The reboot that converted a long-time nonbeliever
When the first Devil May Cry was released, my friends fell in love with its stylish action, intricate combat system, and dark tone. The first time I played it was at my cousin's house, and within 45 minutes I realized the game was impressive; but not for me. As the years rolled by, I watched its sequels roll out; but never really gave them a chance. The last Devil May Cry game I played was 4, when the same cousin invited me over and said "you'll love this one." Sadly he was wrong, I still disliked it. It was that experience that caused me to almost completely write off the series.
It is now 2013, and I found myself questioning why I had just spent $50 on this game labeled "DmC Devil May Cry." A number of people kept urging me to try it, and all I had heard was how it was "completely different" from the previous ones - something to behold. The purchase was an impetuous decision, and as it turns out, I don't regret it one iota.
DmC is one of the best games I have experienced in many years.
Its refinement of classic hack & slash tropes is truly impressive, and I found myself laughing out loud (in awe) at how ridiculously creative Ninja Theory could be. Their use of the alternate dimension (Limbo) allows them to abandon conventional level design and exchange absurd, nearly expressionistic environments in their stead. I have no problem saying that some of the stages in the latter half of DmC are the best levels I have ever played in a game.
Though the story is simply decent, I still found myself completely engaged in the characters due to the use of real actors & performance capture. The facial expressions express the subtleties of the character's thoughts in a way that is rarely experienced within gaming. To say I was taken aback by this would be putting it lightly.
Ninja Theory also does an impressive job of pushing the Unreal Engine to its limits. The constantly changing level design, stunning skyboxes, grotesque enemies/bosses, and facial animation all left me feeling as though this is approaching what "next gen" should feel like. I have not experienced any versions outside of the PC; but if they are comparable, I am very impressed at what we are still able to milk out of these aging machines.
The game is also impressively replayable. You are constantly earning upgrades for each of your weapons, as well as your general abilities & health. The character you are molding is not confined to your current point in the story, either. As soon as you complete a mission on any difficulty, you can return to that mission with your upgraded character to try and improve your score, as well as attempt it on a harder setting (there are many difficulty levels).
DmC left me very impressed, and I fully believe that you should experience it. I say this as someone who did not hold the original series with much reverence, but understood why people loved it so much. I can only hope that old fans of the series enjoy the way this new game feels & plays, but if you are someone who is not familiar with the previous games then this is a perfect point to jump in.