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.
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.
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.
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.
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.