I was never much of a fan of the original Devil May Cry series, so when DmC: Devil May Cry rebooted the franchise in 2013, I was surprised to find myself instantly hooked and drawn into the dark, gritty world. DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition reintroduces fans to the new Dante, with various tweaks and improvements along the way.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition tells the story of Dante, a nephilim born of a angel mother and demon father, who must confront the king of demons, Mundus. In addition to killing/imprisoning Dante’s parents, Mundus has gained dominion over all of mankind, so he’s pretty much the biggest douchebag ever. If you’re like me, then at this point you’re rolling your eyes at the over-the-top nature of the story, but don’t worry! Although it’s a larger-than-life premise, it’s tackled with tact and consideration, in a way that doesn’t completely alienate the player.
You see, although demons and angels exist, and Dante spends the greater part of the game navigating hellscapes and slicing up baddies, this world is separate from the world of humans. Most of the game takes place in “limbo,” a reality in between that of humans and demons, where Dante fights hordes of demons that are otherwise invisible and intangible to humans that occupy the same space.
While in limbo, Dante sees the true and terrifying nature of the world around him–a nature that he attempts to upend. Where Dante would normally see a soda dispenser, in limbo he sees a succubus dolling out poison to the unknowing masses. The relationship between these parallel planes of existence does a good job of drawing players who would normally be put off by the over-the-top nature of the premise (like myself) into the fold.
For a reboot of a game primarily known for its action sequences, DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition’s story ended up being one of its primary strengths. The whole game is well-acted, grounded in a very well-developed universe, and chock-full of amazing last-action puns. Developer Ninja Theory also clearly put time into getting the tone just right. The game world is grungy, gothic, and very “metal,” which is reflected perfectly in everything from Dante’s mean-spirited, sarcastic personality, to the hardcore music that plays during combat. Every detail flows together perfectly to create a unique and interesting setting and a compelling narrative that suits it.
The gameplay in DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition is a mix of hack-and-slash combat and 3D platforming. The combat is fast-paced and exciting, as players are rewarded for their “style,” which is determined by the variety of attacks used, how massive a combo they can pull off, and the total amount of baddies killed.
As a nephilim, Dante has the power of both angels and demons at his disposal, and can use various powers and weapons belonging to each to defeat the minions of Mundus. Dante will smash demons with a heavy axe, slice-and-dice them with a flurry of oversized shurikens, and blast a dozen enemies away with one mean shotgun. The enemies come in many shapes and sizes (not to mention large quantities) in an attempt to thwart Dante, and each enemy type will require unique tactics in order to defeat them. For example, one enemy has a shield over itself that can only be broken by Angel Weapons, while another is vulnerable only from behind. Players must use every ability in their inventory to succeed in combat with style.
There aren’t many boss fights in DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition, but the few that exist are easily some of the best moments in the game. You’ll fight a demon version of Bill O’Reilly and run away from a giant three-eyed fetus, and love every second of it.
So what’s new with the Definitive Edition of DmC: Devil May Cry? Well, for one, all of the DLC comes bundled in, and various skins and extras are available for the first time. Aside from the mostly-cosmetic additions, the biggest change is the inclusion of “Turbo Mode,” which specifically addresses the complaint that the original DmC: Devil May Cry played too slowly. I personally had no problem with the pacing, but for hardocre fans looking for a real challenge, they now have the option of making the whole game run faster to provide an even more chaotic gameplay experience.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition also features a ridiculous amount of replayability in terms of refreshed challenge. I’m not nearly good enough to tackle most of them, but from what I could tell there are about 15 different difficulties to be unlocked and beaten, but only if you’re REALLY freaking good at the game. There is also a separate series of missions that are part of the Virgil’s Downfall DLC. I wasn’t a huge fan of the DLC, as it was mostly a watered-down version of the core game, but it’s not a poor use of time for those like myself who just simply wanted to keep playing.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition also looks notably better than the previous console generation release, and runs native 1080p and 60 frames per second. The sound is largely unchanged, but frankly didn’t need much improving. I also noticed some cutscenes differed from the vanilla DmC: Devil May Cry, although Ninja Theory seems to have just removed a line or two here and there to improve the overall pacing of the game and cut out unnecessary fat.
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DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition keeps all the things that made DmC: Devil May Cry great and improves them for the current generations of consoles. While there isn’t a terribly large amount of new content, Ninja Theory’s gritty Universe is excellent enough to warrant a second playthrough.