This console generation has seen the release of many “remasters” of older games. This time it is Ninja Theory’s DmC Devil May Cry, which has now been rebranded as DmC Devil May Cry Definitive Edition. The game originally launched in 2013 and now is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The non-definitive edition was a fantastic game, and now this one is even better.
I do not want this review to constantly compare DmC to past Devil May Cry games. I will make an exception for this one point though: the story. None of the Devil May Cry games, including DmC, have had a great story. However, DmC does have the best story in the series. The dialogue has a fair share of bad lines, with several that are cringe inducing, but it has better world building than any of the others. In the original, demons existed , but there were never any regular humans around to be afraid of them. In this one, demons exist in a dimension that runs parallel to the human world called Limbo. The one who is in control of this all is the demon god Mundus. Mundus’ role in the original Devil May Cry was as the ancient Big Bad who was sealed away ages ago and returns to threaten the present. In DmC he is a powerful business man who is secretly evil and uses his power of business to do evil stuff. So he was a cliché in the original and is a cliché in this one; but he does serve a bigger purpose in this game. Mundus is the reason Dante, the cocky demon slayer and main character of the game, and his twin brother Vergil reunite. So while the main story seems to be about Dante having to stop Mundus, I would say that all exists as a way for the relationship for Dante and Vergil to grow.
Vergil was first introduced in Devil May Cry 3 as the evil twin brother. The game hinted at a past between the two, but never went any further. DmC decides to develop these characters and show this rift grow between them. I really think that part of the story is great. Unfortunately, around that there is a story that is supposed to represent how the big corporations are influencing us to buy their products. The commentary that is presented is ham fisted and does not belong in this game at all. The world they build is great, Vergil and Dante feel like real people, but the usually awful dialogue and dumb commentary get in the way of the story being great.
Enough about the story; DmC’s main draw is the fast paced hack and slash gameplay, and it delivers on that spectacularly. Dante controls beautifully, and combat flows just as well. Using Rebellion, Dante’s trademark sword, on a grounded enemy, grappling up onto an airborne one and smashing it down with an axe, and then finishing that up with powerful blows from demon powered gauntlets never feels clunky and always provides an adrenaline rush.
Do not think this game is a cakewalk; even with the arsenal that the games equips Dante with, he has to dodge attacks and take into account how to attack different enemy types. DmC is one of those games I get into the “zone”. One hundred percent of my focus is dedicated to the game as I am playing it. Once, as I was playing I put myself into a really uncomfortable sitting position and did not notice it at all. I ended up turning off the game and realized how sore I was from sitting like that for almost an hour.
Not all of the combat encounters are fantastic though. Most of the bosses in the game are quite boring to fight. The visual design of them is unique, such as the grotesque baby that is Mundus’ spawn or the digital look to the Bob Barbas fight, but they all boil down to “hit this thing in its weak point while occasionally dodging attacks.” I do think the last boss fight is the best one of the game, but it does feel like an easier version of a Devil May Cry 3 boss. It’s not hard to compare the two, because they play almost exactly the same.
The game actually features light platforming. This may seem out of place in an action game, but DmC handles the platforming well. Depending on the button that is being held, a hook can be used to pull platforms to Dante or for Dante to pull himself to them. There are several sections that use this very well and require good timing. It never got in the way of the action, and I believe it added a layer on top of the game so that it was not just, “beat stuff up, walk, then beat up more stuff.”
The reason this is the “Definitive Edition” is not because of the increased visually quality, or the packed in DLC. Unlike other last-gen re-releases, DmC has gameplay tweaks. The game now runs at 60 frames per second, meaning that the action is faster paced. Turbo mode allows for even faster battles by increasing the game’s speed by 20%. Hardcore mode tweaks various gameplay settings, allowing for DmC to play more like past Devil May Cry games.
Two harder difficulties have been added and a lock on feature is added. I play the game on Hardcore mode with Turbo mode on. One of my biggest complaints about the original release was how easy an SSS style rank is achieved. With Hardcore mode, I now have to perform better combos and use my weapons in more creative ways, meaning each SSS style rank is a special achievement for me to earn.
This may seem weird to some people, but I actually think the lock on button is somewhat of a hinderance. The way demon and angel weapons are used is by holding the right trigger or the left one respectively, and then using the attack button like usual. In the original the evade action was mapped to both bumpers. This irked some fans who believed one of the bumpers could be used for a lock on button. Now it is, but the original decision seems to make more sense now. Evade is right bumper, so it is hard to lock on and hold right trigger to use a demon weapon at the same time. Also, it is inconvenient, but not as hard, to evade while using an angel weapon. The game does allow complete customization of the controls, which is a fantastic option, but I was so used to the default control scheme that changing the controls completely screwed up my performance. So for any new players, I would recommend messing around with the controls in the training area before starting the game.
At the most basic level, DmC still looks last gen. Character models and textures look slightly polished, but it does not impress on a level of realism. However, the realm of Limbo can look beautiful. Some levels, mainly early in the game have so much color and look fantastic. One level takes place in a nightclub and features a section of Limbo that has club music and flashy neon colors that create a look that I will remember for awhile. Later on in the game, Limbo starts looking more generic with drab colors and darker locations. It is a shame it does not remain consistently beautiful.
While I was playing I did run into a few bugs. One area caused my camera to flip out, making the section nearly impossible to play. When I was trying to select missions once this happened and the game became unresponsive:
On a slightly lighter note, I had this visual bug with one of the costumes:
I should probably clarify that Dante’s hair should be all white. It reset itself after the next cutscene, but I think it is worth noting.
The Verdict: 9.0 out of 10
I loved the original release for DmC and love this one even more. It is a fantastic action game, and one of the best games of its type available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The reboot did stir up some controversy with fans of the original games due to the changes. If you are one of those people, I say give this version a try. Even if you have never touched a Devil May Cry game, then now is the best time to start.
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