I’ve been a fan of the Devil May Cry series since the original came out back in … 2001?  Wow.  Anyway, I’ve played each game in the series, including the original reboot (that sounds weird) back on Xbox 360.  When I heard that the industry-buzzword-of-the-season “definitive edition” was coming to PS4 for only $40, I had to jump on it.  Plus, I’ve had good luck with the only other definitive edition I’ve ever played.

Whether you’re a series veteran like me or a newcomer wondering what Devil May Cry is about, make no mistake — DmC Definitive Edition is a high-flying thrill ride with enough difficulty to challenge anyone.

He may look a little different, but he's still Dante.
He may look a little different, but he’s still Dante.

  • TL;DR: Stylish combat, tight controls, and all the bells and whistles you want in a remake make DmC a must-play.
  • Platform: PS4
  • Hours Played: 15
  • What I Played: DMC campaign on turbo Nephilim, Vergil’s Downfall DLC on turbo Nephilim, a few hours of Bloody Palace
  • Should You Play It?: If you like action games in any capacity, absolutely.

DmC: Devil May Cry is a reboot of the original Devil May Cry.  This particular version is a remake of the 2013 original, which I played on Xbox 360.  As in all DMC games, the star is Dante, child of the powerful demon Sparda, who sets out on a task to destroy demons.  In this reboot, Dante must stop Mundus, an all-powerful demon who killed his mother, from controlling the world.

There is a story in DmC.  I mean, it does actually exist.  You can see all of the twists and turns coming from miles away, especially if you’ve played other games in the series.  I will say that I like this new spin on Dante.  He’s a bit more modern and relatable while maintaining his clever quips and immense power.  The ever-changing world of Limbo is a fun place to play in, too.  Buildings and streets will jerkily jut out and explode, turning the city into a somehow-held-together playground.  Dante’s double-action whip allows him to traverse the world with ease, pulling himself to objects or vice versa.  But, playing a Devil May Cry game for it’s story would be like playing solitaire for it’s breakneck action.  Combat is the name of the game, so I’ll stop wasting your time.

Killing demons with style is the path to success in DmC.  There are plenty of ways for Dante to rip enemies apart, from old standbys like the Rebellion sword and Ebony and Ivory handguns to new toys like the Arbiter scythe and Osiris heavy axe, all of which can be swapped on the fly.  Each of these weapons have ways to launch, slam, juggle, stun, interrupt, and cause general pain to your enemies.  As you do so, you’ll see a score and grade on the screen as Dante flips and spins his way through demons.  Mixing up your attacks without stopping or being damaged will increase the style gauge, which ranges from D to SSS.  The higher the style grade, the more damage you do.  Getting hit a single time will drop your grade two full ranks, so it’s important to learn every enemy’s attacks.

Super Saiyan, Devil Trigger.  To-may-to, To-mah-to.
Super Saiyan, Devil Trigger. To-may-to, To-mah-to.

When you really want to go nuts, you can activate Dante’s devil trigger.  His inner demonic power comes out, launching all enemies into the air and turning the world shades of white, black, and red.  Dante’s damage will skyrocket, along with his speed as enemies are left powerless.  Dante also regenerates HP in devil trigger, which can be key to surviving.

Missions are also graded on a D-SSS scale with bonuses for finding all of the collectibles in a level, completing side missions, and finishing a level without dying or using items.  Health items are few and far between in DmC and since using them damages your score, it’s important to always evade attacks.

Dante has an array of upgrades ready for purchase.  Thankfully, DmC uses a system of upgrade points instead of red orbs (money), so you don’t have to decide between buying a healing item or a new skill.  Skills can be respecced at any time, but you get so many skill points while playing through that I didn’t find it necessary.  Also, don’t be intimidated by the amount of skills available for each weapon.  Each button combo does the same basic thing with each weapon: three or four quick hits is a standard combo, two hits followed by a pause and another hit will be a powerful combo, circle will launch, etc.

Forward-forward-hit is still Stinger, which can be parlayed into Trillion Stabs.
Forward-forward-hit is still Stinger, which can be parlayed into Trillion Stabs.

You may have noticed Dante’s fancy red coat and white hair above.  The definitive edition of DmC comes with all the shiny toys you’d expect, including costumes like classic Dante.  I found that any costume I picked would show up in some cut scenes and not others, which was annoying enough to just roll with the default one at all times.  There is also a manual lock-on mode, which is a new thing to the DMC series as a whole.  I didn’t use it much except for doing a quick lock-on to see an enemy’s remaining HP.

There are plenty of difficulty-altering mechanics, too.  Turbo Mode increases the game’s speed by 20%, which I turned on immediately.  The game just feels better with turbo mode on.  You also unlock Must Style mode after beating the campaign for the first time, which only allows damage to be done at S rank and above.  I specifically said beating the campaign for the first time because there are more difficulty modes in DmC than I’ve seen in any other game.  IGN has a breakdown of the seven that came with the original version of DmC, but the definitive edition added “Gods Must Die” where enemies spawn with their devil trigger active and items cannot be used.  Bloody Palace, the DmC version of horde/endless mode, makes a return as well.  If you’re looking for a challenging action game, look no further.

Fan favorite Vergil even makes an apperance!
Fan favorite Vergil enters the fray!

DmC Definitive Edition also comes with the Vergil’s Downfall DLC, letting you play as Dante’s twin brother after the end of the story.  While Dante has a small army of weapons at his disposal, Vergil is content with Yamato, his trusty katana.  Vergil can also summon swords out of thin air, because why not?  His moves will be familiar to any series veteran, especially to anyone who has played DMC4.

Vergil plays differently than Dante does, as his attacks are more calculated and heavy.  The summoned swords act more like a multitasking attack as they can be used anytime.  Vergil’s upgrades are far more limited, as he effectively has one weapon, but he is a refreshing change of pace from the whirling dervish that is Dante.  His devil trigger is different too, acting as a resource for powerful moves instead of a transformation into god mode.  There are even all of the difficulties and Bloody Palace mode for Vergil, too.  His campaign can be played through in about two hours, but mixing it up with him in Bloody Palace is a blast.

The cover of DmC boasts that it runs at 60FPS and in 1080p, which is very evident.  No matter how many enemies were on the screen or how fast I was attacking, I didn’t notice one bit of stuttering.  Attacks are flashy as all hell, too and the heart-pounding rock music helps keep the pace up.  The ground and environment could use a bit of work, as you can see by the blurry ground texture above with Vergil.  Combining that with cut scene costume issue I mentioned earlier and some clipping are nitpicking an otherwise fantastic game.

Stranded on a platform above a pool of acid?  Dante's got her right where he wants her.
Stranded on a platform above a pool of acid? Dante’s got her right where he wants her.

I may be biased since I love the Devil May Cry franchise as a whole, but I truly believe that DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition is an excellent game.  It adds polish and top-notch frame rate to an already wonderful action game.  Dante’s trademark mouth and attitude shine on the current generation on consoles, just like the highly-stylized combat does.  If you’re a glutton for punishment, there are more difficulty levels than you can shake a stick at.  Add in the previous DLC and improvements like Turbo Mode and you’ve got a complete package.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Bloody Palace run to get to.

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