DmC isn’t your father’s Devil May Cry—and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Yes, fans have been hugely mixed on the route Ninja Theory is taking with the game, but they’re working alongside Capcom to ensure that they don’t stray too far. For a peek at some of the ways DmC will differ from its predecessors, however, I got a bit of hands-on time with the game at Capcom’s E3 booth.
Back to the Future
The inspiration for DmC could be called “old and new”. The team at Ninja Theory wanted to go back to what the Devil May Cry series is all about: Very technical, fast-and-fluid gameplay. Tameem Antoniades—the “chief creative ninja” at Ninja Theory—said that after playing DmC, he wants players who try other similar games to find them to be like running through treacle (British term for what we might call molasses). And yet, Antoniades says he also sees DmC as re-creating the origins of the series—the Devil May Cry that would have been had Devil May Cry never have been.
In addition to standard old Dante—said in the nicest way possible, of course—players can also trigger two different states for our main character: Angel and Demon. These modes will affect gameplay in a variety of ways; at E3, we saw enemies who are specifically weak to angel or demon attacks, as well as sections of levels where you’ll need to be in one form or the other to survive various color-coded obstacles and traps.
Heaven & Hell in Handheld Form
Dante’s angel and demon forms will also affect his trusty sword, Rebellion. In angel form, Rebellion transforms into Osiris, a gigantic scythe Dante can swing in a wide arc; when changed into a demon weapon, it becomes Arbiter, a blood-covered axe of brutal destruction. These optional weapons aren’t just for battling specific types of enemies—you can integrate them into combos for even more diversity and tactical options during combat.
Antoniades stressed to us that players can use a variety of strategies to defeat all opponents in the game. As an example of this, we were shown two ways to overcome a flying demon. First, you can use a grappling hook-like weapon—similar to Nero’s “Snatch” ability from Devil May Cry 4—to yank them from the sky in order to launch a combo against them. Or, you can just do it the old-fashion way: Shoot their wings off with a barrage of bullets, sending them crashing to the ground.
Devil May Club
The world Ninja Theory is crafted for DmC is looking to have a wide variety of themes, architectural styles, and concepts. Here at E3, we were shown a portion of the game where Dante confronts a demon named Lilith in a nightclub—a setting based on an actual club in Berlin. As Lilith pulls the club deeper into hell, it twists and morphs, and the world falls into a strange, psychedelic challenge course. While this level offered multiple paths at times, exploration will be kept to a minimum—Antoniades told us the focus is on improving your rating on stages, not exploration.
Opinions are quite mixed when it comes to DmC—so which side of the fence are you on? Are you looking forward to its new attitude and different takes on the franchise’s mythos, or do you find it to be blasphemous?