Review by PaperThick
"As stunning as it is exciting, and it won't make you cry!"
The Q4 2001 Playstation 2 game lineup is a gamers dream, blessing players with the likes of Ico, Silent Hill 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, and of course Devil May Cry (DMC). Upon putting the DVD-ROM into the console, one will become instantly addicted to what is in store. DMC is effectively the sum of one part Resident Evil, one part Dynasty Warriors, and a heaping part of pure white-knuckled attitude and innovation.
The combination of simple puzzles, awesome combat system, and atmosphere amalgamate wonderfully to give gamers that which is DMC. The game is comprised of many missions, each of which require the player to complete specific objective(s) in order to continue. They range from having to collect various items, to completing certain tasks within a set period of time.
The player controls a character named Dante, a freelance underground mercenary in modern America. If that doesn't sound exciting enough, his alter persona is into slaying devils with his collection of huge swords and guns. As written in the manual, ''Even a devil may cry begging for Dante's mercy.''
Personally, the first thing I noticed in DMC was the superiority of the combat system. Games in this genre always seem to have sluggish, boring, unresponsive combat. One will be pleasantly surprised when they encounter their first foe, and are able to masterfully slice and dice it. The joys of whipping a foe up into the air with a mighty swoop of Dante's sword, then pulling out your guns to finish it off before it hits the ground are unparalleled. Dante has a large repertoire of attacks, heightened even further by the ability to acquire special moves.
In addition, there are several different difficulty settings for the player to choose from. After completing a couple missions, the game gives the player an option to switch to an easy-automatic mode. This allows for a less experienced player to be able to enjoy the action.
A landmark in gameplay - 9/10
This is probably one of the most complained about aspects of DMC. The only problem I found is that things can get pretty disorientating when the camera angle changes. This is due to the fact that the game will automatically use the previously held direction as ''forward'' after an angle change, no matter what the circumstance. This can cause the down direction to move Dante forward, the left direction to move him right, and so forth. Thankfully, things can be rectified simply by stopping movement. After this, the directions will correspond correctly to the current view.
Besides being marred with the aforementioned inconsistency, the control is spot on. Every movement and button press is responsive, and actions are very easy to perform. The game offers two different control schemes, which only differentiate between which buttons preform which functions.
Very good, mostly - 8/10
Wow. The description found on the back of the box as ''mesmerizing'' and ''bone-chilling'' is perfectly fitting. The level design and architecture are often breathtaking, and textures are implemented surprisingly well. The character models are arguably the best I've ever laid eyes upon, featuring very smooth motion and extremely high levels of detail. The appearance of jagged edges is kept to a minimum, and things look very crisp and sharp using an s-video cable.
The special effects are equally jaw-dropping, including excellent use of blurring and lighting to enhance the experience. Especially cool are sequences where slow motion animation kicks in, allowing for some Matrix-esque action scenes. From the way Dante's sword seems to slice through the fabric of time, to the way rays of light peer through windows - everything reeks of awesomeness.
The only thing that pisses me off, is that sometimes the preset camera angle makes it difficult to effectively battle a horde of creatures. One may find themselves running back to a position where the angle is better for the task at hand. Other than that...
Amazingly detailed - 9/10
Music / Sound
The music on the whole is pretty much un-memorable, but this by no means denotes that it sucks. Filled with basic ambience and chants, the mood is set surprisingly well. At key action points things get much more upbeat and fast-paced, as the ambience gets replaced by a more hardcore composition.
The sounds are also well done, and accurately portray whatever event they are associated to. In game voices are pretty much limited to basic ''uhns'' and ''ughs'' and ''arghs'' which is all that one would really expect. The voice acting, all things considered, is quite decent.
It fits the bill - 9/10
The Bottom Line
If you're a fan of the genre, it's almost a definite buy. For anyone wanting to see what all the fuss is about, it's a great rent. The pros heavily outweigh the cons with this one, and I can personally see myself going back to play it over again.
I'd highly recommend Devil May Cry, it's well worth the price of admission.
One of the best Playstation 2 titles to date - 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/22/01, Updated 10/22/01
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