For those of you unaware, November 20th marked the release of the demo for next year’s DmC. After playing it, I feel I can safely say that the franchise is in good hands with Ninja Theory. The demo consists of a level, or at least part of one, and a boss fight, both of which you can play separately from the menu. The level acts as a bit of a tutorial while also giving you a very brief, albeit somewhat confusing synopsis of what the plot for the game has been up to that point. While it’s not specified where exactly in the game that level fits, I don’t believe it’s right at the beginning unless there are about 30 minutes of cut-scenes leading up to it. In regards to the actual gameplay, the controls are tight, it keeps the same hacking and slashing from the previous games, and you can still see your combo getting higher and higher in the upper right hand corner of the screen while you fight. Just as the colourful font seemed to fit perfectly in the previous games, the stylized white font of your combo details fit perfectly with this game’s overall feel. Some may think that’s an odd thing to say, especially considering I’m merely talking about the font of some writing on the screen, but it’s a small detail that plays a huge role. It would seem horribly out of place if Ninja Theory had kept that same style as the previous Devil May Cry titles, so I’m glad to see they made it their own.
There are two things that stood out for me while playing this demo. The first was the incredibly colourful and stylized environment you find yourself running and jumping through, and the second was just how demonic the enemies appear. I’ll start with the environment because it is likely the first thing you’ll notice when you play the demo. While everything is how you would expect it to look when Dante and his female companion are merely walking down the street, the minute demons are involved and Dante finds himself trapped in some kind of limbo realm, vibrant colours are all you will see. There is a red/yellow tinge to just about everything, not unlike putting a filter over a lens of a camera, and it’s quite effective at conveying the message that you’re no longer in the exact same area you were in two minutes ago. It reminds the player that all of the shifting buildings, all of the chunks of road that get destroyed, and all of the gaps that suddenly get larger right before your eyes are all in this limbo dimension rather than something you and I could expect to see while walking down the road. Objects you can destroy will have a green or red glow to them, and as usual, you will receive currency for doing so, and still in the form of red orbs.
One thing that I feel is worth noting is that while playing the demo, I found a couple of locked red doors. When I approached one, it told me I could not access secret areas during combat, so I returned to it once I was done killing the demons, and I was informed I did not have enough copper keys. It looks as if Ninja Theory is going to make us work to access the secret areas, as now we must find a specific type of item to unlock the doors to them rather than simply finding the door. Given that exploration was generally recommended in the first four Devil May Cry titles, it’s not exactly a huge deviation from what fans of the series have been doing all along.
As for the enemies, you have likely seen some pictures of them, especially considering there are two in this article, but I would like to point out that in terms of appearance, I find these enemies to be far more demonic than the enemies in previous titles. Whether it’s some kind of undead cherub with wings and a shield, a tall lanky demon wielding something resembling a chainsaw, or the giant worm-like boss you fight which cusses at you incessantly, all of the enemies look like things you want to kill and mean nothing but bad things for humanity. Just from the demo, it seems like each enemy will have a fairly distinct appearance and while there is no way to guarantee it, I’m hoping to see a large number of different enemies to kill, not just one primary type. I came across four different types of enemies during the demo level and I’m really hoping that it’s just a taste of the variety we can expect throughout the full game.
While the install size is fairly hefty at a 1.3GB, if you’re on the fence about this game, or you’re incredibly excited about it and want to get a taste of it, I highly recommend downloading it and trying it for yourself. The boss was satisfying to kill, and it was great to see that Dante has kept his same cocky and sarcastic attitude we’ve all come to know and love. I enjoyed the demo and it only gave me more faith for what the January 15th, 2013 title will have in store for us.
While it makes him said that he can’t slay demons while walking down the street, Eric will gladly settle for playing as the famous demon killer once again next year. Eric is an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.