Capcom’s Devil May Cry 5 is one of the most anticipated games of 2019, and it’s largely because the publisher has given us back the classic Dante instead of Ninja Theory’s skinny goth from the stupidly named DMC: Devil May Cry reboot. But, although Ninja Theory were rightfully shamed for replacing our favourite pizza loving demon slayer with an obnoxious d-bag that attends Black Veil Brides concerts, a lot of the criticisms from fans calling it “the worst Devil May Cry game” were unjust and unfair. So, with it being six-years later, is it finally safe to admit that DMC: Devil May Cry is a good game?
They ruined Dante…
When it was first released DMC: Devil May Cry was review bombed by fans on Metacritic because the developers removed Dante’s pretty white mop for a generic hairdo commonly found on “edgy” and “rebellious” failed abortions. They also turned the witty hunk into a potty mouth d-bag who did nothing but smoke and act like the depressed goths from South Park. So, basically, the outrage from fans about the new Dante was completely justified as Ninja Theory’s “reimagining” turned one of the industry’s most popular protagonists into a selfish and egotistical f**kboy that never stopped reminding us how everything sucks.
When a mardy hero doesn’t give a “sh*t” about the game’s world and its dire happenings, then it’s impossible for the player to care about said character and his supposed development. This is what ruined Ninja Theory’s reboot more than Dante’s look from Hot Topic. Although the new Dante was cringey to look at with his goth hairdo and awkwardly placed British flag on his black instead of red jacket, Ninja Theory’s protagonist was essentially that guy no one likes hanging out with.
But the gameplay was slick
Devil May Cry’s gameplay has always been the series’ biggest strength next to its characterisations, and in DMC Ninja Theory improved upon the hack-n-slash combat. It was admittedly too easy with combos only breaking once you got hit, but the combat was still fast, smooth, and it made you feel like a bad ass as you learned new combos and gained higher S rankings. It also forced you into having to utilise different strategies with blue and red weapons only working on the respective demons, and the boss fights were unforgettable encounters that took advantage of the title’s size and scope.
And the story was excellent
Although the new Dante was given an embarrassing makeover by people that desperately needed to be hugged so they could have had some colour in their lives, DMC: Devil May Cry’s story was – surprisingly – excellent. Yes, it was bogged down at times by the game’s insipid protagonist not caring, but the political themes made the narrative a compelling and oddly charming parody of real-life. Granted, demons don’t exist, but the idea of Hell enslaving humanity through the news made the story topical and humorous with the game’s media being a parody of Fox News with its anchor-man Bob Barbas being a blatant rib on Bill O’Reilly.
It would have been better with a protagonist who was actually charming, along with a love interest that offered more than portals, Squirrel semen, and Assassin’s Creed cosplay, but the narrative was captivating in-spite-of its cast. While Devil May Cry fans want Ninja Theory’s reboot to be forgotten about, as of right now it actually has the series’ strongest story.
So is it safe to admit DMC: Devil May Cry is a good game?
Ninja Theory’s characterisation of Dante severely hindered the Devil May Cry reboot as his p*ss poor attitude made him a depressing goth that needed to smile and listen to happy music, but the gameplay was still fluid and exciting, and the story was a captivating and topical parody of modern media. It was essentially a good and ambitious game that was ruined by trying to reboot one of Capcom’s most popular series. Still, although the Devil May Cry community treats it as a black sheep that should be locked away and forever forgotten about, Ninja Theory’s re-imagining offers qualities that make it a worthy entry in the franchise. Instead of constantly beating it up, it’s a game Devil May Cry fans should return to and give another chance. Or, if that's an impossible task, then it's a game people shouldn't be afraid to like in fear of being attacked by the angry mob that still condemn Ninja Theory to eternal slavery in Hell.
In Capcom related news, Resident Evil has surpassed 90 million sales, the publisher is supposedly planning to launch a Nemesis remake before the inevitable Resident Evil 8, and there has only been one piece of post-launch content confirmed for the upcoming Devil May Cry 5.