DMC: Devil May Cry PS3 Review

Publisher: Capcom  Developer: Ninja Theory  Genre: Action  Players: 1  Age Rating: 16+

Other console/handheld formats: Xbox 360

When it was first announced, DMC: Devil May Cry wasn’t exactly met with warmth by the Devil May Cry fan base. They didn’t appreciate the fact that the iconic series hero Dante didn’t have white hair anymore, nor did they have much enthusiasm for the enlistment of Ninja Theory as developer, who were unproven with more technical combat systems.

DMC: Devil May Cry stars a Dante who has had his memory wiped and, in turn, is initially unaware of his origins. With his dark hair and coat, he might not look like the Dante that people have come to know over the years, but personality wise he might be more foul mouthed but is still wisecracking in a very cheesy way, but it’s not without a certain level of charm.

With Ninja Theory’s involvement, voice acting and narrative have both, unsurprisingly, been improved considerably over previous games in the series and an admirable job has been done in reimagining the universe of Devil May Cry in a more gritty tone.

The game largely takes place within Limbo, the true demonic world that most people aren’t able to see. It’s a lovely, dark and twisted universe that dynamically transforms as you advance through it, attempting to bar your progress by trying to crush you or make you fall to your death, which makes simply moving through the world as thrilling as the fighting, and allows for some exciting platforming sections.

The combat is the most prominent element of the game and while it is more accessible to string together some big combinations of moves than it has been in the past, in terms of depth, particularly as Dante’s moveset grows during the course of the game, DMC: Devil May Cry still manages to impress with its level of flexibility. Something that will leave a lot of fans disgruntled is the fact that the game runs at 30fps and, while a reasonable job has been done in making it feel smooth and fluid, it’s still not as responsive as the earlier games.

Dante’s iconic manoeuvres  are all intact. He has the twin handguns Ebony and Ivory and the sword Rebellion, whilst later on in the game, you’ll be granted the familiar Devil Trigger, which is visually striking but sadly a bit less interesting this time around, partially restoring Dante’s health and sending enemies into the sky, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

New this time around are angel and demon weapons. Using Angel mode initially switches Dante’s weapon to the Osiris, a fast weapon,  which allows you to pull yourself towards enemies, whilst Devil mode to begin with gives you access to the slow but powerful Arbiter, which gives you the ability to pull enemies towards you. Certain enemies can also only be damaged by certain types of weapons, which some will feel is at odds with the flexibility of the combat system elsewhere.

A style system is still in place, which measures how stylish you are in combat situations. Style points are rewarded for having variation in your fighting, while at the same time avoiding taking damage. You also get ranked at the conclusion of stages, based on amount of style points you’ve accumulated, time taken and are penalized for using items and dying.

Length wise the game isn’t particularly long, but much like other games in the series, it has a generous amount of longevity. Interestingly, in Metroid and Castlevania like fashion, earlier stages are able to be revisited with freshly gained abilities. The harder difficulties like Son of Sparda and Dante must Die bring the hardest enemies early in the game. Heaven and Hell mode meanwhile will see both Dante and his enemies dying with one hit, and finally Hell and Hell also sees game over in a single hit, but the fact that enemies have their full health, makes it an even more difficult undertaking.

DMC: Devil May Cry is a very different game to earlier entries in the series, making it difficult to accept for the fans that didn’t believe it was in need of changing. On its own terms however, the game has plenty in the way of strengths and its most important facet, the combat system is accessible enough for the less skilled but nevertheless also elaborate enough for the more proficient to explore.