The Devil May Cry series is one of the more defining games of the last generation of consoles. Setting a benchmark for stylized action games, the various adventures of Dante (the protagonist) hold a special place amongst hardcore gamers and fans alike. Initially, Capcom did cause some outcry over the drastic redesign of character and storyline in the upcoming reboot. However, it rejoiced gamers with the announcement of the remastered Devil may Cry HD Collection. So does this latest remake disappointment like many other capcom’s recent products, or does Dante’s flamboyant style still hold up today?
The various plot points of the serious aren’t anything groundbreaking. If you’re playing the games for the story, you’re in for a bit of a disappointment. For starters, the collection holds the first three games in the series; all recreated with some ne touches here and there. The original Devil May Cry introduces us to demon-slayer Dante, set in a singular castle on a distant island. He then, is whisked away at the behest of Trish (a demon) in order to battle with the demon lord Mundus. The game bears many similarities with the Resident evil games’ blueprint, seeing as how the title originally started off as an offshoot to Capcom’s other horror series. What sets it apart is its over-the-top action set-pieces and cook style of gameplay. Even with the excessive amount of backtracking present, the combo-focused action, cheesy dialogue and challenging-yet-rewarding gameplay makes it an entertaining play even to this day. Its immediate successor, Devil May Cry 2 doesn’t fare a lot better though and falters in its execution with plenty of uninventive scenarios. The storyline of the game is stale and absurd (not in a good way!), with a steep drop in the difficulty. The introduction of a new playable character Lucia also adds to the aggravation. The new demon fighter handles a bit differently from Dante and goes through the same levels as hi, artificially boosting the life of the short campaign.
DMC2 isn’t as bad as many fans make it out to be, yet it’s the weakest link of the bunch. However, Dante’s glorious legacy comes back with devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, a title that far surpasses its predecessor, going above and beyond. The game acts as a prologue, and shows a much younger version of Dante I it. The mercenary battles demons on his way to the top of a demonic tower, to have a showdown with his twin brother, Vergil. Easily the best of the bunch, DMC3 has all the making of a great action game that stands the test of time.
The gameplay within all three titles is predominantly similar. Dante’s various journeys take him through 20-something chapters of each game. Though, some areas are reused albeit with different parameters and conditions in place. The games dip their toes in puzzle and exploration elements that force you to scour environments, look for objects to interact with, and proceed to the next area. However, the core experience of the game lies in fighting off waves of enemies in a flashy style. The systems in place encourage you to chain attacks together in combos that build up a meter, which in turn affects your rating at the end of a mission. The more damage you can deal out in a limited amount of time with the dizzying number of moves at your disposal, the better. Moreover, the game encourages you to mix up you approach when tackling various enemies in differing configurations.
Even so, the fast-paced action made in the series shine again brilliantly after so many years, some minor issues, such as the fixed camera angles have become harder to stomach. Despite the slight annoyances, the Devil May Cry games offer an action experience that is unlike any other. The inclusion o a special Edition of DmC3 in the package will delight the fans, as it ensures a more palatable difficulty setting, some extra modes and the ability to play as Vergil once the game is complete. Additionally, all three games have full trophy/achievement support, providing incentive to those achievement hunters amongst us.
The visuals after Devil May Cry series are superb, border on being nearly photorealistic. While age hasn’t been as kind to series, the HD Graphics and solid frame rate make the game a treat to witness once again. Still, some textures might look a little muddy, the animations on some of the characters may look particularly odd, and issues with cut-seen quality may persist. However, overall the game have been touched up in a number of ways so you want feel too much of a problem, especially when the colorful effects explode on-screen during in action scene. The sound department is handled the same way, with voice-actors maintaining all the finesse and cheesiness from the original. The soundtrack that blasts through the speakers definitely sets the mood for some serious demon-slaying.
Probably one of the best amongst the recent HD remakes by Capcom, Devil May Cry HD Collection, truly captures the essence of the series’ glory days. It reminds us why we fell in love with Dante and his antics in the first place. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer looking to relive the experience or a newbie who wants to get acquainted with the series before the next game hits, this collection is highly recommended.