (Super Play Movie) [bonus track]
- Loop Demo Movie [bonus track]
- Motion Capture Movie [bonus track]
- Video Continuity [bonus track]
- Promotion Movie [bonus track]