*This article states opinions based only on material presented in this demo. These opinions may not represent the game as a whole upon its release.
[Sorry. No golem hands in this demo.]
It’s pronounced ‘Moon-dus’, damn it.
Ohhhh DmC: Devil May Cry. You’ve had your fair share of criticisms over the years. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t originally skeptical myself. Most of my skepticism centered around the very first trailer that showed Dante all frail and skin-and-bones. However, I gradually began to warm up to the game as more and more trailers were announced and shown and I started seeing how the game was coming along. I even had discussions with friends debating how the game could work if it turned out to be another prequel, but we all know it’s an alternate universe Dante; a brand new Dante.
Well, as some may know, the demo was released just yesterday on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. I had to wait for a little while longer than the Xbox 360 gamers since I’m a Sony guy, but once that demo hit I jumped right in after the download.
As far as how the game plays, it is exactly like the older Devil May Cry games. I’m actually quite surprised; the control scheme is almost the same. You do have the usual firearm button and two melee attacks, jumping, dodging with L1 and R1, and Devil Trigger with the two analog sticks together. In the demo, you do have two other weapons used with the R2 and L2 buttons used in conjunction with Square or Triangle. L2 is your Angel Arm, the scythe Osiris (used for crowd control and fast attacks). R2 is Arbiter, your Demon Arm axe for devastating, hard-hitting attacks. Both arms have a basic attack and a special roping technique. Arbiter can snag enemies and draw them to you and Osiris pulls you toward enemies. I liked using Osiris’ roping technique because it can be used to set up a long chain of air combos.
As expected from the application of weapon to shoulder buttons, combat has much more flow to it. You can switch between weapons fairly easy while on the battlefield which is helpful when facing groups of enemies that require specific weapons. Some enemies in-game will come with shields or will be color-coded to a specific Arm, so it’s crucial that the game allowed for that so you don’t have to keep going through the Start menu or fumbling with the D-pad (which you can do in the actual game, but the demo doesn’t allow for that option).
The one aspect of the original games I noticed that was missing was a lock-on feature. Dante pretty much just targets what’s closest to him. This can daunting at times if you jump away from a target to hail them with bullets, but you end up hitting a different enemy, but it wasn’t too bad to deal with. It’s not like that enemy wasn’t going to get hit anyway.
The demo gives you two scenarios to play through–both of which have been shown prominently in trailers as of late. The first one is meant to teach you basics of the game and places you in a cityscape of Limbo fighting hordes of enemies and getting you used to the roping techniques and dashing mechanics. The second scenario is a boss fight that pits you against the demon world’s Slurm Queen who helps produce that delicious Virility drink. This part, of course, gets you used to boss fights and what they might entail. I beat it in one go; hurray for me!
The demo also includes most of the difficulty levels. Once you beat both scenarios, you unlock ‘Son of Sparda’ mode. I played the first scenario on this difficulty. Enemies took far more damage and came in more varied packs that forced you to think a little bit in the throes of battle, but it wasn’t too difficult. I don’t think I can vouch for the rest of the game on this mode though.
The demo is fairly short compared to other demos I’ve tried recently, but I feel like the design of this demo was Capcom’s and Ninja Theory’s way of showing you that “Yes, this plays like a Devil May Cry game” since it has a bigger focus on tutorials. If you have had any doubts about the new addition to the series and are just a bit curious, you might try the demo out yourself. Personally, I felt quite at home with how the game worked. It was familiar and simplistic; I was able to easily jump right into this game and start kicking demon arse all over again. I can’t guarantee that it’ll change some people’s opinions, but just keep in mind that it at least feels very familiar and it is, at its core, still very much a Devil May Cry game.
DmC: Devil May Cry will be coming out for PS3 and Xbox 360 January 15 for North America and Europe and January 17 for Japan. A PC version is yet to be announced.