The past few years have been good to Capcom of late. Having managed to pull themselves out of something of a rut, Resident Evil 7 and Monster Hunter: World have both taken their classic franchises to new heights. Unfortunately, while there has been rumblings of a new Devil May Cry for months now, nothing definitive has come to light. In its place, the company has decided to placate fans with an HD release. Unfortunately, it’s a very mixed bag.
The series - for the most part - follows the half-demon Dante. A monster slayer for hire, Dante makes his living taking jobs dealing with the supernatural and often ending them via violent means. Effectively you’re playing Hellboy if he went the way of Deadpool.
Each of the games follows a different chapter in Dante’s life, with some Resident Evil style puzzles but less survival and far more air juggling. While certainly clunky in the earlier releases, the combat has aged surprisingly well thanks to its sheer variety of combos and multitude of weapons. The prompts, combos and reactions have translated well onto PC, while the baroque environments and massive bosses offer a level of engagement and atmosphere the DmC reboot sadly lacked. Unfortunately, while these are solid ports there’s little to say about the HD efforts put into them.
Each of the games looks their age, with blocky and angular polygons and little done to improve the texture work. The lighting is also surprisingly flat, with nothing done to truly improve the tones or textures save for a few minimal upgrades in places. Irritatingly, a number of older flaws are also evident here, with a few surprisingly glitchy camera angles holding back the combat. You can end up blindsided due to an unexpected perspective flip, and so many mechanics are still constrained by technology from seventeen years ago.
Furthermore, while each game can thankfully run at a full 60FPS and at 1080p, this comes hand in hand with a few new problems. Minor audio glitches are hardly an uncommon flaw, especially in the cutscenes of the first game, and you can often pinpoint exactly where the new speed has created problems for this release.
The Devil May Cry HD Collection is ultimately sharp, but its not without a few notable flaws. The HD upgrade itself only does just enough to satisfy the player and nothing more, while little has been done to fix inherent problems found in the originals. It’s certainly better than the Bioshock Collection and puts embarrassments like the Chrono Trigger PC port to shame, but it could have still used a lot more polish.
DEVIL MAY CRY HD COLLECTION / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: CAPCOM / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW