By Joseph Trotter, October 2, 2012
Remember the original Devil May Cry, that perfect concoction of horror, suspense and thrillingly stylistic combat? Remember how fresh it felt, how full of life it was? Remember the more action-based second, the lackluster third and the reasonable fourth? Remember thinking that it had somewhat lost its way, but with a bit of love and attention and the right care it could, possibly, return to its former glory?
Well, this isn't it. Sticking with Capcom's apparent company-wide decision to remove any semblance of tension from their games, this new incarnation is all about the guns, the flying, the shooting, angels, demons, the minions of hell itself – and it is incredibly boring.
The impression I've just given is far more entertaining than the actual product itself. The reality is a laboured and tired experience that tries too hard and trips on its own shoe-laces. The demo, as it is, is effectively a series of battles against increasingly powerful enemies of variously grotesque nature. At its core, the real problem is that it wasn't much fun. Despite the option to use both angel and demon attacks, each with their own specific abilities, plus the obligatory guns and sword slashing, it became tiring very quickly. The lack of variety added to this, with very little in the way of adventure; you are forced from fight to fight, and every so often allowed to jump a gap to mix it up a little.
As a result, the combat, the game's main and apparently only feature becomes very strained very quickly. When one thus loses concentration (and it happens rather quickly) it soon becomes apparent how forced everything is. The monsters are impressive in a 50p pulp horror kind of way, whilst the lead characters are charisma vacuums, which, like the rest of this light experience, lack any kind of humour or thought.
Graphically Devil May Cry is decent, if a little rough round the edges. That's about as good as it gets really. It is hard to enthuse about a game so disappointing, so dull, so un-enjoyable, so utterly devoid of redeeming features that one becomes as utterly bored and tired of it as the developers appear to be after only five minutes. Judged on this play-test, the recently-released HD collection is a far better bet; at least you're guaranteed a good game with that.