So you want to be a demon hunter? DmC Devil May Cry is a great place to start. The reboot from Ninja Theory has moved the series forward in important ways, most notably the storytelling, level design, and combat. The game is dripping with style and refuses to let you catch a breath before hurling you into the next mind boggling encounter. The characters are well portrayed on both sides of good and evil which leads to some amazing one liners and boss fights. This reimagining doesn’t rely on nostalgia, but uses fast, fluid action with a heavy dose of attitude to make for one hell of an experience.
If you are unfamiliar with what goes on in a Devil May Cry game in terms of story, it basically is an eternal battle between angels and demons where humanity somehow gets stuck in the middle. Endless armies of demons spawn throughout Limbo City, acting as a precursor to a full demonic takeover by the evil lord Mundus. Since Dante is the spawn of an angel and demon, he has some pretty awesome powers and is of course, the only one that can save the day. However, this newly created Dante is a lazy, party-punk who spends his nights clubbin’ and bathing in apathy. He isn’t tailored to be hero material, and you’ll spend a lot of your time shaking your head at his self centered witty dialogue. The story is lined with so much absurdity that the characters throughout Devil May Cry act as the glue that holds everything together. It boils down to big dumb fun, with a surprisingly effective cast that makes you care about what happens in the game.
Devil May Cry has always been about the combat, and that doesn’t change here. It is among the best in the character action genre by emphasizing fast and fluid combat. You begin with Dante’s bread and butter sword and dual pistols, but you soon collect a variety of angel and demon weapons. The beauty is that the combat, although taxing, remains simple in the fact that the combos stay consistent no matter what weapon you use. This allows for the use of multiple weapons in one combo, and it really isn’t that difficult to pull off once you know the basic moves. Of course, the more combos you string together the better your style ranking. More style means more abilities you can unlock and therefore more robust combos. It is a nice feedback loop that helps you to master the game as you play.
The level design adds to the feel of the game and drives home the fact that most of the action takes place in the demon world of limbo. This gives the designers freedom to explore the fantastical and demonic elements that come with that sort of territory. You’ll be upside down, spun around, and tossed through environments that make MC Escher blush. Devil May Cry’s visual presentation is astonishing as the levels themselves come to life as you move through them. Throw in some light grappling hook platforming and you really begin to see that this world is filled with ever changing geometry and color.
If you have previously been turned off from character action games because of the impenetrable combat and fast paced action, it is time to try Devil May Cry. Both fans and newbies to the series will find an amazing game filled with stunning visuals backed by memorable characters. The combat is flawless and eases you into complexity through a layered approach and well timed weapon upgrades, creating new demon hunters with every combo. The new direction for the franchise takes a promising step towards something special. DmC Devil May Cry is worth your time no matter who you are because it has so much style that you simply can’t ignore.