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DmC: Devil May Cry PS3 Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry

Image © Capcom
With echoes of "The Matrix," "Constantine," "Bulletstorm," "Bayonetta," "God of War," and "Darksiders," Capcom's "DmC: Devil May Cry" is a ridiculously fun game, a viscerally charged thrill ride through Hell with a protagonist who becomes one of the most memorably powerful in quite some time. A relatively uninteresting narrative along with some frame rate and camera issues hold the title back from its true potential but this is one of those games in which you will lose yourself for hours, unconcerned with what could have been and simply enjoying the growing power of the one and only Dante. With each new weapon, each new upgrade, each new combo move, "DmC: Devil May Cry" becomes that much more enjoyable, until you're just a demon-killing machine, eagerly awaiting the next Hellish creation who dares challenge your blade.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Ninja Theory
  • ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  • Genre: Action
  • Pros: Fluid Action, Style to Spare, Incredible Power
  • Cons: Framerate Hiccups, Camera Issues, Repetitive Action

"DmC: Devil May Cry" is a reboot/prequel of the hit '00s series and its new, snarky tone may be off-putting to the hardcore purists who made this franchise a success in the first place. Dante is the son of an angel and a demon and that gives him unimaginable, growing powers. Not only can he easily traverse realms that average men can't even see but he can defeat the creatures that live there with an incresingly impressive arsenal of supernatural weaponry. Dante must travel back and forth between Limbo and humanity throughout "DmC," moving through stylishly designed worlds that feel part-human, part-demon, and all-fun.

Gameplay

DmC: Devil May Cry

DmC: Devil May Cry

Image © Capcom

Like "God of War" or "Darksiders," "DmC: Devil May Cry" works off a model of growing, upgradeable superpowers and weaponry. You start off as a relatively simple combatant. You have a trusty sword named Rebellion. It can do a few neato things. Before you know it, you're seamlessly transitioning from Rebellion to your guns, named Ebony & Ivory, to your deadly axe known as the Arbiter. You'll eventually gain access to a scythe, gauntlets, a shotgun, and much more. And this isn't one of those games where one new weapon replaces another. The smooth transition between firepower, swashbuckling, and more is one of the game's greatest strengths. In fact, you'll get points and a grade for how creative you are in your combat. Just slice and dice with Rebellion and you'll get the job done. Get creative with combo moves and multiple tools of mass destruction and you'll rank on the leaderboards of "DmC" players around the world.

Developer Ninja Theory have built "Devil May Cry" on a very pliable, customizable skeleton of supernatural combat. What I mean by that is that my experience with this action game will be different than yours. I chose to upgrade Rebellion and the Arbiter almost entirely before spending upgrade points (earned by your grade on each level) on any other weaponry. You may fall in love with Osiris or Ebony & Ivory. Our basic combat is going to be the same but it's the way the developers allow for personalization that really makes "Devil May Cry" work. I loved that feeling that I worked my way through that plateau of Harpies in a way unique to my style of gameplay. And the increasing power of the game is addictive. When you can burst through a group of enemies, using multiple weapons, and not even get hit once, it gives you a visceral thrill (in fact, play through it enough and you'll get access to a mode where one hit kills Dante).

Replay value is high because the developers inserted a number of secret missions and locations on early levels that can only be accessed after you have weaponry earned later in the game. You can go back to any completed mission to try and increase your grade/rank or find secret missions, which unlock upgrades for health or other bonuses. I'll admit that some of the sections of gameplay, especially late in the game, get seriously repetitive in that "enter the room, kill the wave of enemies, enter another room, repeat" way that action games often do. But it's not until several hours into the title.

Some gamers may lament a lack of depth in "DmC." No multiplayer and a relatively-short campaign are two things that aggravate a lot of modern gamers. Not this one. It's not always a quantity game for PS3 players. "Devil May Cry" has no co-op and is relatively simple (I think I died twice before the final, more difficult levels) but it's also stylish, clever, and a Hell of a lot of fun. Like "Bulletstorm" or "Bayonetta," it is an orgy of action and delivers on those terms.

Graphics & Sound

Where do you draw the line between style and graphical glitches? There are times in "DmC" where it literally felt like my machine was about to give up trying to process the game visually but it also added to the nightmarish, hallucinatory aesthetic of the game. In other words, the slowing down of framerate problems or graphics that glitch out altogether kind of works here even if one does wish the game had been a little more refined. Camera issues are a more notable problem as it can be difficult to lock on an enemy in combat and obstacles in the environment will sometimes get in the way of you and Dante. On an audio level, "Devil May Cry" sounds great, just what you'd expect.

Overall

DmC: Devil May Cry

DmC: Devil May Cry

Image © Capcom
Who would have guessed that we would have three critically-acclaimed, successful reboots of long-dead franchises in less than a year? Last Summer's "Max Payne 3" and the Fall's "Hitman Absolution" were undeniable successes and now we have "DmC: Devil May Cry." It gives one hope for the upcoming "Tomb Raider." I guess no video game franchise is truly over. It's just waiting for a reboot.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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