Review by websterboy604

"An early gem in the ps2 library, this diamond has a few flaws that hold it back"

Devil May Cry is the ps2's first big action game, and while it is getting up in years, this devil has aged quite well, even approximately 7 years later. An excellent game overall, and highly recommended to action game fans, there are a few problems that hold this game back from masterpiece status, but I feel despite these issues, the game is not to be missed for fans of the genre.

Story- Let's get this out of the way; the story in Devil May Cry is pretty throwaway, and while certain aspects are interesting and Dante is pretty likable, the plot isn't going to throw anything at you that you didn't see coming. The plot is more of a vehicle for the action, which is the crux of what the game is all about.

Gameplay- The gameplay in Devil May Cry is fantastic, even when compared to today's big action games such as God of War, Ninja Gaiden, as well as the other Devil May Cry games. It's hard to believe that this fast paced, heart pumping action game was initially designed to be Resident Evil 4. The only remnant of Resident Evil inspiration is the static camera; the camera cannot be moved by the player at any time, and this can be slightly problematic. A lot of the game takes place in large, open areas, but in tight corridors, etc, the camera can be a drag. Also, there are a few boss fights where the camera may not be right where you want it to be, which can lead to a few frustrating deaths. Now that the bad is out of the way, on to the good news; the action in Devil May Cry is fantastic. There are varied enemies that you will fight, balanced and uniquely playing weapons, as well as Devil Trigger mode. Devil Trigger mode is a powdered up form that Dante can transform into in order to be more powerful as well as utilize new attacks. I was initially afraid this implementation would feel tacked on and not necessary, but I feel that Devil Trigger mode is a fully fleshed out and great gameplay aspect. Dante's movements, as well as the AI of the enemies, is fluid and intelligent. The environments are varied enough that even though the game is formulaic in that you usually need a key or some other item to proceed, each area is different than the next. The level architecture is stunning, up there with the likes of Ico. There are secrets to be discovered for those who are willing to look. It should be mentioned that the game is mission based, and while I thought this aspect would take away from a cohesive feel to the game, if you score well on a mission, you can get more red orbs, the currency for developing your weapons as well as purchasing much needed items. It must be said that the last hour or so of the game seems to lose its direction for a bit, with too much backtracking and repetition in the enemies and bosses you will encounter. The plot also gets to be very convoluted and downright silly. However, the final boss battle(s) is fantastic, and redeems the drudgery that you are bound to encounter towards the game's conclusion.

Audio and video- The audio and video presentation in Devil May Cry is fantastic, holding up well many years later. The voice acting is a bit campy, the some of the more rock-inspired music can be grating, but that's the worst to be said about the audio. The weapon sounds, as well as the chilling and atmospheric music throughout most of the game are very Castlevania inspired, which is definitely a good thing in this case. The graphics are top notch, offering all kinds of eye candy, way ahead of its time for the ps2 console generation. The framerate never chugs, and the animation is always top notch. Perhaps the game's greatest achievement from a visual standpoint is the architecture of the areas you will explore; there are many beautiful sights to behold, and as I mentioned, the level design is right up there with the likes of Ico. There are some jagged edges and clipping issues, but the graphics are overall great from both an artistic and technical standpoint.

Replay value- Devil May Cry is, by nature of the action genre, a short game. A skilled player should get through the game's normal difficulty in less than 10 hours. There is plenty of replay in the form of unlockable costumes, harder difficulties, etc. The mission based structure encourages attempts to beat old scores, and you're bound to have missed some things on the first time through. The game's greatest asset in terms of replay is a New Game + feature where you can carry over everything from your first game into the next, and so on and so forth. You can even carry over items from normal difficulty to the game's hard mode, and to the subsequent difficulties.

Overall thoughts- Devil May Cry is an excellent game in the ps2 library, and despite its age holds up remarkably well. While the game has its problems, the cheap price tag as well as the intuitive level design, intelligent enemies, artistic splendor and frenetic action should be more than enough to make you care less about the game's few problems. Highly recommended.

Pros-
+Most importantly, excellent action
+Beautiful graphics, from both a technical and artistic standpoint
+New Game + feature and multiple difficulties encourage replay value
+Some great atmospheric music
+The final battle

Cons-
-Game falls apart at the end...but then picks back up
-Some unnecessary rock inspired music, as well as fairly sub par voice acting
-Melodramatic plot is derivative and does not throw any punches
-Some camera problems

I would have given the game a 9 at the time of its release, but by today's standards I award it a still excellent score of 8.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/10/08

Game Release: Devil May Cry (US, 10/16/01)


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