First off, forget all of the fanboy b*tching about “Emo Dante” (which I happen to find hilarious, seeing as how the character has always come off like some sort of androgynous gigolo to begin with), the Devil May Cry series has never had an entry in the long-running series even half as cool, clever, beautiful, or bad*ss as Ninja Theory’s welcome reimagining, DMC: Devil May Cry.
The graphics are top-notch, and the physics engine that literally allows the world around you to constantly remake itself is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the combat? Holy sh*t. Lightning fast! The amazingly simple control layout makes switching between a cadre of weapons a cinch, and in turn offers you a nearly infinite amount of combos. By the end of this game, they make you feel like you could truly take on a god.
The story has clearly been modernized a bit, mining our post-9/11 fears to show us an Orwellian city where “Big Brother” is not only watching you, but is controlling every aspect of your conscious (and unconscious) life. This is achieved through a variety of means that would have conspiracy theorists in a tizzy, shouting “We told ya so!!!”, my personal favorite of which being their not-so-subtle send up of Fox News. One of the game’s many kaiju-scaled and clever boss battles has you squaring off against a big, bad digital demon in the form of a very Rush Limbaugh-esque television anchor, whose broadcasts are used to poison the minds of the populace. Well, if it’s on TV, it must be true.
Dante himself has been updated as well, trying to embody the quintessential modern bad boy anti-hero, and very nearly pulls it off. He’s pretty, but in a manner that would call to mind whatever the male equivalent of a Suicide Girl would be. He’s crass, vulgar, and lets loose a torrent of sexual innuendo, but it’s a mask to hide his pain, and that heart of gold just can’t help but shine through. And if nothing else, once you see this nephalim (that’s an angel/demon hybrid for the uninitiated) in action, you will absolutely believe that he could shrug off all the sudsy powers of Hell bring thrown at him with a wink and a smile.
A near perfect blend of style (and, oh, does it have style) and substance, my only complaint is that the game is FAR too short, because when I was playing it I truly hoped that it wouldn’t end. And yes, yes, they offer what seems like never-ending difficulty settings and challenge modes (which does make the replay value a bit more rewarding), but the story itself is a large part of what grabbed me in the first place, and I would’ve liked to have seen it fleshed out just a bit more.