This reboot is a loud and electrifying hack-and-slash game that exudes personality and is always fun to play.
Over the years, the Devil May Cry series has had its high and lows. What started as a Resident Evil game, mutated into a 3D hack-and-slash Gothic adventure that felt challenging and unique. When Devil May Cry 2 came out, the sequel lacked some of the best qualities such as inspired enemies, great level design and a challenging campaign. Devil May Cry 3 was a return to form to the series thanks to a compelling story and new characters. The fourth entry was just lackluster due to backtracking and a cumbersome use of the camera. By the time Capcom announced that they were rebooting the franchise with a game developed by Ninja Theory, fans wondered which DmC game they were going to get? Luckily, this reboot is a loud and electrifying hack-and-slash game that exudes personality and is always fun to play.
Dante is a young demon hunter living in the human world, but he has the unique ability of visiting Limbo whenever he pleases. Limbo is a more twisted version of our own world filled with Gothic imagery and powerful demons that want you dead. Fortunately, Dante has his trusty sword Rebellion and twin pistols Ebony and Ivory to defeat the demonic creatures that attack him. When enemies appear, you can avoid attacks, jump around, shoot and hack and slash and the more graceful you’re in combat, the better your rank will be at the end of the level. Combat is delightful and with only a few button presses, you’ll perform some of the most amazing and eye-catching moves and attacks.
As you progress through the game, you receive more upgrade points to improve your abilities and weapons, so you’ll always have something new to combine in creative new ways. Additionally, you unlock new weapons from time to time, including a scythe known as Osiris and an axe called Arbiter. These weapons have unique modifiers called Angel mode and Devil mode which are activated by holding one of the two trigger buttons. Apart from using these two modes to extend a given combo, they also alter Dante’s mobility, so Angel mode pulls yourself towards enemies and Devil mode pulls enemies towards you. If you spend some time learning the different techniques and you combine them in creative ways, combat can be an intoxicating ballet of slashes and since you receive upgrade points for your efforts, DmC is a ridiculous vicious circle of violence that easy to get into and hard to pull away from.
It’s hard to complain about a game for having too much variety, but there are so many abilities and weapons (and each of them has so many attacks attached to them) that the combo system can be overwhelming. I was frustrated when I couldn’t improve my rank because I couldn’t remember attacks or because my attacks were suddenly interrupted by a stubborn enemy which refused to die. Of course, this is a minor gripe, especially considering that the combat is always entertaining, even when you’re just using a few attacks you remember. Also, the camera has problems framing the action properly when you’re in small environments. It’s worth mentioning that not all boss fights are created equal: some of them are really creative and you need to figure out patterns or use environments to defeat them, others you just defeat pushing random buttons or have intricate patterns that are hard to identify their first time you tackle them.
A flexible combat, stunning art style, appealing characters and creative level design are integral parts of what make Devil May Cry such as pleasure to play. To be clear, there are some missteps here and there, but this is still an imaginative take on a franchise that’s been around for quite some time and had lost its charm over the years. DmC is everything a modern hack-and-slash game should be and more.