Reviews// DmC: Devil May Cry

Posted 14 Jan 2013 09:20 by
There are some piss-poor moments for starting a videogame review, and the one after your 12th (ish) failure to defeat a giant demon disco baby is one of them.

On the flipside, dying in combat a 13th (ish) time helps neither you nor I get a better understanding of the game, and there comes a point when you just have to fucking well write it.

So, here we are. I'm embarrassingly far beyond the 15 hour mark of DmC: Devil May Cry and my shortcomings are horrifyingly clear. If/when (hopefully 'when') you get stuck into it yourself you'll realise that I really should be further along than giant demon disco baby by now.

In my defence, something happens to the difficulty curve of DmC around the 10 mission mark. It gets utterly deformed. The first 10 missions were tough, but manageable. I played those for this preview you can find right here. (You should read it, because it's basically the first part of this review). Firing up the review code, I thought I understood what I was getting into, but when I came back the wheels fell off. And it turns out that those wheels were bloody training wheels.

The back end of DmC feels, in many ways, like a different game. Progress gets slower, harder, or both. While the first half is hardly a button masher, you might make it through on the back of instinct and choppy reflexes. Not so once you hit the latter half of the game. You're at that point where enemies that previously filled a boss-shaped hole in the game are now in every other combat arena. They're coming at you in spicy different combinations, too. And sure, you've improved your move-set and upped the amount of health you can carry, but it's not enough.

Bloody Palace mode screens
Bloody Palace mode screens
You have to be better now. Strategy is key. Try to wing it and that other enemy you didn't want to be dealing with right now will be impaling you on its chainsaw. And you'd better be fast and pinpoint accurate, too. Because sussing out the pattern is a good start, but if you're not playing like Dash Incredible on E-numbers you'll find yourself fighting giant demon disco baby for the 12th time.

To assist with the ever-steepening difficulty curve there are two new weapons Aquila and the Kablooey. Aquila is another angelic weapon fast and useful for large numbers of enemies. Kablooey is a shotgun that can be used in place of Ebony and Ivory.

Bloody Palace mode screens
Bloody Palace mode screens
While combos are most certainly a factor earlier in the game, they become crucial later on. You might not be too arsed about building them up to increase your end of level score, but on a practical level failing to change up your attacks results in diminishing damage.

Pleasingly, chaining combos depends on strategy and switching between weapons, picking the right attacks for the right enemies, rather than learning ridiculous strings of button-presses.

You should also keep in mind the fact there are four difficulty levels beyond the standard hard 'nephilin' level. By the time you hit the hardest level, 'Heaven and Hell' (by beating each earlier difficulty level) you're dealing with much tougher enemies coming at you in insane waves and Dante dies with one hit.

Bloody Palace mode screens
Bloody Palace mode screens
This sounds as though, if you're not Hardy McHardcore, it could get tiresome. Curiously, it doesn't. Occasionally you feel like chainsaw bloke is chewing up your face before he actually reached you, but for the most part DmC feels fair.

And just when you think you've had enough of beating up massive monsters in gothic limbo versions of government offices, you find yourself in entirely surroundings doing some platforming and doing your best to remain nimble.

Gamescom 2012
Gamescom 2012
The story does just enough to keep things interesting, too. Granted, it's interesting in a way you could have figured out an hour into the game if you'd given it some attention, but still...

The pleasure to be had in DmC is that it does just what you want a hack and slash brawler to do, and does it really well. Assuming you've seen some screen shots and a video or two there are few, if any, surprises here. But while it's not surprising, it does what it does with great efficacy.

The level design's top notch. It looks great. Dante's a cock, but likeable with it. It has that trademark Devil May Cry ball-breaking toughness without being unfair and without excluding less experienced players. And, most importantly of all, the combat feels great.

In a nutshell, this is a superb place for newcomers to stick their sword in.

Pros:
+ Excellent design.
+ Stunning graphics.
+ Fast, kinetic, hacky slashy fun.

Cons:
- Old school fans may be turned off by the new direction because it's not the old direction.

SPOnG Score: 9/10

Comments

meer 14 Jan 2013 13:17
1/1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRyN6qUZ9Mc this is the only and true review that i have ever seen/read.
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