Since 2001, the Devil May Cry series has been lauded as the staple hack and slash game that has continuously brought fun and excitement to the genre. With the exception of DMC2 (which despite being the weakest of the games, did bring certain new elements to the table), DMC 1, 3, and 4 are quite possibly the best of this genre bar none. The combat evolved over the course of the series peaking in DMC3 with the ability to switch different combat styles ranging from Sword Master, Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger, Doppleganger, and Quicksilver. These different styles brought some depth to the combat while also giving it a bit of free flow as well. This was further enhanced in DMC 4 with the ability to switch combat styles on the fly which greatly made the game fun, exciting, and over the top.
            In Capcom’s infinite wisdom they decided they wanted to reboot the series with a Western flavor. So they hired out Ninja Theory for the job. Now Ninja Theory is known for two games, Heavenly Sword and Enslaved. While these games have good production value and a decent story to go along with it, the combat left much to be desired. While it was fun, it lacked polish and ended up being a bland experience.  So you can see why people were very much frustrated and pissed that Ninja Theory would be the ones to be in charge of the Devil May Cry series.

            After years of controversy and ridicule, DmC: Devil May Cry has finally graced our presence.  While the game itself is very entertaining and fun, there are some faults to it that keep it from being up there with the greats like DMC 1, 3, and 4. Now the whole story of the series originally, was that Dante was the son of the Demon Knight Sparda who garnered the title of Legendary Dark Knight after defeating tons of demons and Mundus. He was more or less a hero of the humans and eventually settled down with a human woman named Eva who birthed Dante and his brother Vergil. Pretty cut and dry story for the most part.

            Now DmC bucks that trend and changes the story up entirely. This time Dante and Vergil are the half-demon, half-angel sons of Sparda and Eva making them Nelphilm. The story of this game is pretty much in line with the Roddy Piper movie, “They Live”. The demon Mundus is controlling people through debt and food and it’s up to Dante, Vergil, and new character Kat to stop him. While the Dante we know and love from the old series is still there more or less, Vergil unfortunately doesn’t fare so well. He ends up being a very bland character that you don’t really care about. Meanwhile Kat ends up being a very interesting character that you do give a crap about and her interactions with Dante over the course of the game make you more invested in what happens to her.

            The story overall is mediocre at best. At times the writing is good and when the writing is bad, boy oh boy is it bad. I don’t know who at Ninja Theory thought excessive cursing makes a character “cool” and “edgy” but apparently they didn’t get the memo that it just makes your characters come across as childish which in turn drags the story down a bit. Now thats not to say that the old series stories were excellent works of literature. The clear anime influence of the series made it to where you didn’t take the story seriously, but it was also competent all the way through. It just baffles me that for all the praise that’s lauded at Ninja Theory for their excellent story telling skills; they dropped the ball on the story to the point of mediocrity.

            So how does the combat fare you ask? Well the combat has the same fun and over the top aspect to it of the previous series with a bit of a twist. Dante now has two types of weapons, Angel and Demon. The Demon weapons are very slow, hard hitting, and rake in a lot of damage while Angel weapons work more in terms of crowd control and have a weaker damage output. You still have your default weapons in Rebellion and Ebony and Ivory pistols but you also get the Shotgun and a Sticky Grenade Gun as well. Switching between all these weapons is still as seamless as the previous games which still give the opportunity for a variety of combat options. But two things hamper the combat down a bit; more so when you get to the harder difficulties: 
     1. There are certain enemies that can only be defeated by certain weapon types. This wouldn’t be a problem if the game didn’t stick you in rooms where you get a mix of angel and demon enemies and it ends up being a tedious chore and the fun is sucked out of it. 
     2. NO LOCK-ON.  For the life of me, I don’t know WTF was going through the minds of Capcom and NT when they decided to take this feature out. Lock-on in hack and slash or hell any video game for that matter makes things much easier when it comes to combat. So with no lock-on you end up accidently attacking enemies you didn’t want to attack which in turn makes fighting demon and angel enemies frustrating at times. 

     Now you do get a dodge button mechanic in this game and one feature which you’ll be whoring out throughout your adventure through this game is the Demon Dodge mechanic. The feature allows you, if you dodge correctly at the last minute, the ability to do more damage with your demon weapons and builds up your style gauge significantly.
            Speaking of style gauge, this is also another mechanic that ultimately is a bit broken. Part of the charm of the style system in the original series was making you the player vary up your moves during combat in order to get your style gauge up. The satisfaction of doing it made you feel a bit accomplished. In this game on the other hand, the style system is very lax and the demon dodge mechanic that I mentioned before makes it to where you can literally “SSS” enemies during combat without even trying hard.

            Overall DmC ends up being a very beginner friendly game. At times the game reminds me of DMC2 which was a very mediocre game that had a lackluster combat system and a story that you didn’t care about. Which is a shame because I rather enjoyed DmC for what it was but ultimately what we have is a game that doesn’t quite live up to what made DMC 1, 3, and 4 so damn good.

3BlackGeeks rating –

CJ – C+
Posted on January 26, 2013 .