Capcom's Devil May Cry series is adored by fans around the world for its flamboyant combat blending guns and swordplay. These distinctive and outrageous combat games could surely only come from Japan.
For this series reboot, Capcom surprisingly entrusted English studio Ninja Theory, makers of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved. Fortunately, its gamble has been rewarded.
Not only is this new game fantastic eye candy and as bombastic as its predecessors, it's also heaps of fun thanks to a large range of spectacular moves. It's accessible for beginners but there's enough depth, flexibility and challenge for countless hours of experimentation and entertainment.
Demon slayer Dante has a new look but the same swagger, and while you might not like him due to his arrogance and foul mouth, you will enjoy utilising his extravagant powers. Once again the focus is on trying to string devastating combination moves together and dispatch foes with style.
Chains enable you to rapidly zip you towards enemies or pull them into your clutches. The same tools also prove handy outside of combat, enabling you to hurtle from one platform to another.
A similar system of trigger presses lets you easily switch between fast Angelic weapons such as a scythe for dealing with packs of enemies or slower but powerful Demonic weapons such as an axe for causing massive and precise damage to individual foes.
Because you can switch so quickly between weapons it's easier than before to attain higher ranks. It's also easier to stay airborne than in previous games, and it's often the safer option.
Hardcore players needn't grumble at the concessions for newcomers. The unlockable Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die! and Heaven or Hell difficulty levels provide incredibly difficult challenges. There are also plenty of challenge rooms to unlock.
One of the few annoyances is that latter stages become more proscriptive, with enemies only vulnerable to one particular weapon, robbing you of your creative flair. The old fashioned boss fights are also disappointing as the foes all have obvious weaknesses to exploit.
But despite the minor niggles this is a quality combat game with fast-paced, intense battles. It's visually imaginative and terrific fun to play.
What have you been playing lately?
- Jason Hill