The age of reboots and remakes
If there is one dangerous pass time for game developers to engage in, it is rebooting or remaking popular gaming franchises. For many gamers, franchises from gamings past tend to have many fond memories attached to them. Thus, when game developers start rebooting and remaking beloved gaming franchises, they are – at least in some gamers’ minds – tampering with those same memories.
Notwithstanding this point, some franchise reboots have been successful and well received by gamers. Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 remake of Tomb Raider, Square Enix’s 2016 episodic version of Hitman and Game Freak’s 2014 remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, are examples of reboots and remakes done well.
While the games mentioned above were successful reboots and remakes, these games don’t always turn out so well. For every Tomb Raider (2013), you have a Sonic The Hedgehog (2006). For every Hitman (2016) there is a Bomberman Act Zero.
But when we talk about reboots and remakes, there have been few games that divided gamers quite like DMC: Devil May Cry did. Capcom took their popular gothic action horror hack and slasher and gave it a makeover for the Twilight generation.
For this edition of RePlay for the Arcade.ie, I played through DMC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition on PS4 to see if this game truly deserves all the flack it has gotten in the past.
From blonde badass to emo pretty boy
The original Devil May Cry, released way back in 2001, was easily one of Capcom’s most popular games of the PS2 era. This popularity was in no small part due to it’s protagonist Dante.
Dante was a wise cracking half demon half human badass, the perfect protagonist for the gothic setting of the first three DMC games, with Dante giving over the main character role to Nero in Devil May Cry 4. Dante’s blonde hair, red leather trench coat, Rebellion sword and twin pistols were nothing short of iconic.
It is here that DMC: Devil May Cry begun to draw gamers ire. Capcom changed Dante’s look. Gone was the iconic design of the first four games, and instead of the half human half demon hero we knew we got something else. What was got was a short black haired, half demon half angel (or nephilim) angst ridden millennial.
But is it truly fair to so harshly judge DMC: Devil May Cry just because they changed the main character’s design? Well, my answer to this question is no!
DMC applies some Ninja Theory
Another departure for the Devil May Cry series that Capcom made for DMC, was enlisting the help of British game development studio Ninja Theory. Ninja Theory was best known for making critically under rated Playstation 3 game Heavenly Sword.
In my opinion, this was a great move on Capcom’s part. Devil May Cry through Devil May Cry 4 didn’t exactly flow in the gameplay department. When compared to other popular hack and slash games like Ninja Gaiden and God of War, while Devil May Cry had the flashy combo moves, the gameplay felt clunky and imprecise at times. The controls, combined with horrible fixed camera angle, made the original Devil May Cry games nothing short of frustrating.
Ninja Theory gave DMC:Devil May Cry a free moving camera and a much tighter and responsive control scheme. Each of Dante’s weapons can now be accessed using the trigger buttons L2 and R2 to switch between demon or angel weapons. Each of these weapons can be used on the fly to create some devastating and beautiful combos.
Not only does DMC: Devil May Cry eclipse it’s predecessors in the gameplay department, the soundtrack is nothing short of phenomenal. While I enjoyed the heavily guitar driven soundtrack of the first four games, DMC’s just blew me away.
Much like the way Capcom outsourced the development to Ninja Theory, Capcom left the soundtrack in the capable hands of American aggro-tech band Combichrist. Combichrist, in conjunction with Dutch electronic trio, Noisia, crafted 13 original songs for DMC: Devil May Cry all of which they released as the album No Redemption.
Whether your slaying demons to sounds of game exclusive tracks Gimmie Deathrace, Empty, Zombie Fistfight or other popular Combichrist tracks Never Surrender and Throat Full of Glass, DMC: Devil May Cry’s soundtrack is high octane in the extreme.
So why should I play it
If genre defining gameplay and an amazing soundtrack are not enough to make you play DMC: Devil May Cry I am not really sure what will. The special edition of the game includes the Vergil’s Downfall DLC, where you get to control Dante’s twin brother Vergil along with difficulty modes not included in the original release.
DMC: Devil May Cry Special Edition is available for around €25 on the Playstation Store, and regularly appears in sales for around €10. Do yourself a favour and give this game a chance!