DMC: Devil May Cry is one of the most stunning examples of jumping to conclusions. A reboot of the beloved Devil May Cry series, the first trailer released sent the Internet into meltdown with people accusing the developers, Ninja Theory (Enslaved, Heavenly Sword), of butchering the series with an emo-looking Dante and an alternate universe, whereas the desire was for a sequel to the present Devil May Cry series. However, having played the game, I can say with absolute confidence that Devil May Cry is one of the best games of the year, hands down.
This alternate telling has our protagonist Dante wandering directionless with hardly a care in a world that is not as it seems. However, he is being hunted by an army of demons and teams up with a resistance group to not only fight the dark spawn, but also to find himself as well.
DMC’s world building must be commended. The strikingly beautiful aesthetic helps to create an environment that is as gorgeous as it is manipulative. Strong parallels are taken from the movie They Live as well as great jabs at the corporate culture that saturates our own real world. The heavy metal/symphonic soundtrack is also top-notch, helping to create just the right mood for every encounter. The writing is incredibly fun and witty, and, along with some of the most stunningly realistic facial animations I have seen in gaming, helps to make these characters—whether good or bad—incredibly believable, and especially likeable.
The meat and potatoes of the game, though, is the excellent combat system. While basically a melee fighter, there is a surprisingly deep structure of ranged and close-combat options. While starting off initially with just a sword and dual pistols, as you progress, you gain access to a battle axe, scythe, iron boxing gloves, and quite a few other surprises. You also have access to a number of different abilities that help to strengthen your attacks as well as add variety to the moves you can pull off.
The whole thing is tied together by a combo rating that measures how well you do in combat in between missions. The game encourages you to pull off as many varieties of attacks as possible while avoiding getting hit as much as possible. There are also incentives to complete the missions as quickly as possible as well as using as few items as possible, and of course avoiding death if at all possible. The better your rating, the more points go toward upgrades you can use. In between missions, and at certain points in the game, you can put those upgrades points to work as well as purchase items to regain health and even extend your health and devil bar (I am not going to spoil that one) with points you gain in-game through exploration and combat.
There is no multiplayer mode with DMC. Rather, you have different difficulty levels as well as several secret areas you gain access to in missions through keys you will find through exploration. The combat system itself encourages you to go back and see if you can do better.
I had a fantastic time with DMC. Fun, witty, and incredibly satisfying, you really cannot go wrong with it. If you have any love for fighting games or crave a slick action adventure title, do yourself a favor and pick up DMC: Devil May Cry.
(Available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC)