Give me hell or give me… Hell.
For those unfamiliar to the series, Devil May Cry follows the trials and tribulations of protagonist Dante in his fight against the demented and his struggles between good and evil. Until recently, the looks and presentation of Dante had been relatively left alone; for the rebooted DmC: Devil May Cry version, which was originally released January of 2013, that began to change. Initially, deep-rooted fans cried out in disdain over the punkish touches to their beloved character. But what Capcom did was take its already classic modeling and retooled it with the necessary features and a fresher style to keep people interested.
Fast forward a few years later, DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition is a revisiting of the title, with a few more additions. Besides being a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One port, an update in graphics and new game modes have been thrown into the mix. “Bloody Palace” is one such mode, where you take Virgil into battle against wave after wave of unrelenting foes in an attempt to beat your personal high scores. With each new wave, the level of difficulty rises. It is a challenge catered for point-scoring diehards and for players to train their fighting styles and learn how to string together longer combos.
But before taking on such a challenge, a playthrough of the main campaign is required. Like many shall choose, I decided to draw first blood with Dante. I must admit, I have never been much of a DmC regular and haven’t fought against the wicked souls in limbo in some time, but jumping right back into action felt as if I never stopped playing. As expected, I was bombarded with stunningly colorful art designs and cinematic action sequences from the opening scene. I sat, hypnotically gazing at the screen, slack-jawed, drool and all, watching Capcom put on its signature whirlwind of a show.
Dante's light-hearted, almost nonchalant attitude and approach to adventure break the tension of what could have been a serious tread against demons. His personality fits the back and forth between the urban environment and the demon world. Who better to save the world than a mohawk-wearing, foul-mouthed, angel-demon half-breed?
Once the action did start, learning the controls and forming combos was a cinch. An in-game tutorial of how to play is available to turn on prior to beginning the two main missions, but even without it selected, figuring out player attacks is very manageable. There's also a bit of learning curve set in place, which is gladly welcomed. Instead of starting off with all possible fighting abilities, Dante begins his quest with only his sword, Rebellion, and a handful of attacks.
As time goes on, he is able to wield his famous double pistols Ebony and Ivory, swing away with his axe Arbiter, and slice through evil hordes with his scythe Osiris. Slowly adding weapons and attributes gives players the chance to practice the basics and work in bigger and better abilities gradually. Unfortunately, there is no true point-and-shoot aiming option while in combat. Holding RB (or R1) will switch to a manual targeting mode but accurately moving it from desired target to target is more difficult than it needs to be, especially when you might need it for larger crowds.
Putting together simple combos is smooth, and combat transitions from enemy to enemy nicely. With the 60fps rate, movement is hindered very little. But regularly piecing together continuous hits can sometimes be tough, mostly due to the fact that when battling against large hordes, some may attack your blind side and disrupt your combination. The different types of demons also play a role in combat: some can fly, some hold shields, and others have a wide range of attack. While the enemy variety is solid, the mix tends make you focus less on the offensive and worry more about dodging on the defensive.
At the end of each chapter, you are given a number of level grades, time, items collected, style points, and a few others. If high-hit combos aren't regularly performed, those style points will suffer. For experienced DmC enthusiasts, most of this comes to no surprise and is particularly welcomed. And once all weapons and abilities have been unlocked, fighting becomes much easier. This is why a couple of new level difficulties and added boosts have been made available, such as turbo mode, which increases game speed by 20%.
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition gives us all of the same joys we’ve grown accustomed to through the years and even breathes a bit of new life to this revisited title. With everything running at 1080p, this is certainly eye candy. Just be sure to keep up, because neither Dante nor Virgil, or the demon horde for that matter, is going to drop the action because you're a little rusty.