Capcom and Ninja Theory did something that I've wanted to happen for years with Devil May Cry. They took the phenomenal universe of DMC and merged it with a combat system as fluid, and perfect as Bayonetta. Playing through the origin story of Dante and Virgil's rivalry isn't just action-packed, it's also full of quick nods to the other titles, and a phenomenal story. If you're more into racking up "style points and combos" you can have that too with a complete combo training room and multiple levels of difficulty not for the faint of heart.
Players are led through a world divided by two realities, Limbo where the demons exist and reality where everyone else exists. Mundus the "demon king" has been ruling from his position within the institution. HIs three pillars of control are the "Raptor News Network", a soda factory pumping out Virility. Which is the worlds most popular soda conveniently loaded with a drug that keeps the human race sedate, and of course his control of the financial markets where he rules through debt. The political undertones are nothing new to the series but this is the first game that has a direct tie in to government and social issues to an extent. Overall the real joy is the re-imagining of Dante and Virgil's past, and the explanation of their rivalry. The story, and sharp dialogue led by a younger and even more arrogant Dante drives you through every action packed battle available.
|Beginnings of an air-juggle combo|
DMC's game play is about 2 basic things: killing baddies in the most creative ways possible using as many different weapons as you can during the fight, and navigating complex terrain using those same weapons. A training room is available to practice your juggling abilities at any moment and the load screens playing videos of example combos you can attempt to master. The levels themselves are pretty standard for the DMC series keeping the user on a linear path with secrets hidden in strange alcoves and breakable walls. The puzzle and unlock element from previous games was left behind in this one not requiring the gamer to find different pieces to unlock doors. While this doesn't leave you locked in a drawn out adventure through the same level for a continued amount of time, it also seemed to give the game a faster feel upon completion. For those seeking depth for the series it's required to play the unlocked extended difficulties. Even on "Nephilim" the hardest difficulty available at the beginning, I only died a total of 7 times throughout all 20 missions, while using a total of 7 items and 0 gold orbs.
As the difficulties increase the waves of enemies become stronger, lengthier, and eventually you can play where 1 hit kills, period. For those seeking a challenge the final mode is beefy enough for any savvy gamer. Finishing a level on Nephilim without taking damage is hard enough with the opportunity for stray enemy attacks or bullets. Lack of puzzle-based levels aside the overall experience is fluid, the level design is creative and each piece of the game stays unique while keeping true to the universe.
The music fits the game so perfectly I was stunned to see that most of the songs were written before or early in the production stages, and were created from a different album release entirely. The music for combat is all pulled from multiple "Combichrist" albums, that simply taught me how much I enjoy his blend of industrial techno and metal. The rest of the music for different levels is a healthy blend of dub-step and trance that fits each environment completely. When necessary you are even forced to wander levels in silence with nothing but sound effects to keep you company. Basically, the sound is phenomenal.
If you're even remotely interested in the DMC series or the hack 'n slash genre you should consider picking this game up. It has enough depth for your die hard achievement whores and completionists, as well as enough story and sharp dialogue to keep your mild enthusiasts intrigued. The perfected combo system, well developed characters, unique art-style, and killer soundtrack make this game a must.
Obligatory number-based scory thingy:
- Controls: 10
- Sound: 9
- Story: 8
- Replay: 8
- Overall: 9