Sunday, January 12, 2014

Game Review: DmC: Devil May Cry

Action; PS3, Xbox 360; Capcom/Ninja Theory; 2013
Well it happened. I played DmC: Devil May Cry. I have made my opinions clear about this "reboot" of one of my favorite action games of all time. The original Devil May Cry was one of the first PS2 games I played, and was the first PS2 game I owned. I played the hell out of the original game and Devil May Cry 3, and while Devil May Cry 4 had it's issues, I never regarded it as a bad game (It's just a game that once you've beaten it, it felt like you played it three times in a row). With the announcement of Devil may Cry: Devil May Cry, and all the stylistic changes that Ninja Theory has made to the classic series, my hopes and expectations for the game drop dramatically. But how good is this "Not" Devil May Cry game? Well....

"And who are you suppose to be again?"
Mundus, the Demon King, has enslaved all of humanity. He keeps us ignorant with propaganda from News Media, he keeps us docile with popular soft drinks, and he keeps us dependent by debt. There is only one person who can stop him; Dante, a Nephilim and the son of Demon Knight Sparda and an Angel Eva. Dante has fought alone against Mundus's demonic forces alone for years; however, when he runs into a girl named Kat and meets his twin brother Vergil, Dante gains the means of defeating Mundus once and for all, but is he really fighting for what is best for humanity?

Like nearly everything about DmC: DMC, you can criticize the story in two different ways, as it's own entity or as in comparison to the original series. Compared to the original series, nearly every single icon of the Devil May Cry franchise has been changed and morphed to a point where it is barely recognizable. Dante, Vergil, Mundus, Sparda, and even Dante and Vergil's mother Eva are all completely different, with different personalities, moralities, and motivations. The only thing that remains that is the same between the original characters and their new reboots is their name and broadly their roles in the story. As it's own entity, I found the story to be rather dull. Characters are for the most part uninteresting, the story tries too hard to be serious, the social commentary does nothing for the story, and there are some serious questions raised about the plot that are not really resolved. Chief among them is Dante's motivation: Why does he care for humanity? Even if I buy Dante caring about Kat, that is just ONE human, why does Dante, being half demon half angel, care about the state humanity is as a whole? There is something wrong with your protagonist when the Villain can come up with a compelling, albeit twisted, argument for his actions, but there is no explanation for the hero's. It also doesn't help that the ending leaves me feeling unsatisfied and raises the question of the morality of the Dante's actions when so much wide spread destruction and lost of life occurred because of it. But that's just the story, and even in classic DMC the story was never a focal point. All that matters is the gameplay.

It looks the same but it doesn't FEEL the same.
We all know the Devil May Cry series is famous for it's iconic combat system. Now, looking at gameplay footage of DmC (Devil may Cry): Devil May Cry, it seems like the combat system is the same. All of Dante's classic attacks are there, High Tide, Stinger, Trillion Stabs, Helm Breaker, Aerial Rave, they are all there. But the moment you start playing the game, you will notice that the controls are completely different. You have two buttons devoted to melee attacks and one button devoted to gun attacks. The reason for this is because there is no "Lock-On" button, thus all actions that revolve around locking on are reassigned to different commands. This creates a bit of a mind melt down when you try to play the game like it's Devil May Cry (which frequently happened when I was playing). New to this game is Dante's "Angel" and "Demon" modes. All new weapons, outside of Dante's guns, are split into Devil Arms and Angel Arms, which Dante can use when holding the respective trigger to go into Angel Mode or Demon Mode. Angel weapons tend to deal less damage but cover wide areas making them crowd control weapons, while Demon weapons tend to be slower but deal a ton of damage against single targets making them tank busters. Dante also gains access to whips in these modes, the Angel whip pulls Dante towards objects or enemies while the Demon Whip pulls objects or enemies towards Dante, making them useful in combat and vital in the numerous platforming sections of the game.

I thought people wanted LESS platforming in a Devil May Cry game?
Unfortunately the game isn't without it's flaws, both as a DMC game and as it's own entity. Detroit metal City: Devil May Cry seems to have sluggish and unresponsive controls. I don't know whether this is because of the game being locked at 30 FPS or because the game doesn't allow for jump/dodge cancels, but frequently in the game I would trying to dodge out of the way of an attack and not have the dodge come out. Even when experimenting with the controls outside of a fight, I notice that my dodge comes out with what seems to be a half second delay, especially when trying to dodge out of a combo. This lead to a lot of situations where I got hit when I felt like I wasn't suppose to which is in stark contrast to the other DMC games which where so responsive that if you got hit it was almost always your fault. Other problems with input comes with the platforming sections and I am SURE I pressed the jump button, but Dante just fell to his death. Or I was attacking with an Angel Arm or a Devil Arm after using the whip despite the fact that I let go of the trigger when I started to attack. Another glaring problem is the lack of a lock on button, not only does this mean that the control scheme is different in terms of several of the attacks (And in the case of Stinger made far less intuitive and useful), it also creates several other problems in combat. Frequently I would have no idea where enemies where and am forced to move the camera manually to get a sight on anyone and I would miss or attack the wrong guy purely because of where I was facing (Made even worse with the moments I tried to play the game like it was Devil May Cry). And finally the biggest problem with this game is that it is way TOO FREAKIN' EASY! For a game series known for it's brutal difficulty, this game offers absolutely no challenge. Even on the highest available difficulty at the start of the game, I didn't break a sweat once, especially since some of the weapons are just way too easy to exploit with their stun-locks or damage output. While this might be a relief for gamers who found the likes of Devil May Cry 3 and Bayonetta way too hard to enjoy, to gamers such as myself the complete lack of challenge drains all tension from any of the fights. Even the climatic final boss left me feeling bored as he was reminding me of a much MUCH harder fight in Devil May Cry 3.

Ultimately, Dante must Cry: Devil May Cry is a frustratingly okay game. It is average in almost every regard. Nothing about it stands out from peers outside of perhaps it's very low difficulty, and even then it's not necessarily a positive quality. Is it a Devil May Cry game? No, in no way is this game anywhere close to being a Devil May Cry game, not in it's story, not in it's aesthetics, and not in it's gameplay. It's not a bad game, but it's also not a great one. It just kind of meanders in the grey zone of being okay, which makes it hard to recommend when there are better games in the Hack'n'Slash genre. DmC: Devil May Cry gets at most a limited recommendation from me.

Until Next time.

-Crescent, Hey wait. Dante didn't get impaled once during this game!

No comments:

Post a Comment