GAME REVIEW: DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY – DEFINITIVE EDITION / DEVELOPER: NINJA THEORY / PUBLISHER: CAPCOM / PLATFORM: XBOX ONE, PLAYSTATION 4 / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Originally hurtling onto the scene wreathed in controversy, DmC: Devil May Cry is an especially charged topic to this day. Between a massive revamp and Chief Designer Tameem Antoniades performing a one man PR suicide campaign, the old guard were not especially receptive to this new take on the franchise. Now, two years on, the Definitive Edition sadly does little to improve upon its staggering flaws.
The most egregious failing of DmC: Devil May Cry remains its story and thoroughly unlikable protagonist. While you still play as Dante, you still kill demons, yet much of the series’ playful fun seems to have been sucked from game. Rather than embracing the “flock off featherface” degree of dumb humour, what’s here is a very bad retelling of They Live. One which sadly takes itself all too seriously, with its allegedly edgy message beaten repeatedly over the player’s head, only pausing to have Dante scream obscenities. The only time it might provoke a real smirk of amusement is when the supposedly Definitive Edition’s cutscenes de-synch with their audio thanks to running at 60 FPS.
Unfortunately a modern and fully up to date frame-rate doesn’t help save the Definitive Edition thanks to its horribly flawed combat. Streamlined to the point of robbing the game of all complexity, gone are the varying styles, the weapon variety is kept to a bare minimum and combat made exceedingly easy. Rather than rewarding effort, instead “S” and “A” ranks are something an experienced player could achieve in their sleep, and the bosses themselves are uninspired at best. Even genuinely great ideas such as rapidly switching weapons are hamstrung thanks to the terrible decision to add enemies which are immune to half of Dante’s arsenal.
If there is one thing to praise, it’s that DmC’s artistic direction is truly inspired. The warped dimensions and half destroyed buildings make for a truly beautifully twisted locale to battle demons, and the focus here was on the combat. Avoiding the puzzle problems or poor platforming of past games, what we had here was focused primarily upon the combat, with other elements streamlined or slimmed down. Sadly, however, relying so much upon exclusively the combat made its flaws all the more notable, and left nothing to make up for Team Ninja’s failings.
DMC: Devil May Cry remains the Dead Rising 3 of its franchise. It fails to understand what made past games work, it’s almost embarrassed by its predecessor’s style and in avoiding it the game is reduced to a soulless experience. Not bad enough to be notable, but not nearly good enough to be a worth remembering. Save your money for Bayonetta.
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