Developer(s): Ninja Theory
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: January 15, 2013
The new Devil May Cry game is different from previous installments for a few reasons. The most obvious change to the formula is its name, DmC: Devil May Cry. At least, I think that’s the name. Some trailers simply say “DmC,” while others throw in the “Devil May Cry” bit. Actually, that isn’t just a change to the series; this is the first game where I do not know the title for certain. DmC: Devil May Cry is basically Devil May Cry: Devil May Cry. Would someone name their product that? Anyway, there are other, more pressing matters to address.
Mentioning DmC to a group of people will always result in at least one person saying “you mean the one with emo Dante?” These people would be absolutely correct in saying this, but completely lacking in social tact. The point that these outspoken people are bringing up is that the character model for Dante has changed drastically. There are a few explanations for this. The in-game justification for this is that DmC is not in the same series as the rest of the Devil May Cry games. It takes place in a parallel universe. The real reason for this is the publisher, Capcom. Ninja Theory, the developers of DmC, were told by Capcom that they are required to drastically change the look of Dante in order to appeal to a younger demographic. To accomplish this, Ninja Theory looked to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight for inspiration on character model. This is evidently clear in the E3 2012 trailer, which begins with a member of “the order” introducing Dante. This man would fit right in with the Joker’s goons at the beginning of The Dark Knight.
Dante has changed, but why would those maladjusted people refer to Dante as “emo?” The best way to explain that is to play a game I just made up. It’s called “The Fuck You Game.” Watch trailers and gameplay videos for DmC. Count the times Dante says or writes “fuck you.” Now count everything that screams angst more than Nirvana and Pearl Jam’s love child. (Entries in this category include smoking moodily, punching people for no reason, and flicking off people.) And, finally, count the elements that make Dante the perfect dream for a high school dropout. (Living in a trailer, owning one outfit, and not starving even though he has no money or job.) If your number is in the double digits, you win the coveted Fuck You Black Ribbon (blue is too happy).
What does The Fuck You Game mean for DmC? Well, a superficial change such as changing a character model is never enough to appeal to a new demographic, especially the young, western demographic Capcom is striving for. In addition to a new hair color and less varied vocabulary, DmC sees some gameplay changes. The standard forms of combat we’ve come to expect in a Devil May Cry game still stand. For unfamiliar players, this includes using a sword and two guns to get large combos by flinging enemies up into the air. The change here is difficulty. Perhaps the demos shown off so far are played on easier difficulties but, wracking up impressive combos is much simpler than it used to be. Unfortunately, casualizing (I completely made that word up) gameplay is standard fare for sequels nowadays (Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Battlefield 3, Dead Space 3). DmC isn’t falling into this mold quite as extensively as others (Halo 4, F.3.A.R., COD: Modern Warfare 2 & 3) but, the ease in getting a SSSensational combo is sure to turn off longstanding fans.
Another way in which DmC is being thrust into modern times via casualization is hints. Hints are obtrusive. Dishonored saw menus pop up telling the player how to do everything instead of letting us experiment. I Am Alive had a blip on the screen telling us that our character will slide down hills instead of just having the character slide down the hill. DmC has button prompts on how to platform properly. If these appeared only once, there would be no issue. The “In Limbo” demo introduces players to “demon pulling,” “angel lifting,” and “jumping.” In all fairness, demon pulling and angel lifting aren’t in every game, so a button prompt isn’t the worst thing ever. However, pointing out each instance wherein this is used is excessive, and telling players they need to jump over gaps is insulting. If a player doesn’t think to jump from one ledge to another, they deserve to be stuck on this part of the level forever.
It is hard to say before the game releases, but these changes are attracting the young, western demographic. Reading arguments online, those ripping the game apart use proper grammar and spelling, while the defenders use arguments such as “lol ur ghey.” I’m ashamed to say this, but I read a lot of YouTube comments. I would suggest you do the same to support this, but telling someone to read YouTube arguments on a game demo is just cruel. Similarly, the Wikipedia entry for DmC: Devil May Cry features more typos and piss poor grammar than one could deem excusable, typical of western teens.
There are two options for the impact these changes will have. One, everyone hates this. New Dante is cast aside, hints are put to sleep, and combos become a challenge. The second option is people loving this. Dante’s attitude becomes the norm for more Devil May Cry games, hints multiply and make the game easier than ever, and combos being something that takes skill becomes nothing but folklore. Which of these two options leads to a more fruitful series is entirely opinion, but one is the better opinion.
Devil May Cry: Devil May Cry releases January. Players looking for a sneak peek at the angst can pick up Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Dante is a playable character, and his finishing move is going into slow motion and wracking up combos on other players. For purists waiting for DmC to see Dante in action, there are plenty of hilarious arguments online to keep you busy. Then, in January, get ready for the fuck you.
Preview by Chris Lohr
Chris Lohr is a freelance writer currently in film school. If you’re looking for him to write for your website, manifesto, or Russian bride catalogue, send an email to email@example.com. Put today’s date as the subject line and include a picture of yourself. Must be DDD free and willing to host. All Articles by Chris.