Having loved every minute of past titles from this developer, such as Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, it was a bit difficult for me to see where things could go wrong. Sure, die-hard fans of the series may not like change, but sometimes change is what's needed and there is no better proof of this than Ninja Theory's excellent entry into this popular series.
The story of DMC: Devil May Cry takes us back to Dante's origins, allowing us to see how he came to be the demon slaying powerhouse that he is. Obviously this involves learning how Dante got his powers in the first place, with the first ten levels of the game in particular allowing you to learn the ropes and get used to the sheer amount of new skills which Dante acquires along the way.
In order to learn of his origins, early in the game Dante meets up with a mysterious character known as Kat while being attacked by a large hunter demon.
After escaping, our hero soon finds out that Kat comes to his from a group known as the Order who is out to take down the demons of Limbo City. Once at the headquarters of this group, Dante meets someone named Vergil, who in an attempt to convince Dante to join takes him through his past, it is here that Dante discovers that Vergil is his twin brother and they decide to work together in order to kill Mundus, the king of the demon world.
One of the main twists of DMC: Devil May Cry is that Dante can only fight when he has been pulled into Limbo, this is a dangerous place where demons spawn from all places with the task of killing Dante at all costs. To counter this, throughout the game Dante gains weapons and abilities which help him to take the demons down. To begin with, Dante has his trusty sword known as Rebellion which helps him to crack some demon bones, however soon it becomes obvious that this alone is not enough, which is why he soon gains access to more powerful weapons such as Ebony & Ivory (his trusty guns); Arbiter, a demonic axe which delivers almighty blows and breaks through enemy shield and Osiris, an angelic scythe which slashes through enemies with precision and speed. As you advance past level 10 things become a lot tougher, which is why even more powerful weapons such as Aquila (Death Stars) and Kablooey (Shotgun) appear, both of which are handy for taking enemies out of the sky.
Combining these weapons is the aim of the game, with points being awarded for combo variety, parrying attacks, evades and killing streaks. Should you get hit during a fight or use any health boosters then you'll lose points. The main aim is to finish the level in the most stylish way possible and if an 'S' rank pops up once complete then you know you have done your job properly.
The enemies in DMC: Devil May Cry are definitely the main highlight, although there are plenty of others too. As you work your way through the 20 levels you'll come up against all manner of beast, each more ghastly than the last. While each enemy is challenging enough to defeat in the normal difficulty modes, things ramp up even more once you complete the game, thanks to the unlocking of new difficulty modes such as Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die and the Heaven and Hell, each of which will have you whimpering back to Nephilim mode with your whip between your legs.
As you work your way through each level, Dante will earn the ability to upgrade his weapons, allowing gamers to unleash all sorts of customisable combos on the enemy.
There are plenty of skill sets to unlock, each of which adds a little variety to Dante's attacks. In order to unlock these new abilities there are statues spread throughout the various level within the game, often before a major set piece. Once you enter this section you'll be met with the aforementioned upgrade options as well as the option to buy health boosters and golden orbs (which allow you to continue from where you left off should you be killed).
As far as presentation goes Devil May Cry certainly does not disappoint. Ninja Theory has always been a top notch studio when it comes to high production values, with titles such as Heavenly Sword and Enslaved showing us how much talent this particular developer has at its disposal. Devil May Cry mirrors a lot of what's great about these titles, providing us with some spectacular graphics and set pieces.
All of this is complemented by some fantastic acting and storytelling which provide plenty of special moments and the occasional scene which will crack a smile or two from fans of the series.
At around 20 missions long, DMC: Devil May Cry provides plenty of value for money; however the main hope for the developer seems to be that people invest a lot of time in the game by delving into the higher difficulty modes. This is clear by the included leader boards and stats, which are there to entice the perfectionist into doing just that little bit more.
When DMC: Devil May Cry was first revealed fans of the series certainly made their feelings clear about certain points, however thanks to its excellent production values, high paced action and sense of humour, Ninja Theory's title is as good as any which bare the Devil May Cry name.
(Version Tested: PS3)
- Excellent presentation
- Plenty of replay value
- A great entry into the series
- Story not the most interesting
- Combat can get repetitive