Ninja Theory hasn’t elevated the strengths or weaknesses of the original Devil May Cry, but their take on the series is a sterling example of how to handle a franchise reboot.
The first Devil May Cry hit all the right notes. As an action game it was hard enough to be cataloged alongside the 8-bit Ninja Gaiden, and its gothic visual design was cool enough to be a Castlevania.
The plot of the original was silly. It’s only real purpose was to illustrate just how cool this white-haired, red leather clad, anti-hero could be. And that’s mostly true with the Ninja Theory’s re-imagining of the franchise except that now DMC’s unmistakably prepubescent version of cool feels deliberately cockamamie.
The game screams of team that had tons fun trying to put together an over-the-top comic-book, and they really commit to this tone. It’s felt through every aspect of the game, which is the best thing you could say about it and kinda the worst. The whole game is totally in your face, with blatant symbolic imagery and a constantly raging soundtrack that’s a switches between dubstep and something wikipedia describes as “aggrotech.” It’s commendable--really--how serious the team is about having this unified theme, but I couldn’t help having an aversion to some stuff on principal alone. There are a handful of spots that feel right out of the Zach Snyder playbook -- which could be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.
And yet despite the onslaught of 14-year-old impressions of cool, the art direction and level design is so constantly interesting it’s hard not to be won over by the way inanimate objects react to Dante, or how levels are constantly imploding on themselves. And of course, like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West before it, the performances and motion capture are fantastic.
Ninja Theory knows exactly what their doing when it comes to making combat look great, but struggle to bring any sort of depth to their mechanics. And yet despite being on the easy side of things the combat is a lot of fun; coupling the series‘ emphasis on juggling with the visual bells and whistles of Heavenly Sword.
DMC: Devil May Cry won’t act as the new proof-of-concept for a genre but it takes the fundamentals of that original Devil May Cry and makes them feel fresh again.
- Love the Renaissance-punk aesthetic.
- I really appreciate it when an action that lets me relocate my skill points.
- Ninja Theory seems really proud of this one.
- Gosh the symbolism is flat. 666 alcohol.
- People always claim they want a darker, gritty reboot; this is it.
- Implosions and ‘cracking stuff’ is very silent hill-y
- It’s hard to get excited about the game’s “coolness” as a grown-up, but I find it cool in the same way I found Kingdom Hearts cool - it’s anime
- I still hate the intensity of Devil May Cry-style secrets. I still spend too much time jumping off cliffs to find stuff.
- Original Devil May Cry was Resident Evil meets Maximo -- now we’re here.
- DmC isn’t funny the way Dead Rising 1 and 2 managed to be, even though it has a Futurama plotline, and Biggest Loser jokes.