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Devil May Cry Preview

As the latest title in the beloved series, Devil May Cry has received some rather vocal criticism regarding the game's new take on the formula, mainly surrounding the revamped design of the series' protagonist, Dante. Having never played a title from the franchise before, I was unsure of what to expect from the public demo of the game, although I was fully aware that gameplay is vaguely similar to that of the God of War series and that this is first time Dante has had black hair. Apart from that, I was completely blind.

On offer here are two levels: a standard mission which acts as a sort of tutorial mission and a boss battle. Taking around fifteen minutes, the first level to play through is fun yet unimaginative, boiling down to a standard go-here-fight-this formula. Players can use both their sword and their pistols to wipe out the worst hell has to offer whilst mixing in evading and harder attacks: although the mission on offer was relatively brief, the combat that is fluid, polished and visually great, but didn't really hint at anything special, meaning that the game doesn't really provide much of a reason for new players to use this Devil May Cry as their stepping stone into the series.

Devil May Cry

However, easily the most impressive part of the demo was what the developers have done with the game's setting: walls are constantly crumbling and shifting around, making the environment not only look awesome but feel alive. Arms and heads stick out from the cracks in the bricks, screaming whilst drowning in blood. Despite how colourful it is, it's certainly not a pleasant sight to behold. A handful of moments even seen Dante air-dash through the environment as it falls apart and a simple trip to a Church allows the developers to mess around with the physics of the area. Here's hoping this isn't just a one-off occasion and the whole game features many moments like this to "wow" players with.

The second mission is considerably shorter than the first as it simply involves one room and one-boss fight. Out of the levels to play in the demo, this is easily the most disappointing: despite an exciting and gruesome enemy boss design, the section struggles to seem fun as it's hardly the most original level structure ever created. Knock down the enemies health, target its weakness, knock down the enemies health again, rip off its other weakness then kill it. Whilst there are countless boss fights that fit this design, it's disappointing to witness when the developer's clearly have tricks up their sleeves, which is proven with the presentation of the title. Although this is one part of a game clearly jam-packed with bosses, it hardly filled me with much confidence for the rest of the title.

One of the demo's strongest points, too, is also one of its biggest weaknesses: the graphics. On the surface, Devil May Cry looks stunning, with brilliant enemy and environment design, yet it's all a bit too colourful. The shades don't necessarily blend well together to create a visual experience that just looks like a countless bunch of colours shoved randomly together. In fact, it gave me a minor headache when the demo was over. Sure, one could turn down the brightness in the options menu but even then, it still seemed a bit too much.

Devil May Cry

Maybe I'm too critical of the Devil May Cry demo and if I am, then I apologise, but for a series that has received acclaim, it just made me wonder whether this new title will deliver. There wasn't anything in it that made get excited for the game's release in January. Maybe it's just the type of game that's made for people who love this genre and if it is, then maybe they'll love it. But for those that don't have any particular interest in the action genre, then I really can't see much reason to rush down to your local game store and pick it up come release date. Perhaps it'll change and it'd be great if it did, but download the demo and see for yourself. It is free after all.

Adam2208 | 30th November, 2012
Kaostic's picture
Great preview mate. I've not been a huge fan of the series but this one looks quiet interesting.

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