DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition PS4 Review
Publisher: Capcom Developer: Ninja Theory Genre: Action Players: 1 Age Rating: 16+
Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
When developer Ninja Theory redesigned Devil May Cry’s Dante for DmC: Devil May Cry, their 2013 reboot of the series, reception wasn’t too positive. Luckily, the game itself was a lot better received than the character redesign was, and even though Ninja Theory were able to put their own mark on the game and the action was lowered to 30fps and thus felt less responsive than we were used to, it still felt and played like a Devil May Cry game. Now in 2015 we have a current generation remaster of the game. The question is has Ninja Theory improved upon what was already a stunning action game?
DmC’s reimagined story is a mix of old and new, with returning characters as well as new faces joining the fold. With its mixture of humans and demons and the fact that the game takes place on two world planes, DmC actually tells an entertaining enough story. With his short, dark hair, Dante may look different but, typically, he’s a charismatic and smart-mouthed wise cracker, although I still feel that Devil May Cry 3 was a better example of a younger version of the character; he was just more fun in that game.
When you actually take control of the half human and half demon protagonist, it soon becomes obvious that Ninja Theory has respect for the series, and it was also developed with the help of various people that had worked on other games in the franchise to assure that it played in a very similar way.
The Definitive version actually plays in an even more similar manner to previous games in the series though, and that’s because one of the major enhancements is an increase in speed, with the action now playing out in silky smooth 60fps, just like the first four games in the series. Those who took a disliking to the less responsive 30fps action of the original 2013 release of DmC will be overjoyed with this enhancement.
Typically, you only have a couple of weapons at your disposal at the beginning of the game, but your arsenal gradually bulks up over time. Devil May Cry has always been about slaying demons and looking as stylish as possible as you go about this business, and DmC is certainly no exception to this rule. There’s still an emphasis on combining all your tools and being varied enough in combat to keep the style points rising, and it’s still immensely satisfying to do all of those things successfully, for yourself as well as any spectators. With its fast and fluid combat, Devil May Cry has always been a series to bring a satisfied smile to the face, and DmC continues this tradition with great aplomb.
Ivory and Ebony, Dante’s twin pistols return, and his Rebellion sword does as well. The aforementioned weapons are your earliest tools, but six further weapons come into your possession over the course of the game, and to get the best out of the combat and look as slick as possible while on the attack, you’ll want to make use of the lot of them. New in DmC are the demon and angel modes, and it’s these modes which makes the game a little more accessible to newcomers than previous games in the series were. Holding the modifier buttons down for the different modes allows you to make use of their respective weapons. The collection of angel weapons are generally light and fast to use, and while the demon weapons are heavier to wield and don’t have the same range as the angel weapons, they are stronger, which means that things are well balanced. Switching between the angel and demon modes also aids you in your agility. When in angel mode, for example, you are able to pull yourself towards objects and enemies, but devil mode allows you to do the opposite in the way that you can pull objects and enemies towards you.
There’s a varied enough selection of enemies to take on, with some being short work to dispatch and others requiring smarter moves to kill off. Like other games in the series, it’s always satisfying to keep your mind as sharp as your fingers while playing the game, smoothly moving from one move to the next. There’s also some memorable boss encounters, although it has to be said that some of them are a bit boring and predictable in their attack patterns.
The game is also very heavy on the action, which is also not unusual for a Devil May Cry game, although there’s still a spot of exploring and platforming to be done, which means that you do get the opportunity to take in the sights from time to time. The living world of Limbo that the game largely takes place in is certainly memorable as it closes in and crumbles around you, and it’s all the more thrilling when you are running and jumping through it all when this happens.
At around 9 hours in length, the campaign does feel rather slight, although if the game hooks you in, you’ll want to return to missions to improve upon previous end of mission rankings. The extra difficulty levels of the game also mix things up somewhat, with some of the difficulties even only allowing you to take a single hit before dying, which is just as punishing as it sounds. This is fair enough when it’s a level playing field and individual enemies only take a single hit as well, but there’s also a merciless difficulty level which has the enemies with their typical full health, but Dante still only takes that single hit. It’s also possible to turn on the Must Style option in which the enemies only take damage when you have got the style rank up to at least S grade, which means that this is another option that increases the challenge and forces you to fight as stylishly and in as varied manner as possible. Finally, when playing on any difficulty level, it’s also possible to toggle a hardcore mode option to on, and this does a number of things in terms of rebalancing, chiefly making the style grade diminish quicker during the action and enemies are also slightly stronger. The hardcore option certainly makes the game play more like the Devil May Cry of old, so will be a pleasing inclusion for the purist.
In addition to improving on past mission results as well as the extra difficulty levels, this Definitive Edition also includes all the DLC from the original game, which means you get the extra story content that is Vergil’s Downfall as well as The Bloody Palace mode. Timescale wise, Vergil’s Downfall is set after the events of the main campaign, and, as the name implies, you take control of Dante’s brother Vergil. At around two hours, it’s a brief but enjoyable companion to the main game, and Vergil plays rather differently from Dante. As for The Bloody Palace mode, playing this has you taking on waves of enemies and surviving for as long as possible. It’s a mode that was introduced in Devil May Cry 2, and also one that fits into the series very well.
Visually, this Definitive Edition hasn’t made a lazy transition from one generation to the next. Yes, portions of the game do look a little dated, but the twisted world of Limbo has never looked so good. Upgrades have been made in the way that this version is 1080p as opposed to the 720p resolution of the original game and, like I mentioned earlier on, the Definitive version also runs at 60fps, which makes the action feel a lot more responsive and Devil May Cry-like.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition undoubtedly lives up to its new title; it’s certainly not a lie to call it the definitive version of the game. The fact that this edition comes included with all the extra content of the last generation version and also increases the options, resolution as well as the response rate makes this remaster a worthy one that is sure to appeal to previous and new players alike.