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DMC: Devil May Cry hands-on

DmC Devil May Cry Screenshot - 1060478

A lot of folks may not be too crazy about the shift in the development guard for the Devil May Cry series with the latest entry, DMC, but, honestly, Ninja Theory hasn't let us down yet.  Heavenly Sword was an underappreciated gem on the PlayStation 3, showing Sony's dedication to cinematic storytelling and gameplay.  And for that matter, Enslaved was no slouch either, with its sharp presentation and action sequences.  So, with that, the experience really paid off when we got to go hands-on with DMC: Devil May Cry at a recent gaming event.

The demo featured Dante fighting his way through a city that, at first, operates like any other town.  However, when one of the security cameras catches sight of him, all hell literally breaks loose, and the town soon transforms into a warped version of itself, with buildings that weaken in structure and demons running around everywhere.  Fortunately, the long-time demon hunter is ready to fight.

DMC

Ninja Theory has faithfully re-implemented Dante's stylish attacks for DMC: Devil May Cry, and despite being a younger version than we've been used to in the game, he still performs like a bro, knocking enemies around with his sword and whipping our his twin pistols to do some long-range damage.  Some enemies, like the Rage-induced monsters, don't really take too lightly to gunfire, but luckily, Dante can dispatch of them after dodging their thrown spike attacks and really tear them apart.

Perhaps two of the biggest abilities that really do Dante a favor here are the Angel Lift and the Demon Pull.  As you might guess, these really put the powers of both Heaven and Hell at his fingertips, enabling him to attack enemies from a distance, grabbing them and dragging them down to his level.  He can also jettison them into the air, striking them with a mid-air combo or shooting them until their limp bodies come crashing back down to Earth.  The fact that Dante continues to have such range is a welcome sight.

DMC

What's more, he platforms rather well too.  There are segments where you'll have to climb up to reach enemies that are just outside your reach, gutting them with your sword before you move on.  He jumps with ease, and can also air dash, an ability that's useful when walls come closing in (like with one section of the city, where two towers try to grind you before you can get through).  Kudos to Ninja Theory for not forgetting how nimble Dante is with movement, and not just combat.

For DMC, the developer has pulled off a nice trick.  On the one hand, you can see the Ninja Theory distinguished design with characters and some of the structures.  However, on the other, the camera distance is just about right with the other Devil May Cry games, so you can see the beasts you're pummeling, as well as anything that might be ready to strike from behind.  In addition, the city design is compelling, filled with the kind of haunting demon presence that the series has become known for.

DMC

Not much can be said about the audio just yet, but the music we heard isn't bad, and the voice effects are good, though we're not sure if Andy Serkis, a figurehead with Ninja Theory, is going to be involved with the project in any day, since he's busy doing work on Peter Jackson's next Hobbit trilogy.  We'll find out soon, I suppose.

Doubters, push your fears aside.  Ninja Theory has (thus far) successfully channeled the energy from the previous Devil May Cry games into this new product, and the final release should definitely be a romp when it arrives.  We'll find out when we return to review it shortly after its release in January, 2013.

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Robert Workman
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