Yet another DmC: review

Okay so I just finished the new DMC and felt like giving my personal opinion on it in a review format. I am not going to harp on the controversy so if that is what you are expecting from the thread, prepare to be disappointed.

DmC: Devil May Cry PC version
8/10 (objective review as just a game)
7/10 (as a DMC game)

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics in the game are not too bad. I do feel they are grainy and look a bit dated, but you are able to see what is going on and the artistic direction wasn't bad. While I am not a big fan of the film grain effect they put in, I can see how they felt it was a good choice given the style in which the game was made. It is almost as though you are watching an 80s horror grind house movie.

Sound: 9/10
The sound was clear, the music shifted based on what was going on around you, and the overall production was pretty good. I am not a big fan of the type of music in the game, but that doesn't mean that the music is bad. It just isn't my cup of tea. I did have a few occasions where the music didn't shift back after a battle and a few more occasions where the music didn't fit the mood of the environment, but nothing that would make me hate it.

Gameplay: 10/10
The gameplay was fast, fluid, responsive, and the move set was varied. The combat was so fluid and fun that I will replay this game just for the combat, and that is important in a DMC game. The franchise has always been about the gameplay and especially the combat (though some platforming sections have always been present as well).

When you make a game this fast and responsive it enables players to string together their own custom combos and tactics. Every enemy I encountered had more than one tactic that you could use to beat it (though sometimes you were limited to one weapon). I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the grapple technique that got carried over from Nero in DMC 4. This allowed you to do some fantastic air combos and juggles. You could even run an entire encounter from the airborne position if you choose to do so.

The platforming felt properly integrated, and you could even use enemies as tools in certain platforming sections (using air combos combined with the grappling techniques to launch yourself much higher in the air than you could ever jump allowing you to access platforms you would not be able to reach otherwise). There were a few sections that were annoying, and the camera's habit of changing direction on you to face enemies would sometimes cause you to fall during a jump (especially once you obtained the air dash).

The weapons all felt fairly robust (except for the axe/hammer, it felt like it needed a few more moves to flesh it out) and varied in styles. The scythe is great for groups of enemies and had a feeding function that allowed it to gain power (one of my favorite weapons for air juggles, you could launch an entire group of enemies and keep them in the air till dead with this weapon). The sword had its usual set of moves (and a couple of fresh ones) and was balanced as far as speed and power. This was your go-to default weapon and had the largest move set (as it should). The axe/hammer (not really sure which to call it, though it is listed as an axe) was the heavy hitting, high damage weapon. It was useful for launching enemies and for dealing lots of damage to enemies that have hard to get to (or limited vulnerability) weak spots that you need to attack. It was also the best weapons for destroying the lost souls quickly. The grappling arm had both a heaven and a hell version. One would pull the target to you, the other pulled you to your target. This was probably the most versatile weapon/utility in the game. You use it for platforming, fighting, and for item snatching.

Story/Characters: 7/10 - 5/10
The story has two ratings because I am judging it in two separate ways. The first way is how the story is when taken as just another game, the second is how I feel about it as a DMC game.

As a game the story and characters are not too bad. I felt it had a solid story line that hits the usual places for an action slasher game. While it may not be something that would get published as a novel, it was decent for a video game. The story had good flow and stayed on point with an acceptable amount of plot holes (that is few enough that it doesn't kill the suspension of disbelief in the player). It is very over the top and the characters are mildly entertaining.

The story/characters as taken as a DMC game I felt was poor. It was serviceable enough to not call it a complete flop, but it deviated from the traditional DMC games (if we exclude 2 as per the norm). I won't harp on old Dante / new Dante other than to say he doesn't feel like Dante to me. The story, while decidedly DMC, was so far off that I didn't feel as though I was playing alternate universe DMC as much as I felt like some other game tried to copy their story line and make a new game.

Overall: 8/10
The game kept me entertained through out the entire game, so I can safely say I enjoyed it quite a bit. I would easily recommend this game to anybody who is a fan of the action slasher style, with the possible exception of die hard Dante fans (though you would probably enjoy it as well, provided you can just look past the changes and give it a chance as though it was a new franchise).

Okay, so I would love to hear back from others who have played this game (especially any Die Hard Dante fans who actually enjoyed it like I did). Please let me know if you liked it and why, as well as if you didn't like it and what you think they did wrong.

I've played the game through twice on Nephelim and SoS, currently on Dante must Die. Here are my thoughts on the game. And man do I have a lot to say about it, so incoming wall o' text.

It's not terrible. It's pretty fun, even. But it falls quite short of where I expect a DMC game to go. And the problem lies in it's combat. I won't talk about what we don't have (styles, speed, smoothness) and try to stick with that the game offers us.

There's an impressive number of combo strings available, and every time I play, I seem to come up with a new and effective combo method to dispatch of enemies. The trigger method of switching between weapons is pretty good, and seams in well with the pace of combos.
Guns function well. Once fully upgraded, Ebony and Ivory are vicious, the Revnant has excellent stopping power and can knock back waves on enemies with fireworks, and the Kabloeey is... kinda boring to use, but has a satisfying payoff.
All weapons have a nice variance to them, and bring very different uses in combat.

The levels. I like them. I welcome the platforming, and it makes traversing levels more entertaining than before. They are much more linear than ever before, which essentially gets rid of the exploration aspect entirely. But many others see this as getting rid of backtracking, which they're okay with. I understand that. As far the levels go, I don't much else to say than "I like them."

But.

It's too easy to control the pace of many fights. The grapples let Dante fly all over the place at ease, and many enemies can be chased into oblivion with these grapples. Knocking most ground-based enemies up into the air is usually a death sentence for them, and many ground based enemies lack any sort of aerial attacks. Even if you're being swarmed on the floor, you can jump up and grapple enemies to you - the rest being unable to do ANYTHING to you basically ensures you're untouchable as long as there's an enemy to knock around in the air.

Weapons, although have a nice variance to them, are lacking. I'll get more into this later, but I'd like to point out that there are no outrageous/baffling weapons in the game. Every DMC had some sort of weapon/gun which seemed to make little to no sense, but brought excellent and creative ways to be stylish with them. Such as the Nevan, Lucifer, Pandora, Artemis/Knightmare B. In DmC, you just get a Sword, an Axe, a Scythe, Dark Sector, and a pair of ever-present heavy hitting gauntlets. For guns, you get the Ebony and Ivory, a shotgun, and a grenade launcher. Meh.

There's quite a few stronger enemies that can be cheesed very easily. Those tenacious chainsaw enemies for example - I discovered a way to essentially freeze them in place (even during their alleged 'unstoppable' attacks, although this seems to work less in DmD, it hasn't stopped working entirely.) It's hugely disappointing that so many higher-tier enemies can be rendered useless and unthreatening with ease.

There are, however, a few very high end powerful enemies which cannot be cheesed easily. The giant fat-baby enemies, which can only be harmed from behind. And the giant saw enemies which can only be harmed from the front. They're generally not a joke, and when one appears in a fight - you'd better not slack off. They're adequately threatening, and can be pretty difficult to fight. But they're not fun to fight. The fact that you can only harm them from the front/back, plus have LOADS of health isn't hard. It's tedious. And very out of place in a DMC game.

Perhaps the enemies I find the most fun to fight are (forgot what they're called) those dual-katana wielding demons. I think these guys are fun to fight, and genuinely feel like skilled and dangerous enemies, rather than big potato sacks that hit hard.

Perhaps the biggest failure of the combat is the enemies themselves. Namely, the 'Angelic/Demonic' enemies. You all know this already, but these enemies can only be harmed by weapons of their respective element. What a crock of shit. Ninja Theory, on top of many other baffling decisions in this game, I have to ask; What the fuck were you thinking here?

Throwing in enemies which can ONLY be harmed through the use of certain weapons is blatantly against the goals and sensibilities of any DMC game. It's not that this sucks because it's out of place for a DMC game. Nooo, this just plain fucking sucks. And I'll explain why.

Under ideal circumstances. You're free to string together attacks from 5 weapons and 3 guns. A pretty good ensemble to play with. But once angelic/demonic enemies appear, you're reduced to using a woeful 2 weapons. Even guns do not harm these enemies. Each of these enemies also have a ton of health. So I hope you enjoy using the same few attacks, because you WILL be using the same few attacks. Over, and over, and over, and over.
Out the window goes all the sense of style, all the wonder of combo exploration, all the freedom you had to go about the fight.

And guess what? As the game goes on, you encounter MORE angelic/demonic enemies. And on higher difficulties, you encounter EVEN MORE of them. What this means is, as the game goes on, your options are further limited. And that's just great. Being accessible is one thing. But you restrict even highest levels of DMC play down to spamming the same attacks over and over because enemies refuse to be harmed by other weapons is not difficult, is not a good idea, and is not fun.

That's not to say every late-game/high difficulty fight comprises entirely out out of waves of demonic/angelic enemies. But they WILL show up in every fight. And they WILL annoy you. Do you understand how frustrating it is to have a 50-hit combo going, cleaving through a huge wave of powerful enemies, and having your attacks suddenly screech to a halt because of some asshole demon happened to be blue?

Anyway. As a huge fan of the entire series, I'm not one that wanted to bury this game before it even came out. I was genuinely looking forward to see what Ninja Theory could do with it, and I wanted it to be good.
My closing thoughts on this game are: It's not bad. In some ways, it's pretty good. But falls incredibly short of the usual gameplay standards of a real DMC game. And gameplay is paramount to any DMC game. Due to the undoubtedly lower quality of combat, I deem this to be an undoubtedly lower-quality DMC game.

A fairly stimulating action game. Incredibly underwhelming Devil May Cry game. I am quite confused over the praise the game has been getting. Because even taken on it's own, it has A LOT of problems. The action struggles to go beyond tepid, and frequently approaches tedious and unfun.

I've watched a friend play the entire thing and played the demo myself, here are my opinions.

Gameplay:

Stylesystem is now mostly damage based, making Demon weapons better by default. There is less motivation to switch between weapons now. Having enemies that can only be hurt by one weapon type limits your playstyle further. Big combos are useless if you can dish out more damage by demon-dodging and attacking twice with the axe.
The whips feel like a worse, more clunky version of Neros arm. Since they are on the same buttons as the weapon switching i found myself swinging around on mistake a lot.
It is much too easy to stay in the air and only a few enemies can actually counterattack you there. There is also a gliding bug which hasn't been fixed that allows you to simply skip large parts of the levels.

While the plattforming wasn't that bad, it was overused. It felt like over half the game was filled with plattforming. For every battle you spend at least as long jumping around. Actual puzzles are rare.

Thanks to the many cutscene interruptions the bossfights frequently bug out, resulting in the bosses not attacking or being invunerable.

Examples:

Graphics:

Designwise most of limbo looks impressive, though the tar effects and bloom are overused a lot. The graphic detail sometimes seems worse than in DMC4 though. Facial animation also seems to be off at times, resulting in some rather weird expressions.

Audio:

While dubstep and screamo aren't my thing, i'm sure other people could enjoy them more. Voiceacting was fine over all.

Story:

The story tried to take itself more seriously this time, but was a rather clichee "they live" clone.

Characters:

I'm not against the new look, it's more the new personalities that rub me the wrong way. Dante and Vergil come off as big assholes for me. Vergil in particular in his assasination scene. I rather prefered Dantes old over-the-top personality that didn't take anything seriously. Mundus was more relateable than both of them for me.

Sparda sadly got the shaft in this version of the story and everyone quickly forgets about him after Dantes flashbacks. A sad fall from a demon hero to a minor character.

Kat quickly falls into the "token love-interest" role and her role in the story shrinks. Dante suddenly begins defending her and Vergil starts to try and get rid off her out of the blue.

I agree with the complaints about the reboot not feeling up to par with the typical DMC game (if we forget about 3 that is). Thus why I rate it as a 7/10. I feel it makes up for a lot of the aesthetic flaws with the combat and thus the rather forgiving score. As a stand alone game though, I enjoy it quite a bit. As far as combat goes, the only real issue I have is the blue/red enemies. I enjoy how even the big enemies with the "unstoppable" attacks can all be countered with the right weapons/moves, and I think that at the higher difficulties it provides adequate challenges (though fuck hell and hell mode).

The characters are what ruins it for me. I can't stand any of the main characters. Dante just comes off as a wanna be Spiderman, he is snarky, but boring and too predictable. Virgil is way too callous to be believable as a hero subset. He starts out as this warm character trying to get his brother to help him, and then leads up to what amounts to a typical anti-hero who's ends justifies his means. Kat is the typical helpless, troubled, younger sister type. I just can't help but to feel like they had a book of cliche characters and wanted to get as many of them in there as they could fit with a shoe horn.

Had they just made them all new characters entirely it would have felt more organic and probably pissed off less people. Perhaps this could have been Dante's children, and Dante been the legendary father figure. Then they would have a reason to keep it in the DmC world without pissing off the fans of the previous characters (of course then people would bitch about it not being Dante as the main character).

Well I already did a review of this game myself but god I don't think I was ever as bored with a DMC as I was with this one except possibly DMC 2 but that was too long ago for me to really remember. I even have started to notice that the combo videos for this game are not even interesting from a visual standpoint at least compared to DMC 4. I can't do all of those cancels but I can see the skill it takes to do that even when I factor out the reflexes required to even think about pulling off some of that stuff. With this game I don't sense any of that, I don't see positioning or environment manipulation or just good judgement of space. It feels like NT thought that because you are in the air it was cool, and they didn't have to make interesting animations or weapons to go along with it. What about the people who are not any good at cancelling? All they are left with is a boring combat system unlike some of the previous games which at least had some interesting weapons like Agni and Rudra.

 

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