I think it would be fair to say that DmC: Devil May Cry was rather divisive when it first launched. Despite the relatively high critical approval for the 2013 title, it was met with resistance from fans of the franchise who refused to buy into Ninja Theory’s vision. This mixed reaction would, in turn, lead to lower than expected sales for the release. Despite that, Capcom has opted to bring DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition to current-gen consoles, perhaps in hopes of attracting a new audience.
As the definitive edition of DmC, this release boasts a bevy of upgrades and additional features. Harnessing the full power of the current-gen consoles, the title has been remastered in full 1080p. The look of the game isn’t the only thing that has been changed, though, as various tweaks were made to the gameplay and story in order to smooth things out. Finally, this version comes packaged with all of the previously-released DLC, which includes additional costumes as well as the Bloody Palace and Vergil’s Downfall content pieces.
For those unfamiliar with the previous release, DmC: Devil May Cry is a quasi-reboot of Capcom’s popular franchise. Gone is the white-haired, sarcastic Dante of old. In his place is an angry young man without much purpose in his life. Well, he was without purpose until the demon king Mundus tracked him down and decided to attempt to kill him.
After attracting the attention of Mundus, Dante is helped by a young mage named Kat, who introduces him to Vergil, his half-brother. Together, the trio must work together in order to break the hold that the demons have on the world.
Despite my fondness for the franchise, I have never felt particularly compelled by any of the storylines featured in past Devil May Cry titles. With that said, I have to say that I kind of enjoyed Ninja Theory’s take on Dante’s origin story. It’s not particularly original, and some of the dialogue is grating, but it does have personality. I also didn’t mind the new Dante, although I understand that he’s a major sticking point for many gamers. Admittedly, the story does kind of run out of steam near the end, but it certainly doesn’t deserve all of the scorn it has received.
Of course, what has drawn me, and just about everyone else, to the franchise has always been the excellent combat. As per usual, DmC is all about mowing down massive hordes of demons in the most stylish way possible. Every fight is graded, with the all important SSS score being the highest achievable level. In order to maximize your score, you’ll need to utilize the vast assortment of weapons at Dante’s disposal.
Luckily, each weapon Dante gets to wield is fun to use in its own right. Obviously, you start with his traditional Rebellion sword and Ebony and Ivory twin pistols, but as the game progresses, you get to tap into his Devil and Angel sides. Each of these categories features its own unique style of weaponry. The Devil side is the more brutish and stronger of the two, while Angel weapons focus on speed. Eventually Dante comes across additional firearms, including a powerful short-range shotgun.
Despite the numerous weapons on hand, I think it’s fair to say that the combat engine featured in DmC isn’t as deep as the ones previously featured in the franchise. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, as the engine is certainly more accessible than it has ever been before. Being able to chain together attacks with such grace and power is possible for even the most casual of gamers. Plus, for those that seek a harder challenge, the higher difficulty levels (including the new Gods Must Die setting) definitely provide that.
With as fast paced as the combat could get in the original DmC, the frame rate often struggled to keep up. That’s not an issue this time around, though, as the Definitive Edition runs at a silky smooth 60fps. Outside of a few hiccups, the frame rate held up extremely well during my time with the game. Not to mention that a majority of this time was spent playing in the new Turbo mode, which makes it run 20% faster. That may not sound like a lot, but it does make a world of difference once you get going.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition also features a variety of new modifiers that completely change things up. The new Hardcore Mode places an emphasis on varying attacks, as the grading system is much harsher than before. The Must Style Mode can also be turned on in order to make it so that enemies can only be damaged once you achieve a style rank of S or higher. These modifiers are enjoyable because they aren’t just making the enemies tougher, but also forcing you to rethink how you approach each battle.
Besides the additional modifiers and difficulty levels, Ninja Theory has also added in a few helpful tweaks. Chief among them is the Manual Target Lock, which finally lets players target enemies using the right trigger. Color-coded enemies have also been tweaked, as they can now be damaged through any sort of attack. Additionally, the secret room mechanic has also been changed, as now any key will unlock any door.
As much as I enjoyed the combat engine, I still wasn’t particularly enthused with the platforming segments. The levels themselves are a blast — particularly those that focus on vertical movement — but the controls felt a little stiff at times. Occasionally, when I would go to latch onto a ledge, Dante would just decide to plummet to his death instead. Suffice to say, I got frustrated.
While the steady frame rate is certainly a major improvement, the graphics aren’t that much better than those featured in the original release. DmC was already a pretty nice-looking title back when it first came out, so I wasn’t expecting a huge visual upgrade to begin with. However, I think I do need to point out that it doesn’t look as good as most current-gen titles.
That said, for those who previously took a chance on DmC, I’m not so sure this remaster is necessarily worth checking out. Turbo Mode, Manual Target Lock, and the new difficulty levels are all welcome additions, but they’re not exactly game changers. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not it is worth taking the journey back to Limbo City or not.
If you have yet to experience Ninja Theory’s take on the franchise, though, I cannot recommend DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition enough. The combat is as fast and stylish as ever, and thanks to the upgraded horsepower afforded by current-gen consoles, it runs as well as it deserves. The improved gameplay, combined with the additional content included, are more than enough to justify the $40 price tag.
This review was based off the PlayStation 4 version of the title, which was provided.
With more than enough content to justify its $40 price tag, DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition represents the best version of one of the more underrated titles from the previous generation.