I’m of the opinion that franchise reboots are wholly unnecessary and only succeed in alienating the fans that enjoyed the source material of what was being altered. How many people do you know are excited that Devil May Cry is hitting the reset button? Tomb Raider? Castlevania? What successful video game series has ever gotten a reboot that has resonated with fans? I could write a whole editorial about such things, but I just fail to see what game companies are using as inspiration to keep rebooting franchises that appear to be doing just fine.
When it comes to Devil May Cry, the only game that was never really up to par was the second, and even then it was merely disappointing in the eyes of the original. In essence, they could have made a Devil May Cry 5 and it would’ve turned out perfectly fine. because the franchise wasn’t in any sort of creative hole to speak of. So when DmC was announced, I was a bit apprehensive for this reason and because the new Dante looked like some kind of coked up emo kid. Well, I finally got to play the game at E3 and while I still can’t stand the new Dante, at least the gameplay was fine.
The game is set in an alternate reality to the other entries in the series, and you play as a teenage Dante with access to both angel and demon powers. As Dante strolls through a place called Limbo City alongside a mysterious young girl, strange cameras sense his presence and summon demonic entities to do battle. When the fighting started, I was rather pleased to find that the combat is actually quite in-depth as Dante can mix sword fighting with gunplay to juggle opponents as he could in the previous games. During combos, he can summon other weapons such as an axe or a scythe to mix and match his attacks on the fly. He also has access to a move that can grapple enemies and pull them in close in order to inflict more damage. This same move can be used to navigate around the stage by clinging on to various grapple points littered about. Like most games of this genre, you eventually get access to a berserk mode of sorts that allows you to transform and inflict more damage on your assailants. In this form, Dante’s coat turns red and his hair reverts to the classic white that he’s known for as sort of a slight nod to his former games. Progress through the city further morphs it, changing it into a obstacle course of sorts and a way to learn the various grapple moves and double jumping needed to advance in the main game.
Considering that I enjoy Ninja Theory’s other work, I guess it’s no surprise that I actually had quite a bit of fun with the gameplay side of things. It’s just unfortunate that the character had to go through such a drastic change. He’s every bit as cocky as his predecessor, except not in a cheesy over-the-top sort of way, but rather of the self-indulgent douchebag variety. Since the demo I played only consisted of the one stage, I wouldn’t say it’s enough to decide whether or not people should be getting excited for it. It seems clear to me though that Capcom is sticking to their guns as far as their vision of the new Dante goes, so all the fan rage in the world isn’t going to undo what’s already been done. We’ll see what happens when the final game comes out. DmC: Devil May Cry releases January 15th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.