DmC: Devil May Cry Review

Considering the “controversy” over Dante’s new look and the legion of buttfrustrated fans, I think DMC is the perfect game for me to review.

Some Quick Information

Genre: Hack and slash, beat ‘em up

Mode: Single-player

Developers: Ninja Theory (PS3, Xbox 360), QLOC (PC)

Publisher: Capcom

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Dates:

PS3 & Xbox 360: January 15, 2013; January 17, 2013 (Japan)

PC: January 24, 2013 (Australia); January 25, 2013.

This Dante’s here to stay.

Before we get down to business…

I’ve never played a Devil May Cry game before, so this review will be from the perspective of a complete newbie to the series. I actually don’t even like hash and slash games… at all. God of Wars is meh, Heavenly Sword was horrible, Bayonetta’s not really my thing. The Diablo series is probably the only hack and slash-type game I’ve played for any appreciable length.

Still, I’ve seen the Angry Joe review, so I know a lot of people are huge fans of the DMC series and thus really butthurt over Dante’s redesign. I’ll try to address points relevant to those fans as well in my review. Also, I’m not going to use the official title “DmC” because it’s retarded. You’ll just have to deal with it.

Plot and characterization? In my DMC?

No major spoilers ahead. Don’t worry.

The game begins with Dante being the world’s biggest douchebag, going to a strip club, bringing back a bunch of whores, and fucking them in his trailer. I had heard about his sexual deviancy and douchebaggery from plenty of other gamers and reviewers, but damn. From the moment I saw him, I, too, was like, “Wow, this guy’s a fucking douche.” However, unlike those other casual reviewers who only play a game for like 10 minutes before writing a 3,000-word review, I actually stuck around for more than the tutorial level to find out that (wow, spoilers) his sexcapades end after the opening cinematic.

He starts out as this megadouche I really disliked, but he does grow as a person. As a result, I found him really likeable by the end of the game. (Actually much earlier than that.) You know that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? You do? Well, maybe you should fucking listen to it sometimes because it’s applicable to like 90% of shit in the world, axe murderers and rapists notwithstanding. Yes, there’s character development in this game, and it’s good. The only thing that remains constant is Dante’s sense of humor, which is just great the entire time.

As an aside, since I have no connection to the previous games, I’m totally fine with his look. It looks good and really fits the rebooted DMC universe.

Other cool characters include your bro, Kat.  She’s the one who greatly helps Dante out in limbo, some bizarre intersecting world where the demons live. She’s an honest girl with strong convictions, not to mention really cute, so it’s hard to dislike her. I’m sure that was the intention, and it worked. Dante and the player end up caring for her deeply by the end and for good reason.

The primary antagonist, Mundus, is the king of the demon world, but he assumes the form of Kyle Ryder, a banker who controls the world through debt and Slurm… I mean, Virility. His characterization is more subtle throughout the game, with most of the information coming from outside sources. Still good, though.

But seriously, that’s the plot. Demons control humans with debt, Slurm, and Fox Raptor News, and it’s Dante’s job to stop them/Mundus. There’s also Dante’s origin story, but it’s all fairly simplistic. This is actually a good thing. Instead of hearing exposition upon exposition, you always know exactly what your goal is. I like that the plot is as fast paced as the game. The writing isn’t going to win a Pulitzer Prize, but it’s enough to keep you invested in the characters and moves you forward. 

Let’s not forget a tragic love story… ;_;

Okay, but how does it play?

Smooth like butter, which is important for a game where you’re supposed to be hacking your way through legions of demons. The button combinations are similar across all three weapon types, so it’s very easy to switch which weapon you use during combat. Switching weapon types from Dante’s normal weapon to his demonic or angelic ones is instantaneous with L2/R2 on a PS3 controller (left/right trigger for the 360). Combat feels fluid because Dante responds immediately to button commands. I can start a combo by spamming triangle, then when I see an enemy telegraph his move, I’ll stop immediately and dodge. There’s little to no lag between actions.

Check out the video above. In addition to Dante’s arsenal of weapons, you can see a few types of enemies you’ll face. There are your typical goons that amount to little more than cannon fodder, enemies with shields, and caster-types. Of course the video only contains a small sampling of what’s there. Some enemies will actively charge you, others will lob bombs, several will only take damage from specific weapon types, etc.

The different enemy types enforce a type of rock-paper-scissors gameplay. The demon weapons and hook counter physical shields, the angel hook counters magical shields, the angel weapons excel at AoE and stun-locking, guns can destroy wings, and so on. It’s mostly good in that it adds some variety and makes you look like a total badass on the battlefield – arguably the most important part of any game.

Alas, not all is well in limbo. The camera is really fucking annoying. There’ll be times when you can avoid enemies, but when you try to jump into the air and dash away, the camera will sometimes snap back to the enemy, likely causing you to leap into the abyss. At least dying only removes one square of health. It’s also really slow to turn, Jesus Christ. The camera’s usually smart enough, but I still get pissed whenever it doesn’t work the way I want it to. It would’ve been easier to give the player more control.

Another problem is that the game is really short. 6-9 hours on Nephilim difficulty, the hardest difficulty you can choose in the beginning. That’s a shame because the other difficulties might’ve actually presented a gameplay challenge and elongated the game, since they offer different enemy waves and combinations. I would’ve rather started on those difficulties before moving onto the “Heaven and Hell” or “Hell and Hell.” Instead, I have to beat the game like 3 more times before I unlock all the difficulties.

It’s too easy to abuse the system for maximum points. The game tries to emphasize stringing together different combos to improve your score, but the best method is to abuse the hell out of demon dodge. If you can dodge an enemy you get a massive increase to damage and a few swings of Arbiter (the demon axe) will shoot you straight up to S/SS/SSS in no time flat. Only on the H&H difficulties would demon dodge ever become risky to use because you die in one hit. Then, there’s the death penalty and checkpoint system. Each death additively reduces your final score by 10%, but if you don’t mind replaying a short section, you can choose to restart from the last checkpoint in the menu and respawn with full HP, completely ignoring any death penalty. Once again, this only stops being applicable on H&H… unless you have a shit-ton of souls and simply buy gold orbs at every divinity shrine.

Let’s not end this section on such a low note. I really enjoyed using the angel and demon hooks for the platforming sections. The demon hook will remove obstacles or provide platforms, while the angel hook pulls you across gaping chasms. If Ninja Theory continues with the reboot, I hope to see more of those sections. They just look awesome and feel great when you pull them off your first time.

It’s all about style

The graphics aren’t pushing any boundaries when it comes to fidelity/photorealism, but I love the style. You have the environment contorting in limbo; varied stages; excellent character design with Dante, Vergil, Kat, Mundus, and the other demons; and a stylish art direction. One of the cooler parts is when messages from the demon overlord appear on the stage to interact with Dante or give the demons instructions. My only complaint is that there’s no v-sync, so expect a shit-load of screen tearing if you’re playing on a decent PC.

I honestly hate dubstep, but the “dubstep” in DMC is pretty enjoyable. Dubstep is in air-quotes because I’m sure true enthusiasts don’t approve of it at all. The drops and whirring noise aren’t nearly as grating as, say, a Skrillex track. The metal tracks also perfectly fit the DMC style. From an artistic standpoint, DMC is a really cohesive package.

TL;DR? It’s good – 7/10.

What did I like?

+ Fun, smooth, and varied gameplay.

+ Excellent controls.

+ Good character design (suck it, haters).

+ Good sense of humor.

+ Excellent art direction.

+ Simplistic plot that doesn’t insist upon itself.

+ Decent replayability with remixed enemy waves.

What did I not like?

– Way too easy with easily abused systems.

– Way too short the first time through.

– Not enough things to kill.

– Unlockable difficulties. Only the H&H difficulties should be locked.

Posted by brainchild under PC, PS3, Video Game Reviews, Xbox360 | Permalink

18 Responses to “DmC: Devil May Cry Review”

  1. bautrey says:

    Actually I believe in the options menu, you can turn on V-sync.
    One thing I don’t like about DMC is that some of the bosses are too repetitive and its easy to get to know their patterns. Like Mundus was way too easy to beat for a demon king…

    • brainchild says:

      I completely agree. The bosses should have more phases/HP, do more damage, or have more subtle telegraphs. At the moment, the boss fights have little tension and end so quickly.

  2. anon says:

    “buttfrustrated fans” – well if you turn a fucking awesome cool hero into a emo kid in the trailer you ought to get some shit throw at you. It is like when they transform miku to lady gaga.

  3. RamenSempai says:

    LOL ANON.. your just butthurt. The people at Ninja Theory I do not believe even wished to make him emo, just if you think about it for 2 seconds instead of being an ass, he is not even emo… but his hair going from brown to white during angel mode is sick… but how can it go from white to white, dipshit? YOURE THE ONE hung up on him being emo, when he is not. Grow a brain. I admit I like 1 and 3 better, but this game looks awesome, and the real trash of DmC games is number 2 :3

  4. Z3r0 says:

    wait, he emo? i did NOT know that. i assumed he just act like that cuz he starting to hate demons that been after him, considering that he already known about the limbo.

    • Runic Healer says:

      I agree with Z3r0.

      Considering that Dante has demons after him, anyone would be angry and pissed off over it. ^_^

  5. CRAZEH247 says:

    Okay, here we go. I played the PC version so let’s do that one. But I’ll also point out some PS3 flaws.

    Bad things:

    – The graphical settings have little to no difference in Medium/High/Ultra. In fact, the cleanest the game looks is at low. Turn on Medium and your eyes hurt from the constant motion blur and bloom.

    – If I change the controls to my liking, the game becomes almost unplayable.

    – Game plays 30 FPS on PS3. Unlike the originals which played at 60. PS3 version drops FPS all the fucking time. It hurts the eyes when suddenly something becomes choppy just because it dropped even 1 frame.

    – Cutscenes everywhere that interrupt gameflow.

    – UNSKIPPABLE cutscenes that ruin replayability. I played the game 3 times now and I get annoyed when I’m just trying to rush through the mission and cutscenes upon cutscenes upon unskippable cutscenes keep fucking interrupting.

    – No fixed/rail camera like previous DMC games.

    – The free camera that’s there automatically moves itself onto a random enemy when I’m trying to move it away. Previous DMC games had much better free camera. The camera also a lot of the times keeps snapping to random things when I don’t want it to.

    – NO LOCK-ON. This get really fucking annoying when there are several enemies in front of you (in the air and on the ground) and you want to pull the ones in the air so you jump and pull but Dante thinks I want to pull the ones at the bottom. Seeing as this pulling animation can’t be cancelled, the flying enemies hit you in the middle with a projectile.

    – No Lock-On also means that we now have no idea on how much life the enemies have left. This is a real disadvantage especially when you’re fighting dual rages.

    – Colourless and Bland HUD. The previous games HUD was so stylish and colourful.

    – The style meter blocking out the top right of the screen. Whenever it gets bigger to change the enemies that are hidden behind it can still trigger their attack. I can only see that once the fucking thing become opaque again.

    – I play this game with a controller. But the Keyboard allows you to switch through Nephilim/Angel/Demon with 3 buttons. Who was the idiot that thought holding the buttons was a great idea? Why does the controller not have an option like that? Why should I have to hold the buttons?

    – 2 fucking buttons wasted on Evade. Why not Put Evade on Circle? Why not make Ri lock-on and Why not make Left/Down/Right arrows change Demon/Nephilim/Angel styles respectively? Why not move the Demon/Angel weapon switching on the 2 back triggers? Wait a second. Why not allow you to use all the weapons you have in either Angel or Demon!? Just put the melee weapon switching on R2 and put the gun switching on L2 and let us use all the weapons we have in whichever mode we’re in. That way at least fighting enemies that are coloured won’t be so restrictive. When in Nephilim make all weapons have average damage. When in Angel, make them faster but lesser damage, when in Demon make them slower and more powerful.

    – Unresponsive controls. I press X and square together for the gun specials… and half the time Dante just either shoots or just jumps. Same with when you use the triggers you quickly press for demon/angel pull. Half the times Dante just shoots because the demon weapon change animation was too slow. Lastly, turning on Devil Trigger. Why the fuck is it on L3 and R3. I’ve wanted to turn on DT in the middle of one of his stupid animations and the game doesn’t allow you to buffer it! Why not put the DT back on L1 like it used to be!? How many times have I fallen into bottomless pits because I’m flying and I press R2+Square to angel pull but I do it before Dante’s animation tells me that I’ve switched to Angel and Dante just falls like a retard. Nero’s Buster Pull was much faster and more responsive. But I fucking hate Nero.

    – Dante’s animations are really sluggish. They make him look and feel like he’s drunk all the time. He even talked like he drunk! Says everything in that weird slurred up voice. The previous Dante moved with elegance, he looked like he was an actual Demon hunter who knew what the fuck he was doing. He even spoke clearly.

    – A lot of the animations cannot be cancelled. If I’ve started charging the Drive, and an enemy suddenly comes into the camera to trigger his attack from behind, I cannot just roll out the way because Dante is stuck in the position. Bringing me to another thing. They allow you to charge your guns while giving you free movement, but you can’t charge melee weapons at the same time. This cancels out the Gun charge and Dante gets stuck in once place. They should’ve allowed like the previous games to charge all both melee and guns at the same time while being able to move freely.

    – Jumping is really heavy and slow. The Air Hike (second jump) was quite useful in the previous games because it was actually the size of the first jump. This one isn’t even half the size of the first jump. The first jump is slow enough and has no invincibility frames like the previous games. And the second jump is more or less useless. It’s not even as creative anymore. In the previous games, Dante spawns a demonic platform after the first jump which appears like a magical circle under his feet and he uses that to jump off again. Here he can just double jump =/

    – Unknown hitboxes of enemies. I never know how far away from the enemies I can actually be and still be safe. I was in mid air, way above the heads on the enemies and the chainsaw guy underneath me slash HORIZONTALLY while I was above him and Dante got caught in the attack. When I fought against Vergil I jumped above him and was about to Helm Breaker down and he slashed HORIZONTALLY and he hit me in mid air! Same with Dante! I slash with Rebellion but enemies that are just outside the range of the actual weapon still get hit as if the air around my attacks is hitting them. In the Mundus’s Spawn battle When he sweeps I was standing just outside the range of the big hand because I knew it shouldn’t hit me. But guess what? He sweeped, it didn’t come into physical contact with Dante but still I went flying off as if the air around the hand is lethal. Fuck the hitboxes in this game.

    – In DMC1/3 when you see little spider creatures like that, you can run on them and die get squished. Little things like that are what makes me smile (or even generally gamers smile). But here you can’t. Granted they do look more creepy in this game.

    – Tips on the loading screen as if I’m some kind of idiot who doesn’t know how to experiment with how to play a game. Did they make this for children!? I sure hope they didn’t because it has quite a lot of BULLSHIT that children shouldn’t be watching.

    – No Teleporting/Royal Guard. Why not… here’s an idea. Why not make it so the Demon mode turns your evade button into a block button, and the Angel Mode turns your evade into a teleport? There are so many things with the Angel and Demon they could’ve done better. Like Why not give the Angel mode a triple jump? And reduce only allow the first jump in demon mode?

    – Locking down the gameplay. There are many times when you’re running forward (jumping and whatnot, using stinger’s/Gliding to go faster) and Dante just automatically pushed himself to the floor and starts running/slowly walking towards the centre to trigger another gameplay interrupting cutscene. But this isn’t even the worst of it.

    – Mission 5 is what pissed me off really bad. They take nearly all control away from you and force you to run down some bland and dull halls following Kat and you’re ONLY allowed to Run. No Jumping, no switching weapons, no shooting, no switching to angel/demon modes NOTHING. Just follow her while being restricted to running for a few minutes till you trigger another/more cutscenes. This get’s worse in the scripted mission where you escort Kat. You’re only allow to jump, run and switch to Demon weapons. THAT’S IT! WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY ENEMIES!? WHY IN A HACK’N’SLASH GAME AM I BEING FORCED TO RUN AROUND GETTING SHIT FORCED TO ME? I WANT TO HIT SOMETHING!

    Spoilers from here on out:

    – Kat is a pointless character and feels like just been shoved in forcibly. The only use for her is to change Dante. Which doesn’t feel like it worked. Dante doesn’t suddenly changes into this guy who claims to “care” about the humans when really he just wants to bone this girl. Also, the things she knows are taught by Vergil… meaning if Vergil was useful enough to just carry some of the squirrel jizz with him he could get himself out of Limbo. The only proper use she has is when she used her psychic powers to scout out the tower. But how the fuck did she scout it without being killed!? Surely the Limbo at the bloody tower would be filled with demons that would notice this human running floating around.

    – Dante’s Hair (yeah we’re finally on this). Firstly, it’s a complete slap to the older fans when the cutscene with the wig plays near the beginning. Pissing the older fans off even more. Way to alienate your fanbase NT/CAPCOM. But here’s something that’s worse. I see what they tried to do with Dante and Vergil. They made them opposites. Vergil with his white and blue theme. Dante with his Black and Red theme. Dante’s hair changes at the end when he unlocks the full power of DT. Why!? Wasn’t his hair black since birth? Vergil’s hair was white since birth! Why did his DT not change his hair black!? That confuses the fuck out of me. His hair shouldn’t turn white! It makes no sense! He had black hair as a child, but Vergil had white. Does this mean Vergil had his DT when he was a kid?

    – Why the fuck do we never see Vergil use Yamato? Why is he able to shoot those fake swords like Archer when he doesn’t have the Force Edge? Those in the original were copies of the Force Edge. But here he can just spawn them without explanation!

    – Dante and Vergil are both Nephilim. But there were Nephilim before that were hunted down and killed. From the looks of it, those Nephilim were more developed than Dante and Vergil. What the fuck makes them so special? Why should Dante need help from the previous Nephilim if they were weaker and died?

    – The game keeps mentioning about a war between Angels and Demons but we don’t see a single Angel! Where the fuck are they? Shouldn’t there be a war going on in Limbo all the time? Wouldn’t that have been more interesting to see? Maybe both Angels and Demon could come after Dante as soon as they realise he’s in Limbo because maybe both Angels and Demons want the Nephilim to be destroyed because the Nephilim are claimed to be stronger beings.

    – Limbo is confusing. In Bayonetta, none of what happened in Limbo could be seen in the real world. But in DmC:Devil May Cry (stupid name by the way) Some things actually affect the real world while others don’t. I clearly saw Kat just running on air in Limbo even though in Limbo the entire floor was ripping apart. But when the Hunter pushed the Ferris Wheel, it also falls in real life. WHAT THE FUCK!? KEEP IT CONSISTENT!

    – Mundus is Lex Luthor.

    – No Taunts in the game. When NT were sked why this is, they said it would ruin the context of fights. In the previous games that never happened. You could taunt any boss and any off Dante’s witty remarks would fit in. This Dante just makes shitty remarks. But most importantly, they were worried about the taunst ruining the context, but they didn’t think about the scripted dialogues and scenes they put in. For example, this ruined the moment (not that it was any good anyway) when I played my second time and I was on SoS mode. I came across the first Shards that you have to shoot (unskippable cutscene) and I shot it with the Shotgun, but Dante still says “Nicely done, girls!”. How the fuck does that not ruin the context NT?

    – The lack of a secret ending also makes me sad.

    – The lack of the credits sequence spawning infinite enemies at you and letting you play also makes me sad.

    – The lack of an after credits game end screen with all your mission Ranks with soft music also makes me s- no, it makes me angry.

    – DmD mode was a lot easier than I thought it would be, I uploaded some of my first attempts on Bosses (keep in mind that this was the third time I played the game) and they didn’t prove much more difficult.

    – The enemies that are colour coded just restrict the weapons you can use and it forces you to a smaller arsenal. This should not happen in any game. If you’ve given me these weapons… why the fuck are you not letting me use them!?

    – The demon Weapons are seriously overpowered. On the other hand, the Angel weapons are weak as fuck and take ages to kill the blue enemies.

    – Best dialogue ever (sarcasm). I thought the previous DMC games were cheesy. But man does this have some of the most stupid dialogue.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten quite a lot of bad things.

    But onto the good things.

    + There are quite a lot of secret missions. 2 of them are actually hard which I liked. Secret mission now also require you to first get the keys.

    That’s… probably the only thing I liked about it.

    OH! Just remembered some more bad things:

    – The areas that change in a cutscene. Why the fuck are they pre-rendered cutscenes that run at 30FPS. Whenever these cutscenes trigger, going from 60FPS suddenly down to 30 makes the game look terrible. Also, why not make the environmental changes that take place in cutscenes happen in real time all the time? It would be better if these random cutscenes didn’t have to interrupt just to show that now the map has changed.

    – This one is big. The name of the fucking game. It’s called DmC: Devil May Cry (meaning that it’s called Devil May Cry: Devil May Cry). But that’s not the main issue. The main issue is that DMC is the Name of the Devil Hunting business Dante runs. But in this game there is absolutely no mention of the words whatsoever! WHY!?

    TL;DR? DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE SAY “Oh, you’re just mad because they changed his hair”
    Read the stuff above.

    5/10. As a DMC game, this fails hard and comes out as an average Action game.

    6/10. As a game that still works if I force myself to think that it didn’t have a AAA budget or more time on development than DMC4.


    • airco says:

      >- No fixed/rail camera like previous DMC games.

      I’m not arguing with anything else there, but I’ve been playing DMC4 lately, and the retarded fixed camera is one of my major problems with it. There are always enemies hiding behind the camera with no way to rotate the camera to see them, and it has a bad habit of changing angles in the completely opposite direction in the middle of a run (sometimes in the middle of a combo). Not that I want to imply that DmC isn’t an abomination, just saying.

      • CRAZEH247 says:

        But that is balanced with the fact that if they’re off the camera, they don’t attack.

        Furthermore. The only “bad” things about DMC4 include backtracking, and Nero’s Buster Arm that can block/interrupt fucking everything.

        The backtracking is there because unlike the time and money that was given to NT for DmC:DMC, DMC4 got it’s development time/budget cut short to release the game quicker.

      • CRAZEH247 says:

        Also, I didn’t find much wrong with the fixed camera in DMC4. BUT! GOW3 does it so much better.

        At least when the camera changes in DMC4 suddenly, if you were holding your stick in a specific direction, you keep running that way.

        In DmC, I got into a lift in a later mission, the camera switched to one inside the lift and because I was holding up on the stick, Dante suddenly turn around when the camera switched and walked back out the lift. This caused a glitch as the lift closed the instant I got out and I couldn’t go back in there.

      • CRAZEH247 says:

        To be honest, if it wasn’t for Dante’s gameplay in DMC4 blowing my mind for being so deep. DMC4 would be a 6/10 as well. But just because I spent so hundreds of hours on the Bloody Palace (which is missing from DmC and will be DlC) honing my skills. I give DMC4 an 8/10. Which is the same as DMC3, but DMC3 is an overall better game than DMC4. It’s only Dante’s combat that boosts its rating for me.

    • brainchild says:

      You can skip cutscenes with the back/select button lol.

      • CRAZEH247 says:

        Yeah, I’m not a a retard.

        There are so many that they break the flow.

        But there are also MANY that are unskippable.

  6. CRAZEH247 says:

    Just remembered another thing.

    The Bob Barbas fight. When you’re in the greyscale live recording phase. There’s a giant red and blue banner at the bottom that blocks out the screen. The HUD items behind it are barely visible so I have to rely on Dante on seeing which weapons I have equipped. This makes combos harder because I have no fucking Idea which weapons I’m about to start with. When I use the first weapon though, then I know if I switch which weapons I’ll be on. ALSO, the same red and blue banner makes the enemies that are hidden behind it completely blocked. I cannot see what enemies are hidden behind this shitty Raptor banner, but guess what? They can trigger their attacks. How many times did I get hit by an enemy Stinger because they triggered it when they were hidden by the banner and I couldn’t see them. Fuck man. Why did no QC point these things out!?

  7. Nig says:

    What the fuck is this shit