The internet is very vocal about what it thinks of the new look Dante. Some have embraced the reboot with open arms, hailing it as a breath of fresh air. Others are decidedly against the game and everything it represents. Well I’ve played it, and while I’m not a long term Devil May Cry fan who was put off by Skinny Jeans Dante, I do have some reservations.

Playing through a tutorial level, I was able to get to grips with the games combat system and overall design aesthetics of the game, running through the city of Limbo’s streets, fighting all manner of nasty demons. First lets start with the good. Visually the game looks great. The level I played was bright and colourful, bathed in golden sunlight. It’s a sharp contrast to the Gothic trappings of the previous games, but the palette proves to be refreshing.

Limbo City is just as much your enemy as the demons you’ll encounter. As you progress the very streets will rip apart and your surrounding will distort as you move further along, meaning you’ll need to glide over bottomless pits and grapple around the torn surroundings.

As for the combat systems in place, there’s still the sword and gun combos to mess around with. The most effective combo I found seemed to be launching enemies into the air and juggling them there with the twin pistols. Along with this players also have access to demon and angel attacks mapped to the shoulder buttons. Demon attacks are hard hitting, conjuring up large axes and scythes whereas angel attacks are quicker, more aerial based.

However with all these options at my disposal, I didn’t feel like the combat was particularly engaging. In fact I’d go so far to call it pretty mediocre. I attacked because I had to, never feeling like I wanted to vanquish my enemies. There was no incentive to deviate from a select few combos. Even tougher enemies with shields proved easy pickings. Whip shield away, launch, juggle, slash, rinse and repeat.

The enemies themselves didn’t have much character to them either, appearing as your stereotypical evil demons. Somewhat ironically, they lacked soul. Without any real sense of accomplishment at such a basic level, Devil May Cry is setting itself up for failure, losing not only the fans that have already rallied against the game, but also those willing to give this re-imagining a chance. There’s stiff competition in the hack n slash genre these days, with the latest God of War looking to be an excellent addition to the genre. If Ninja Theory aren’t prepared to go above and beyond then there’ll be little to distinguish this title from the pack.

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This article was first posted on October 8, 2012