Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening PS2 Review

If you are a gamer you’ll know that if you loved a game the first time around you are going to be gasping for the sequel. For many this was the case with Devil May Cry, an action title that earned a tremendous amount of momentum with its first outing. A follow up was always going to have a lot to live up to. Devil May Cry 2 arrived amidst a level of hype, which was in danger of overshadowing the actual quality of the game. As it turned out the sequel was a decent enough action title in its own right, but not up to the godly quality of Dante’s debut, therefore as a sequel it was actually a disappointment. The game that completes the trilogy takes Dante back to his roots in more ways then one.

Devil May Cry 3 sits in the timeline of the series, preceding that of the events of the original game. This prequel properly introduces us to Dante’s evil twin brother Vergil and also reveals a few titbits that may be of interest to fans of Capcom’s action feast. Dante is obviously in his younger devil hunting days and a portion of the game even takes place before he realises his true demonic potential.

Thankfully Dante is back on form and returns to his old and cooler ways, which were blatantly absent from the second game. The youthful Dante is unparalleled in the word “style”, thanks in part to the fantastic cinematography (as present in the games excellent cut-scenes) and his cheesy, but delightful dialogue. Controlling Dante is thankfully fittingly intense to this confident demeanour.

Devil May Cry 3 is one of those games that wants you to feel like you are in total control of your on-screen avatar, resulting in a title that is an absolute joy to play. Dante’s moves may appear to be slick and complex to the eye, but with just a few button presses you can achieve these seemingly impossible feats. The series is unmatched for making the fingers dance with a fluidity like none other and creating an on-screen orgy of resplendent action, respondent the very second the button is pressed.

There’s a level of depth present that keeps the action fresh at all times and the combination of attacks has seen much refinement – from DMC2 through to 3 – since the original games bolted on system. It’s all about stylishly dispatching your foes without relying on repetition and hopefully earning yourself a good grade for each completed mission. It’s just such a fulfilling game in every single aspect imaginable that gives the third title such a strong devilish magnetism.

New this time around is the capability of playing the game to your suiting, with the advent of the style-switching feature. If you fancy utilising blink-and-miss-it evasion techniques, then the Trickster style should be right up your alley or if you’d rather make full use of your guns or melee weaponry, then the Gunslinger and Swordmaster are respectively the ones for you. Finally there’s the Royal Guard, which basis is that of a defensive role. You begin the game with the aforementioned four, but before reaching closure this is increased to a total of six. The styles can be switched at the start of each mission or at the divinity statues, normally found before a crucial occasion such as a boss.

RPG-style levelling up assures that there’s at least some respite in the relentless action. Dante’s abilities can be increased in a number of ways, using each of the styles for a certain amount of times for example will result in levelling it up and expanding the technique. You are still able to power up your guns and earn yourself some new moves in exchange for red orbs, and even after the game reaches its predictable climax, you can start the game afresh, but still retain your powered up Dante and further transform him into something resembling that of a god. True, the game may be rather short, but with the powering up elements and the wholesome rewarding set-up it’s a game that continually commands your attention even after the credits begin to roll (which for the record, are as cool as the rest of the game).

There were things present in the second game that just seemed to be that little bit out of place, thankfully the third game returns to the beautiful gothic surroundings that were so outstanding when Dante first arrived on the scene. It’s a strikingly gorgeous game and definitely one of the PS2’s finest graphical dazzlers. It’s a shame that the same can’t be said for the camera system, as views are often impractical, but it would have to be something truly dreadful to badly blemish this title and thankfully it’s not.

Devil May Cry 3 is quite simply the peak of Capcom’s demonic series and also one of the greatest action titles ever. The younger and cockier Dante is a truly memorable character, despite being rather cheesy in every sense of the word. The cut-scenes are amazing and the game itself is a splendid dose of constant and varied action, all collectively taking the game dangerously close to perfection.