I've always been a passing fan of the Devil May Cry series. This is mostly due to the fact that it was first introduced on the PS2 at a time where I was unable to freely access “M” rated games. I tried the HD remaster of the original trilogy when it came out in the hopes of jumping on the bandwagon, but it just didn’t capture me.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a very, very well made game with a brutal difficulty. It just wasn’t something I really enjoyed. On the other hand, I’ve been a fan of Ninja Theory and their games since they first appeared on the radar with Heavenly Sword on the PS3. You can imagine my interest when I discovered they were doing a DMC game on the PS3.
When it came out, I blasted through the original release of DMC on PS3. It was a blast for me and I personally loved the new Dante, though I can certainly appreciate those who hated him because of his radical change from the original. I’m not one to push for radical changes of classic characters, but since I never really got into the first Devil May Cry games on PS2, I had a (mostly) fresh slate to work with.
So, fast forward to now and that little old DMC reboot from PS3 is now on the PS4 with the DMC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition (you can take a breath now). So, is this the ultimate version of the game, or another lazy retextured HD remaster? It’s time to cut through the rabid fans and the naysayers to see if this is worth playing again, or worth picking up for new fans.
A Quick Catch-Up (Assuming You Didn’t Play the PS3 Version)
For those who have yet to try this reboot, be you a fan or you possess a passing interest in the concept, let’s get you up to date. This is a brand new entry in the Devil May Cry series that keeps a lot of the same themes and characters, but creates a new world and universe that isn’t connected to the older games. Reboot in the strictest sense of the word.
The main character is a cheeky and snide guy named Dante. Dante is special because his mother was an angel and his father was a demon. This makes him something other than human. It makes him a Nephilim. When we’re first acquainted with him, he’s not using this characteristic for anything meaningful.
He’s sleeping around, staying up late partying, and drinking his face off from what it looks like. Meanwhile, the city he inhabits is being torn ruled by a demon lord named Mundus who seeks to control everything and everyone through debt. It’s clear from the opening that his influence reaches all the way to the top.
The opening of the game showcases a news station report on a terrorist who is supposedly running rampant in the city. Just as Dante is recovering from the previous night, he is greeted by a young woman who tells him that he’s being hunted. Suddenly he’s dragged into Limbo, a place between the real world and the demon world, and is attacked by a massive hunter demon.
The action starts here and it never lets up. DMC’s strength is its “no time to explain!” vibe that gets you straight into the action with answers to come at a later time. The story is steeped in modern day politics and satire that I found to be insanely unique for the hack and slash genre, doubly so for a series that hasn’t touched upon such things in the past.
Some people said it was too cheeky or that it was heavy-handed in its metaphors, but there’s something hilarious about attacking a factory that makes an energy drink meant to control the minds of the people. Great stuff.
The gameplay in the original was the familiar fast-paced hacking and slashing the series (and Ninja Theory) is known for in their games. You have the ability to upgrade your sword, guns, and a couple other weapons you come across early on in the game. These weapons can be used by holding certain triggers which allows for seamless switching between the various weapon types in combat.
I loved this personally because it allowed me to access all of my weapons and combos without ever having to stop and switch between them. The original release of the game had multiple difficulties and eventually some DLC. It also ran at 30 frames per second and 720p resolution on PS3.
Now That We’re Caught Up, What’s New?
Okay, so now that everyone’s on the same page, it’s time to talk about what this new release of the game has that the original did not. This new version of the game comes with upgraded textures, a 60 frames per second clip, and 1080p resolution. In addition, the game’s DLC is bundled in the new release along with a host of fan requested tweaks.
So, in terms of the basic tweaks like resolution and frame rate, they do a good job of upgrading the experience for sure. The combat is smoother, the crazy environments in Limbo are far more crisp, and the overall experience is definitely superior. The actual graphics leave a bit to be desired.
If you’re expecting a difference of night and day, you won’t find it here in the graphics department. It looks like I imagine the original PC release did when you put it on high settings, so good, but not a quantum leap. That being said, the increase in frame rate and resolution go a long way towards optimizing the experience.
In addition, these are some of the fan requested tweaks that were made. It’s worth noting that very rarely do these remakes ever make changes to the actual game, so this was a pleasant surprise:
The only real problems that some people had with this game are the linear arena-based battles that tend to occur, and the lack of freedom in the exploration. This is more of an opinion based problem though, the game never intended to be an open-world experience and what is here can certainly keep you busy for a while.
Should You Buy It Again?
The game is releasing at a $40 price point so it’s not full price. If you’ve already played the game once before, this new release isn’t going to revolutionize your experience. That being said, if you loved the first release and wanted some of the above improvements made, this is your lucky day! I personally picked it up again because I appreciate the improvements, and I wanted to play the Vergil DLC, so it’s a win-win for me.
If you haven’t played this and you love hack and slash games, this a very solid entry in the genre. It may have taken the series in a new direction that wasn’t universally loved, but like the main characters in the game it was born of a little good and a little evil.
Final Score: 8.0/10