DmC Devil May Cry – Preview
With DmC we think Ninja Theory have created something to appease all but the most ardent of naysayers.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Saturday 06 October 2012
There have been disconcerted rumblings, some of them much louder than others, about Capcom’s decision to ship out the development of DmC, their prequel/reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise, to a non-Japanese developer. Those rumblings became howls, and even death threats, after the first images of Ninja Theory’s reimagining showed a young Dante with short black hair.
But the proof of any pudding isn’t in the layers of sugar and gore splattered around the outside, but in the tasting, and after our play-through of the latest demo of the game at Eurogamer Expo, we think Ninja Theory have created something to appease all but the most ardent of naysayers.
There were two playable levels in the build, the first a scramble through a twisting city, the second a boss battle with a dribbling slug creature attached to the ceiling of a cavern. Both displayed the sort of design nous that makes Ninja Theory the perfect choice for Dante’s latest jaunt through the corridors of hell.
The first level acted as a tutorial, reintroducing some old mechanics as well as bringing some of Ninja Theory’s own innovations to the fore. Combat is still fast and fierce, and chaining heavy and light attacks makes for some satisfying carnage. There’s very much a focus on juggle combos too, and a launcher move can be unleashed by holding down the heavy attack button.
Pulling the trigger buttons opens up a raft of extra options as well, with the left trigger controlling your angelic side and the right your demon. These also double up as grappling hooks, which you can use to manipulate the environment, pull weapons and armour away from enemies, and drag demons closer to your blades and bullets.
Traversing the world feels slick and polished, with fierce battles acting as punctuation to Dante’s lithe acrobatics. Enemies are still tough, and missed attacks are punished with hefty whacks to the floor. The game is as focused on stylish violence as its predecessors, and grades you for every flourish of your sword and blast of your guns.
The boss battle felt suitably epic, with the slug creature spewing mucus that Dante had to avoid by grappling from platform to platform, waiting for the right moment to strike at the glowing areas where the beast would take damage. That same rhythm of play was evident throughout, along with that feeling that, for the first time in a long time, Devil May Cry felt fresh.
Worth the wait? The more vociferous critics of this take on Dante’s early years are unlikely to be swayed by the changes the developer has introduced, because the game feels like a Ninja Theory product through and through. But from the storytelling to the action-platforming sequences DmC looks like it’s shaping up to capture what it has set out to do.
On the one side you have Ninja Theory’s uncanny ability to tell affecting digital stories, and on the other, a series that’s famed for its elegant and stylish violence. On this evidence, those two threads seem to be gelling together to create something really special.
By Harry Slater
Format: PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: Ninja Theory
When? 15 January 2013
Life & Style blogs
City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
Stephen Hawking: NHS is Britain's finest public service and must be preserved from commercial interests
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
The Pirate Bay is back — but key staff have left to start a rival site
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...