We’re nearing the release of Capcom’s controversial new DmC: Devil May Cry, and the reviews are starting to roll in. Pick up the latest issue of GamesMaster UK and you’ll find contained within the pages their verdict on Dante’s rebooted return to our consoles. So were GamesMaster impressed? Yup.
For obvious reasons I won’t be writing out their entire review here, for that you’ll need to pick up the magazine, but here’s a few snippets.
Their opening paragraph sets a clear and fair line for the review: “Simmer down, we you’re all dying to hear whether Ninja Theory’s controversial Devil May Cry reboot is better than Capcom’s original effort, and rest assured we’ll get to that. But this isn’t a game we’re about to judge based on its illustrious lineage or the mewling vitriol of a few Internet fan boys. We’re judging it on its own merits, and after playing the hell out of all twenty missions, sucking up thousands of red orbs and twatting many a screeching demon into dust, what we can say is that DmC is a bold, brutal and utterly brilliant re-imagining of the series that practically defined the hack-‘n’-slash genre”
The review opens proper with GamesMaster eager to point out that surprisingly it isn’t Dante himself that feels like the biggest change, but rather it’s Limbo City where the game takes place that makes DmC feel so different: “Gone are the gothic spires and draughty castle corridors to be replaced by a world eerily reminiscent of our own – a world choked with invasive media surveillance and governmental oppression. Unlike our own world, however, the streets of Limbo are twisted into unnatural shapes, buildings jut at physics-defying angles and every alley hides a gaggle of demons”
“Limbo ain’t just a pretty face. Ninja Theory’s biggest gameplay overhaul is to the make the environment itself an enemy, with walls wedging shut, tarmac buckling violently and occasionally entire buildings hurtling about like no one’s business”
They were pretty impressed with the demons as well, describing them as, “awesome”.
They also noted a couple of sections in the game that really stood out, describing them as, “so clover and so artfully designed they had us cooing with approval.” They go on to give an example of one such moment: “Dante blitzing through a gaudy night club, a cheesy Saturday night TV-style ditty replacing the usual ‘I’m going-to-rip-your-face-open’ battle riff as a ‘Devil’s Got Talent’ graphic splashes across the screen in a glare of primary colors. It simultaneously riffs on reality TV, smashes the fourth wall to bits and looks absolutely spectacular”
Moving on they touch briefly upon some new platforming elements that have been added in which utilise Dante’s new Angelic whip, which acts like a grappling hook, and its demonic alternative which yanks chunks of masonry toward you: ” It’s a great addition, adding a touch of platforming spice to all the chopping and shooting. It doesn’t feel like padding either, with some of the later stages offering traversal challenges that are right up there with some of DmC’s most troublesome scraps”
Speaking of which, GamesMaster says that the combat is ironically the thing which “has barely changed since 2001, with the focus still squarely on nailing increasingly ludicrous combos, juggling enemies through a mix of sword and gunplay and figuring out what demons need smacking with what weapons”
“As well as the iconic Rebellion sword and Ebony and Ivory pistols you’ve got access to demon and angel weapons, activated by holding the relevent modifier – right trigger for demon stuff ( a massive axe and a fiery set of gauntlets) and left trigger for the angelic ( a scythe and a set of lighting fast shurikens” They go on to say that Dante’s new arsenal is both, “powerful and a blast to play with”, also describing the overall combat as, “characteristically balletic”.
GamesMaster didn’t like everything, though. Near the end they point out some flaws, with the boss fights being their biggest gripe with the game, saying that, “DmC falls flat when it comes to the boss battles.” They go on to say: “You’ve fought them a hundred times before in a hundred different hack-‘n’-slash games, and, sadly, there’s nothing here that’s nearly as memorable as duking it out with Phantom and Vergil from the 2001 original”
Another problem came in the “otherwise excellent story.” GamesMaster stated that it: “fades towards the end when it should be ramping up for the climatic finale, which in itself is a bit of a let down”
Still, these problems aside Gamester were impressed, closing the review by saying, ” Back to that first question then – is this better than the old Devil May Cry? If we had to pick, we’d probably go with the 2001 iteration, if only because it’s so iconic and made such a massive impact. But that’s by a whisker. DmC remains a stunning action title, a visual feast, and a brave move in a direction for the series. We can’t wait to see what comes next”
But perhaps their words in the Showdown panel where they pit it against the original Devil May Cry describes DmC best: “Despite not making as heady an impact as the original, rebooted DmC is still a bloody fantastic action game”
So, what score did they award, you ask? The answer is 89%, a high score for the very first issue of 2013.
Personally, I thought the review came off as fair. Judging the game on its own merits is certainly the way to go as it is a reboot of the franchise, so judging it any other way wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. As someone who has been playing Devil May Cry games since the very start I’m pretty excited to pick the game up for myself and see how it holds up. Fingers crossed I’ll be writing a good review rather than a bad one, but who knows.
To read the full review, go ahead and pick yourself up a copy of the latest GamesMaster magazine.