Devil May Cry has always been one of those series I’ve admired from a distance. Though I completely understand the appeal, I’ve never had a great experience with the games. There was something about 2008’s Devil May Cry 4 that felt hollow and a bit archaic, the core gameplay mechanics beginning to stagnate.
Therefore, when it was announced that British developer, Ninja Theory, would helm a series reboot, I was more than excited. Others weren’t as enthused by the admittedly jarring change of art direction, but if the stream of positive reviews and high scores are anything to go by, Ninja Theory did a sterling job.
With a new Dante, new setting, and revised combat it proved to be one of the year’s best action titles. It may not have been as good a reboot as 2013’s Tomb Raider, but it came damn close.
What made DMC such a great success was its approach to combat. Devil May Cry has always renowned for its fast-paced, combo-heavy fighting style, which Ninja Theory revised perfectly.
Apart from his blade and trusty dual pistols, Dante has a whole arsenal of Angel and Demon weaponry available by simply holding the right or left trigger. It’s a fluid system and one which allows players to cycle through at least six weapons in a single combo if they so choose. For the less meticulous, however, it still provides oodles of diversity. If you thought the weapon system in God of War: Ascension was awesome, think again.
As mentioned before, it wasn’t just DMC’s gameplay that received a facelift. Though a certain degree of familiarity remains, the rest of Devil May Cry has also been modernised, propelled into a unique world where conspiracy and mythology meet in shady metropolis. In short, the game has serious attitude and there are some fantastic locales and set pieces to behold.
In truth, there’s not much to say against DMC. It does everything you’d want from a modern day action game and even has plenty of bonus content and features for those looking beyond the campaign’s ten or so hours.
I suppose the only real complaint is the degree to which Ninja Theory capitalised on their new setting and characters. Past the half-way mark, story beats start to become more and more predictable and the game climaxes with a rather average ending. I still enjoyed it, of course, but it just didn’t feel wacky or zesty enough compared to the developer’s ballsy approach to the rest of the game.
DMC is definitely worth picking up if you haven’t done so already, and since it’s currently free through PlayStation Plus, you’ve not got many excuses. Though some fans may find it hard to adjust, it kicks the doors wide open for newcomers or those, like myself, who were indifferent before the change of hands.