Devil May Cry Review (Nintendo Switch)
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
It may or may not be common knowledge that Devil May Cry came from the redevelopment of Resident Evil 4. Capcom deemed the first attempt at Resident Evil 4 to be incompatible with the Resident Evil brand and decided that they wanted a game that was more in line with the series. The work that went into the initial version of Resident Evil 4 was not wasted and in fact, was reimagined by another team at Capcom. This reimagining was, of course, Devil May Cry.
There are two joyous facets to this revelation.
1. We got a Resident Evil 4 game that was groundbreaking within the series and set new standards for games of that type.
2. We also inherited its offshoot and can only imagine what Resident Evil 4 would have been like if they stuck to the Devil May Cry system. In hindsight it would probably have been too much of a departure from “the world of survival horror” and I for one am glad, like many others that they decided to go the way they went.
Devil May Cry has many similarities to the Resident Evil series, the first being the supremely corny dialogue that smashes you over the head with the weight of an anvil. It seems as if Barry Burton himself is being channelled or worse yet placed on the writing duties. This, without doubt, has its charm even although it is a bit of a cringe-fest it is a positive element of the game.
In terms of narrative, you play as Dante who is the son of Sparda, a legendary demon Knight. It was Sparda who vanquished Mundus (Satan) from the earthly realm thousands of years before the setting of Devil May Cry. Mundus is back and only Dante Son of Sparda can save the day. Dante, being the son of a legendary demon Slayer comes equipped with superhuman abilities such as healing, reflexes, strength and agility.
In addition to those aforementioned gifts, Dante also wields some pretty stock badassery. At the start of the game, you begin with a twin set of pistols which are satisfying all on their own especially if you have seen and enjoyed any of John Woo's movies. Twin gun action at its finest, along with a superb sound & music scheme makes this game scream action. Along with the firepower you have a further weapon is firmly affixed to your back. Dante’s melee weapon ability comes in the form of a sword, at least at the start and certainly increases the enjoyment of the game. Switching between the two, gun & sword, can be extremely satisfying and I would happily put forward that this is the one mechanic that makes the game what it is. One-click of the button and whoosh, the sword is in your grasp ready to, literally, slice n dice, the next you are blazing away with aplomb with your pistols.
Throughout the game, you find or are given other weapon variations and this is another similarity with the Resident Evil franchise. Like those games and, I suppose, many others you find more powerful weapons as you progress. Further melee and firepower are achieved and without giving too much away, they all soar in their own way. My personal favourite being the double-barrelled shotgun. The deafening blast it emits when you are up close and personal with some form of ghoulish demon is one of my favourite elements of this game.
The enemies within Devil May Cry are relatively varied and do give off a fairly creepy vibe for the most part. This leads again to the horror tone either from its Resident Evil roots or because of the nature of the demon storyline. Creepy marionette's and witch-like phantasms are the order of the day along with huge spiders made from, what looks like, molten rock. As I mentioned before the enemies are fairly diverse and really do keep with the games aesthetic and feel.
With regards to the mission structure, I'd say they could have improved things here a little. Coming in at around 6 to 8 hours play through some of the missions seems completely pointless. 23 missions in all within the game itself with some taking 30 minutes+ and others 3 or 4 minutes. It's an odd occurrence for sure and made me feel as if I had seriously missed some content. In all fairness, it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the game but did seem an odd occurrence.
Sticking with a slightly more negative narrative, the camera angles could become, on occasions another area of annoyance and from time to time spoiled my fun. Enemies who are off-screen sometimes take a long time to appear. Either that or you have to move your character into a new area to flip the camera angle. It's not a huge gripe and is problematic of games of this type where some backgrounds are seemingly static. That said the graphics themselves are still fairly impressive considering this was a PS2 title. Nothing about my playthrough seemed negative in respect to the graphics and I can see why they didn’t really need to do an upscale. (Would have been nice Capcom)
One final mention that I must make is the music & sound. I alluded to previously that both are excellent but I failed to mention much else. The music & sound within Devil May Cry is sensational for a title that is around 18 years old. The weapon sounds are all excellent and the superb booming heavy metal tracks that accompany the shotgun blasts that follow are simply nothing short of gaming excellence.
If you are a fan of action, hack n slash games then this may be right up your alley. Please check out the gameplay trailer attached at the end of this review to truly see what you are letting yourself in for.
I paid £12.99 for Devil May Cry from the Nintendo eStore on the Switch. I would recommend the purchase here as it is definitely worth your time for new players to the franchise or older players who want that enjoyable trip down memory lane.