"Devil May Cry's gameplay is like a cross between Castlevania, Resident Evil, Mario, and a corny 80's horror movie."
After hearing so much about this gothic PS2 title, I knew I had to see what it was like. I'm a long time fan of games like Resident Evil, and I heard that DMC was somewhat like RE, but with swords, so I expected quite a bit. When I finally played it, I wasn't quite as impressed as I had hoped, but the game is still solid in almost all aspects, and deserves recognition.
One of the most promising aspects of the game are the graphics. Simply put, they're stunning. They drip with style and atmosphere, and while they may seem a bit dark at times, it's all just part of the gothic mood of the game. Whenever Dante (the main character) swings his sword, it leaves behind cool trails of light, and the rest of the animation is just top-of-the-line. While the cutscenes leave something to be desired, the actual in-game graphics are magnificent, and show few flaws.
However, when you look up closely (and sometimes this is more obvious than others) you really do notice the little jaggies. This isn't terribly noticeable, especially when you're immersed in the game, but it should still be mentioned. Other than that, visually, the game is as good as most PS2 games out there.
Devil May Cry's gameplay is like a cross between Castlevania, Resident Evil, Mario, and a corny 80's horror movie. Now, this may seem like an all-together strange combination, but it works out nicely. The Castlevania side is really shown with the whole style of the game, and how it plays. Think of it almost like Castlevania in 3D, but not quite. It has more sword-slicing action. The often corny story sequences are reminiscent of some 80's horror flick, but I don't really mind them--They add a bit of charm to the game. Resident Evil is probably the most dominant shadow here, because of the often-changing viewpoints, and the way you run around killing undead, picking up items on the way.
The presence of many Mario-like platform jumps is very annoying, especially because the camera-view of DMC really doesn't suit that kind of gameplay. For example, the first ''mission'' of the game is too jump around a big, darkly-lit room, searching for 45 red orbs. I felt like I was collecting coins in Mario, except, there isn't an enemy in sight. This was a bit frustrating, and seemed rather pointless. Once you collect the orbs, you use them to open a door, and they disappear. Great. Little tasks like this seem to be thrown around throughout the game, and frankly, I could've done without them.
Another bad thing about the gameplay is how button-masher-friendly it is. Walk into a room, push the slice button a bunch of times, collect some red orbs, and leave. It requires little thought, and can get slightly dull.
I did like a few things about the gameplay. For one, it has some really cool action in it. While it may be just mashing a button, it's fun, and that's what counts. You can pull off huge sword-combos, and collect a variety of weapons. You can also buy power-ups and items at certain parts in the game. This makes the game feel almost like an RPG.
So really, in terms of gameplay, DMC is a hybrid. It's a mixture of several different styles of game, which miss in a few areas, but as a whole work out. I congratulate Capcom for their creativity.
Some cheesy Dracula-esque come present time story. Really, it's nothing to write home about. Often laughable in it's simplicity and lack of involvement, but the gameplay is what counts.
The sound is great. It perfectly suits Devil May Cry's dark and scary atmosphere. Sounds like something out of a horror movie, in many parts. But it also mixes in some weird heavy-metal/techno when a room fills with enemies... Weird. Anyway, the sound works very well, and is definitely par.
I found the control to be a bit awkward. It's almost like Resident Evil, but not nearly as smooth, and doesn't work well with the constantly changing camera angle. For example, if you're holding the down direction, and Dante walks off the screen, and the camera angle changes, and you keep holding down the same direction, Dante will keep walking in that direction. But as soon as you take your finger off the control, you have to push the analog in the opposite direction to make him go in the same direction. Doesn't really work too well.
Overall, I like this game. It's definitely fun to run around and pick up cool weapons, like enchanted swords, and a variety of firearms, and blow/slash the livin' bejeesus out of an array of crazy monsters. While it's obvious Capcom as still experimenting when they made this game, it's an overall good blend of a variety of different genres and game-styles. Any fan of Resident Evil or Castlevania is sure to like the nice atmosphere and graphical style, while fans of action games are sure to love the fast-paced action.
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)
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