Status: Complete on “Devil Hunter” difficulty, others ongoing.
Most Intriguing Idea: Making a style-action game deep and accessible.
Best Design Decision: Making weapon swaps, rather than extended moveset memorization, the basis of melee complexity.
Worst Design Decision: The punitive resource price structure.
A lot has been written about DmC: Devil May Cry, most of it by angry series fans prior to the game’s release. It’s true that Dante has a somewhat harder edge here than previously, and it’s especially true that the combat system is easier to parse and master than in earlier iterations. Neither of these things turn out to be weaknesses. Dante makes sense as a character in this story, one that’s actually pretty clever and interesting for an action game. The level design, while a bit too dominated by boring hallways, features some really inspired sets. I particularly enjoyed the upside-down world on the route to Barbas’ tower, as well as the architectural overlays that popped up in Mundus’ tower. The simplification of the combat system makes the game accessible without really dumbing things down – there’s a great deal of complexity and uniqueness, even though many of the attacks play out with relatively similar sequences of button presses. I would have liked to see a little more variety in the boss mechanics, and I thought the resource pricing played against the effort to improve accessibility. Still, I thought DmC made good on the effort to open the series to a broader audience, without betraying either its style-action roots or the essence of its cocky main character.