DmC: Devil May Cry Review

Genre: Action-Adventure

Platform: PS3/Xbox 360/PC

Developer: Ninja Theory

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: January 15th (PS3/Xbox 360), January 25th (PC)

Controversy has surrounded the reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise since it was announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 2010.  Plans for a new beginning to the franchise included trading in Dante’s bike-esque style and long white locks for a younger protagonist, one that would look more at home attending Warped Tour than slicing and dicing his way through demons.

Dante for a New Generation

The game opens with an indulgent sequence that sets up the concept for the rest of the game.  Dante sits in a strip club, enjoying the company of two stippers dressed as angels.  Drinks are pounded, hands wander, and they find themselves in a cab on their way back to Dante’s trailer.  They chug more booze, discard their clothes, and a partake in a three way orgy that will make all mothers return this game to your local game store so fast she might get a speeding ticket.

But that is who this Dante is.  He is never out of his league, never over matched or over powered.  He kills demons that have been alive for over a millenia and does while delivering a one-liner and winking to the camera.  He shrugs off, not only the burden of saving the world, but the more daunting task of living up to the Devil May Cry cool factor.

Angel, Demon, Not Human

Dante’s swagger and nonchalant attitude come at a price.  Dante seems so sure of himself and so cocky about saving the world that his confidence transfers to us.  There never really seems to be anything at stake.  We know Dante is going to win because Dante knows he is going to win.  He never gets scared, never feels put-upon, he never asks for help, and never looks like he’s going to lose.

So in the end we are left feeling disconnected from Dante.  It doesn’t help that the game isn’t very hard on its preset difficulty and so you will breeze through the campaign.  It took me about nine hours to get through the campaign on Devil Hunter mode (Normal) and it was rare I died more than once in a level, if at all.  It all adds up to the game lacking any weight.  In a world of demented demons and super-powered foes, there’s no challenge.

Blades of Fury

The game is plenty of fun, when you get to the meat of it.  There’s about three levels of tutorial that could be sped along, but once you get all of your powers and start to see how they can blend together, it opens up a lot of opportunity.  Loading screens demonstrate how you can chain together your wicked fast scythe attack, your large fiery axe, your chain pulls, and your trusty sword into a fearsome badass combination.  Hearing the omnipresent voice bellow, “Savage!” to commend your streak of awesome attacks will swell your heart with pride and encourage you to continue the onslaught.

A Lesson in More

When DmC: Devil May Cry is at its best is when it is throwing the kitchen sink at you.  The game is not about refined taste or deep thought, it is about throwing the most disgusting enemies it can think of at you and giving you bad ass attacks to finish them off.  It underscores these sequences with pulsing, raging, screamo-dubstep and animates them a breathless pace.  In that regard, there’s no arguing the game’s success.  The violence is so over-the-top, the dialogue so campy, and the effects so astounding that it basically holds a gun to your head to take you on the ride.  Which is fine, because it’s a pretty good ride.

The “More is Better” concept of the game spills into the boss fights.  Each boss is more epic than the last, with extreme powers and devastating capabilities.  These boss fights have a delightful old school feel to them, where you take a couple rounds to learn their attack patterns then slip in between the crack to exploit their one weakness.  These weaknesses often correlate to one of the many weapons Dante will be carrying and serve to make sure you don’t get too comfortable with one blade.  This a nice variety in a game that is need of some, though the enemies rarely change and the tactics remain similar, you will have to cycle through your weapons to deal with the foes you face.

Final Thoughts

The violence, the sex, the campiness, it all works to turn your brain off and enjoy killing the undead.  Watching Dante hop around on a beast ten time his size, hitting its weak spot, and destroying it in a gory cutscene will never get old.  Ninja Theory moves the game along so quickly that you barely have time to point out the plot holes or think about the lack of challenge, you will just want to see what blows up next.

The problem with DmC is that it refuses to embrace its bad boy creation wholeheartedly.  The game will occasionally try to take itself seriously, talking about abandonment, trauma, and the enslavement of society.  However, it has trouble ringing true when it sandwiched between a soda vomiting giant slug and demon sex scene.

Instead of trying to beg the audience to care about the story, Ninja Theory could have spent more time developing a more rigorous gameplay experience.  The game doesn’t need to be Dark Souls, but the way that the enemies (particularly the end boss) drop with such ease left me with little feeling of accomplishment or enjoyment.  It is not until a second playthrough on a more difficult level that you will start to find a challenge worthy of Dante and yourself.


  • Rewarding Combat Combos
  • Impressive Concept
  • Breathless Pacing
  • Epic Boss Fights
  • No Challenge
  • Hollow Characters/Story
  • Repetitive

[xrr rating=7.5/10]

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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