Before I start let me tell you about myself so you get an idea of where I am coming from.
I am a huge DMC fan. Have fully completed every DMC game to date, including the Vergil expansion of dmc 3. I love the genre. Have completed many games in the same vein. I like other genres too though, RPGs, shooters, stealth, strategy, fps games etc. I can play most any genre as long as the game itself is an excellent representation of it's genre.
I will review DMC according to whether it is an excellent representation of the genre of action hack and slash games. I'll break the review down to sections for easy following.
The game is using the unreal engine, a dated engine that has been around since the ps3 was born. It shows. Graphics look quite blocky at times and the frame rate will frequently dip, particularly during cut scenes. These will bother you at first because it's predecessor, dmc4, and many other modern action games are quite beautiful in comparison but you will get used to it. I have also played the PC version, it can output 60fps instead of the 30fps that consoles do. It also has better graphics in terms of textures. Go for the PC version. If you can.
Overall, graphics wise, this game is passable and on PC the game can be said to have solid graphics.
This refers to the design of the game. The design of the main characters is controversial but ultimately you get used to it and move on. Would I like to see these characters return? No. But I can bear them for this excursion.
The environments are quite well designed for the most part, in fact the are mostly excellent. You traverse quite a few locals and rarely do you visit any cliche gaming environments; there is no ice stage, no underwater stage, no jungle stage etc. The environments are unique and varied. I won't spoil them.
As for enemy design, wow.....terrible. Absolutely terrible. Completely forgettable and uninteresting. There are also very little few enemy varieties, easily the smallest enemy variety of all the DMC games and too few for any decent action title. This game uses the 'tweak the colour and look slightly to pass them off as a new enemy type' trick that poorer action titles love to abuse. Very disappointing.
Weapon design is great, they all look interesting and I believe you would agree. Not much more to say.
Overall, aesthetics wise, the game is above average.
Weapons and combos
There are a decent number of weapons to use. A manageable amount. All the weapons seem to have their own use too. Which is great. However, comboing seems just uninspired to me. Anything cancels to anything so combo discovery is not really that fun and the combos themselves look extremely jarring. There is very little skill involved which makes comboing less fun. On top of this, it is far too easy to get an S rank, especially with the glaive weapons. Another thing that makes comboing less fun.
Weapon upgrading is no fun either. When I upgrade a weapon to unlock a new move i don't feel like I am improving my weapon much at all. Only some weapon upgrades are useful and increase my repertoire, for example the ability to drag up enemies into the air with osiris or to charge you gauntlet weapons for longer. Most weapon upgrades you purchase purely increase damage or area of effect, which is disappointing. I would have liked to see more unique (and serviceable) moves and different combos unlocked as you progress (every weapon in this game only has two base combo strings or less).
Overall I think the game gets a 'good' from me on this section, I was hoping for a very solid or excellent though, given its pedigree.
I already mentioned how there is little variety in enemies and that they are aesthetically displeasing well there are more issues..... but starting with the good: for the most part, enemies are fun to fight. This is a combo game that let's you fight the way you want but quite often you will come across enemies who can only be damaged by certain weapons. This is an extremely poor effort at adding variety to the enemies and ultimately takes away player freedom in choosing how to proceed. But, like I said, apart from that, the other enemies can all be tackled in a variety of ways which is something I'm glad for.
All in all, this is a very solid section of the game.
No idea why capcom put the worst boss in the demo but it did. The bosses in this game are very fun to fight in general. They aren't really challenging but they are fun to fight. Each boss goes through several stages as you fight them and they change their pattern as you do. Apart from the succubus and the mundus boss fights, all the boss fights are quite unique and fun. My favourite being the bob barbas fight.
Overall this section of the game is very solid.
Now, the press rave about the story, about how deep and enthralling it is. BS! Are they seeing the same thing I am?! This is certainly no rewriting of the typical action game story and certainly doesn't have a more in depth story element than the previous 2 DMC games. The story is serviceable. Nothing special at all and unfortunately it doesn't leave you with any characters you are rooting for unlike most action games. The ending has everyone jump to illogical conclusions and assumptions without talking things through. Had this been something that was addressed through the story it may have made sense but it makes no logical sense and shatters the character relationships built through the game. They tried to show Vergil as a more ends justifies the means kind of guy but that doesn't explain the ending at all. It leaves you thinking (BTW spoiler coming up!!!) "wait, why are they fighting? This makes no sense, they just went through all of that and now they're going to do this??? I don't even know what to think or who to root for.....". A shame.
The story, overall, is serviceable. Average. Even with the odd ending.
There are many difficulty levels and lots of collectibles for you to get. To upgrade weapons to max will probably take 2-3 replays. It took me under 8 hours to complete the game and I completed the game on normal and hard mode. I don't see many people loving the game enough to replay it so many times to complete all the difficulties though....
...overall, replayability is solid.
This is a solid game. Not amazing. Not terrible. Just solid. This is another dmc2 of the DMC series in other words, although perhaps a bit better than dmc2. Would I recommend you play this? Sure, it is fun. But I would suggest you rent it or borrow it rather than buy it. I would give this game a 6.5/10 I would suggest buying metal gear rising revengeance for your action game fix, I have yet to play it but from the ogling I have done and trying the demo it it is looking like a great game. Look forward to my review of it ;D