New Dante in Devil may Cry reboot
Ninja Theory's reimagining of Capcom's Devil May Cry (abbreviating the game's name to DmC seems aimed at today's young generation who casually throw around Lols, OMGs and WTFs at the drop of a hat) is a highly charged mix of social commentary and acrobatic violence. And it's a heck of a lot of style-laden fun.
In the game's opening sequence, hero Dante exits his trailer butt naked to investigate a commotion outside.
There's a large demon out to get him and what follows is an amusing cinematic sequence where he sails naked through his home, slices of airborne pizza obscuring his naughty bits as the trailer is smashed to pieces by the demon, and stylishly slips into pants and a singlet, ready to confront the enemy outside.
It's that single sequence that sets the tone for DmC: an over-the-top hack 'n slash adventure where how stylishly you kill an enemy earns you more points and where the hero is a dark-haired part-angel, part-devil pretty boy and the world's population is kept docile by an evil demon's energy drink and his 24-hours a day news channel.
This is a Devil May Cry for a new generation, one where there's loud background music when you fight demons, the narrative is laced with sexual innuendo and the hero is slightly emo. It also has a strong female lead who isn't just a token female character.
That's refreshing to see in an industry where women characters are sometimes solely for window-dressing.
When the new-look Dante was first revealed by Capcom, diehard fans got up in arms about it.
There was nasty words said about developer Ninja theory.
I've played previous DmC games but am not a big enough fan to notice every intricate change from the past titles but I liked it and while the change in hair colour isn't the only issues diehard fans had isn't the game play what is most important?
Apart from a few frustrations, I enjoyed playing DmC, probably more than previous games in the series.
Devil May Cry games of old were always about dispatching enemies with a variety of stylish moves then moving on to the next location.
It has always been about stylish combat: DmC is no different.
Much of the game play takes place in Limbo, a parallel universe that straddles the divide between earth and the demon world, but it's the environments that are often the star here.
Ninja Theory, who was behind the overlooked Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, flex their fingers by creating environments that change shape and form.
The combat mechanics rarely change throughout the game and players are encouraged to learn the myriad combat combinations on offer, using an impressive arsenal of weapons.
And while Dante starts out with just twin pistols and a sword, progression unlocks increasingly more powerful weapons (utilised by pulling the left or right trigger and pressing the relevant controller button) and it's in experimenting with these numerous combinations that players will pull off some stylish acrobatic combat.
Battles will involve a variety of enemies, each requiring a different ability or weapon to finish them off.
This is not just button mashing: there is complexity in the combat.
The story was interesting and it develops nicely, as do the characters, although I thought that the dialogue in some boss battles degenerated into mindless gutter talk just for the sake of it, especially during a battle with an ugly beast called the succubus.
The game is rated R13 but I wouldn't be happy with my 13-year-old son playing it. Also, the camera sucks sometimes.
I know it's hard for gamers who have invested years and countless hours into a series to accept a new take on an old friend, but perhaps they need to take a deep breath and give this a chance.
Yes, new Dante might be different from Dante of old but is that really a bad thing?
DmC: Devil May Cry
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows