Sunday, 28 December 2014

DmC: Devil May Cry (2013) - Horror Videogame Review (X-Box 360)

I heard nothing but complaints about DmC: Devil May Cry upon its release, all the fans of the series felt betrayed for the re-imagining of the whole story and character of Dante as well as accusations of dumbing it down to appeal to a more wide spread audience. 

Well let me tell you something; I own the first three Devil May Cry games and to be truthful I don't really like them. I found the show boating Dante to be irritating and also found it to be stupidly hard so a more casual re-boot sounded awesome, specially as it was done by Ninja Theory (Enslaved, Heavenly Sword) who are known for doing great story.

Dante is a troubled young man who all his life has found himself battling demons that the rest of the world seem blind to. He is contacted by a terrorist organisation led by a mysterious individual named Virgil who shows Dante the truth; he is actually a Nephilim (half Angel and half Demon) and that the King of the Demons - Mungus wants him dead as it is prophesied that only a Nephilim can destroy him. Dante reluctantly teams up with Virgil (who it turns out is Dante's brother) in a bid to kill Mungus and loose his powerful grip he has on the world of Man.

First off the plot for this game as expected is really well done. It is a simple tale but the beautiful cut scenes and fast moving story keep things feeling fresh and interesting. Sure Dante may be 'Emo'd' up to be an angry youngster but it fits his character well. Virgil as the more intelligent, calculating brother is a perfect foil, while Mungus as the powerful overlord is a beast but one who has slight layers to him, the plot giving both him and Dante reasons to want to destroy each other. The next fantastic part of DmC is the soundtrack, most of the soundtrack is dubstep which fits the chaotic battling of demons surprisingly well. For all major boss fights, and fights in general dubstep 'steps' in.

The game takes place in two different planes of existence; the human world and limbo which exists alongside it in a different dimension. For the most part you are in limbo as Dante as that is where the demons exist. This world is very Inception like with buildings and landscapes ripping apart and reassembling at will to make an organic living feeling. Giant messages appear on the walls and floors of the levels usually with instructions to the enemies such as 'KILL HIM'. I loved the whole design of limbo and features some clever locations.

A lot of the level design sadly is a bit plain and boring. Starting off strong with a twisted seaside fairground it later settles in to far too many levels that are just pretty corridors, these levels drag on quite a bit and whether it is a secret base, skyscraper or cave system the limited design is plain to see. Sometimes though the level design excels, a real highlight being the limbo version of a night club which feels like you are inside a rave album cover; DmC? more like DmT for this particular level! For the most part you run down blank corridors, occasionally leaping over pits and such things and then get sealed in larger rooms where you have to defeat all the enemies to continue.

The demons you face are varied but all share a similar look, demonic cherubs, beasts and giant lumbering monsters, they all kind of melded into one for me. Thankfully the bosses (of which there are many) are really fun to fight and have real personality to them rather than just obstacles to by pass. They are a varied bunch (such as a news reporter demon who sucks you into news reports as you battle him) and while easy to defeat give you a real sense of empowerment in doing so. 

Your equipped with many weapons to fight with. As well as you twin pistols and sword that you have in the other Devil May Cry games you also get access to a host of angelic and demonic weapons which can be mixed and matched to create chains. The angelic weapons are faster to use and can be used to pull yourself towards distant enemies, while the demonic weapons are slow but more powerful and let you pull enemies towards you. I loved the fighting in this game, it is really fluid and fast paced and yet easy enough that I didn't find my hands giving up out of exhaustion.

For me personally this was a solid game, I loved the story and it looks and sounds fantastic. I only wish some more varied level design could have come into play as despite the creative use of limbo locations can still end up pretty bland. Plenty to see here though I guess if your a huge Devil May Cry fan then perhaps stay away, or at least wait until the PS4 and X-Box One remasters arrive.


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