Fans May Cry
2013 and Devil May Cry is back. This isn’t the Dante you know and love either, this is a new Dante. This is a Dante who’s bound to draw battle-lines across the fandom and this is a Dante who has a whole new personality, look and feel to him, rather like the game. It’s always tricky to reboot a beloved franchise and character, Ninja Theory and Capcom had a massive set of shoes to fill in many fan’s eyes and regardless of how you feel about the new game, for us, they pulled it off. We’re not as heavily invested in DmC as some people, a change for us isn’t the end of the world and we can often overlook hokey plot and some cheesy lines if the gameplay is good.Story
Dante’s memory isn’t so good, he’s a guy who has no clue about his demonic and angelic linage, or that he’s got a twin brother called Virgil. He spends his time partying with dubious ladies, living in a pier-side trailer and getting drunk. He’s not aware that there’s a big badass demon king called Mundus who’s out to get him because of his bloodline…that is until a psychic called Kat shows up and Dante’s dragged into limbo by a demonic hunter. Thus the story to DmC kicks off and drags you along at a fair pace revealing key points about Dante’s history and lineage through a set of increasingly harder/rewarding missions. Add to this that the demons control the real world through media and keep the populace in check via other means, there’s a real secret world vibe running through the story.Gameplay
DmC has numerous difficulty levels, from the easy (still hard in places) to the downright terrifying where Dante’s enemies have full health, but he can die in one hit. It employs a checkpoint based save system which seems to work pretty well and falling removes a small sliver of Dante’s health rather than killing him outright.
The game’s controls should be fairly familiar with fans of the series, action game players and anyone who has played a game like God of War. There are heavy attacks on Y, the X button employs Ebony and Ivory, Dante’s twin guns (or another firearm later on), B creates a lunge or uppercut and through a mix of the face buttons, triggers and combos Dante can perform some pretty spectacular moves with Rebellion and his demonic/angelic arsenal.
You see when you get some new toys, you can use the left trigger (for angelic) and the right (for demonic) to link combos with Rebellion, smoothly switching between the angelic Osiris and the demonic Arbitrator. Left trigger also uses Dante’s angel pull, and the right uses the demon grab. Armed with this knowledge it’s possible to create some demon-shattering combos and keep the score piling up.
The higher the score the more rewards you get after combat. Of course one hit will send the combo gauge down a rank and undo all that hard work. You can go from a blistering SSS rank to a measly D rank in a few seconds. So you’re going to have to keep an eye on enemy attack patterns, learn the best weapons to use in the right situation and pick up a few solid combos rather than mashing buttons – especially on the higher difficulties.
Ebony and Ivory are useful for maintaining the combo gauge on its current rank and the left and right bumpers are used for evade. Evade is a key skill to master since it’ll mean you keep that precious SSS rank longer and earn a huge score. Get a high enough score and you’ll be raking in the upgrade points you need to buy Dante’s skills for all his weapons (there are a lot) and his moves (again, quite a few).
As per usual you can access the Upgrade Shop from Divinity Statues or the Mission Start screen. Here you can buy Vital (health restoration) stars, upgrades and items to use in game. If you use items though it will deduct from your score, so if you want to get a better chance at grabbing a SSS final ranking you need to really learn your stuff. Red orbs from combat and smashing things are your currency for items in DmC and white orbs are earned for really badass fights, these get you your upgrade points.
The games missions are a mix of combat (a lot of it), puzzle solving traversal. Dante jumps around a lot more in this one and you can swing from angel points, or use the demon grab to pull demon point objects closer. There’s a definite rock/paper/scissors mechanic running through this one with certain weapons required to harm foes, exploiting their weakness. A good example of this being the Hellknights – who only take damage from demonic sources, you can avoid their fire attack if you’re in demon mode as well. (Right trigger)
Dante’s Devil Trigger is back as well, with some tweaks. It now knocks enemies into the air and Dante scores bonus style points for doing aerial combos against his foes whilst in DT mode.