DmC Hands-On Preview -- Navigating Through The Demonic NightclubBy Jason Wishnov - Posted Jun 07, 2012
The new Devil May Cry (which is actually just “DmC”, despite our strange looks at the developers) is described as “a reimagining of the franchise if it were first released today.” A strange thing to say, perhaps, as the original Devil May Cry still feels quite modern, but we’ll cut them the benefit of the doubt: the game is solid. Real solid.
The combat is what draws gamers to the franchise, and the combat here is as refined and precise as ever. Many core elements remain: Devil Trigger mode, the basic sword + gun combos, launchers, and so forth. The new additions are the inclusion of the Heaven and Hell movesets, easily accessible at any time by holding L2 and R2. The default Angel weapon is known as the Osiris, a scythe, useful for crowd control and wide, sweeping attacks. The arbiter, the default Hell weapon, is a powerful yet lumbering axe, useful for breaking defenses and landing powerful hits. And, of course, the familiar Rebellion sword remains versatile and common, always on-hand. New Heaven and Hell weapons will be unlocked throughout the game (and can be Quick Swapped using the D-Pad), though none were shown in the demo. Existing weapons will also be able to be upgraded, in traditional fashion.
The hands-on demo consisted of a run through a demonic city, taking out strange eyeball cameras. Here, and in other levels, there’s a striking sort of architectural transience, where the world around you quickly and violently morphs, twists, and shifts to surreal height and design. Some shifts are merely aesthetic, but others force you to renavigate, test your platforming skills, or alter the level design entirely. It’s a sight to behold, and one integral to the overall experience. The level was generally simple, and acted as a tutorial to most of the major combat moves available.
Behind closed doors, however, we got to see a fantastic level much later in the game. Dante journeys into a demonic nightclub (a series staple), but the rapid shifting and continual descent into a psychedelic madhouse was something to behold. The art design here was fantastic, and additional concepts made combat more interesting: floor tiles that force you to shift into a specific mode to avoid damage, for example, or two enemies that work surprisingly intelligently as a tandem pair. Quite the show.
The aesthetic and character redesign for Dante were never terribly appealing, but the voice acting isn’t so horrible as the initial trailer led us to believe, and the core mechanics of the game shine as brightly as ever. The game is set for a multiplatform release on January 15th, 2013, leaving plenty of time for polish.