PS3 Reviews: DmC: Devil May Cry Review

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DmC: Devil May Cry Review

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Graphics:

 

8.4

Gameplay:

 

9.2

Sound:

 

9.0

Control:

 

8.9

Replay Value:

 

8.0

Overall Rating:       8.8

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Capcom

Developer:

Ninja Theory

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

Release Date:

January 15, 2013

Reboots have been big this generation. In my humble opinion, however, Devil May Cry wasn’t one of the franchises that seemed to be in desperate need of a reimagining. The last couple of entries have offered fantastic action goodness and for the most part, the fans haven’t been grousing and grumbling. There may have been some slight technical stagnation but besides that, it seemed fine. However, now that I’ve played DmC: Devil May Cry, I realize that although it may not have been necessary, I really like this new look and feel.

We start with one of the more interesting categories, especially for PlayStation 3 owners. Graphically, the game won’t blow you away; there are some visual inconsistencies and minor flaws, and there’s a general lack of crystal clear clarity we typically associate with AAA productions. That being said, the fantastic design and artistry is undeniable and the animations are slick and smooth. The overall presentation is something special and pays homage to the excellent atmosphere for which this franchise has been so well known. It’s different but there’s that palpable current of vintage DMC that runs beneath those differences.

Side note: It’s unfortunate to note that the PS3 version may lag a tad behind the Xbox 360 version in terms of frame rate and general graphics performance. With the Unreal Engine, though, this isn’t exactly uncommon. And for the record, this is part of why the game doesn’t receive a 9.0 in my eyes; the 360 version might be slightly closer to that elite plateau. Just please bear in mind that the gap is nowhere near as bad as it was with Bayonetta. If you’re buying DmC for the PS3, you don’t really have to worry; the lesser performance output is minimal and likely won’t hinder your enjoyment. Well, unless you’re a stickler for such things.

Moving on to the audio, we’ve got some great voice acting, a kickin’ soundtrack, and a bevy of sound effects that accompany every absurdly fast attack Dante has in his prodigious arsenal. The acting represents an upgrade for the franchise (as does the story, which I’ll get to in a moment), which I anticipated from developer Ninja Theory. Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West proved that this studio only hires top-notch voice talent. The score is full of wicked heavy metal and other hard-hitting songs, which match the action perfectly, and those effects are both diverse and what I like to call highly “impact-ful.”

At first, I was inclined to frown on the story and style direction Ninja Theory had taken with this reboot. It started off predictably and with a little too much in the way of low-brow, sleazy imagery and humor, which doesn’t impart quite the right vibe. But it didn’t take long for the story to open up and when it did, I was reminded of just how cheesy and campy past plots had been in this series. And while we retain some of that cheesiness, it’s a little more refined, a little more stylish, a little more modern. “Modern” is a key word for this entire game and although I thought I’d be annoyed at that idea, I actually came around to the concept. Quick.

The story is good. It really is. That’s what was most missing in the franchise up to this point, and I’ve only just stumbled upon how important a decent plot and script can be. At the same time, the gameplay certainly remains the focal point of the game; it’s just that this time, we have the benefit of a worthwhile storyline. It’s not just about over-the-top action segments and flashy special effects. It’s not all about nasty monsters and crazy dudes who want to rule the world. And it’s not only about Dante being a bad-ass who likes to kick the crap out of anyone who gets in his way. New characters like Kat really help to flesh things out, and I’ll leave it at that (no spoilers here).

Interwoven among that more elaborate and more dramatic story is some of that old-fashioned Dante cockiness and absurdity. Therefore, we’re keeping that which defines the franchise without gimping anything important, like the gameplay. Speaking of which, the combat is wicked fun and those who designed this battle mechanic deserve a nod of praise and appreciation. The action purists might say it’s watered down in comparison to past entries – especially DMC3 – but I’m not sure I buy that. I mean, that may be true in terms of sheer complexity and intricacy, but there’s no doubting the depth of the combat in the new game.

This game has proven to me that accessibility can be properly mixed with a hardcore challenge. It doesn’t take much effort to rip off some awesome combos and even when you unlock new weapons and Dante’s arsenal begins to open up, you still don’t feel overwhelmed. Even amateurs can do some pretty amazing things; stringing together a series of unique strikes with different weapons isn’t that difficult, and it’s always entertaining. However, this does not mean that those who wish to become experts, those who want to become true students of the combat, won’t be satisfied.

On the contrary, if you want to pull down super-high ratings for your combos, you’re gonna have to practice. Novices will not be tallying a whole lot of SSS ratings, and the diversity and versatility of the weapons means constant experimentation is a must. So while it’s relatively easy to pick up and play, and while most should be able to feel like a complete powerhouse with just a little rehearsal, the hardcore aficionados still have plenty to be happy about. It may seem like this game doesn’t have a brain in its head but believe it or not, with the great variety of enemies, you’re going to have to continually adapt and improvise.

Combining the slashes of your sword (or the attacks of another primary weapon) with your guns (Ebony and Ivory have returned) has never been more intoxicating. It’s always a show. No matter what you do, what you fight, or how you achieve victory, you’ll always be smiling. At least I was. There’s this really great fluidity to the combat system and timing is essential; once you get into the rhythm and foes are meeting gruesome ends, you start to feel guilty. You feel like they’re just overmatched…but only for a moment. At that point, something tougher usually rears its ugly head, or maybe you finish a level to see that your rating is only mediocre.

And that’s part of the game’s solid balance. It all gels exceedingly well and the better-than-anticipated storyline adds to the appeal. Still, there are a few clear issues that prevent this game from reaching a loftier status: Firstly, the bosses just don’t cut the mustard. It almost seems like a completely different team handled the design of the boss encounters (as happened during the development of Deus Ex: Human Revolution), because they don’t reflect the depth and variety of the core fighting mechanic. You basically do the same type of thing over and over, and it doesn’t have much to do with your technique or combo-ing ability.

Although, I should add that the design of the bosses is freakin’ awesome, as is the vast majority of the character and enemy designs in the game. So that kind of overrides the lackluster boss fights. I should also mention that while the story is definitely a step up, there are times when it falters and doesn’t quite deliver the emotion that it initially promised. Lastly, despite the good control throughout, I think the platforming could’ve been a bit tighter and in truth, I’ve always wanted less platforming in the DMC games. Seriously, just focus on your strength, which has been – and thankfully will continue to be – the combat.

DmC: Devil May Cry is a rambunctious, thrilling, attitude-laden thrill ride. The design is slick and highly effective, the presentation is vintage DMC (while adopting a fresh flair), the combat offers fantastic variety and endless entertainment, and the story is a big improvement. The latter can still let you down, especially toward the end, the visuals are slightly disappointing strictly from a technical standpoint, and the bosses are underwhelming. But the end result is a fantastically enjoyable, can’t-put-the-controller-down brawl-fest, and that’s precisely what the fans want. Right?

The Good: Great overall design and artistry. Explosive audio effects and good acting. Fantastic combat diversity, from the arsenal to the opponents. Story is an upgrade for the franchise. Pacing is solid. Retains the spirit of the franchise.

The Bad: Graphics aren’t overly impressive. Bosses feel repetitive. Story doesn’t always deliver what it promises.

The Ugly: “The ugly is half the fun! The uglier it is, the more satisfying it is to kill it.”

1/15/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

Temjin001
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 10:18:04 PM
Reply

Cool. I'll try to snag it for a gamefly rental and then pick it up some months later, if I really like it, when it's cheap.

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PoopsMcGee
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 10:34:40 PM
Reply

I have WAY too much on my gaming plate for this anytime soon, but I'm glad it turned out well...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 11:09:28 PM
Reply

This sounds like a great summer play for me, and from Ben's analysis and my demo time it seems to have turned out exactly as I'd imagined. It's a shame NT went with UE3 just because they were familiar with it though, finer graphics and 60fps would have pushed it up into elite status.

I hope the hardcore series fans give it it's just due.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 10:38:31 AM

Its going to be released on the PC at 60FPS, I know that doens't mean much for the people here but I'm curious to see how much the fans enjoy that version.

I still think UE3 was a stupid choice. The engine just isn't good in comparison to the other engines we have on the market. I don't know why people keep using it. Borderlands is the only game I've played where it was optimized really well, other than first party Epic games.

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Knightzane
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 11:37:31 PM
Reply

Ben, how could you not include the wonderful dialogue? Here, to the people who haven't heard "IM GOING TO F### YOUR SKULL AND SH## DOWN YOUR THROAT" The very, in depth, conversations of DmC. Looks fun, watched a livestream today. Good god. Anyway, its a pretty epic for button mashing.

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 11:52:49 PM

Well he did say low-brow and sleazy during his review. I think ninja theory tried too hard to make the game edgy. Well I have rented it and will buy it used down the line. The gameplay still suffers from "slowdown" to me. 30fps was a huge misstep and it can't make up for the rest. I like fast and fluid combat, not this.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:09:46 AM

The combat is still plenty fluid, all 30fps does is cut down on the animations.

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:23:08 AM

Sorry world but I can tell the difference. Huge drop especially when you play it back to back with dmc4. So, used buy for me. The combat mechanics aren't as fun but the story is a heck of a lot better but that isn't enough for a new purchase from me.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:41:16 AM

I'm sorry, but I sense no slowdown, nor do I sense any other significant problems due to the frame rate.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 4:05:31 AM

I noticed that the gameplay did feel slightly slower, but not enough to be any kind of turn-off. And the dialogue really only drops to that level of obscenity during the Succubus boss fight. Aside from that, it isn't too bad.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:10:53 AM
Reply

People should probably remember God of War III ran at 30fps too, it was just prettier.

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:26:45 AM

Except god of war wasn't fast fluid combat. It would be the same with ninja gaiden if it dropped to 30fps. The button input isn't smooth and it would feel sluggish.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1:04:48 AM

You're kidding me right?

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xenris
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 3:35:23 PM

I think I know what yamanaka is saying World. God of war is plenty fast, but it isn't the same as DMC3 speed wise.

God of wars combos are slower and more methodical, DMC is about improvising combos and super duper fast reaction time.

God of War is fluid combat for sure, but it isn't as fast as DMC3 was or 4 if I remember correctly.

Not trying to start an argument but I think 60 FPS will noticeable, how much I can't say for sure, it depends on what they did to lock it in at 30 fps.

on that note if FPS is that big of a deal yamanaka get DmC on the PC, it will run at 60fps.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 5:11:08 PM

It isn't the same but it isn't affected by a slower frame rate is my point. People are acting like that somehow affects the controller input.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:08:39 PM

xenris, that isn't the point. Saying GoW and DmC is "slow" and "sluggish" sounds as if there's something wrong with the battle mechanic. That's the problem I have with sawao's comment. All it really means is that things aren't happening faster. It has NO impact on the depth or quality of the mechanic; all that speed affects is how fast our fingers have to move.

And that's really all these butt-hurt fans are freaking out about. Hence, I call BS.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/16/2013 11:09:28 PM

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:20:02 AM
Reply

at most a 19.99 purchase for me when it dropped to that point, nothing more....i have had enough westernization crap from Japanese developer....meanwhile, continue on paragon leveling as I have been doing since Aug 2012 and looking forward to D3 patch 1.07 release...will be back to ps3 when the Japanese game makers find their voice again aside from westernization...

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 1/16/2013 12:25:03 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:43:34 AM

No idea what you're talking about. Devil May Cry hardly screamed Japanese in the past; in fact, it could've passed for a Western game when it first released. All Ninja Theory did is build on the foundation Capcom made for it; the design is no more or less Western or Japanese. It's just very much DMC.

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homura
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:20:20 AM
Reply

Hmmmm, underwhelming boss fights and a story that may dissapoint you towards the end? Yep, It's Ninja Theory's trademarks. Haha. As for the combat, I've only played a little of DMC 3 so I'm no hardcore fan, and I'm no expert but it still feels like there is something missing or not right based from the videos that I've seen, maybe it's the 30fps? Oh well, maybe someday I'll buy it when it's cheap cause I'm not impressed.

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:25:05 AM

The 30fps does make it feel clunky and slow to me. Some people say it is no different but considering that I have played all dmc games, especially 4, it is different. They tried to hide the fact with different animations but again I've noticed it. Maybe I'll purchase it on the pc, maybe.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:42:01 AM

You're only noticing it because you're trying to look for it. I really see very little difference between DMC4 and this, although the PS3 version might be a tad slower.

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1:49:12 AM

I haven't looked for it ben. It is noticeable. By the time you are finished with a combo on dmc4 you are barely getting started on dmc. Is it a bad game? No, I never said that. Ninja theory is just not good when it comes to combat mechanics and it shows. As for the "slowdown" on my last post it was regarding the speed of combat. They made it seem to run at 60fps but it really isn't. The button input would be bad from a game running at 60 frames to a game running at 30 frames. I used to play dmc4 on both the ps3 and pc so the drop in frames has been noticeable to me. I enjoyed your review and think the game is good, as a dmc game it falls short in the gameplay department. The story is the best it has been since well, ever. But the gameplay is always where it is at for me and these types of games.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 5:08:14 AM

The combat definitely feels a little slower. Combos take longer for sure. Just came off the DMC HD collection and DMC4 and there's a difference.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:14:32 AM

You're not adapting correctly. It's not the game mechanic that's necessarily slower; it's merely the animations and the style associated with them, which means you can't input button combinations as quickly. That's the case with a lot of games. You can't input combos the same way in God of War III as you could in DMC4, either. Didn't make it a "slow" or lesser quality mechanic.

One of these days, the action fans are going to have to accept this. These people made the same exact claims about Heavenly Sword, just because it wasn't Ninja Gaiden speed, and just because it wasn't brutally difficult. It's really annoying, I have to say...it's like they live in their own little world where something has to be a certain way or it sucks.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/16/2013 11:16:48 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1:15:54 PM

I'm with Ben on this, when you slice up the pie the difference comes down to a slightly different input style, not output on screen.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1:36:33 AM
Reply

DmC: Devil May Cry for PS3 - $35.99 Free shipping

http://gan.doubleclick.net/gan_click?lid=41000613802265477&pubid=21000000000031063&lsrc=306&adurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.deepdiscount.com%2Fvideo_game%2FPS3-DEVIL-MAY-CRY-DMC

or go to DeepDiscount.com Best Buy will honor pricematch.


Yup, I had to buy it with that price :)

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/16/2013 1:41:23 AM

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tlpn99
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 3:03:55 AM
Reply

I will be leaving this one as I simply don't like it tried the demo wasn't impressed. I was not a fan of the previous 3 either good review Ben sadly one that's not for me.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 4:12:38 AM
Reply

I reckon that you're pretty much dead on with the review. Finished the game about an hour ago and I gotta say... you just can't be in a bad mood while you're tearing through the game and all that it has to offer. I really liked the way that it the story incorporated plot elements from all of the previous games and actually managed to make it feel cohesive and I really can't wait to see how the story continues if they carry on with this new continuity.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:15:34 AM

Yeah, I know what you mean. :)

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___________
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 4:24:38 AM
Reply

it actually turned out allot better than what i was expecting!
i was REALLY worried it would have a boring basic combat system, but it isent.
a basic boring combat system is FAR from the problems.
what actually shows in this is that crapcom really have been sitting down with NT showing them the ropes, this is how a DMC game should feel.
but they forgot to tell them how it should CONTROL!
god, the game is SO convoluted its freaking infuriating!
nothings simple, the simplest tasks require you to do such awkward and annoying things.
dragging enemies towards you for instance is R2 square, or is it L2 and square?
see thats the problem, your thrown in such a fast paced environment and forced to remember 1000 little details.
this is NOT the type of game where you can pause for a second and try to remember the combo combinations.
in DMC4 it was just circle.
your constantly pausing in your mind, having a brain wire cross, which one is bring towards again is it R2 or L2, oops i spent too much time figuring that out im dead now.
its one of those games the controls and combos are so awkward to pull off it just gets REALLY frustrating!
why do you have to hold circle to launch a enemy and launch yourself, why couldent it just be press circle?
everything just has to be that bit more difficult and hard to remember.

combos are exactly the same thing, since theres no heavy and light attacks you cant just switch between square and triangle, and switch between pressing or holding, or pressing or pausing, like you can in CLOS.
your constantly forced to remember how many triangles in fast, how many slow, which one do i hold?
all while dodging enemies and keeping them at bay.
you really do need a second screen or something in live view showing you all the combos.

its a shame, they were that close to making the perfect reboot, and the team managed to improve on something they have always needed to and actually made it pretty good.
but they forgot to make the controls easy to use and easy to remember.
especially in such a fast paced game, you dont have time to spend 3 seconds remembering which trigger button is pull and which is lunge.
even the series iconic splitter attack is really awkward to pull off.

another thing they need to improve is the upgrades system.
its really disappointing, im sitting on 14 upgrade points ATM and havent bought anything in quite a while because you just feel like everythings a waste.
99% of the moves are so similar to each other, and theres not many moves unlocked early on most of the upgrades are just level upgrades which make them more powerful, ie a waste of upgrade points.
its like going into a bar and your choice is a cocktail or gin.
99% of cocktails consist of large quantities of gin, so thats not really a differing choice.
its beer, or light beer, pretty much the same thing!
like saying to someone here you go heres a million pounds and locking them in the corner 2 dollar shop!
99% of the things you wouldent want to buy, and the things you would want to buy are so similar to the things you already have.
funny how the thing people were most worried spoiling the game, has, but in such a different way than what we were expecting.........

IF you do have a photographic memory and remember every single combo in the game, than its actually quite brilliant!
watching some gameplay footage of it, watching people juggle enemies and stick to SSS ratings the whole mission through.
its nice to see the combat depth is still at the fore front of the series, but its so hard to access it might as well not be there at all!
if you remember the combos and have no problems recalling them, it really can be such a fun awesome game!
but if you cant, well your going to end up just mashing your whole way through and that never ends well.
its amazing how you can have so much choice for weapons and attacks, and yet still feel so limited.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 10:43:50 AM

I think the difficulty in the control scheme will get better for you as you play the game. As for why they did it this way, well I only played the demo and have no clue, but it did feel a little awkward, nothing I couldn't have gotten used to though.

I think there is depth here like you said, but the control scheme makes mashing a little harder and less rewarding, which I personally think is a good thing.

DMC was always a high skill game and I'm glad they kept all those things intact. If you remember DMC3 the combat was quite challenging to pull of insane juggles but you got used to it about half way through the game.

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John Shoemaker
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 6:25:05 AM
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I am still confused why this is called DmC: Devil May Cry.
Why isn't it just Devil My Cry?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:14:52 AM

Hell if I know. LOL

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1:17:51 PM

I can only assume they had to attach "Devil May Cry" so people knew it was in that series and henceforth any sequels will be DmC: Subtitle

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 8:52:43 AM
Reply

A great review...as I was expecting :)
I've played the demo, seen footage of the gameplay further along...there's nothing wrong with the game. It does look great!

But....

I don't really know how to explain it; I won't be so vague as to say that DMC has lost it's soul, but that's what it kinda feels like.

I'm being pessimistic again....

Anyway, I will be purchasing this new, because I do believe that Ninja Theory deserves credit where it's due :)

Just wish that it wasn't at the expense of a franchise that I really love...meh.
I'll just shut up and play the game I suppose. :/

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Zen_Zarab
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 10:13:54 AM
Reply

Another high scoring review?!? Don't tell me Ben was paid by NT and Capcom as well! (sarcasim)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 12:00:48 PM

Heh...yeah, I'm not quite getting why fans are saying NT bribed critics or something like that. Nor am I getting the biased accusations, as if critics are somehow indebted to the developer for some reason.

As far as I can tell, there is no motivation in the critic community for going easy on Ninja Theory; no incentive to boost review scores just to make that particular studio feel better. It's a weird concept. :)

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DjEezzy
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:53:26 AM
Reply

wow... lets argue about every little detail!!! I swear nothing is ever good enough. I for one agree 100% with your review ben. I'm a huge dmc fan and this game is just plain awesome. all of the slight technical issues aside of course. The dialogue and voice acting really is superb. I'm really impressed with it. The on the fly switching of weapons is classic dmc and it really makes for some interesting combos if you actually open your mind and experiment. pulling off SSS is really not easy at all. The graphics are a tad underwhelming but i'm not going to nit pick. I can't express enough how glad i am that NT didn't drop the ball and that they actually stuck to their guns through death threats and all. It took balls and they did the series justice. Capcom should be proud of NT for how fantastic they did with this game. Can't wait to open up the 2 higher difficulty levels and play them. This is one of those games that i absolutely love to master. Great review ben. You hit the nail on the head!!!

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DjEezzy
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 11:55:42 AM
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and i'm confused for those who say the control scheme is off. It's almost exactly the same as it was in dmc 4!!! And you can assign your own buttons to whatever you want.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 8:25:25 PM
Reply

I'm confused... has DmC in past games prior to PS3 had 60fps? If not... then these framerate complainers don't make much sense to me.

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aaronisbla
Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 5:44:45 AM

its the first dmc game i know of thats not 60fps

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 1:52:54 PM

Even pre-ps3? I didn't even realize games were made with that many fps back then. Of course, I never paid attention to specs before this generation, either.

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