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Review

DmC: Devil May Cry Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

With assured storytelling, great combat, and imaginative design, DmC: Devil May Cry is a fun reboot, despite some frame rate issues and audio bugs.

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There's a point in DmC: Devil May Cry where everything just falls into place, a point where--after being mollycoddled through hours of gentle combat--you're finally let off the leash. And at that point, chaos ensues. The gates of hell are opened, once-timid demons become tremendous horrors, and Dante transforms into a fighter of glowing theatrics and tense technical wizardry. Immense, over-the-top combos flow from the fingertips, unleashing all manner of visually enticing carnage with a precise, fluid feel. It's a shame the PlayStation 3 version suffers from numerous issues, including an erratic frame rate and audio bugs, but there's still plenty to like about Dante's lastest adventure.

The story, for instance, is light-years ahead of previous games in the series. Where they were schlocky, B-movie tales of adolescent fantasy, DmC has a sense of restraint, and maturity. Not that it's entirely evident from the off. A slew of half-naked bodies and raucous rock music make for a less-than-enticing introduction to the new, modern-day Dante's world, where he lives the playboy lifestyle of booze, nonstop parties, and sleazy sex. It's only with the arrival of the hardened psychic Kat and the emergence of a frightening demon horde that Dante, and the story, begins to grow up.

What follows is a tale of evil, world domination, and love that weaves in touches of conspiracy theory and religious dogma to great effect. There's no denying that there's still a drop of Devil May Cry lunacy to it all, particularly in Dante's cheesy quips, but underneath that over-the-top exterior lies heart. There are real moments of drama and excitement that are coupled with some well-realised characters that walk a fine line between good and evil. It helps that they're backed by a terrific voice cast--especially the truly frightening villain Mundis--that delivers even the maddest of dialogue with the utmost sincerity.

DmC's greater focus on storytelling comes at expense of some freedom, but the game is no worse off for it. Gone is the tedious backtracking and repetition of Devil May Cry 4, replaced with an adventure that--for the most part--propels you forward at a breakneck pace. One moment you're escaping a blood-red city that's folding and crumbling around you, and the next you're infiltrating the offices of a famed TV network where the earthly world and that of Limbo have collided in an explosion of vicious demons and ghastly black ooze that drips from every wall.

Such is the variety in your adventure that it does an admirable job of glossing over the linear nature of the story. It helps, of course, that the action is exciting too. Dante is a man with some impressive physical skills that are augmented by an equally impressive range of deadly weaponry. Initially that weaponry takes the form of Rebellion, a sword with a medium speed and attack range that serves as the bedrock for combos.

With just a few taps it's easy to perform simple combos that cut a sharp path through enemies and launch them into the air where you can deal more damage before they explode into a wonderfully satisfying mess of gory blobs. It's not long before you reach the limits of what you can do with a single weapon, though, which makes the time it takes to gather new ones a tad grating. Still, once the game finally lets you loose with a bigger arsenal, the combat takes a rewarding turn. What opens up before you is a vast set of moves that can be smoothly chained together for some technically impressive and oh-so-gorgeous-looking combos.

The combat is done in a way that cleverly plays to the strengths of each weapon, and that of your opponents' weapons. For instance, lighter, angelic weapons like the Osiris scythe are geared towards juggling enemies in the air and dealing spinning swipes that take out large groups all at once. Heavier, demonic weapons like the Arbiter axe focus on all-out strength, pummelling demons into the ground with a hefty brute force, albeit at the expense of attack speed. Combine the two, and you can knock out enemies with the swifter, lighter weapon before neatly finishing them off with a deadly demonic blow.

As you gain more-advanced weapons and abilities, the combos that are open to you become more complex. Chains that let you pull yourself towards enemies, or pull them towards you, result in some explosive combos that see Dante zipping elegantly between enemies, dealing out brutal punishment between each throw of a chain. Then there are Dante's guns, Ebony and Ivory, which are ideal for dishing out short, sharp bursts of bullets and filling in the gaps between other attacks. Combine your moves, and the combat turns into a harmonious ballet of sword slicing, swinging, and all-out carnage that's not only impressive to look at, but delightful to perform too.

It's a fluid system that's easy to get to grips with. There's a trick to the timing that only practice can perfect, but the barrier to entry is low enough that even newcomers to the genre can dish out some tasty moves. And if you really want to get cocky, there are various moves that can be cancelled midway through their animations for chaining together even larger and deadlier combos. The neatly animated and gruesomely designed enemies add a level of complexity too. Some, such as eerie walking skeletons, are armed with shields that can be broken only with heavy weaponry, while others, like vicious blue mutant dogs, can be damaged only by your lighter, angelic scythe.

And there are others, like decrepit cherubs that hover in the air, that are ready to be pulled down to earth with a mighty whip of a chain, and huge, heavily armoured behemoths that can be destroyed only from a certain angle of weakness. Such variety means you can't simply sit back and hammer buttons to win; you have to make use of your brain as well as your thumbs to succeed. That alone makes for combat that's far more engaging than a run-of-the-mill hack-and-slasher. Plus, if you really want to spice things up, you can use Dante's stylish devil trigger ability to freeze enemies and take out a whole group of them in one huge combo.

The reward for all your hard work, aside from the visual payoff, are souls. Souls can be used to upgrade Dante's abilities and weapons, giving you new moves and increased power to play with. Indeed, there are quite a few moves, including Dante's famous Rainmaker, that are essential purchases for combo chasers. Upgrades that increase your power make some of the tougher enemies--particularly those towards the end of the game--a little easier to deal with. There's also the requisite Devil May Cry scoring system, which remains largely unchanged: the longer and less repetitive the combo is, the more points you get and the higher your rating.

Being awarded with, say, an A rating over a D rating is your primary incentive for perfecting your attacks, and striving for such perfection is compelling. That's down in part to the fact that the combat is so fun in the first place, and partly down to the end-of-level totals that let you see just how poorly (or brilliantly) you performed overall. And because everything is so well put together, you know that the shameful D is due to your own lack of skill, rather than any failure on the game's part.

Unfortunately, for all the greatness of the combat system, the boss battles are a big disappointment. It's not that they're inherently bad so much as that they're formulaic and, well, old. The fights follow the usual formula of learning each boss's repetitive movements, and then identifying key moments to launch an attack. All that time spent perfecting your combos and technique is simply of no use against them; you have to follow the plan or you die. They are at least a visually striking bunch, with the gruesomely bulbous and foul-mouthed Succubus being a particular standout.

The game peters out towards the end, both in its narrative and in its combat. The story takes a twist you can see coming a mile off, while later levels eschew combat for laborious platforming sections that don't live up to the excitement and action of what came before. Things fare a little better for completionists, who can check out the many trapped souls scattered in hard-to-reach places around each level, as well as the unlockable rooms that are filled with fun and sometimes very difficult challenges for you to complete. Those include trying to defeat a whole room of enemies without being hit, or platforming down a tricky obstacle course.

The great completionists, and indeed anyone up for a serious challenge, are catered to with a whole raft of different difficulty levels that are unlocked after you complete the game. You can, for instance, play levels with more-powerful enemies that come in different waves to the standard campaign. Or you can play a mode where every enemy dies with one hit, along with Dante. Or if you've really got it in for your own sanity, you can play a mode with the most difficult, hardcore, no-mercy enemies where it's game over after a single hit. Such is the joy of DmC's combat that even if you're not quite skilled enough to make it through those hardcore levels unscathed, it's still a lot of fun to try. And in those moments when the combo system clicks and you enter that Zen-like state of Matrix realisation to perform an epic SS-rated combo, little can raise a bigger smile or give you such a feeling of achievement.

DmC succeeds both in its story and in its brilliant combat, but it's a real shame its otherwise stylish visuals are undermined by numerous bugs. The frame rate flitters between playable and jerky, while many textures often load in slower than the rest of a scene, resulting in odd looking objects. There are also a few odd audio glitches, such as Dante's speech cutting off mid-sentence. These issues don't render the game unplayable, but they do make the PlayStation 3 version the weakest of the three.

If you can overlook these problems, there's still an enjoyable game to found here. Sure, you may baulk at Dante's trendy new haircut, or maybe even miss a little of that B-movie Devil May Cry insanity, but the heart of what makes the series so enticing and so much fun to play holds true here. DmC pulls off that unlikely reboot trick of feeling fresh and inviting while still holding onto what made the original series so appealing and so special. There's no point in looking back: Dante has got a brand-new future in front of him, and if DmC: Devil May Cry is anything to go by, it's going to be a great one.

'
The Good
Tight, enthralling, and deep combat
Big variety of weapons and enemies
Imaginative demon designs
Convincing voice acting
Reboots the series without compromising its soul
The Bad
Erratic frame rate issues, audio bugs, and texture pop-in
Boss battles aren't nearly as fun as regular combat
Ending doesn't live up to the rest of the story
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for DmC: Devil May Cry

About the Author

Discussion

164 comments
carolino
carolino

Just finished the game and for me its a 8/10


Nice combat , decent story parts, some levels design are very good, nice dificulty mods


I add trouble with dante revamp but once you see it has his own thing you will have good fun.

playmynutz
playmynutz

@Snakpakk :Yes, DmC on PS3 has no texture pop ups or noticeable frame rate issue (maybe because the game is installed on the hard drive.) I haven't had this much fun since Dark Souls. This is definitely the most under rated game of 2013.

Snakpakk
Snakpakk moderator

Anyone else just recently play this game thanks to the PS+ free game offer?

McGuirex3
McGuirex3

Nice review I've been playing and having a great time indeed!

meedokicky
meedokicky

I had mixed feelings about this game, wasn't really sure i want to get it, I was eventually going to when the price drops thought, and it recently came to PS+ and i was like what the heck let's play!

It is surprisingly good!

yea it is not the Dante we all love and know, but hey what is a reboot if they did the same? He is still badass though, especially in cutscenes with bosses he is like "pffft whatever", dialogues can get a bit cheesy though.


And yeah I get the problem with frame rate he is talking about too, however i thought it is because it is running from the HDD. Doesn't happen so often in-game, but cutscenes and menus are really choppy! Not sure if it is from my PS3 as I have bigger games playing just fine form HDD.

santinegrete
santinegrete

If this is not a great reboot of the series, then they were close to achieve it. This game really hooked me in some parts, and that's saying a lot. Most things I asked to this saga to improve were adressed here, specially the level and boss recycles that always made me think Devil May Cry had a great combo engine, but was treated like a class B game. Just wish I could manually lock on so I can execute the fast forward attacks in the older yet easier way. And difficulty was a Little higher, specially in boss fights. But overall is an excellent game. But the combat it's excellent, as it should except for the lack of manual locking on.


Indeed the future of this saga is bright if the series it's treathed this way. It's like the ascensión it needed and DmC 4 didn't have.


I played all ps2 DmC in their respective era and still own them, except 4 wich I traded cuz, once completed, I felt like Icompleted the game 3 times already!

firedrakes
firedrakes

i will say this the freezing bug on ps3 and some time game mech simple break and stop working. combo etc is a real pain

dongabilondo
dongabilondo

I'm playing on PS3 and I haven't had any frame rate, audio, or texture problems. Not sure what the review is talking about.

DavidMorais
DavidMorais

DmC: Devil May Cry is an excellent, very well thought and engineered game. But a great game does not come without it's set of flaws.

When it comes to the characterization, Ninja Theory usually delivers a solid performance, and this is no exception : Every character in this game is well done, believable and different. There's a different and deep story behind all of them, and as the story unfolds while you progress through the singleplayer campaign, you'll most likely grow fond of one of the characters, since they all feel real and understandable.

 When it comes to the main character of this game, I have to say that I disagree with what is said about it, I think that this "new" Dante is over the top. And as a character, it is A FACT that much more thought went into it. Let's take a look at the previous Dante : Typical bland anime character (even his fashion sense is eastern) that kicks ass and shoots out lame and overly cheesy jokes. Poor voice acting, poor background story and poor personality, as all he does is kill demons, he never really asked why or got sick of it.

 Now let's come to the present Dante : Angry young adult, confused and childish. He does what a person of his age usually does, he's human, he feels real. He's stubborn and he dresses in a more realistic, western way. There's only a few things that he likes, which are alcohol, bitches, partying hard and killing demons. 

I'm not going to mention combat as the gamespot review already told you everything there is to say, but i'm going to add that it is insane, sick and fluid. 

Also, one of the game's greater bits is when you get rid of a large group of enemies, and in a short and fluid animation Dante grins at you. But this is just one of them, as the game features many in-game treats and eye candy. It's great to see the objectives and enemy shouts appear written somewhere on the scenario. 

The story itself is far greater than the previous games, no doubt about that. Not only in the story line but also on the scenario - You never backtrack like in the previous titles. The storytelling is fast, believable and great, it finally makes you understand why Dante and Vergil don't get along - and even better than that : It shows you how vergil became the demon lord that he is. I won't spoil any more, so you better grab the game and get it spinning in your xbox, PS3 or pc.

Well, there are many things in this game that are worth telling you about, but i'll just sum it up and end with the OST, or soundtrack. Please - this has got to be one of the greatest synchronizations between gameplay and music, featuring speed metal and dubstep tracks, you'll never lose pace nor momentum when in a fight, and that's just awesome.

There's many more great aspects about this game - but I will start with the bad things now. 

There's no backtracking in the game, which is very nice, but also leads to a linear game, and it's sad, because the levels are slick, and you'll most likely want to repeat them, and you can  in the main menu, but you CAN'T backtrack during the game.

The lack of a lock on button is also a let down. The auto lock on is usually effective but it fails sometimes, not frequent enough to aggravate the gameplay or annoy you, but sometimes ruins your combo, and everyone wants those SSS ranks.

Well, there are many more things to go in-depth, but I won't get onto it. Instead, i'll give my personal opinion about this game : Everyone's been talking about how bad it is because Dante's hair isn't white anymore or about the new gameplay... If you're one of the people who says this, you're either oblivious to the fact that his hair DOES turn white later in the game or you haven't played the game, or you're just ignorant and close minded. The game no longer feels like a low-end, low budget title, featuring stunning visuals and an awesome soundtrack this is easily one of the best action titles of this year yet. I personally rate it an 87/100, which is a near perfect score. Don't be stupid and let go of the past - No one's saying that past DMC's suck, we're just saying that this is a complete reboot of the series, and does very little wrong, so grab a copy of this game and shut up.

blamix99
blamix99

this is much better than the old one,. i know people hate it becuase dante's hair is black not white. just like in final fantasy.. people like cloude because he got spiky hair =)

danielwhite5
danielwhite5

SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT: It's a good game! I think it has added more of a back story to the other games in terms of how Virgil and Dante created this 'disliking' to each other and also loved how their were references linking to the original/older Dante. I don't think there is any doubt that the old Dante is a better all round character in my opinion, i feel he is more of an elite character within the game. i hope they lead these games on to the original series of DMC. 

Skilnes
Skilnes

The cutscenes and story is what I would buy the game for I love naruto =)

MrTakeda
MrTakeda

Would have been better if they had done it with the old Dante.

tukiya14
tukiya14

no frame rate issue here.. maybe ur using 360? fanboys are coming!

Warmuro
Warmuro

I know why some people disliked the game, it's Dante's hair. If it was white, they would love the game. Game is awesome and not boring. You feel whole devil theme. Soundtracks are awesome. Gameplay is great, controls are easier and fun to play compared to other devil may cry games for pc and i'm talking about keyboard controls. Voice acting is good. I disliked one thing about the game and it's VSYNC problem. I don't know why the FUUU i can't turn on VSYNC in almost all Unreal-Engined games on my ATI HD 6850. It's completely bullshit. Fortunately i use third party program for that called "D3DOverrider". It forces VSYNC on. 8.0 is solid score for the game.

Rcr152
Rcr152

This fresh spin on the series has great visuals and a very cool gritty urban art style, a fantastic story and polished to near perfection game-play that never ceases to be fun and engaging. While it’s a reboot of the series it retains the spirit of what made the original series so great and improves it with a deeper story, fighting mechanics and replay value with loads of extras.. its a shame people are so scared of change and criminal that this didn't at least get a 9.. one of my fav's this gen.

Zekethompson22
Zekethompson22

I want to play this game so bad. I am a huge fan of the franchise!

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

on my ps3, finishing 4 or 5 missions of the game and i didn't face a single frame rate issue!!!!! what are you talking about?

Devil_78
Devil_78

I liked the new dante . At least he is not that cocky and careless as we found him in the rest of the series . Better story BUT not the best in the series .

Scream6666
Scream6666

Saying this game is bad will mean that the oppinion is that others in its category is better.  So pleased to hear which games I should look at which is better and of the same nature right?  Or are we reading reviews from the same bunch of people saying the each DMC after the first one was the worst game ever made???  Please - love to hear what other games besides DMC games are better in this category - suppose everything with a rating higher than 7.5 should be seen as a better creation???  Really ppl I dont think you ar understanding wrong, I dont think you understand at all!

VicViper99
VicViper99

Only played the demo so far. Loved the combat, loved the visual style and presentation. HATED the cocky attitude and dialog of Dante. I cringed during the boss battle scene in which Dante and the worm creature took turns saying "F*** You!" to each other. It's like Capcom thinks we are still 8 year olds...sigh 


Shinobi-Neo
Shinobi-Neo

This game is such a pice of.... what waste of time to play. gamers must be pretty ignorant to call it good. This Dante is a wonna-be-cool hero. man, this guys a nobody, he´s not even close to Dante. Looks like .... behaves like... seriously, what a waste rof money is that...? After playing dmc 1-3, seriously, this story, this charcters, the main hero, all of it is such a waste of time... I seriously would like to ask the game makers what wrong with them...

dragon32889
dragon32889

@santinegrete the game was great and it looked beautiful. It really is going to be great new story. It felt the same but was different enough for 3 play throughs before I played virgil's story. It's like people want to keep the old Dante and the old story with a reboot and that makes no sense. Dante isn't more "anime" style like he was in 1 and 3 and I welcome that.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@DavidMorais good post man, maybe this should be your user review about the game, but I agree with it nevertheless. It's good to know some old gamers are more open minded about the thing with Dante's hair, wich I found pretty ridiculous.

dongabilondo
dongabilondo

@DavidMorais I almost completely agree. The auto lock-on actually works perfectly, and allows for a dodge roll that is far easier and more accessible to use that previous DMCs. This is half the reason why this game is easier. The backtracking is a huge let down, but there is so much stuff to do, and the combat is so fluid and frantic, that it isn't really that big of a deal. Thank you for the last part there, I really don't understand why anyone would be childish enough to deny an amazing game because the main character doesn't have white hair, especially when if you play it (or have the alternate costumes), you get white hair.

eslamm
eslamm

@DavidMorais Poor personality for Old Dante? you got shit taste then. i stopped reading when you said that. kill yourself.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@blamix99 A friend was sincere with me about why he won't touch this new DmC: he can't stand how the new Dante looks. I'm not kidding, plus, is his money, time, and... opinion.

Ezeooz
Ezeooz

@tukiya14 well, the frame rate issue happens in PS3. it doesn't in XBOX360. the review for PS3 and XBOX360 are divided.

Rambolike
Rambolike

@VicViper99 I have to agree with you -- the game is beautiful to look at and play, but the swearing and over-the-top dialogue is simply too much.  A more reserved character would have been more appropriate.

Eraldus
Eraldus

@Shinobi-Neo Calling other ignorant... yeah... you must really know what you're talking about...

dongabilondo
dongabilondo

Sorry for two posts but edit clock expired on other one:

The game itself has technical issues because the demo does? That doesn't make any sense. Furthermore I have played this game to completion (platinum trophy, 100%, over 70 hours of gameplay, and all secret concept art) and I have only encountered frame rate problems when I am rushing the game past its natural loading and saving pace. So skipping every scene and moving faster than you are supposed to, causing loading/saving/cutscenes while the game is already doing one of those, and I have never played a game that does not experience this. This only occurred when I was blazing through HaH mode (beat it in like 20 minutes lol). If you play the game and do not intentionally try to break it, you will not encounter these problems. However, vergil's downfall does have some occasional clipping issues, and the bloody palace is likely to freeze on loading screens for bosses if you have been in the BP for a while. The bloody palace has crashed 6 times out of the 10-12 times that I have played it.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@eslamm@DavidMorais  admit it, there's no line coming from Dante in previous game that is not worth of grimace. Except in Devil May Cry 2, where he keeps his mouth shut: that's the real way to ruin a character. Dante is heavily inspired in anime, that's why he is so generic really. Seriously, he and he's brother is the same crap than Seshomaru and Inu Yasha have. Hell, even Inuyasha has White hair, is half demon, and wears red! Don't kid yourself with nostalgia. I know about that, I just stopped.

dongabilondo
dongabilondo

@eslamm @DavidMorais I personally like Dante in every way (one of my favorite characters of all time ofc), but you have to admit he is cheesy and generic. But that is the idea. He is supposed to be like that. DMC is intended to be b-movie cheesy over-the-top goodness. Which is why if you try to get interested in the story as if it was a AAA title, you will be disappointed. If you get into the game itself, you may fall in love with the characters and story (I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with LLLLIIIIIIIIIGGGHHHHTTTT!!!), even though there is a laughable amount of actual development. In short, I understand where you're coming from, and agree with you, BUT it is true unfortunately.

Rambolike
Rambolike

@VicViper99

There was another game that came out last year, plagued by way too much swearing and bawdy humor -- Shadows of the Damned

Shinobi-Neo
Shinobi-Neo

@Eraldus @Shinobi-Neo yes, I do. Most of them play games since two days and think to know DMC. If long time gamers can´t tell their opinion about new meaningless games already, I wonder what we can say at all.

dongabilondo
dongabilondo

@Rambolike @VicViper99 I wouldn't play a suda51 game if you don't like that. But I will tell you that if you give it a chance, SotD is a hilarious ride through hell. They only swear a lot to bring it back down to the b-movie style so you don't take it too seriously.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Shinobi-Neo@Eraldus I played all DMC in their respective era and still disagree with you man. And I played them a lot. You sound enraged that this game wasn't destroyed by overall reception.


And no. the piss poor "fan Community" can't base their judgment of the game by the hair color.

DavidMorais
DavidMorais

@Shinobi-Neo @Eraldus I played through every single DMC game, not now, but when they first came around. You're obviously ignorant, this game is fresh and slick, no one's saying DMC 1-3 sucked (actually DMC 2 did), we're just saying this is an awesome entry to the series.

danielwhite5
danielwhite5

@Rcr152 it's a good game! Although, don't feel it's the best in the series, i think the old Dante is better but not because of his hair.... :)

Rcr152
Rcr152

I’m a longtime hardcore fan of the series and not just some (“play games since two days and think to know DMC”, whatever that means) and loved the Third one the most but after giving this game a change despite the hate and my one reservations I think it’s the best in the series...Have you even played through the new one?...but what do I know I guess…lol

DmC: Devil May Cry More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    DMC is the next installment in the gothic Devil May Cry series, featuring a short-coiffed, fully aggressive Dante.
    7.9
    Average User RatingOut of 2075 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate DmC: Devil May Cry
    Developed by:
    Ninja Theory
    Published by:
    Capcom
    Genres:
    3D, Open-World, Adventure, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language