Where was he you might be wondering? Why was Serge holding back this ever important and time sensitive NYCC information? You might be mad. You might be sharpening your pitch forks. Or, you might (and most likely) just not care. Well, for those who do (yeah, you Kevin) I was sick and looking at a screen for a long time made me dizzy. But now I am back to finish what I started. And as I work to give you the MoH: Warfighter and Forza: Horizon reviews, I will also finish the NYCC break down. DMC on the docket.
Well, I got to both play and talk about DMC for a bit at NYCC 2012. As many of you may already know, this is where Capcom takes one of their prized franchises and sends it on the reboot route. Not the most scenic of routes, but it’s still there nevertheless. There is a lot behind this redesign, but according to Capcom representatives, it was simply time to take the series in the new direction.
I’m not going to argue with that because after the last one (DMC4) the series did seem a bit tired out of ideas. Enter the new Dante. Let me be honest, I am still not sold on the “teenage angst” Dante. It took every ounce of my being not to bring that up during the interview. I think that is mostly because it’s hard for me to spot the big art difference between the previous games and this new one, outside the main characters. The game seems to keep the artistic direction of the previous titles in tact, with the one changing factor, and that’s the “cuts his own hair” Dante.
Virgil of course will be back, but outside of that, Capcom stayed pretty tight lipped about who else might make an appearance. When I asked about some of the female characters, all I got is a hint at a new female character, who I assume was the hooded girl with me from the demo. All in all though, I do applaud Capcom for restarting the series when they felt it hit somewhat of a creative dead end. It is much better than trying to come up with something out of nothing and maybe this new direction can breathe life into Dante again.
The game does look beautiful. The environments are detailed and all of the action is smooth as it unfolds. The cutscene transition is pretty impeccable too as the game is able to take you gently from action to B-movie dialogue (Sorry, it’s a Capcom game, what do you expect?).
Where the game really excel is gameplay though. Dante maintains his visual flair when in combat. It was pretty cool to switch up between the various regular, demon and angel modifiers. One is your standard Dante. Angel modifier is the one for quicker, more fast paced but less damaging attacks and the Demon mode is where you tank up and wreak heavy hit but slower damage. To transition between either just hold down L2 or R2 modifiers, you can even string various modes together into one beautiful combo. Eventually, you can activate the Devil Trigger, when the world goes black and white and Dante finally looks like his old self (white hair and all).
It is here where the game really comes alive. As you dance from one opponent to the next , figuring out the best way to dismember them all, the game looks truly beautiful. It is a pleasure to control Dante through that experience. The controls are easy to pick up and you will be effective in no time. Of course, not all is perfect, suspect camera angles still rule the day in DMC land as some enemies will often seemingly come out of nowhere.
That is also an issue for platforming, where the camera will flat out refuse to pan to the angle you need in order to proceed. The controls are also not the most responsive when it comes to platforming, Dante feeling a bit stiff and hard to maneuver on some jumps.
There wasn’t much of a puzzle element to the demo, as I spent most of my time fighting demons and jumping platform to platform. From what I’ve seen, the title is a mixed bag. The combat is polished and refined, really keeping up with a lot of modern day hack and slash titles. The platforming and camera angles on the other hand leave much to be desired. It will be interesting to see how all of these elements will come together come final build, and I will most definitely still pick up the title to see the final product.
Unfortunately, I feel for many users what it will come down to is how you feel about the new redesign, and given the overwhelming consensus not every one is on board with “you just don’t understand me mom” Dante. I’m not either, but I’m willing to give him a chance. At least until he starts listening to post metal-core punk and cutting his wrists.