Fans Wrongfully Cry Foul on "DmC: Devil May Cry" Review

Take a gander over the Metacritic page for either version of DmC: Devil May Cry, and you'll see quite a discrepancy between the reviewers who get paid to print out their opinions and the ones from the users. Said critics are heaping generous compliments on the much maligned reboot. The fan base is swarming the forums of any website that would dare to rave about the travesty Capcom has unleashed on the community, having decided over a year ago to be against it. The reason why they are feeling so victimized and throwing out the clichéd and tired old excuse of, “These reviewers are paid shills!” in order to discredit the positive hype is nothing short of silly. I do feel sad for them, however. They are choosing to remain blind to what is a great game. Not only is it great on its own, but it's *gasp* worthy of being part of the Devil May Cry family.

Dante has been given more than just a fresh new look.  He's an outsider, a man alone in a world that only he can see the truth of.  For an unknown reason, the curtain has been pulled back and he sees that demons live amongst us.  Their message of subjugation is sprinkled out in plain sight, but everyone else ignores it blissfully.  The tagline for the game, 'Face Your Demons,' is what drives this new Dante.  Isolated in a world being corrupted from within and being the only one to see it caused him to be a loner.  The realization that there were others who could see what he saw slowly begin to change him.  At first, he still has the walls up to protect himself, coming off as arrogant to seem cool.  Everything changes with Kat. Dante’s kindred spirit in the game, she is someone who grew up in a similar situation as him.  Kat causes Dante to care, to change, and to grow as a character.

I was surprised by how well this story pulled me into the universe.  Yes, it is dripping with social relevance in the guise of the Occupy movement and with the 'us versus them' mentality that comes with the hatred of the 1 percent.  It makes sense, though, taking a new look at evil the modern world.  The original games had the demons as just entities here to kill, maim, and conquer.  Mundus was evil and monstrous, and Dante was heroic and cocky.  End of story.  Now, the evil is insidious.  It's not outright, hiding in the shadows and slowly manipulating us into giving up our own freedom.  All themes parallel what is going on outside our doors and windows at this very moment.  Is it really a stretch to think of the head bankers or the head of Fox News as soulless machines working against the greater good?  Not for me and that's why I buy this new look DmC sells of the modern evil.

The story has a heart behind it that served to really drag me along.  It’s hard to believe if you take the internet echo chamber at its shallowest assessment of Dante flinging curse words at a boss.  What they aren't seeing, either by choice or by myopic views, is that the characters have depth.  Much has been said about the overwrought edginess of Dante, and I just don't see it.  I do see a rebellious kid that starts off as annoyingly self-important.  This has been pointed out many times over and I feel that it's important to note how this is the start of the journey.  When credits roll and the adventure is complete, there is a much different Dante.  I won't spoil anything, but it does give me hope for this version of the demon hunter in titles to come.

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The story isn't all sunshine and rainbows however.  Some of the dialogue isn't as polished as it can be.  A late game twist, while not out of nowhere, does feel a tad tacked on.  That said, I do feel the overall package of this plot is greater than the sum of its failings.  What mattered most is that I was invested and interested not just in the world surrounding the main characters but in the struggles as well.  The relationship between Dante and Kat in particular was very enjoyable.  It grounded an otherwise absurd adventure and gave it the right amount of heart to keep me compelled into seeing what happens in the next chapter.  Some people may get turned off by the random amounts of occasional cussing or the odd-ball placement of sexual happenings, but I feel only the ones looking for a reason to hate will come away claiming Ninja Theory failed to deliver a story that feels right.

Now that I've ramble on way too long about the story, take to tackle the meat and potatoes of what many people play Devil May Cry come for, and that's the combat system.  Most of the bells and whistles of previous installments have been stripped away.  I didn't miss them.  The new way of dealing out damage is about improvisation.  The feeling at first is being limited, and that's because the game has an excellent pace of introducing new weapons and moves.  I'd compare it to the brilliant Ninja Gaiden for Xbox where players were given the time to become accommodated with a weapon or play style before a new one was introduced.  DmC is similar in providing players a new weapon just in time for them to be used to the nuance of the previous one.  By the time the end game is reached, I'd become a maestro of combos.

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I love the ebb and flow that this game enables.  Being able to show off is what drove me to the series in the first place.  The new game does this so wonderfully by putting me in charge of the choreography.  You can be as basic or as elaborate as you want to be.  Spend the time to understand the workings of the combat and it's easy to lose a large amount of time in trying to pull off a one-of-a -kind marvelous spectacle.  It's perfectly designed for the show-off gamer.

I also want to give a massive shout out to the level design.  In the universe whenever a demon wants to kill someone, they have to pull them into Limbo to do it.  The most normal of settings gets twisted and perverted into a bizarre thing.  Streets collapse and buildings get distorted in ways that play up an air of familiarity being desecrated.  My favorite moments in many of the levels are seeing as the city comes to laugh to attempt to kill Dante.  Crush him between compacting skyscrapers, pull the street out from under him, the level itself is a vicious enemy. 

What an amazing way to start out 2013.  The haters are going to hate.  No amount of good word from either critics or friends is going to alleviate what they want to be true.  Contrary to this belief, DmC: Devil May Cry is a great game.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to play an action title that encourages experimentation with its own system.  If you are one of the unfortunate few that have continued to blind themselves against the praise, then it's too bad. You're missing out on one hell of a party.

"DmC: Devil May Cry" is on sale January 15, 2013 and is rated M. Action, Platform. Developed by Ninja Theory. Published by Capcom.

Feb
04
2013

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