Score = C-
Game Type – Action
Platform – Xbox 360
Developer – Ninja Theory
ESRB – Mature
Review by: Kisho Wolfe
Logline – Ahhh Style…Where did you go?
The reboot of the Devil May Cry series has a great deal of inadequacies. Sure it has a new look in its main character, which we humbly accept; however, the game seems to be drowning in adolescent attempts at engaging the player. With that said, let’s dive in.
I waited about a week after finishing the game before writing this review because I wanted to remove the emotional aspects from the writing; which is kind of ironic since the game itself has less than a drop of emotion to it… The opening sequences treat the player to a little debauchery by way of an almost full frontal view of our hero after a night of partying with a few girls. Note to Ninja Theory: Unless your target audience is a bunch of pre-teens whose last tweet probably involved the name Bieber in it (and who knows, maybe this was the plan), this is a very bad way to kick-start an aging franchise. Generation X, the people already vested in the franchise and for the most part, NOT interested in seeing Dante’s junk (or the implied) , are halfway looking at the return policy on the receipt at this point.
Something else the game has going backwards for it is the dialogue. Aside from the plot being lack luster, there is a great deal of unnecessary and at times misplaced vulgar language to the game from a seemingly obligatory standpoint. But why? Is this for supposed shock value? Could we not get a half-decent writer to pen better dialogue for our hero to at least match the sub-average plot driving this vehicle? Moving through the story, we quickly run into a familiar “memory-loss” scenario outlined with an over-arching theme of a power-hungry villain. It’s mostly drab content involving Dante and his brother Virgil (that he doesn’t remember until the second chapter or so), but things get comedic later in the game when the news-caster becomes a major focus in Limbo. And speaking of Limbo…
A gigantic thorn in the thumb about this game is the over-involved flipping in and out of this hyper lava-shaded version of whatever area you happen to be in at the moment; and with a world full of “baddies,” this is something like ninety percent of the game. With five percent cinematic, this leaves the last five percent for actual normal shaded imagery. I don’t know, but if I was a level shader on this project, I’d be a tad pissed at the countless hours spent shading a world that was only flashed on-screen for a few seconds around the burnt orange “Tang” frequenting the place. Another annoyance in the game is the lack of back tracking by way of random thorns, and what have you, that pop up once you cross a certain threshold. There are also unreachable areas and locations that you won’t be able to get to without breaking a thumb from button mashing, getting that certain ability later in the game and replaying the level, or flat-out remembering you have to travel the “other” way so the path doesn’t close up on you. It’s like they are forcing you to play the game more than once to really get the experience. No thanks…
DMC is not all bad though. I love that the developers finally put in an action worthy battle system that responds very well! Weapons can be switched on the fly for some pretty sick combos to achieve that “SSS” style level during combat. Angelic and demonic weapon wielding are pretty fluid and depending on the attack, can get you some nice air time as well. The weapon upgrade system is a nice addition to Dante’s small arsenal. He’s got your standard demon killing equipment (pistols, sword, shotgun, battle ax etc., but the secondary weapon with the most uses would be Aquila—a pair of tri-bladed shuriken. Open doors at a distance, slice up surrounding baddies, bring separated bad guys into one space directly in front of Dante for easy slicing; these things are pretty sweet!
This new Devil May Cry is no doubt a reboot to the series, just like it was intended. It has a re-imagined cocky young lad with a bad attitude and a foul mouth; which, on paper, probably looks “cool,” but ends up just coming off as an annoying brat. Playing through this game utterly has me craving the more experienced “essence of cool” Dante from the first couple of games and does nothing to make me want to sit through the motions a second time, 100% or not. The worst part of the game is the lack of character development. It really doesn’t make you give a damn about the characters (with the exception of Kat) or their involvement in the world; and in this aspect lies the game’s downfall. If you don’t care about the characters, why continue to play it? This game “borrowed” multiple elements from Bayonetta and a few other games, but neglected one important aspect; the emotion factor.