To say that DmC has had a rocky ride in it’s development cycle so far, would be an understatement. The reboot from Capcom and Ninja Theory hasn’t exactly been warmly received, with numerous folks decrying the visuals of the game. But after the demo that just landed for it, it’s safe to say that in the case of DmC, looks most certainly do not count.
So how does the Ninja Theory debut in that world stack up? One word: Classic. Forget the fact that Dante is younger, scrawnier and actually has an emotional edge that makes him quite likeable.
The game looks fantastic, but the gameplay itself was ripped straight from the series. It’s all there. The juggles, the fast pace, the slashes, the gunplay and some new abilities. Using the level that has been doing the rounds lately, the demo finds Dante fighting his way through a city that really hates him, as he finds himself in Limbo.
You’ve got your face attacks present here, light and heavy sword slashes, the duo of Ebony and Ivory with which to do some shooting, grappling moves and a third, heavier weapon. Dante moves as nimbly as always, with a dodge attack, double-jumps, air rushes and rolls in his repertoire, although there’s no sign of blocking here.
Combos are still here, as stylish as always, as players can use a flurry of attacks with which to rack up points, with combos being truly satisfying when the right moves are used. And it feels like I’ve come home. The Ninja Theory style that has been put on the combat is there, but it’s integrated so well with the existing formula for sword-juggles in Devil May Cry, that you’d need a keen eye to spot it.
Holding down the left trigger here activates the Osiris Scythe, which unleashes faster spinning attacks with hooks and slashes, as it keeps multiple demons at bay, while using the right trigger ability lets you unleash the Arbiter which can deal with shielded enemies.
Grapple attacks give the game the platforming edge that it needs, while further opening up possibilities in combat, to pull and rip apart enemies and obstacles. A few weapons like this, and the options to string together some trademark combos are pretty much sorted here. It’s Devil May Cry at it’s most basic, which translates to fast and fun action. What more could you want?
As for the visuals, my skepticism has been washed away in recent months. I actually like this new approach to the character. He’s as cocky as ever, got an attitude to match his skills, and a human side to the slayer that Ninja Theory has injected into him, something that Capcom has failed to do in the past.
The minor concerns here though, is that the initial layout for controls might not gel well with veteran fans, but this can be rectified early on in the options at least. Dante has numerous toys at his disposal, though dishing them all out near the beginning might be too much too early, giving the game less new features with which to surprise gamers with as it rolls along.
Still, it’s a slick, challenging demo with fantastic gameplay contained in one stage level and in one boss battle, and you’d have to be mental to not take notice of the love and care that Ninja Theory has injected into the franchise.
They’re clearly aiming to do something that most reboots ignore at a fundamental level, and that’s to make things feel fresh and new. I’m sold on the game now, and if you want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about, the demo is now out on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox360.