Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ninja Theory Blows Everyone Away in the New DmC

Quick Note: DmC is exactly what Devil May Cry should be. With small tweaks, the combat system is even better and faster and the story has more depth than previous iterations without becoming too serious. DmC is something all lovers of Devil May Cry and Action Games should play.

Action games are a dime a dozen these days, but the Devil May Cry franchise still seems to sit at the top of my list. Just something about that platinum haired asshole that makes me smile every time I play him. I know a lot of people just didn't like the juvenile dialog or the corner action sequences, but to me, that's what makes Devil May Cry shine. So like many, I was very leery of a new studio taking over, even if it was Ninja Theory. Well I am here to tell you that DmC: Devil May Cry is not only the best the series has seen (and I dare say it), but also a great step in the right direction for action games in general.

DmC is a reboot for the franchise, taking Dante back to his early days as a demon hunter. Unlike other Devil May Cry games, the story of this game shines through almost as strong as the game play. I always loved the original mythos, but not as much as I liked beating the snot out of demons. In the lovely hands of Ninja Theory that has changed, as the story of Dante's rise to power is interesting and carries many emotional chords. In the revision, Dante and his twin brother Vergil are born from their demon father Sparda and their angel mother Eva, making them hybrid creatures known as Nephilim. The story picks up as Dante meets Kat, a girl who was sent by his brother Vergil to find him and help take down Mundus, their father and mother's killer.

The Arbiter in Action
I especially liked the inclusion of many of the original game's mythology, including Mundus as a major foe and Dante's brother Vergil (who actually looks like Dante!) to round out the story for both newcomers and veterans alike.

But Ninja Theory also expands upon the mythos in ways never before seen. Dante is now able to travel between our realm and the world beneath our realm: Limbo. Within Limbo, demons spawn to attack Dante as he traverses the levels. But even when demons are defeated, Dante is not safe. The world of Limbo actively attacks him, closing in on him and dropping the floor from underneath him. The world keeps everything interesting, and makes traveling and moving within each level so much more interesting. It's amazing how this small idea really lends itself to the whole game so well. 

The combat improves on the already fast action of the original series by making everything even faster.  Dante has access to his signature sword Rebellion as well as an angel weapon, a demon weapon and a gun. The angel and demon weapons are assigned to the left and right triggers (respectively) so that at any point and time, the player can access these weapons by holding down the trigger to summon the desired weapon. This sounds like such a small occurrence, as in the Devil May Cry 3 and 4 Dante could switch weapons using the triggers to cycle through each weapon, but it adds so much quickness to the combat it's astounding. It allows the player to prop an enemy up with Rebellion, jump up and attack with an angel weapon Osiris (the first angel weapon accessible to Dante) to keep them in the air and deal damage, only to switch quickly to the demon weapon Arbiter, a giant axe, to slam them back down to the ground in less than 5 seconds.

The World According to Limbo
These quick changes also effect another of Dante's ability: pulling. Depending on which trigger the player is holding down, Dante is able to either pull himself towards an enemy (using the angel ability) or pull the enemy towards himself (using the demon ability). This increases the speed of combat even faster, allowing the player to cover ground so quickly across the field that most enemies are dispatched in a matter of seconds.

All these tweaks are built up by the ability to upgrade everything. Dante has abilities of his own, as well as abilities for each weapon he comes across. Include the health and devil trigger upgrades and there is so much to work towards within the game.

Ninja Theory also added in their own version of collectibles in the game. There are still health items and Health Cross Fragments and Devil Trigger Fragments to hunt down, but now there also Lost Souls. These souls are hidden through out the level, given away by their heavy breathing. Dante must smash them to bits to save them and release them from Limbo. There are 80 through out the whole game to keep you coming back for more, requiring the player to replay the level over and over again as he/she gains more of Dante's abilities and weapons to traverse even further across the level.

Osiris's Epic Prop Move
Ninja Theory even changes up the secret level system of the last games, requiring players to find hidden keys to unlock each hidden level. Each level is locked with a specific door (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Adamant) and must be unlocked with the corresponding key. Just like the Lost Souls, the keys are hidden all across the levels and require multiple play throughs.

That doesn't even include the legendary difficulty settings to unlock, the story movies and the concept art to unlock by battling with different weapons and killing so many enemies. The wealth of game for your buck is quite great, especially for being an action game.

I went in with very high hopes, wanting to hate DmC for being a reboot by a new studio, but I can not. It's just amazing. Ninja Theory has improved upon the franchise in every way, making me oh so eager for the next game in the series. Hands down, this game is great.

9.5 out of 10

Here's a few Links:
Official Website:
IGN Review:
Wiki Page:

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