DmC: Devil May Cry arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with 1080p and 60fps visuals and despite what the internet may tell you, boy do those extra pixels make a difference. The intro movie/title sequence which is set in a club, now looks like a pop music video and when the game begins proper in a fairground on a pier, the graphics practically pop off the screen.
It looked good on PS3, but on PS4 the lighting seems to clearer, with everything simply more vibrant – unless you were told you would swear the game was built specifically for PlayStation 4. However, there are a few instances when the game shows its last gen heritage, mostly when in the real world rather than Limbo. Here things look a little blocky and the textures can be rather flat. In one sequence, for example, Dante hops in a car and there is a noticeable lack of shadow underneath the vehicles on the road. A couple of the cutscenes also show some low resolution graphics, and the ground in the challenge mode arenas is a simple flat green area with no textures, so it’s not all as beautiful
Thankfully, most of the game takes place in the graphically gorgeous demon world and the boost from 30 to 60fps makes a huge difference, with combos flowing easier, and Dante’s blade slicing through enemies with a satisfying gold slash. To make things even smoother, you can switch on the new Turbo mode which speeds up the entire game by twenty percent, it’s at first noticeable boost but quite easy to become accustomed with and the game runs like a hot knife through butter, it is extremely smooth and satisfying.
The combat system has been tweaked and rebalanced based on fan feedback and now includes an optional manual lock-on, a nod to the original Devil May Cry. There are a number of new difficulty levels including the Must Style modifier which only deals damage to enemies when you achieve a combo rank of S or higher. If you combine this with Hardcore mode (which rebalances the enemies), Turbo Mode and the new Gods Must Die difficulty setting you get a game that would make even Kratos decide to stay in and wash his hair.
The one misstep in Dante’s definitive edition is that a large portion of the new content and game modes, including Gods Must Die and the Bloody Palace, are locked at the start of the game and require you to complete the campaign first. Whilst this is not a problem for newcomers, those who have already beaten then game previously probably want to dive into the new modes straight away.
Ninja Theory have also taken the opportunity to make some minor adjustments to the story and characters. There is very brief additional scene, and a line of fruity dialogue has been edited, Lilith no longer tells her boss “The world is at last your bitch, as am I. Nothing left but to grab it by the hair, bend it over and -”
“We did make an edit to the opening cut-scene,” explained Ninja Theory’s chief creative director Tameem Antoniades to Eurogamer. “It wasn’t a case of censorship as there are far more suggestive scenes in the game. We felt that scene in particular drags on a little bit for the opening sequence and frankly, we didn’t like the line.”
There are other tiny tweaks that only the most hardcore fans will notice, although I am particularly please that Virgil has had a long hard look in a mirror and ditched his awful hat.
You also get the Virgil’s Downfall DLC which uses graphic novel style cutscenes rather than using in the in-game engine. Set after the end of the main game (don’t play this first, it spoils the ending) it is set in the demon world and casts Dante as the villain. Whilst Virgil has moves of his own, many of them replicate the effects of Dante’s and he is a rather more cumbersome fighter.
Just one other small point I should mention is that pressing the PlayStation button on the controller to go to the PlayStation menu will not pause the game, it continues to run in the background, which may be a slight annoyance for some players.
So the big question, should you buy this Defintive Edition? If you missed Dante’s reboot on the old consoles the answer is an emphatic yes. With the God of War noticeably absent on PS4 there simply isn’t anything like DmC on the Sony console. Now that the internet fury about the reboot is consigned to the past it’s easier to appreciate what a great job Ninja Theory have done with a great story that manages to mock both Fox News and Coca-Cola between its demon-heavy narrative.
For those returning to DmC, the game retails at around £25, and even if you have previously completed the game, you probably have not done so for a good while. Stepping back in to the shoes of the devil slayer is an utter joy, I had completely forgotten just how much fun the game is.
Like The Last of Us, the changes from PS3 to PS4 may seem minor and in many cases are purely cosmetic, but they improve upon what was already superb game. Kris reviewed the original game two years ago and gave it 7/10, noting in particular ” The game really falls flat in some cutscenes, with the frame rate feeling slightly like it’s stuttering and environmental textures feeling incredibly flat.”
Well most, if not all of that, has been fixed and the game is now £25 with all the DLC included. If you are a fan of the hack and slash genre you really should pick up a copy of the definitive Dante.