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Review: DmC: Definitive Edition

by onApril 2, 2015
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This new generation of gaming consoles has called for a new trend: a sea of remakes, and HD remixes of previous titles that has flooded the industry. With Capcom rightfully known for all these remastered releases, they teamed up once again with Ninja Theory to bring DmC: Devil May Cry on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with all DLCs and a cheaper price tag. In case you need a recap, back in 2013, the studio behind Heavenly Sword was tasked with rebooting the Devil May Cry series, which was received quite well, even with the controversy of a Dante fans didn’t like. Now, it’s time to review the remastered version, DmC Definitive Edition.

With a success both critically and commercially, Devil May Cry is a series that has marked the players who have tried it since the release of the first game, almost 14 years ago on the PlayStation 2. Created by Hideki Kamiya (father of Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Bayonetta), the franchise has expanded with 3 follow up sequel, over 10 Millions in sales, and an even an animated short led by Madhouse (currently in charge of the Death Note franchise). In the early 2010s, everyone expected the fifth installment on PlayStation 4, but Capcom surprised everyone by giving development right to another team, and a Western one for that matter. Losing the Japanese touch, DmC: Devil May Cry’s Dante presented a new and much punk influenced look in a darker environments. Under strong criticism and / or controversies caused by these changes of direction, the reboot ended up being a quality title, even if it only sold 1,6 Milion units.

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Now for those who haven’t played the game back in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era, here’s a recap. Our main character Dante finds himself trapped in Limbo, a parallel world where the souls of the dead, monsters and other creatures of Hell live. A fitting place for our hero, since he is far from being a mere mortal himself. This brat is what we call a “Nephilim”, child of a demon and an angel union, with surreal powers and abilities. Dante will then soon enough escape limbo, only to be then offered a place in the Order, an organization, allegedly a terrorist one by the corrupt media, aims to take down the demon Mundus, ruthlessly governing today’s world.

By taking some big names from the original game (Dante, Virgil), DmC will give you an intriguing origin story, but also a more mature, dark and trashy one. With a few surprises and some significant flashback of Dante’s childhood, the story is laid out clear, but offers a narrative far too short. With 20 missions, the main adventure will keep you playing around ten hours, more if you up the difficulty levels. If this is not long enough for you, you can replay the game in with hardcore modifier as well as Dante Must Die difficulty mode, which has you get killed with almost one hit. In addition, Dante as a fighter has a large range of unlockeable skills and items, making it more powerful but also more durable throughout the story, but it’s a quest that is that easy, since it will depend on no less than 122 items to collect in the game! For the more adventurous, there is also the Bloody Palace which consists of a survival mode, where you tackle on 100 waves of enemies.

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Now, Devil May Cry has always been prominent for the incredible nervousness gameplay, some even trying to mimic the true chaos such as the God of Wars series. Thankfully Ninja Theory hasn’t updated the battle system that much, keeping it intuitive with a nicely varied arsenal that unlocks throughout the levels. The scoring system (or Stylish Rank) is measured by a letter system, going from D as Dirty all the way to SSS for SSSensational. Depending on the variety and time of executing combos, dodging enemy attacks properly, your score will inflate the outcome and final score of the whole mission. Although it seems achievable without worries, great combos can quickly require good dexterity, needing a good rotations of guns, swords and others secondary weapon use.

When it comes to level structure, they feel similar to a series of platforming and fighting sequences, but without the typical impression of linearity. Ninja Theory provided us with a rich gameplay and a creative arsenal, despite the reboot of an existing formula. What is ultimately a regret, is the confrontation against bosses who, though impressive, do not require extensive tries to uncover their weaknesses, in comparison to previous entries in the series.

Ninja Theory also proved its worth with a fabulous art direction. DmC: Devil May Cry offers amazing environments between the platforms and walls that continuously divide the levels. In addition to a fairly bright color palette, the iconic worlds, a sense of devilish structures, greatly designed bestiary, it’s almost as the game was made by Japanese industry veterans.

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So now that we talked a lot about the core game, which hasn’t changed much, what about the additions that makes this opus the Definitive Edtion? At first, DmC is technically upgraded with a 1080p display and 60 frames per second, in addition to reduced loading time. A luxury that really pays tribute to the title, because you have to admit, it is a real treat given the ultra dynamic gameplay. Even if back on my gaming sessions on Xbox 360, the action seemed smooth, it was mainly because lighting effects and some textures were arranged to reduce the load, and with the definitive edition, we finally have the equivalent of DmC on an ultra PC configuration.

Gameplay wise, Ninja Theory has implement additional features based on the feedback of players, including the long-awaited ability to lock targets. Pushing ever further the nerves of expertise, a modifier called “Hardcore” has been added, in addition to “The Gods Must Die,” difficulty which removes the use of any healing items. And that’s not all, you can also opt for the Must Style mode that requires obtaining a minimum S style point to inflict damage to enemies or Turbo mode that speeds up the game speed to 20%. Suffice to say that there clearly has something to for you to tackle if you’ve played the game before (wouldn’t recommend these to any newcomers).
Finally, DmC Definitive Edition includes all DLCs, starting character skins, allowing even to go back to the original Dante. But forgeting these cosmetic additional content, what is most interesting in all of these extensions is probably Vergil’s Downfall, a whole sub-campaign that adds 6 missions where you play as Vergil after the main events of the core game. I do regret that the story is presented in stylish drawings, in comparison to the fun cutscene of the main game, but it is an annoying habit that developers go for when releasing additional downloadable content. The second Nephilim of the game is a way different playing style, using his sword Yamato, bringing a whole new perspective with fast and thoughtful attacks.

DmC Definitive Edition was reviewed using an Xbox One copy of the game provided by Capcom. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, and the original release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.

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What we liked

• Proper 1080p and 60fps
• Still a great gameplay mechanic
• All DLCs released are bundled and additional features
• Cheaper price tag

What is not fun

• Textures still feel a bit old-gen
• Yet another remastered title

Editor Rating
 
Concept
8.2

 
Graphics
7.6

 
Sound
9.0

 
Playability
8.8

 
Entertainment
8.0

 
Replay Value
7.0

Final Score
8.1


Our final verdict
 

DmC: Definitive Edition was an opportunity for Ninja Theory to redistribute the reboot at fair value with the 60fps it deserves. Now fluid and stable with shorter loading time, this version is the ultimate experience that will appeal to budding demon hunters and fans who want more. For the rest, it is still an extremely enjoyable gameplay sensation with a fabulous level design.

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