LttP: Devil may Cry reboot or: Worst Dante, good game

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#1
I initially tried this on PS3 back at release, and shut it off after about an hour. The awful, cheesy writing (in a cringe-it's-so-bad kind of way, not the campy kind of cheese), the terrible character revamp that Dante was given, the in your face punk aesthetic that the game was going for, and especially Kat - her design, her personality, literally everything about this character - were so bad that it was offensive.

I recently got the PC port on a Humble Bundle sale, and since it's nearly Halloween, I decided... why not, let's give this game a second chance. There was one thing, however, that sparked the decision to give this game a chance to save face, and that's the classic Dante skin.

It sounds shallow, but this is Dante. This makes the game a Devil May Cry game. This makes it feel like a reboot of the character and not another character with the same name. Dante's aesthetic is him. Now that I replaced that... thing with someone who can actually pass off as an interpretation of the character, the game had a chance to be enjoyable.

And, lo and behold, it is actually a very good game. Gameplay wise, it might even be the best DMC game. The battles are smooth and the weapon switching is amazingly easy and fun to use. The weapons are also great from both an aesthetic and gameplay perspective - you have your sword, scythe, axe, gauntlets, and even ninja stars, and they all play completely differently but blend in seamlessly with one another when switching between them, making performing combos in this game particularly fun. The level design is good, especially in its pacing - it hits a sweet spot between exploration and combat that seems perfect for a high octane character action game like this - and every enemy is fun to fight, from the generic mooks to the specialized enemies like the Brutes or the Witches. The tougher foes are more challenging to fight, and require you to dodge and plan your attacks more carefully, but they don't ever feel frustrating, which is nice.

Now, the problem I had with the game the first time - its story and aesthetic. It's still pretty bad, even now that Donte is Dante and actually looks like he's Vergil's twin brother when he's on screen with him. I have to hand it to Ninja Theory for creating a more cohesive story than the original DMC games, at least in the sense of making the game feel more wrapped up in it. What I mean is that the story actually feels important to the game, and each level has a purpose - Dante is trying to do something in whatever area he's in and has a rhyme and reason for being there, with constant character interaction along the way. This is one thing that the game does very well. The setting - a more modern world than the original games had - is pretty unique as well, and a refreshing take on the series.

The plot and dialogue is where it suffers. There's potential in the setting and characters, but the story seems so hell bent on being edgy that it's detrimental to the enjoyment of the game. It's not over the top in the way that DMC3's missile-riding Dante was - it's over the top in an entirely different, and bad, way. It can all be summed up in the infamous line: "I'm your prom date, you ugly sack of shit!" followed by the string of FUCK YOUUUUUUS between the characters. I'll admit that this was so left field that it made me laugh a bit, but it's not what I want from a DMC game. Finishing the Succubus battle only to see Mundus going at it with his mistress, Kat's stupid Wiccan spray can, and basically every other line of dialogue in the game is, simply put, terrible. I'd use the word tasteless to describe the game's general atmosphere and tone - it's cohesively put together, but the creative intent behind the game is something I find myself at constant odds with. It's not entirely a lost cause - I like how this Dante and Vergil feel like deeper characters (although not by much) by having them show levels of emotion other than WOO CRAZY or "I'm so stoic and cool", but every time they begin to fall in good graces with me another goofy scene or exchange happens and throws it all out of the window.

TL;DR: The gameplay is good. The level design is good. The story is bad. Not without its merits, and conceptually a cool idea with the more modern setting, but still bad, and definitely not what a DMC game should be.

I haven't actually beaten the game yet. I think I'm a little over halfway through, but I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
 
#2
The story is OK IMO, but what stands out is that
DINO/Donte/Dante actually gets character development in that he goes from a guy who cares only for himself, to being someone who upon learning of how the demons are manipulating mankind wants to free them from their grasp
 

mnz

Unconfirmed Member
#4
That's a lot of words for having played half of a pretty short game!?

Play atleast through it on a higher difficulty and check the pretty good Dante DLC.

The definitve version seems to be the next-gen one, though. But most of the changes are available as mods on PC.
 

GuardianE

Santa May Claus
#7
Gameplay wise, it is not the best game. Finish the game first and play the higher difficulties.

The DE plays a lot better than its vanilla incarnation, though.

I also can't help but think that you're underrating DMC3's story and underlying themes beneath the veneer of ridiculous stunts and choreography. Those things made me care, anyway.
 
#8
It's fine. Feels more like God of War than DmC, and some of the cutscenes are cringeworthy
(I still can't believe Sniper Rifle Abortion was a thing)
, but it has some really great art design/presentation and the combat is fun albeit a bit mindless.

If given the choice I'd still play a Platinum game over DmC any day of the week but it was a fun rental and it's easily the best Ninja Theory game. It's nice to see they're gradually improving.
 
#9
Glad you gave it a second chance! I enjoyed the Definitive Edition quite a lot this year (and still enjoyed the original well enough). I like the redesign of Dante to be honest, but absolutely agree with you on Kat. Terrible character, such a wasted opportunity.
 
#12
Eh fair enough. For me personally, I never cared about much of the DMC stuff. The graphics, story, characters are all irrelevant. Dante himself has just been one unlikable wanker since he first "graced" our screens on the PS2 back in 2001. With that said, the main reason I play it is for the combat. It's fun. Very fun. In the 7 years of playing DMC4, I still find it fun an enjoyable to play, but that's coming from my perspective. I'm not a fan of the series like everyone else. I never grew up liking the characters and the story, but as a result, I enjoyed playing DmC: Devil May Cry. While it's not a good Devil May Cry game, it still has a combat system; a combat system that you can learn and be creative with. If the next DMC had Dante as a rainbow grizzly bear, it would still be irrelevant since it's all about the combat. Outside of combat everything else in the DMC games are forgettable (again, from my perspective).

That being said, I understand the other perspective. The fan who did grow up with that white haired pretty boy and his brother Vergil. A reboot no-one asked for that doesn't celebrate the series but feels like a big insult with a massive middle finger to the actual fans, it's easy to see. Gamers are pretty over sensitive these days anyway so...
 
#14
Kat is just a boring and completely nothing character with Ninja Theory face. Mundus was probably the best designed character in the game.
The worst thing about Kat is that they pulled the incredibly tired trope that
she was abused as a child and that makes her tough and hardened
. It's such an easy and overused backstory for a Strong Female Character.
 
#15
Definitive edition DmC is a legitimately good action game with enough depth and difficulty modifiers to keep even the more hardcore players satisfied.

Sadly that doesn't fix some of other issues of the games related to the story and characters.
 
#16
It's a decent action game on it's own merits. But it's not a Devil May Cry game. Style meter's broken, color coded enemies...It's a misunderstanding of what the series is about, stylish action.

The writing and how they wrote Dante/Vergil is terrible and really does feel like a middle finger to the long term fans. Then you add in Ninja Theories treatment of the fans, the embarrassing powerpoint slides of what Dante is and isn't....It's so bad.
 

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#17
I also can't help but think that you're underrating DMC3's story and underlying themes beneath the veneer of ridiculous stunts and choreography. Those things made me care, anyway.
Oh, no, that was definitely the way DMC3 chose to tell its story and that's fine. DMC3 is one of the best examples of show, don't tell. Someone (apparently, it was actually you) made a huge thread about the Dante/Vergil relationship and how it's explored in the game, which was a good way of explaining how the presentation of a story and its themes goes beyond dialogue and has other ways of manifesting itself, especially in a video game. That's one of my favorite threads on GAF, by the way.

It's just that in DmC, each mission feels directly tied to the story and you never have long stretches of exploration without explanation. It feels more connected. I don't think this is as much a storytelling weakness that Ninja Theory fixed as much as it is a unique strength that they have in their adaptation of the story.
 
#18
oh man, i actually was the opposite of you op. played both DMC4 and DmC:DMC on the PS4 and actually fucking liked the reboot so much more.

i honestly thought it was just better, you talk about cheese but god damn Dante is just as cheesy.
 
#19
They were so close to making Definitive Edition a game I would want to play more than once. But they just missed it by doing two things wrong. The first and major thing was not fixing the color-coded enemies. They basically did the opposite of what I feel should have been done, and made it so you can damage those enemies with any weapon, but can't stun them. If anything it feels like they ought to have done the opposite, since you're still basically limited in what combos you can do to them in their current state.

And the second which is mainly just a minor annoyance is that while they implemented lock-on they seemed to misunderstand the point of it. And the only move you can do during lock-on is stinger. No high-time/helm breaker or other various techniques that would have benefited greatly from lock-on mapping. It's still a good action game though. It's bootleg DMC, which is still a hell of a lot better than most third rate action games.

I also think you don't give DMC3's story enough credit in the OP, I actually found it to be much better than DmC's. I do think DmC is better than the other three mainline games in that regard, but that's hardly saying much since DMC1 and 2 barely have a story, and DMC4's is just plain bad.
 
#20
In this series I've only played DMC4 and DmC, and I thought DmC was the more fun game of the two. I also really enjoyed the music, enough to seek it out and listen after I was finished with the game. Dante went from annoying (in the trailers), to not so bad in the game, for me. It's one of my favorite games in the genre.

I do have the HD collection on PS3, I should probably get to playing them, but it's so hard to find time for backlogs.
 

mnz

Unconfirmed Member
#21
oh man, i actually was the opposite of you op. played both DMC4 and DmC:DMC on the PS4 and actually fucking liked the reboot so much more.

i honestly thought it was just better, you talk about cheese but god damn Dante is just as cheesy.
Yeah I played DMC4 and a little bit of the other older DMCs for the first time after DmC and I now question the people praising old Dante so much. He's just as cheesy, just of a slightly different kind. It wouldn't surprise me if others felt the same after the HD releases of those games.
 

GuardianE

Santa May Claus
#25
The bosses were also a series low point except for DMC2.

Yeah I played DMC4 and a little bit of the other older DMCs for the first time after DmC and I now question the people praising old Dante so much. He's just as cheesy, just of a slightly different kind. It wouldn't surprise me if others felt the same after the HD releases of those games.
People say this, but I think tone is the really important distinction. Dante is a goofball who's just looking to have a good time until shit hits the fan, where is cleans up and recognizes the responsibilities he owes to his family and legacy. DmC Dante is an angry delinquent punk who eventually falls for cardboard cutout Kat and has a nonsensical standoff with his brother in the most ham fisted turncoat ever.
 
#26
Also a humble bundle recipient, I think the mechanic of angel/demon weapons is really easy to get and fun. Have never played any previous DMC game.

The backstory of the angel/demon stuff is also really fascinating, and if this reboot ever continues I could see a lot of fun with it.
 
#27
I thought the original version of the game was a fairly decent if somewhat mediocre game. The DE feels more like a good game thanks to the changes they made. But it still has an awful story with awful characters.
 
#28
I was 'meh' on the reboot.

I bought it a few months ago and had fun with it. I think I got close to the end and just stopped playing. It didn't hook me enough.

The gameplay was pretty good. The story/characters were cheesy but that was to be expected.
 
#30
I loved the game, there was cringeworthy dialog but there were some parts that genuinely hooked me like
leaving Kat behind

Also: Easily some of the most gorgeous levels I've ever seen in a game
 
#31
The gameplay was pretty good. Was it good gameplay for a DMC game? Absolutely not.

I'm conviced the game would have fared a lot better if it had been a new IP. I like the game itself but hate it for the story, their take on Dante/Virgil/Sparda, and the dialogue (Virgil has a bigger dick!). The level design was phenomenal though. The TV level was pretty damn cool.
 
#36
I don't understand the hate around DmC's Dante, he works for that game's story and setting. He isn't supposed to be DMC3 Dante, or Uncle Dante, he is his own Dante in that universe and that's totally fine.

It was a pretty good game overall, some of my only complaints were how easy it was to exploit Demon Dodge's increased attack power and the lack of lock-on. I'm looking forward to trying the definitive edition since it seems to address most of my complaints with the original version.
 

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#38
Beat the game.

Thoughts remain largely the same - pacing and level design stayed great the whole way through. Mundus was a super disappointing final boss, and way too easy. I think I've seen enough "attack the giant hands" bosses in my lifetime.
Vergil's turn was, as users in here have already said, really forced and it's not believable that Dante and Kat would get so upset over him wanting to be king. He doesn't even seem like he'd be a bad king of the world at all, he's a pretty nice guy, unlike his original self. The battle itself was neat, but again, way too easy, easier than Mundus, even.

Started the Vergil DLC and... comic cutscenes. Better than the one or two cutscenes Vergil usually gets in his modes (and it's totally canon this time, bosses included if there are any) but still kind of disappointing. Vergil himself seems very fun to play - but it will probably take a while before he's as fun as Dante, because going from fully decked out Dante to newbie Vergil is a pretty big downgrade. Still, the potential is there. His abilities portrait also makes him look really ugly, lol.
 
#41
The game is absolutely mindblowing and one of my favorite gaming experiences of this generation (I played the Definitive Edition)

Not only is the game 100000% my aesthetic, but it features Dante, who has my favorite character design in all of gaming. He's so damn badass and soooooooooo coooool

Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the gameplay, loved the music, and absolutely super loved the aesthetic. Easily among the top of the list of favorite art directions ever.

Awesome awesome game and I pray to my lucky stars that we get a sequel to one of my favorite games ever.
 
#42
I don't know why people hated on this, and it seems to be the fans of the original games mostly that hate it.

Big Devil May Cry fan here.
Big DmC fan here.

Loved both of them, but given the playtime i put into them, i would say i enjoyed DmC that little bit more than the originals

Only bad thing I'll say about DmC was that the bosses were too easy regardless of mode and the hardest modes could have been more challenging for trash spawns, but that's just my opinion :)
 
#47
I prefer a platnium games DMC or a capcom DMC over a outsourced DMC not made by people who actually knows what DMC core mechanics is from top to bottom.
 

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#48
Honestly the final design wasn't even that bad. People just like to hate since it is a departure from the norm.
I think this is a perfectly valid reason to hate the design.
 
#49
Playing Definitive Edition as my first experience with the game

Playing it right now and actually love the dumb punk rock "fuck the world" highchool mentality of it.

If DMC is a japanese highschooler anime power fantasy game, DmC is a western highschooler punk rock power fantasy. Love the arrogant tone the game carries throughout and never falters from.

Environments are the best in the series maybe second only to DMC1, and Dante is probably the best Dante since DMC3, and his design is actually kind of neat.

The gameplay is not as good as DMC4, not by any means, but I felt it was much friendlier than fan favorite DMC3, which takes multiple playthroughs before you get a real handle on the combat. Really fun just popping combos, which still take far more dexterity than most western action games.

Story is probably the only real fault I have with the game. Everyone outside of Dante is just a bit bland. Kinda wish the whole "fuck the world" cartoon attitude Dante has carried over to the other characters and they were more cartoonish.


OVERALL RANKINGS (didnt play nor will ever play 2)

Setting:
DMC1>=DmC>DMC4>DMC3

Gameplay:
DMC4>DmC>=DMC3>DMC1

Story:
DMC3>DMC4>DmC>DMC1

Dante Design:
DMC2>DMC1>DmC>DMC4>DMC3

Dante as a Character:
DMC1>DMC3>DmC>DMC4
 

Crossing Eden

Hello, my name is Yves Guillemot, Vivendi S.A.'s Employee of the Month!
#50
I prefer a platnium games DMC or a capcom DMC over a outsourced DMC not made by people who actually knows what DMC core mechanics is from top to bottom.
I don't even think Capcom knew what the core of DMC was after DMC4 completely ditched being a 3D castlevania like the first one, aside from the 3rd one ofc.