Oh, the sweet, sweet fps (frames per second). Most people will probably give you looks of scorn when you talk about how 30 frames per second just aren’t enough. Some of them might call you a snob or an elitist.
And god forbid you get into an internet argument with old console owners about the virtues of 60 fps. And there’s a little sliver of truth to the fps arguments. Unless you play the same game or video side-by-side, one running at 30 fps and the other at 60 fps, you probably won’t notice too much of a difference. Unless of course the game or video in question features a lot of frantic action and fast movements. Then, the difference is dramatic. And when Dante is slashing a million things every second, the more frames you can get of the action, the better. The DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive edition is finally available on the XONE and the PS4, and with it, console owners get all of the hacking in smooth 60 fps.
When Ninja Theory rebooted the DMC franchise, they kept the insane combat which made the series great and improved on the story. The new DmC was a tongue-in-cheek satire mixed with a high-fantasy, angels-and-demons narrative. The sections of the game where you battled abominable creatures infected with a deadly cola or went up against maniacal, power-hungry news organizations were amazing. There are moments of extreme excess, without which this wouldn’t be a DMC game. Cackling maniacs, profane demons and stomach-churning monsters – this game has it all. If you’ve been waiting to see what the fuss about DmC was all about, this is your chance.
For all its pretensions though, DmC isn’t a game which makes you pause and reflect about a narrative theme it touched upon. Because when you aren’t launching yourself through portals and platforming, there’s always something to kill in spectacular fashion. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous, with vibrant colors and psychedelic level designs. There’s not much subtlety here, and it’s a much better game because it goes all out. On the new generation of consoles, the 1080p, 60 fps action is a thing of beauty.
If you’ve already played the original, don’t worry about the Definitive Edition being a direct PC port. The developers have improved the fantastic combat system even more. In 60 fps, you have much more complexity while juggling combos. Dante, our hero, has light, heavy and medium attacks. In addition, he has several weapons of varying ranges. When you learn to combine the two, Dante explodes into a gorgeous symphony of brutal mayhem, juggling and slicing and throwing monsters around the screen over and over again. You uppercut one enemy, get in a few hits on another grounded one while the first one is still airborne, and then leap back to the first enemy to finish them or continue the combo. When you have rooms filled with multiple aerial and ground units, Dante can ping-pong around the room racking up one endless combo which finishes all of them. Of course, this kind of artistry isn’t easy to execute. You’ll have to remember a long list of combos and practice them diligently. Or you could just mash your buttons. That works too.
The Game Play:
If you’re a more advanced demon-slayer, you can activate the turbo mode which speeds up the action by 20%. If you want to make things even tougher, the game offers a Hardcore mode which ramps up the challenge significantly. Combo windows become shorter, style points are harder to get, and enemies have much more damage. It’s fun to go back to levels you’ve beaten and see if you can still hold your own in Hardcore mode. Of course, some gamers might still scoff at the difficulty level. Fear not – DmC Definitive Edition includes two additional modes for serious masochistic difficulty hunters. The first one is called the Must Style Mode. In this mode, you don’t deal any damage to your enemies until you reach a style level of S. The second one is called Gods Must Die. Here, all enemies deal 250% damage and you fight without any items. In the Vergil’s Downfall DLC which is included with the game, you have a more difficult Bloody Palace arena where you can fight through 60 levels of maddeningly difficult enemies.
As a whole, DmC remains the same beast which was such a hit on the PC. The animations are still fantastic, and dismembering enemies remains as fun as ever. Some advanced levels will require you to adapt a more complicated combat strategy than “PRESS ALL BUTTONS AT ONCE!” there are shield-wielders, which require the use of heavy weaponry. Aerial enemies often need to be yanked down to terra firma so you can punch their faces in. The boss battles are absolutely fantastic too. Not because they’re innovative – you still need to figure out their repetitive attack patterns and devise a counter-strategy. They’re so much fun because of their sheer scale, outrageousness and insane level designs. One of the very first bosses you fight – a massive, ugly succubus, will give you a taste of what is to come.
Ninja Theory did what most people thought was impossible – they reinvented a legendary gaming franchise and still managed to retain the essence of the game. Sure, people might still hold grudges because they changed how Dante looks. But overall, the DmC Definitive Edition is the best version of the new Devil May Cry experience. The story is entertaining, even if Vergil’s Downfall doesn’t quite match up narratively. The addition of several hardcore modes, tweaked combat, fantastic visuals and of course – sweet 60 fps, make this an absolute must-buy for hack-n-slash fans.