December 20, 2001
Devil May Cry - Review
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Letting loose with the twin pistols.
It's somewhat strange after playing Devil May Cry to think that this game was actually going to be Resident Evil 4. This resulting game however, is nothing like Capcom's legendary Resident Evil series, beside the haunting visuals and sounds on offer. Capcom have been working on this game for some time now and as with their brilliant Onimusha Warlords they have created another game series that will hopefully spawn a sequel sometime in the near future. If you thought that games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill 2 or Onimusha Warlords were action packed and scary then think again. If you thought that Samuel L. Jackson was cool in Shaft, then think again. Dante disposes of the undead in this game in the most exciting fashion, and manages to look cooler then an ice-berg in Antarctica.

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Hmmm... time to run.
What the hell am I babbling on about? Well I'm just trying to say that this is probably the most kick-ass game ever. The storyline isn't too bad either as you play Dante, a dark figure shrouded in mystery. Legend has it that 2000 years ago, in the depths of hell, a demon swordsman, awoke to justice and rebelled against the devil, waging a one-man war in support of the human world. 2000 years later, Dante, a private investigator of the supernatural, realizes that the devil is rallying to rise again against mankind. How does Dante fit into this gothic puzzle? Deep within Dante's blood lies the power of ancient demons and as his power builds he transforms into a demon state where he can inflict unearthly powers on the retched souls he encounters. As Dante continues his adventure he will find powerful weaponry including his dual-pistols and shotguns. Dante will discover powerful swords, each possessing various elemental powers. This devil hunter will lead players into the fantastic dark world as Dante's destiny is played out in a gothic battle of good against evil. If Dante is successful, the Devil May Cry.

While Playstation owners have grown to love everything Resident Evil, it is no longer to be. Capcom have decided to re-release all Resident Evil games on Gamecube and make Resident Evil 4 a Gamecube exclusive. Still PS2 owners get Devil May Cry and the superb Onimusha Warlords and its sequel. Not too bad really.
Devil May Cry is a pure action game in which the hero, Dante, is loaded with a gun in each hand as well as a sword used to splice and dice the enemies. After starting out with the Woozy sword it won't be too far into your quest when you discover the much more powerful Alastor. Much later on you will come across a pair of fiery gauntlets called Ifrit which inflicts some serious damage. On the gun side of things you begin with a couple of pistols before acquiring a shotgun, grenade launcher and more. Controlling Dante is a pure joy. While jumping in the air you can press the R1 button which will lock your guns onto an enemy to blow them away. If you're sick of the guns you can press the circle button to start slashing away with the sword. During the levels the game lets you know how impressive you moves are before giving you a final rating for each level. The better the rating the more Red Orbs you will receive (but more on them later).

Devil May Cry sees you progress through a wide variety of well designed levels from Cathedrals, to an island, Coliseum and a courtyard. Although it doesn't sound like a lot these locations are massive and are littered with a wide variety of enemies, many of which wouldn't seem out of place in a feature movie. These enemies are numerous and relentless and will chase you down until you kill them, or they kill you. It's not uncommon to be in a room surrounded by up to 5 or 6 enemies at a time, and they can be pretty tough to dispose of, particularly the bosses.

One of the biggest differences between Devil May Cry and the Resident Evil games is the unlimited ammo. No longer do you have to search for 16 bullets at a time. Just let loose with the knowledge that your gun will never empty out. Also there aren't as many puzzle elements to the game. To keep the pace up and the action happening there are almost no taxing puzzles and very few "find the key" type elements. Also new is the way in which you can "buy" upgrades to Dante with the Red Orbs, which you collect after disposing the enemies. These include new methods of attack such as a deep thrust into the enemy with the swords, power ups such as Yellow Orbs (extra lives), to Purple Orbs (increase Devil Time Gauge), to Blue Orbs (four of these combine to increase Dante's life gauge). The Devil TIme Gauge is a rather neat feature in which, for short periods of time, Dante can basically turn himself into a devil for more strength with his attacks. It's particulary useful when taking on the bosses.

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Check out the textures on the walls.
While I usually talk about camera angles under the graphics section of the review there is something to be said here. The cameras, while usually very good as most are fixed in corners of rooms etc, are still a problem in some areas of the game. The first real problem is the encounter with the large spider boss in the Church. At times you will only be able to see yourself, and not the spider and with him moving around all the time locating him can be a problem, usually resulting in your demise. The other niggle I have with the game is the way in which defeated enemies re-spawn after you leave a room and return to it. Having to back track often results in you having to take out the enemies all over again. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does you'll be left wondering why.

As you should be able to see in the surrounding screenshots this is one stunning game to look at. But the static screens don't even come close to watching this game in motion. Dante leaps around the screen shooting at enemies below before slashing them with his sword on the way down and shattering them to pieces. It's exhilarating just to watch the game as Capcom have outdone any of their past games by a long shot. The gothic architecture of the cathedral has a life of its own while the surrounding island which you explore (which includes places such as a coliseum and large courtyard) include many moving sections in the backgrounds, flames flickering in the corner, water dripping and monsters lurking. It's truly impressive. The game manages to hold a steady 50fps frame rate but like all of Capcom's other title the game hasn't been optimised at all for PAL territories resulting in moderate borders at the top and bottom of the screen.

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Taking out some of the spectres.
As I have always stated with Capcom's Resident Evil titles it's quite often the sound that generates the most atmosphere within the game. It's no different with Devil May Cry. The music changes from an ambient background orchestral sound to a hard guitar rock noise when the action hots up on screen. Not only is the music varied but it's also very good in quality. Sound effects are equally impressive and will at times send chills up your spine. Also impressive is the voice acting, which, although there isn't a tremendous amount of speech, is always entertaining to listen to. There is no babbling on, it's direct and to the point. Dante talks with a particularly bad-ass attitude making him all the cooler.

Devil May Cry is one of the hottest games on the Playstation 2. The graphics and music combine to generate one of the most atmospheric games ever seen while the storyline is strong enough to hold your interest through the entire game. However it's the continual action that will keep you coming back for more, if only to show off to your mates. With about 10-15 hours game time this won't take forever to complete but it is pretty tough in spots. Capcom have developed yet another great game that must be considered by all Playstation 2 owners.

GRAPHICSStunning backgrounds with good animation. Average camera at times.
SOUNDThe music ranges from gothic to orchestral to rock, and is brilliant.
GAMEPLAYTremendous fun and rock hard. DMC will keep you up all night.
VALUEFairly lengthy for an action game (15 hours or so) and some secrets.
OVERALLA great action game the likes of which has never seen before.

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