E3 2012: Devil May Cry First Impressions
Ninja Theory’s reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise received a pretty shrill “NOOOOOO!!!!” from a host of…well, let us call them franchise devotees, back when it was announced. Yes, Dante is thinner and yes he has black hair, but dude, this game still reminded me of the time I spent with Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3(well, Special Edition, so sue me) some years ago, so, I’d advise everyone to at least give it a look. You have swords, you have two guns, you can hit guys (well, demons) into the air with your sword, then shoot with you guns, then jump up and hit them back down with your sword, etc to your heart’s content. The combo meter seemed maybe a tad forgiving in regards to timing (though I don’t remember the particulars of DMC4’s combo system, so maybe this isn’t new), but it seems it won’t knock you back down to zero unless you are hit, so even if an enemy blocks one of your attacks or you completely miss a guy (which happened…often), you’ll still have a nice bright “A” up in the corner until you screw up (“A” was the highest I got, no SSS around here).
So yeah, the combat seems sound. It wasn’t punishingly difficult but I suspect they had it set pretty low so as to avoid excess cursing and controller smashing on the show-floor. I will say the controls are pretty intuitive; I had a firm handle on how to dash around and juggle several foes at once within a few minutes. There were some light platformy bits, tasking you with using your “Angel” or “Demon” grapple-type dealies (I’m sure “grapple-type dealies” will be written in the instruction manual) to pull out a platform and then you jump OR double jump (Dante jumps AGAIN whilst in mid-air…MADNESS) to navigate these areas. There were some set-piece type moments as well where a building was collapsing or, perhaps more interestingly, an alleyway was narrowing with the two buildings providing a proper “squish” threat, so you had to dash through those sections.
There was a certain Silent Hill type notion going on, it seems, in that Dante was in the normal world chilling with some young woman in a hoodie (naturally), and then suddenly he was in some demon realm and only a hazy echo of the woman was there. You could still communicate with her, but apparently only you were seeing crazy demonic nonsense everywhere while everyone else was just enjoying their afternoon. The main objective centered around security cameras, which morphed into “Eye of Sauron Jr Editions” when in the demon realm, prompting our hero to get to them, grapple them and smack them around some while saying sarcastic things.
And that brings me back to Dante, who seems to be doing his thing, albeit with a slightly different look (a friend of mine described him as Sid Vicious, which I believe is what they were going for, so…success). I want to compare him to Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (the REAL reason Chris Evans is cool), largely due to his indignant remark upon accidentally stumbling into the demon realm at the beginning of the demo. I may not be a hardcore fan of the series, but I feel at least somewhat qualified to issue this assurance that the series seems to be in fine hands, and will likely be a fun spot of demon-slicing when it comes out in January of next year.