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April 23, 2003
Devil May Cry 2 - Review
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My, what a big sword you have.
Back in 2001 Capcom unleashed a new action game called Devil May Cry which actually started development as Resident Evil 4 before being transformed and becoming one of the most exciting games in years. One of the attractions of the original Devil May Cry was the blending of hardcore action, high difficulty, exciting graphics and nice cut scenes to tell the story. I'm not sure what the developers were trying to do with Devil May Cry 2 but they have dumbed down the difficulty so far on this title that it's now a walk in the park, and a very short one at that. What was the thinking behind this? Getting casual or younger gamers to enjoy the series perhaps? Who knows. But what this has done is remove much of the suspense and fun for seasoned gamers - something which the original title did so well. Check out this full review to see how one of the most exciting game series' has been destroyed by this disappointing sequel.

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The enemies do look great.
As the story goes Dante, the half-demon, gun-and-sword-wielding devil hunter returns in Devil May Cry 2 to track down the nefarious Demon King and put an end to his world conquering machinations. Meanwhile (over on Disk 2) the sultry Lucia is also on the trail of a world threatening evil in the form devil-worshipping businessman Arius. Separate adventures, but both with a common goal - the survival of mankind. Fortunately, as with the first game, the story is secondary to the action that takes place during the game.

As a game Devil May Cry 2 is pretty straight forward. One button for jump, another for shoot, another to use the sword and another to run up walls. The weapons on offer include twin pistols to begin with for Dante or cutlaseers for Lucia. Later weapons include a shotgun, machine gun and even rocket launcher as well as upgraded blades. While these weapons sound cool the swords are no where near as exciting as those in the original game, and the guns could have done with some more variety. During the game you collect orbs which can be used to purchase upgrades for these weapons to help you dispatch the enemies with more ease. Nothing that hasn't been seen before.

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Lucia prepares for battle.
While this game retains similar gameplay to the original title Capcom has reduced the difficulty level so severely that hardcore gamers will be able to breeze through this title with minimal loss of life, quite different to the original title which tested even seasoned gamers. Exactly why Capcom would do this will still trying to retain the extreme violence (hell, the game even has an explicit gore warning at the start) is unknown, but it essentially makes the game a battle of tedium rather then skill and quick reflexes.

The length of the game must also be called into question. Completing the game with Dante takes little more then 5 hours (some may even finish it in under this time) and while Lucia can also be used (on a second disc) there isn't much incentive to play through the game again, albeit with different areas to explore. One of the other niggles is that despite the fact that you can run along walls, which looks ultra-cool, it adds almost nothing to the gameplay. Surely it could have been integral to some of the boss encounters or more of the gameplay during the levels.

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That is one big boss!
Graphically, Devil May Cry 2 has gone for more of a gothic look then the original. Many of the areas are now set outside with Dante and Lucia now able to jump on rooftops and run up the walls of buildings. It must be mentioned that the texturing used throughout the game is superb and while there aren't as many indoor levels to drool over those in the game do look impressive enough. The Demon World towards the end of the game looks particularly impressive and is certainly one to show off to your friends. The enemies, in both modelling and animation terms, are impressive and equal to those of the previous title.

Where this game does fall down is the cut scenes which all seem rushed and much lower in artistic quality then would normally be expected from Capcom. The biggest nail in the coffin however is the camera angles used. It's not uncommon at all to be shooting at enemies that aren't even on the screen. This doesn't happen at the occasional moment, but almost every time enemies are attacking. Thank god for the auto-aim in the game. Perhaps the biggest, or should that be only, positive change to the game is the inclusion of a 60Hz mode, something sorely missing from the original in PAL territories.

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Dante = Ultra cool.
As with the original title the sound in Devil May Cry 2 will blow you away. The levels have some eerie gothic music while hard edged rock kicks in when the action heats up on screen. There aren't any name bands used in the game, but the quality of the tracks is superb. The special effects take the sound quality to the next level with thunderous explosions and hard-hitting gunshots. Where this game is really let down is the voice acting. While the actual voices are passable the dialogue is not. The smart comments from Dante in the first game are almost non-existent while the actual amount of dialogue seems to be reduced dramatically in this title.

You know, I've been playing computer and video games since I was 4 years old and owned an Atari 2600. I am now 27. In all that time I don't think that I have seen such a magnificent game such as Devil May Cry been treated to a sequel that is rushed, takes away much atmosphere, it made stupefyingly easy and all round disappoints. If you don't have the original Devil May Cry then get that instead. If you're desperate for another action game then this may suffice, but it will almost certainly disappoint.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSNice animations and textures, but camera angles are simply horrific.
SOUNDSolid music, great sound effects but let down by average voice acting.
GAMEPLAYShoot everything in sight until it moves no more. Average story.
VALUETwo characters is nice, but DMC2 is way too easy, and too short.
OVERALLThis game really is a massive disappointment when compared to the original. Instead of expanding on the original game to create a classic Capcom have seemingly rushed this title, dumbed it down and taken away much of the appeal. This is a very weak sequel.

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