So I Just Played: DmC Devil May Cry

Posted by Tarfuin (47 posts) -

When I was growing up I was mostly a Nintendo/Original Xbox kid (NOTE TO COMMENTORS: My first console was a NES in 1990. I didn't mean Xbox was one of my first consoles. Don't worry, you're not old), so there are some game series I have never really had a proper chance to appreciate, namely those on the Playstation consoles. I’m lucky enough to have recently picked up a PS3 and have enjoyed catching up on things like the Uncharted series and Journey, but some of the older games have still escaped me. For instance, I have never played a Devil May Cry game, so what better opportunity for me than a series reboot that has been released on PC? I can get in relatively fresh as the series appears to be reinventing itself.

I know little about the Devil May Cry series as a whole. I have a vague idea of the story and I know the combat is often a relatively beat-em-up style that allows the use of melee combat as well as firearms. Armed with that knowledge, I strode forth into Limbo and actually had a really REALLY fun time of it. This game just goes for it, straight to 11, right off the bat. Satire and cheesiness are abound, but the game embraces it in a way that is really charming. It knows it’s cheesy, you know it’s cheesy, so just have some fun.

I have no idea what’s happening here, but let’s do this!

The story is entertaining pretty much non-stop. I’m not saying it’s excellent, but it’s entertaining. I actually found it to be pretty decent, but I am a bit of a sucker for the whole Angels Vs. Demons thing under most circumstances. In this version of the game (which I guess is DmC: DMC for short? Dumb game name) Dante is the offspring of an angel mother and demon father, making him Nephilim. Apparently this is slightly off from the classic Dante, and slightly off from the classic definition of Nephilim, but not to worry. Dante’s new realization blasts naked from a cannon into his new persona, almost literally. You soon meet your (early spoilers) brother and take off on a quest to take down a big bad demon. Standard stuff.

What’s not standard is the unbelievably interesting and innovative bits along the way. There is a boss fight in DmC: DMC that pits Dante against this world’s analog for Fox News. That’s right, this game suggests that Fox News is run by demons, and actually asks you to fight it. You fight a news network, as a boss. It’s freaking awesome.

It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Throw in a boss fight against a woman carrying a demon fetus. In this fight the baby is birthed, grows to about 80 feet tall, and the woman’s body dangles from the end of the umbilical cord. That’s the 2nd most insane fight in this game, 2nd!!! This game is nuts, and so much fun.

The combat is in a style that I don’t typically enjoy very much. The beat-em-up style gameplay can seem way too repetitive and boring to me in most cases. Darksiders comes to mind, and even more side-scrolling type ones like Dust: An Elysian Tail or Guacamelee need to have a bit more depth to be to my liking. Luckily DmC has done a really good job on this front as well. You are given access to a wide array of weapons, all of which are unbelievably easy to switch between to the point where you can use 5-6 different weapons all in one encounter. Not only that, you are actively encouraged and rewarded for using variety in your combat with higher ratings and faster upgrades.

So many different options, and they all involve slashing or puncturing

There’s an interesting light/dark element to the combat as well. You carry a couple weapons descendant from your mother’s line and some from your father, which means depending on the weapon you choose you have the powers of heaven or hell on your side. You’ll encounter different enemies that are more or less susceptible to different weapons, or light/dark inflictions, which is a nice and natural way to encourage some combat diversity. This all takes place in a landscape that is absolutely insane and very beautiful.

One of the defining characteristics of a Nephilim is he can occupy Limbo, the world in between the real world and the Demon one. Their take on Limbo was basically to take any real world setting (a warehouse, the carnival, etc.) and make it look like a freeze frame about 2 seconds after an explosion. There are shards of platforms floating everywhere, which gives every level a nice verticality to it, playing into the combat nicely.

While delicately side-stepping spoilers I’m going to try to share my favourite part of the game, the ending. I appreciate a fight in which you really feel like you and the opponent are on somewhat equal footing. It’s too obvious to have the monstrous bad guy fight the underdog hero, but when they’re true adversaries things are much more interesting. Through a beefing up of Dante and a knocking down of the big baddie, things become very tightly contested.

Well, he is pretty big…..just, just trust me, okay.

There’s more to it as well, but I’ve already said too much. Besides, this is a game well worth your time and money to go ahead and experience on your own.

#1 Posted by JBG4 (389 posts) -

Your first line makes me feel really old considering my first console was a NES in '88.

Anyway... I really enjoyed the new DMC, I completely brushed aside the criticisms from more cynical gamers, it was my favorite on the entire series... Yes, I have played them all.

Nice blog...

#2 Edited by Feels (75 posts) -

Can't quite put my finger on it, but DmC is absolutely great. I say this because my first play-through resulted in me putting it to my backlog after only three hours of play. Fast forward several months later -- I blast through it in one eight hour session on the hardest default difficulty. You have to understand that these days I usually play games for a couple hours before taking a break. So yeah. Eight straight hours! What a fun game!

The news network boss, while relatively simple, had me floored. Extremely creative. One of the most memorable bosses in recent years. Coupled with the fetus boss and that whole dance club level preceding it, the middle section of DmC was truly the best section.

As for the ending, I have to disagree with you. I generally liked it, though it was the weakest part for me. What a bunch of disappointing boss battles to end the game on...

#3 Posted by Rowr (5480 posts) -

Ninja theory are crazy talented and this game is no exception.

#4 Posted by Tarfuin (47 posts) -

@jbg4 said:

Your first line makes me feel really old considering my first console was a NES in '88.

Anyway... I really enjoyed the new DMC, I completely brushed aside the criticisms from more cynical gamers, it was my favorite on the entire series... Yes, I have played them all.

Nice blog...

Me too basically. I think it might have been 1990 that I got my NES. I just meant I never had any Playstation consoles. I had NES, N64, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I have since gone back and bought a SNES and PS3. Actually, I also played a ton of Amiga games growing up.

Glad you enjoyed the blog. It's interesting to hear your point of view as someone who has played the other games. I know enough to chuckle when any of the white hair, red trenchcoat references pop up, but that's about it.

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -

This was my 3rd favorite game last year. Amazing stuff.

#6 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

Game seems pretty solid, combat is slightly worse but storyline/characters/platforming is immensely improved so I guess that's your trade-off (also it's not like DMC was ever Bayonetta on the combat front).

#7 Posted by Random45 (1051 posts) -

@jbg4 said:

Your first line makes me feel really old considering my first console was a NES in '88.

Anyway... I really enjoyed the new DMC, I completely brushed aside the criticisms from more cynical gamers, it was my favorite on the entire series... Yes, I have played them all.

Nice blog...

Same here man. My first console was also the NES. It's crazy to think that it has been over 20 years since then, holy crap.

#8 Posted by BMdonut (8 posts) -

I recently just finished DmC, thanks to the amazing content available on Playstion Plus, and found it to be a incredible action game. It had been sometime since I had picked up a title from this genre and was happy that I waited. Especially since it was "free". I played all the original Devil May Cry's so it was nice to jump back into it. Ninja Theory really did do a great jump keeping many of the mechanics similar to the previous titles, yet infuses the franchise with it's own sense of style. I don't know if another installment will be made but I would definitely like to see it.

#9 Edited by Kjebka (45 posts) -

I just played this not all that long ago and I found it to be a good game, but a bit disappointing nonetheless. I wouldn't say the story or VA is necessarily better this time, but since it didn't need to be localized it's much more appealing for most people. The game looks fantastic, and the platforming sequences are a much better way to pace out the action than those archaic Resident Evil style puzzles. The disappointing part is the combat. I would call it adequate, but the fact is that if you put Devil May Cry on the box of your game adequate isn't enough. It needs to be the best, and this game falls a long way short of that.

The lack of lock on and the behavior of the camera was a constant irritant for me. The Bob Barbas boss fight was actually a high point of the game for me because the overhead view mimicking a shot from a helicopter finally let me see the way I wanted to. The slow pace, stiff controls and dull collection of enemies had me spending every moment of the action lamenting what the game wasn't.

It reminds me of a Zach Snyder adaptation. It's well made and succeeds at much of what it looks to accomplish, but missing out on what made the source great in the first place.

#10 Posted by Taku128 (793 posts) -

@kjebka said:

It reminds me of a Zach Snyder adaptation. It's well made and succeeds at much of what it looks to accomplish, but missing out on what made the source great in the first place.

This is a really good comparison. Everything DmC does decently is lifted directly from the old games, whereas the new stuff is all awful. Ninja Theory took a lot from the old games without entirely understanding what made the originals great, and as such the execution ended up being poor.

DmC is better than its other western contemporaries like God of War or Dante's Inferno, but it's just not nearly as deep or satisfying as DMC 3 or 4.

#11 Posted by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

Game seems pretty solid, combat is slightly worse but storyline/characters/platforming is immensely improved so I guess that's your trade-off (also it's not like DMC was ever Bayonetta on the combat front).

No matter how good a story is it should never trade-off for game play. Story in games is the least important thing when making a good game, the least!

Devil May Cry 4 is the most in depth hack n slash ever created, seriously. It's a lot more in-depth than Bayonetta but Baynetta gives you more freedom it's not as deep. DmC can't even match Devil May Cry 3 in terms of gameplay.

#12 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Awesome blog dude! I'm glad someone else really enjoyed the new DmC! I thought it was pretty fantastic to be honest.

#13 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

If they rebalanced some of the values for the attacks, got rid of the light/dark enemies, rebalanced the difficulties and made the bosses a little more interesting to play against, then I think DmC would be an excellent game. As of now though, it's "just" a solid a good time. Maybe I should get around to doing a second playthrough at some point.

#14 Edited by Tarfuin (47 posts) -
@onomatopoeia said:

No matter how good a story is it should never trade-off for game play. Story in games is the least important thing when making a good game, the least!

I get the point you're trying to make, but a good story is an incredibly important part of making games.

#15 Posted by JBG4 (389 posts) -

@tarfuin: the controls were obviously a bit more fluid in DMC compared to the previous games. I really enjoyed the level design and just overall art design in DMC.

#16 Posted by Stealthmaster86 (631 posts) -

I was actually surprised by this game. I wasn't expecting much, but I really enjoyed it. I still think that DMC3 is the best in the series.

#17 Posted by Rorie (2701 posts) -

I played the first level on the PC way back when, then tried it again on the PS3 when it was on plus.

I think...I think I'm getting too old for this stuff. I can't do anything right now. Maybe I'll play it on easy or something.

Staff
#18 Posted by HatKing (5821 posts) -

I have so many thoughts on this game. Mostly, it can all be distilled down to: it's great. But I feel like I've spent a lot of time defending this game over the past year. Which is weird because I initially had no interest in playing it, and didn't actually grab a copy until a month or two later. Actually had a similar situation with Tomb Raider, which I equally enjoyed, and have also had to defend a whole bunch.

#19 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: Arkham City, NGS2, and Bayonetta are much smoother playing games than any DMC, DMC is like oh hey if I play it just right it starts to flow okay; but the other three games feel pretty good to start with and just improve over time (though NGS2 gets stale because of no platforming/boring ass storyline). Dodging is a pretty skillful/useful thing in Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta but more or less meaningless/trivial in the older DMCs, sure you can frame perfect dodge but it doesn't do anything for you in most situations. Also isn't DMC3 the fan favorite (and justifiably so)? DMC4 is fine but it basically comes down to bind charge shot to a shoulder button, use charge shot level 3, exploit the hell out of snatch, get S ranks on every Nero mission on any difficulty, feel sad when you play Dante because he's vastly inferior to Nero in that game. Also while God of War might not have the depth of the above games it does still play and feel better than DMC ever has; Nero is basically a Dante/Kratos hybrid.

#20 Posted by Guesty_01 (339 posts) -

DmC is my favorite Devil May Cry game to date, by a country mile.

#21 Posted by bmehlers (128 posts) -

I just finished this game as well and thought it was great. The combat is really fun and fluid, and the story was well done; much better than the story in DMC 1 when I watched Bradley May Cry. I've never played the old games because I thought Dante looked lame (funny how fans feel the exact opposite), but might give them a try now.

#22 Edited by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: DMC4 is fine but it basically comes down to bind charge shot to a shoulder button, use charge shot level 3, exploit the hell out of snatch, get S ranks on every Nero mission on any difficulty, feel sad when you play Dante because he's vastly inferior to Nero in that game. Also while God of War might not have the depth of the above games it does still play and feel better than DMC ever has; Nero is basically a Dante/Kratos hybrid.

Play the game on higher difficulties, explore the combat and find new things. It's not just about getting SSS it's how you get SSS. God of War has no combat system. Square, Square. Square, R1 and Square, Triangle,Jump and Square, Jump and Triangle. God of War is terribly shallow because it's just button mashing on all difficulties.

#23 Edited by Taku128 (793 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@onomatopoeia: Dodging is a pretty skillful/useful thing in Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta but more or less meaningless/trivial in the older DMCs, sure you can frame perfect dodge but it doesn't do anything for you in most situations.

Royal Guard style in DMC3 and 4 is very much designed around rewarding you for perfect timing. You can hold the button down to block and take reduced damage, but just tapping the button at the right time both boosts your style rating and mitigates all damage. It's a really small window to pull off, but is incredibly satisfying once you get it down.

#24 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@taku128: Again it's there but there's a really long gateway to it and it's more or less unnecessary except for one secret mission; the immediacy of understanding how to dodge in Ninja Gaiden is there immediately because if you don't do it you die immediately and if you do do it you're much more efficient offensively.

@onomatopoeia: I've beaten both DMC3 and DMC4 on every difficulty and S ranked almost everything.

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