The Devil May Cry franchise has been running for nearly 12 years, with 4 games, comics, anime, and a possible film. Through all of this, very little has changed in the series. When DmC: Devil May Cry (DmC) was announced, the fans shit their pants. Not because of being amazed and overjoyed, but because they were furious. What could have caused all of these furious shits, you may ask? How the main protagonist, Dante, looks. That’s right, Ladies and Gents, there was public outcry over the character’s hair and coat. Now, I know a fair amount about the Devil May Cry games, but I never played one (I always heard they were extraordinarily difficult, so I just let them pass). So, I may not be able to comment on how important his look is to the franchise, but I tackled this reboot with an open mind. Not only was I glad to have played it, but it made me take an interest in the franchise’s history.
DmC takes place in an “Alternate Reality” of the Devil May Cry franchise, having no relation to the previous games. When most games get a reboot, they normally accept it as a new “first” game. I find it a little odd that Capcom went out of their way to say that it is an alternate reality in that universe. Perhaps they’re going to continue the old franchise? Anyways, this new Dante likes to spend his time going to strip clubs, getting hammered, and sleeping with lots of ladies in his trailer. We can all relate, right? This all changes after a run-in with a big, bad demon. After being guided by a mysterious girl, Kat, he defeats the demon and is brought to Kat’s leader, Virgil. Virgil heads up a terrorist group called, “The Order”. The Order is fighting the tyrannical rule of a demon, Mundus. Mundus controls the media, food, and lives of most people in the world. After finding out some crucial backstory, Dante decides to help Virgil bring down Mundus. While the plot is fairly straightforward, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. Dante’s story takes him through carnivals, newsrooms, nightclubs, and skyscrapers.
The gameplay of DmC is similar to previous games, using a combination of multiple melee weapons and guns. Currency dropped by enemies and bloody cocoons can be spent unlocking combos and increased damage for weapons, as well as purchase health-replenishing items. The combat is fast and exciting, with the ability to change weapons on the fly for increased combo length. The score system has returned, giving points for unique attacks and stylish fights with enemies. While I was a little hesitant about the scoring system at first, I was quickly trying to top myself and rack up more and more points. There are 8 weapons to switch between, giving players plenty of room to stretch and try out every possible combination of attacks. Even though this game is a hack-and-slash, there’s enough variety and plot to keep it from becoming a tired, trudging experience.
While there’s no multiplayer (why would you want one with this type of game, anyway?), Team Ninja tried to increase replay value by adding different ways to play the campaign. After you beat DmC, you unlock “Son of Sparda” mode. This is just a higher difficulty, changing the enemies’ behaviors and attacks. After that is completed, you unlock three more modes: “Dante Must Die!”, “Heaven or Hell”, and “Hell and Hell”. The first is the hardest difficulty of the game, but the latter two modes involve dying in one hit. I can understand the hardcore gamers and fans wanting to conquer these modes, wearing the earned achievements on their profile like war medals, but the average player probably won’t want to beat the same game five times. There simply isn’t enough being changed to warrant that many playthroughs.
The graphics are on par with most games on the current generation of consoles, without standing out too much. The facial animations are particularly well done, but nowhere near the uncanny accuracy of L.A. Noire. What DmC lacks in stunning graphics, it makes up for in style and charm. This game has an undeniably great sense of style, combining trippy visuals, alternate dimensions, and reality into one collective piece of artwork. I found myself enjoying the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, dashing in humor through the campaign. Whether the laughs come from the dialogue or from the gameplay, it’s a welcome addition. The humor is hit-or-miss, but it’s easy to forgive because you’ll be having plenty of fun.
Another strange little facet of DmC is the soundtrack. It was an original soundtrack scored by the band Combichrist. For the uninitiated, Combichrist is an Aggrotech (sub-genre of Industrial) band, who primarily play dark, electronic music. While the soundtrack they created for DmC is more overlayed with metal, it still creates a unique gaming experience. When I saw that their name was listed as providing the music, I was cringing. By the time I beat the game, I was bobbing and moving along with the music. Who knew that I enjoy Combichrist? Thanks, DmC! I’m not sure if everyone will be able to enjoy the soundtrack as much as I learned to, but I’d hope most people wouldn’t mute their T.V.’s while playing. If you’re not a fan of Industrial music, you may want to consider plugging in an iPod or something.
The achievements were very disappointing in DmC. Not only was the list disproportional, but it didn’t even make sense. There was a standard amount of achievements tied to beating the game and getting certain amounts of kills with particular weapons, but the rest were a jumble of collectible grinds and replaying the game. I could understand giving achievements for beating the game on the harder difficulties, but even those achievements were strangely divvied up. It was 10 gamerscore for beating the game on Heaven and Hell mode, but it was 100 gamerscore for beating it on Hell and Hell mode. Who wants to beat the entire game for a 10 point achievement? The entire list is full of these oddly proportioned achievements, giving very little score to most players. I got 28/48 of the achievements, but only ended up with 370 gamerscore. I realize this isn’t a major factor in whether or not a game is good, but we live in the Achievement Age. So, fellow Achievement Hounds, you may not earn much for playing this game, but it is the most fun you’ll have earning 370 points. Dedication is required for 1,000/1,000.
DmC was a huge surprise to me; I was expecting to have a frustrating, grinding experience playing, but I had some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. The combat is fine tuned and responsive, the style and attitude of the game is charming and interesting, but the achievements suck. Personally, I’d say that the good far outweighs the bad in this title. Clocking in around 20 hours for an average playthrough, it is plenty of content for your cash. Whether the hardcore Devil May Cry fans will be pleased with this reboot, I’m not sure. But, as a Gamer, I’m more than happy with what DmC has to offer. It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough.
I give DmC: Devil May Cry 4 “Secret Messages” out of 5