DMC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition Review

DmC: Devil May Cry arrived in 2013 with quite a bit of fanfare. When the first trailer hit, showing Ninja Theory’s redesigned and drastically different version of iconic series protagonist Dante, the backlash was immediate. Outrage the fans cried. Worst idea ever! Not going to buy this game! The series is completely ruined! All the usual fun rabble rousing you see on the internet. Of course, when the game actually arrived, what we got wasn’t some casual butchery of a much loved series, but a tribute to it. A reboot, a spin off, an alternate continuity entry into the series, whatever you want to call it, DmC was a pretty great game. It had an incredibly vivid and effortlessly stylish art style, psychedelic level designs, smooth fast paced action with an elegant control scheme, and an intriguing new storyline that I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more of. Two years later, DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition has been released and it’s better than ever.

For those not familiar with the game, DmC: Devil May Cry is set in a modern metropolis: Limbo City, with a brightly coloured and nightmarish demon world lurking just beneath. The world, and mankind are all under the secret rule of the demon king Mundus. Spiked soft drinks, control over the media, using economics, Mundus controls the populace by using modern society against them, keeping them docile, ignorant, and brainwashed. His banks control the economy. His news networks spew lies and propaganda. His soft drinks keep people fat and drugged. All in all, a much more elegant method of controlling people than dark legions, reigns of blood, and lots of fire and pillaging. You play as Dante, an outsider and troublemaker, living on the edges of society, hunted by the demons controlling it. Discovering his forgotten heritage and past as a child of both angels and demons, Dante, aided by a modern day spray paint wielding witch named Kat, as well as his long lost brother Vergil, goes from apathetic rebel to hero as he enters the parallel demon world of Limbo to battle the demons enslaving humanity and take down Mundus. The story is one of the strong points of the game, with an excellent twist on the usual “rule the world” plans of evil overlords, the journey from punk to hero, and some interesting things to say about modern society.

The combat however is the core of any Devil May Cry game, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Fights are fast paced and intense, with points awarded for how stylish your combos are. Repeat the same move over and over, and get little for it. Mix up some incredibly intricate chain involving swordplay, gunfire, aerial acrobatics, and the frequent use of different weapons? Now that’s style. Thankfully, DmC; Devil May Cry has one of the most elegant control schemes available in an action game. You have jump, gunfire, sword attacks and special attacks mapped to your front face buttons. However, hold down one of the trigger or shoulder buttons (LT, RT, L2, R2) and you activate angel or devil mode, allowing you access to more weapons, to being able to yank enemies from a distance towards you, to grappling and zipping towards them. With the ability to swap weapons in an instant mapped to the D-Pad, you can quickly flow from move to move, creating a symphony of stylish ass kicking. The gameplay design is excellent, with great pacing and a mixture of combat and platforming elements. All through some of the most glorious and trippy stages around.

But what’s new about the game in regards to gameplay? Well, the definitive edition has made some slight adjustments to the original game, with rebalancing, item placements and other such things that don’t change the game in any dramatic fashion, then it throws on a whole bunch of new modes that do completely change the game if you select them. New difficulty modes for the truly skilful or challenge seekers; including Gods Must Die mode, where everything hits much much harder or Must Style mode, where enemies can only be harmed if you’ve already built up to S Rank combos. Turbo mode, which speeds the game up by 20%. Hardcore mode, which slightly rebalances the game to make it more in line with the older games; making it harder to parry attacks, to build up your style points, that makes enemies more aggressive, and that weakens your Devil Trigger super mode so that it isn’t the surefire problem solver it normally would be. The game includes all the downloadable content; with skins, the 100 wave survival mode Bloody Palace, and the post campaign story add on; Vergil’s Downfall. Definitive Edition also adds some more skins and a Bloody Palace mode for Vergil as well. Oh, and perhaps best of all, and addressing an issue that many people had with the “non-definitive” edition, they’ve added manual lock on targeting. Rather than just hoping that the specific attack you threw out hits the enemy you wanted to, you can now actually target the one you want.

With a slight visual upgrade, and the game running in 60 fps, DmC also looks better than ever, and runs smoother than ever. A must have when it comes to fast paced action games. Granted, some textures look rather dated, but the art style remains a high point of the game. Limbo remains an incredibly vibrant and twisted place. A riot of light, colour, and insane architecture and geometry.

With improved visuals, rebalancing, new gameplay modes and difficulties modes, this truly is the definitive version. DmC was already a great, if somewhat misunderstood game, given fan backlash towards the new storyline and character designs. However it had great gameplay, an intriguing storyline, and some truly excellent art style and level designs. The definitive edition makes a great game even better.


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