E3 2012: DMC (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
DMC has been a polarizing game since it was first unveiled. People were worried that Ninja Theory wasn't the right choice to work on the franchise. Others thought it'd do Capcom some good to lay off after Devil May Cry 4, which I will still call a good game, it just had the unfortunate status of being a sequel to the amazing Devil May Cry 3. So after a nearly five year gap, is Dante ready to return to prominence? If the two levels I got to play at E3 were any indication, I would certainly say so.

Ninja Theory's take on Dante paints him as a youthful and rebellious son of Sparda. A lot of people want Dante dead, as is evidenced by his trips through Limbo, where the world itself looks to crush Dante as you run, jump, and air dash (float? no, that's an air dash) between platforms. There's a couple of breaks in between some of the mad platforming, which actually felt really solid. Normally Capcom and Ninja Theory games seem to feel a bit loose in the controls, making it easy to fall from places and lead to cheap deaths. That did not seem to be the case in DMC.

Ninja Theory has done an excellent job in creating a playground for Dante to play in. The world is surprisingly colorful, and when Dante is out and about in the city, the world looks lively and populated, but when he gets sucked in to Limbo, the enemies and the world itself become stars in the show. Watching structures crumble and warp around Dante in an effort to confuse and eventually kill him, is nothing short of impressive and looks like something that'd be cooked up in the wildest of dreams. I hope they can keep up the level of intensity that the demo contained because it felt good, there wasn't that feeling of travelling between set pieces just for the sake of doing so or to hide loading.

There was the familiar feeling of running from fight to fight though, but the combat was loads of fun, almost surprisingly so. Dante controls great, and the style system is still present in the game, though it has a different look about it. Dante had a couple of weapons available to wreck shop with, his standard sword Rebellion, an angelic scythe, and a demon axe to go along with his guns, Ebony and Ivory. Switching between the weapons was pretty seamless, by holding the left or right triggers, Dante would switch to either the angelic or demonic weapon, making it easy to switch up weapons mid-combo in order to drive up the stylish meter. The switch between angelic and demonic styles also allowed Dante to either repel, or grab enemies, allowing him to cover a great deal of distance and height. He could grab a flying enemy, get in to their face and launch them higher, and follow, which I'm sure will be a necessary tactic at some point.

DMC was probably the biggest surprise for me at E3. It feels like Ninja Theory has crafted a great world for Dante to exist in, and Capcom has kept a lot of the gameplay unchanged from past games. Hopefully this all balances out, this demo has a lot of intense moments, and it'd be a shame if Capcom just layed all of their best cards on the table. Something tells me that that is not the case though. We'll see when the game launchs in January 2013.
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