I've talked before about what a huge Devil May Cry fan I am, and I've also mentioned the reservations and downright displeasure I've had regarding the newest game in the series, DmC. I'm happy to say that the past tense is appropriate in this situation, as after finally getting my hands on the game at this year's Tokyo Game Show, I'm not only satisfied with the game, I'm looking forward to it.
Part of the trouble I originally had with DmC, for those not in the know, was that they changed the main character, Dante. Not only was his look all wrong, it seemed like his devil-may-care, smart-mouth, yet still funny and charming attitude was replaced by an annoying, slightly gothic-looking teenager who was trying too hard. Granted, they wanted to reboot the series (in fact, DmC is being made by Ninja Theory -the company behind Heavenly Sword-, and not the usual team at Capcom), but it felt like they had gone too far, and Devil May Cry was missing its soul. The only thing that consoled me a little was that the gameplay trailers seemed fun; if nothing else, it looked like the awesome gameplay of the series was still intact. Everything else, from the world to the main character, had me wanting to cry.
Despite my reservations, I couldn't miss a chance to actually get to play the game, so I went straight to the DmC booth. The demo TVs were set up in what looked like a broken piece of a city from the DmC world, and all the 'booth babes' were dressed up as Cat, the new female character. The demo had two parts to it, a normal 'mission' level, where you could wander around a city, and a boss fight. I chose the mission level, and so my experience began.
It started with Cat explaining to Dante that they had to get through this particular area in 'Limbo', which from what I understand is a sort of demonic parallel universe where bad things happen. In Limbo, streets break and shatter, buildings warp, and demons and monsters are around every corner. It's fantastic.
True to the impressions I had from the trailers, the gameplay is awesomely fun. Dante's weapons are varied, as they should be, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. The ones I saw on display were the traditional Ebony and Ivory (Dante's dual-wielding guns), his sword, a scythe and a giant axe. The sword and guns are mapped to the circle, triangle, and square buttons, while the scythe and axe are mapped to L1 and R1. The scythe and axe also both have chains attached to them, with the axe being able to yank heavy objects around, and the scythe chain allowing you to yank yourself to enemies or other handholds across large distances. There are also apparently gauntlets for punching things to death, but I never saw them. To be fair, they could have been in the demo, but I was too busy being the Grim Reaper with the scythe to care about much else. Switching between the weapons is seamless, and some of the combos you can achieve could only be described as obscene. I really can't express enough how fun the action is; it's everything you've come to expect from the Devil May Cry series, and if nothing else, the action won't let you down.
'Who cares about the action? Dante still looks like a poser' might be what you're thinking now, but I have to admit that I'm even okay with that. As I played through the demo, the little snarky comments Dante directed at various demons or his traveling companion had me smirking and chuckling, slowly winning me over. At the end of the demo, I had to have Dante whip, jump, and propel himself through the air as a giant cathedral crashed down around his head, the floor disappearing at his feet, before finally crashing through an elaborate stained glass window to escape. As Dante landed on the other side and Cat demanded to know what the hell happened in there, he just rolled his shoulders, smiled and walked off, telling her over his shoulder 'That thing really does drag on forever.... church' as the whole cathedral crumbled into a pile of dust behind them. And with that, I was won over. I still think that his look bears a little too much resemblance to the guy in charge of the game (narcissism, anyone?), but I know now that under the new trappings, it's still the Dante we all know and love in there. I can honestly say that I am now eagerly awaiting the release of this game, and to any other doubting fans out there, I say this: play it before you write it off. You owe it to yourself to not let your hesitation about Dante's appearance keep you from enjoying what looks to be a truly great entry into the Devil May Cry series.