Shaking Hands with Savages

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DmC [Review]

Devil May Cry

Nothing says gritty reboot like a badly painted logo.

It’s not easy seeing one of your favorite fictional characters change, and we aren’t just talking about a new pair of shoes or an alternate costume . Michael Bay would be the first to testify how unforgiving fans can be as evinced by the backlash he received after changing the origin story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And since we are on the subject is it me or does the new Robocop look more like Judge Dredd? Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself here. The truth is sometimes when you have a formula that works it may be the safe bet to stick to it. There are countless more examples, but the most striking one has come in the form of our beloved pizza-eating, half demon, demon slayer, Dante. Not only does Dante look and act different in this reboot; the development team (Ninja Theory) has changed as well. The reason these changes have taken place are economically centered (marketing to a western audience), and understandable for the most part at least from a business standpoint. The question remains is this the same Devil May Cry we have come to love with a different paint job? Or is this reboot looking to take the series in a different direction both aesthetically and gameplay wise?

The story is a passable conspiracy theory. The bulk of the story takes place in a city named Limbo where all institutions work in accordance with one another to keep humans in a daze and unaware of the real world around them.  Essentially, it’s The Matrix meets Dark City in Hell. Demons control all aspects of consumption and keep humans content within a patriarchal framework. Whether it’s food, entertainment, or work; the world that we exist within is not what it seems. Dante with the help of his brother Vergil, and his new comrade Kat attempt a hostile revolution against the demon Mundus; the murderer of Dante and Vergil’s mother, the imprisoner of their father, and most interestingly their uncle. Along the way you will encounter a host of demons that want nothing more than to tear your Armani model inspired head off of your shoulders.

Devil May Cry

Dante overlooking an upturned Limbo City.

Graphically, the series has never looked better. The unreal engine works well within the DmC universe and it allows for some pretty intense scenery transformation/destruction, and weird character design. A fair caveat unless you have a high-end pc or an hdmi cord you can forget about seeing this puppy in 60fps. There are some hiccups from time to time i.e. rendering issues, and the occasional frame rate slowdown, but these occurrences are few and far between. The new character design isn’t bad, I know “blasphemy,” but hear me out. The setting is far less gothic and far grittier than the previous iterations of Devil May Cry hence the new Dante is a reflection of the world he exists within. The series has shed its campy demeanor for a more hard edged and at times acrid veneer. Basically, if the original devil may cry series was Heavy metal than the new series is punk rock.

Although a great deal of the series’ success can be placed upon Dante’s charismatic shoulders , at the end of the day Devil May Cry has always been about over the top, ridiculous, combo-licious action. And as you may have guessed by now, this one does not disappoint.  The system is a little different; this time out Dante has three guns, two heaven based weapons,  two hell based weapons, and one regular sword. Not to mention his unique methods of traversal are also used in combat.  The combat is extremely fluid and addictive, not to mention the game rewards you for not spamming the same moves over and over again. You can switch between all of the weapons on the fly, and you have a diverse move set at your disposal.  The difficulty level of the game is moderate and can get downright brutal on the latter settings. The action is broken up via platforming segments interspersed throughout the game, and it is during these parts where you will utilize either your whip or your grappling hook.

Devil May Cry

The nightclub level has excellent level design and great artistic direction.

My biggest issue with the game was… the dialogue. Sheesh. There were points that I was sure Tommy Wiseau (Google “The Room” and send all your hate mail to me  afterwards) had written parts of the script. Like the exchange between the Hag and Dante where more awkward f-bombs were uncreatively dropped than during my entire middle school years. I guess gritty means reduction in quality dialogue. There were plenty of other egregious examples but I’d rather not beat a dead horse; the point is Ninja Theory needs a bit of work in the dialogue writing department.

The game was fun; unfortunately for many this will not be enough to warrant a closer inspection. The gameplay is firmly intact and the art direction and character design were definitely above average. There will be many essays written detailing why this new direction was a failure, but we aren’t here to debate that;  that  is another topic  for another article . So I ask, was this reboot unnecessary? To put it simply, yes. Was the game good? Surprisingly, the answer again is, yes. So without a shadow of remorse I declare DmC a solid action game, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to play a good ole’ hack ‘n’ slash.

Overall Score: 3/5

Despite Dantes new rockin ‘tude the game still manages to stay true to the bedrock of the Franchise and that is over the top action and a dynamic combo system.

“Say what? Who told this joker he should start do video game reviews?” I guess you could say I sort of stumbled onto it or crashed into it after a series of unfortunate events, either way expect more in the near future. Be sure to follow Shaking Hands With Savages on Twitter , and “Like” us on Facebook.


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This entry was posted on August 16, 2013 by in Critique and tagged , .


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