With DmC: Devil May Cry a few days away from release, let’s take a look at what makes this “reboot” set in an alternate reality stand out amongst the backlash it has seemingly been receiving since it was first announced.
Limbo City is a special kind of city. Besides the fact that it’s a pretty impressive modern mixed with old architectural beauty it is also a city that is constantly trying to kill Dante. Due to the fact that Limbo City is run by demons, Dante is constantly sucked into an alternate demon world version of Limbo City (think Bayonetta). When this happens, not only are demons sent after Dante, but the world itself literally tries to kill him as well. During gameplay at random times the world around Dante may close in on him if he is in a small space or the floor ahead of him will break apart and shift along as he gets closer to it. This makes for some interesting platform mechanics and gameplay changes in DmC that are a welcome new addition to the series.
I know what your thinking, but DmC’s Dante isn’t much of a far cry from the Dante that we all know and love. I was one of the fans who after seeing the old 2010 trailer, was skeptical about the new look for Dante. Thankfully as the years in development went along, small tweaks were made to Dante’s look that made a big difference and now I can see “classic Dante” in DmC’s Dante a little more. Personality wise, Dante is just as brash, just as disrespectful, and just as cocky as Dante has always been (with the exception of DMC2). DmC’s Dante is actually more along the lines of DMC3’s Dante with more of a western influence.
The heart of Devil May Cry has always been the gameplay and from what I’ve seen and played in the game demo, it does not disappoint. While Ninja Theory is using the Unreal 3 Engine instead of an updated DMC4 engine due to the random environment changes during gameplay, combat is still as fast paced as we all wanted. Even when its locked at 30fps, DmC is classic Devil May Cry action. Instead of different styles, now players can use the left and right shoulder buttons to switch between Dante’s angel and demon weapons on the fly. Having to switch and hold shoulder buttons for different weapons isn’t as awkward as it sounds. This new gameplay mechanic did lead to a albeit fun learning curve that felt like I was learning to play Devil May Cry for the first time all over again and I mean that in a good way. Enemies are not only varied, but also are immune to certain weapons, forcing players to have to single out certain foes and think about their next move. Rankings in combat return giving player’s the drive to gradually get better at the game and to go for more stylish and mixed up gameplay instead of just simply button mashing.
The music has always been something that players could jam to while killing as many demons as they could. While the series has always featured a slight pop, techno-rock soundtrack, DmC once again uses western influence to bring in a new sound. With artists such as Combichrist providing a more metal/industrial sound to Devil May Cry that normally would annoy me, I pleasantly found myself surprised with how well it fits the gameplay. Nosia, the other primary provider to the music of DmC, brings more of the classic action-oriented techno soundtrack to the game with a bit of dubstep wobbles. From the demo that I played, both artists have provided great music to the game that are more in common to the western influence that DmC shows.
Even though Ninja Theory doesn’t have an abundance of games under their belt, the few that they have were met with critical acclaim. Both Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West were amazing games that provided rich environments, characters with depth and unique hack n’ slash combat all of which Ninja Theory is using at their disposal to make a very different, but interesting Devil May Cry game.
With everything that we’ve been shown about DmC: Devil May Cry for the past few months, things are looking better and better for both the game and Ninja Theory. With their history of great hack n’ slash games, making believable worlds and great characters, I have faith that Ninja Theory will deliver the DmC experience that will feel as great as previous installments.