A failed attempt at a reboot, and a mediocre outing of an action game.
In the beginning of Devil May Cry 3, Dante’s solo pizza party is interrupted by some dusty, screaming ghouls who stab our hero with their scarp scythes. He shrugs off the weapons, still sticking out of his body, and proceeds to kick ass. “This party is getting crazy! Let’s rock” shouts Dante, starting the music and the first battle.
Capcom has rebooted the series, and with a collaborative effort by Ninja Theory, Dante turned into a foul mouth, edgy, non-crazy jerk, a far cry from his cheesy yet fun devil-may-care attitude presented before.
Here’s an example.
Donte (because we have to have a way to distinguishing the two, and the internet seems very fond of using this term) is recalling his past in one of the earlier levels of DmC. He talks about how he doesn’t know what he is, human or demon, and a picture of him ripping open a small wound on his chest pops up. This new character is in pain from a tiny cut he made with his finger, while Dante gets stabbed all the time and laughs it off.
The reason I use these two scenes is because they both describe the differences between the original series and this new reboot. One, a fun, deep, romp through dangerous areas. The other, stuck up its own ass and full of itself. I think you can guess which is which.
Don’t get me wrong. DmC isn’t the worst action title to ever come out in history. In fact, it’s a decent title in some ways. But with a heavy lineage to live up to, Donte’s adventures through limbo aren’t nearly as crazy
And yes, I’m going to compare this game with the other DMC titles because it’s an action game with the same title.
- The story is so full of itself that it would take me a whole separate article to address. Donte is a ho-hum version of the Dante. Annoying, lanky, tryhard, and childish in the worst ways possible. Insults slung at his enemies just fall flat, while Dante had a sense of delivery and smooth coolness with his verbal attacks.
- Other characters are pretty bad as well. Vorgil (Vergil) is a wussy version of his other self, never using his sword whenever possible. Their human friend, Kat, is a typical throwaway cast member only used as a plot device and not much more. For a plot that is described as “Shakespearan” by the developers, I expected more depth in general.
- Interactions between characters is hilariously bad. Often times, you’ll see them repeating the same things that one person already said. And then, this kind of stuff exist:
Truly awkward at best.
- You know that terrible music that plays in the action films? With the indecipherable lyrics and awful guitaring? That’s what’s going on with this game’s soundtrack.
- My copy has sound problems, which is an apparently common issue. Voices will cut off, and the music will too. Actually, considering what it’s blocking, maybe this is okay.
- Cutscenes are so constant that it breaks up the flow of the combat. Many hide the loading in the background, which is nice, but having to sit through something you’ve already seen is annoying.
+/- Graphically, DmC is an odd game. It uses the Unreal Engine, so expect waiting for textures to load and look pretty. When they do, it’s sorta nice looking.
+ The changing environments are possibly the best thing about this reboot. As the levels descend into the demon-infested parallel world, building and pavement warp violently in order to impede Donte’s progress.
- There’s a lot of platforming. In some cases, it takes up the majority of the level. It’s made even worse as Dante drops like a sack of rocks as he lands and it’s hard to judge where he’ll end up at.
+ As an action game, the combat isn’t completely terrible. Two different grappling types help extend combos, while things like jump canceling and performing longer combos are easier here than the original series. For those who found the other titles too difficult DmC is a walk in the park.
- It’s a shame there is a laundry list of problems holding down the core gameplay. First off, some enemies require you to utilize certain weapons until they can be harmed, which breaks the flow of combat. Having to continuously switch because the game forces you to, rather than having the freedom to do what you want, is annoyingly restrictive for a DMC game.
- Weapon-switching in general isn’t as smooth as it should be.
- The new weapons aren’t as amazing as things like ice nunchucks, but they are fun. Shame many of them become useless once you get Hulk Hands Enyx and throwing-weapon Aquila. My first playthrough was beat with both those weapons, with the other ones barely touched until required.
- Abilities like Demon/Angel Dodge not only give you tons of invincibility frames to dodge almost anything, they give you a huge boost in power if successful. Lethargic enemies, even on Hard/Nephilim, don’t help in making this game any harder.
- Yeah, I know it’s a reboot, but how does a new game have a smaller move set than 3 and 4? Reboot or no, a game should be improved from the previous titles, and Ninja Theory can’t even up the skill ceiling for those who want to improve.
- No-lock on. You know, the thing that lets players track enemies better instead of having auto-aim, and allows for deeper combos with more directional inputs. That thing that doesn’t force me to double-tap for a Stinger.
- 30 fps. Although the PC version runs at 60.
- Getting a high ranking can be done by finding all the collectibles in the level or having a high damage output. Capcom has patched it to make the Stylish requirements tougher, but not hard enough.
- Boss battles are laughable. Fights weren’t interesting at all to play, and just didn’t leave any impact. The final fight is easily the worst in the game, and considering who it is, I feel insulted.
+ I like that there’s a training mode, a feature that to needed in the previous games. I also like that they pull the missions out into their own separate mode after you beat them.
- It’s a shame most aren’t fun. Finding them a chore also.
+ Unlike the other games, backtracking isn’t common.
- A coatless Donte as a Son Of Sparda unlock? Are you kidding me?
- Capcom has yet to throw in the Bloody Palace mode at the time of this writing.
Understand that DmC is a decent action game, but can’t hold a candle to any of the previous titles, besides maybe 2. But since when has that game counted for anything? It doesn’t exist, end of story.
If you are a fan of the previous games or just like deeper, more difficult action games, don’t pick this one up. For everyone else, it’s a safe experience at a reduced price.