DmC Devil May Cry Hands-On: Similar, But Different

By Kris . June 6, 2012 . 11:28am

DmC Devil May Cry feels like a rather different affair from the Devil May Cry you’re used to, when you first start playing it. There’s no lock on, no Taunt button (at least in the demo), and (like Marvel vs. Capcom 3) there’s a designated button for launchers. Not that this is a bad thing.


Combat in the original Devil May Cry games has always revolved around the R1 button as a lock-on button or modifier. Using lock-on allowed you to use Stinger and High Time, the series’ lunging stab and go-to launcher moves, respectively. To me, that modifier (although, not technically a lock-on in the very first game) has always defined the series.


DmC Devil May Cry does away with this. The R1 and L1 buttons are now both an evade technique, which, like their spiritual predecessor, the dodge roll, provide Dante with some precious invincibility frames. Dante can evade in any direction, cancelling whatever move he’s in the middle of to do so. He can also evade in the air, which, while not providing as much movement as the surprisingly generous ground evasion, still provides a decent amount of invincibility.


Because of this change, getting a handle on DmC’s combat took a little getting used to. While aiming Dante in the right direction works much better than I initially expected, not having the lock-on feels odd. Just by instinct, my fingers kept reaching up to hold R1, which just made me evade towards whatever I was trying to lock onto. To be honest, by the end of the demo, I still didn’t know how to use Stinger. That said, I was impressed by the fact that, in the middle of an air combo on one enemy, I could turn towards another, and shoot him out of his attack animation.


Once I got used to the new controls, I found I wasn’t inadvertently dodging into enemies I wanted to attack, and I was having a good time. Dante seems to have taken a few tricks out of Nero’s book. Some of the additions are simple, like the fact that Dante’s new standard sword combo is four hits instead of the traditional three, or that Dante now has Nero’s "Roulette" technique to knock enemies further into the air. Quite simply, once I got used to it, outside of the lack of lock-on, basic combat felt like classic Devil May Cry. Some of the commands, like the projectile-launching sword technique Drive (Hold Triangle and release) are taken straight out of the older games.


More complex, however, is the fact that Nero’s Devil Bringer from Devil May Cry 4—basically a grappling hook which Nero could use to grab smaller enemies or pull himself to larger ones—has been divided into two types of claws for Dante. Let me explain this in a bit more detail.


Holding L2 (activating Angel mode) and pressing Square, will make Dante pull himself towards the enemy you’ve targeted. In contrast, holding R2 (Devil mode) and pressing Square will grab the enemy and pull him towards Dante. If you press X again after either of these, Dante will either punch the enemy skyward (in Angel mode), or kick them away (Devil mode).


Naturally, the first thing I tried with the claws do was one of my favorite things from Devil May Cry 4. I focused on one enemy, constantly grabbing him with the devil claw and enemy stepping (think using the enemy as a platform to jump off of) to get as high into the sky as I could. Eventually, I got to a height at which the game simply wouldn’t let me use the devil claw anymore, so I returned to the world below by using smashing the enemy to the ground with the Demonic axe Arbiter.


Air-combos are a major part of DmC Devil May Cry’s combat in general. Between the designated launch button (Circle), the two claws, and the fact that Dante’s new Devil Trigger (activated with L3+R3) launches all surrounding enemies into the air and keeps them floating in slow motion, it seems as though DmC wants to keep the player air-comboing as much as possible.


Again, DmC Devil May Cry is similar, but different from the previous games. Because I kept trying to grapple to enemies using the DMC4’s Devil Bringer command (R1+Circle, which just led to another damn evade), I wasn’t particularly good at staying airborne and moving from enemy-to-enemy mid-combo during my hands-on time. That said, I like some of the things the game is trying to do—such as the fact that the more effectively you fight in Devil Trigger, the longer it lasts.


Food for thought:

1. You can move the camera freely this time around, a first for the series!


2. There is a lot of fucking swearing in this game. The boss I fought, the larval-looking Succubus told Dante she would "Rip [his] head off and shit down [his] neck." Maybe she’s a Duke Nukem fan?


3. Speaking of the rapport between Dante and the Succubus, they mock each other throughout the entire fight. Dante is constantly dropping puns. It’s incredibly cheesy, but it made me laugh.


4. While I enjoyed the combat, I’m not fond of the platforming in the demo. A lot of it is simply using the right claw at the right color-coded point. As far as I gathered, falling into a bottomless pit will hurt Dante and teleport him back to a checkpoint in the platforming segment, but it won’t kill him.

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  • enorka miho

    Somehow I got a feeling that.. People is going to buy this game despite all the rants…

    • Testsubject909

      I’m not buying it. I’m still on the fence and I won’t forget the previously displayed poor attitude from the dev. Same reason why I won’t get Fez. And anyways, Fez isn’t that unique of an indie game, whatever features there are on it, I’ve already seen elsewhere so it feels more like copycating and use of awareness to sort of blindside people with mirrors and smokes and make them feel original when they’re only retreading old grounds.

      • MrRobbyM

        I don’t know. I kind of liked Fez. He was a funny guy.

      • puchinri

        I vaguely remember being very against Fez and buying it, because I heard something of the dev, but I can’t remember what. May I ask why you won’t be getting Fez?

        • Testsubject909

          It’s the dev, remember, he’s the guy who at the middle of a conference started bashing and insulting Japanese gaming, games and developers in the middle of a Japanese developer’s speech, and got an ovation for it from among his western developer peers.

          Put short, he’s a blind racist.

          • puchinri

            Ahhh. Okay, that jogged my memory. Yeah, that’s one heck of a privileged jackass for ya. Well, Fez was barely being considered before, but it’s officially off my list now.

    • While I’m honestly not all that impressed with what I’ve seen, I will indeed be buying the game.

      I don’t feel like it would be fair for me to complain about it until actually playing it myself, and hey, there is the chance that I might actually end up liking it!

      I feel like it’s only right to give the game a fair chance, even though I’m definitely more than a little leery of it.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Same here. I’m seeing potential on it and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hold my interest, so I’ll be buying it. Then I can judge once and for all if NT’s actually ruined it lol.

      • revivegamesrise23

        i agree with you. even though im getting it, i cant judge it too quickly.

    • andref

       One thing that bothers me is that many of the gameplay videos pretty much shows the same sort of combos with what was mentioned in the article about punting enemies away…. I just have this feeling that combat with either
      A) In the beginning be really cool to watch but eventually get tiresome or

      B) The combat might feel a bit floaty and with the added attacks that knock enemies away that particular ability would disrupt the combat quite often

  • MrRobbyM

    *grabs popcorn and 3D glasses* Let the entertainment begin!

    I kid. Sort of. I’m getting more and more eager to play the game the more I hear about it. The E3 trailer was really cool though I’m not fond of the platforming either. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, it looks really basic and just there for looks. Still looking forward to the game!

  • I never really thought that Devil May Cry needed a whole lot of swearing. Not that it particularly bothers me, but it just comes across to me as an attempt to make the game seem really badass. Whereas I’m not sure DMC games before needed anything like that to seem cool.

    Your notes on the combat is promising, though, and it seems to be shaping up better than I’d initially thought it would. While I doubt I’ll ever think of it as an actual Devil May Cry game, it seems like it’ll be a fun game on its own.

    • Testsubject909

      I don’t recall that much swearing in previous DMC games either. There was always that smug “I’m cool and I know it” attitude floating around. Even with the younger Dante from DMC3. But eh.

      Combat shaping up is nice and I attribute it to a paired combination of fan complaint causing Ninja Theory to review their direction and the reinforcement from Capcom to help them create a higher end action game, something that Ninja Theory is not familiar with, not from their previous games, not if you ask me anyways.

      As for their platforming, this is where I’m currently still worried about.

      The videos I’ve seen aren’t very encouraging and the traversal gimmick is… well it’s a tiresome gimmick.

      But hey, we’ll see how the final product is. Or rather, some of the people here in Siliconera will see how the final product will be.

      Yo, Solomon. If you’re reading this. Another reminder. Tell me your thoughts and experiences when you get the game.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yep, I’ll be sure to do that.

      • revivegamesrise23

        i think his humor is coming back a little bit, not a whole lot like DMc 1, 3 and 4

    • MrRobbyM

      I dont mind a lot of swearing. It can add a lot to a character if used correctly. An example of bad use of swearing is Duke Nukem Forever. The only downside about all the swearing it that it brings in a crowd I’m not fond of, though it has no effect on the game to me.

  • Sperium3000

    I like that the gameplay looks great, but what really pisses me off (and what was recently touched upon by Extra Credits, go look them up on PATV it’s a great show) is that the developers are under the impression that adding a truckload of swearing to this game will make it sound more mature, which has the opposite effect. The original DMC games didn’t need all this vulgar language. Imagine how less impact Dante and Vergil’s last duel at the end of DMC3 would have if they kept caling each other “cunt” and “fucker” and “shithead” and whatnot.

    • For one, I feel like /Dante/ swearing would have added more to the game (He is, after all, a teenage punk ass, and alot of teenagers I  know/knew/was swore like it was going out of style), and having the demons swear makes some sense. I mean, people swear, it’s not a matter of making it sound ‘mature’ or not, as far as I’m concerned, 
      It’s like Lewis Black said [After watching three days of Hurricane Katrina coverage] Well what are you supposed to say? “Well Pussyfeathers?”

      • Who the hell even says “pussyfeathers?”

        • Sperium3000

           I think that’s exactly the point David Curry was making.

  • LustEnvy

    All of my want.

  • What’s wrong with swearing? Has anybody watched an action film where people don’t swear? Even the classic Transformers cartoon film had swearing.

    The original Devil May Cry already has excessive violence, women in skimpy clothes and swearing would make it less friendly?

    • Speedo Redempteur

      swearing is ok…

      Too much swearing however is not

    • Depends on the genre. Stuff lk HotD:Overkill is oky 4 Cluster S Bombs.

    • amagidyne

      He wouldn’t have mentioned the swearing unless it stood out or was distracting, suggesting it’s more Bulletstorm than, say, Bayonetta or something. If they’re trying to be serious at all, that probably isn’t helping.

  • xavier axol

    I’m confused, is it a reboot or a spinoff now? I forgot (o_O)?”

    • ZEROthefirst

      Still a reboot, unless they change their minds again.

      • puchinri

        I hope they do. ouo;

  • I just hope the game is good in the end.

    • revivegamesrise23

      oh it willl. looking at the trailer in E3, i say there will be a twisted ending.

  • Mago Iichi

    People gonna buy this game regardless of quality, I know it, and you know it.

    This will only further encourage crappy developers like Ninja Theory to keep doing what they do best, making crappy games.

    • ForeverFidelis

      Yeah I’ve been looking at youtube comments and comments in general and I’m ready to accept that this game will sell well.

      I’m not happy about that, though. Because if this game does well, we can say good bye to old Dante.

      Capcom’s trying something new and if it works, then they’re gonna keep doing it.

      That’s why I’m hoping the game bombs. But unfortunately, although it i sNOT DMC in terms of gameplay, it
      So this is gonna be a problem for me.

      I’m not hoping this game fails out of sheer hatred and anger. I’m hoping it fails so that Capcom doesn’t do what any company with half a brain would do if a new take on something is well recieved.

      • Wait wait wait…. you want Capcom, the company who is notorious for milking a series for all it’s worth and the master of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra to not experiment and try new ideas? Say something like Dragon’s Dogma?

        I’m think I’m all for Capcom trying some new takes. Especially if we could avoid another Megaman 5-8.

        • Speedo Redempteur

          Dragon dogma is a New IP full a new idea that shake up existing bondaries on his own … That is welcome regardless of who tries …

          This Dmc however was unneeded’s parasiting Devil may cry With the only goal of selling thanks to the DMC name when it should have been a new Ip ..

          i REPEAT The problem is that it’s NOT a new IP… Had it been something original as a franchise, people would have a normal eye on it as a “ok”, above average action game… But This result after the deliciousness of DMC1, DMC3 , DMC4 is just too much …

        • revivegamesrise23

          megaman, RIP. there hasn’t beeen any new game for Megaman and thats sad. i love megaman.

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Dante sounds like my kind of dude. Just…the name of the game is odd. But the handson sounds like what I expected after the live plays on the videos through gametrailers and etc. Thanks.

  • As always…I freaking hate Ninja Theory.  I loved the lock on it made things nice and simple.

  • Gaara D.Dragon

    DmC has become the laughing stock of this generation, its kinda sad.

    The real Dante will one day rise again…

    • XiaomuArisu

       Funny,Sparda was called Dark Knight in dmc4 and we know that The Dark Knight RisesXD

    • Here I thought that was Final Fantasy due to XIII-2 or I don’t know Metal Gear due to Revengence. Atleast that’s what the fanboys have been telling me.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Oh, the fanboys. Look out! They’d have you believe that Castlevania is in the running too. Y’know, after being tainted by Lords of Shadow…

        • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

           Lords of Shadow was amazing! *runs and hides*

          • Solomon_Kano

            Get back here!

            I mean, those of us who liked it should stick together man.

    • Domii

      Where is Ishaan with the ban hammer when you need him. lol

  • PK212

    I hate it when the controls are changed for a sequel. Did the same thing in Saints Row and it took some getting used to but every now and then I still used the old commands.

    But taking out Lock-On, that’s just weird.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Not a sequel though, so not really the same here. For all intents and purposes, this is an entirely new franchise masquerading under the guise of another.

      • PK212

        Regardless of wether or not it is a “true” sequel or not, the fact remains that it is still a new DMC game. So, the fact that the controls are different will be evident.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Of course it’d be evident. Your comment was that you hate when it happens. If you hate when it happens, but it’s evident… did you not understand my comment then? Because “it’s evident” was essentially my comment in fewer words…

          • PK212

             What you said, though, is that I shouldn’t even regard this new DMC as a DMC game at all.

            What I’m saying is that, having already played the DMC games, having a different control scheme will be more trouble than if it was the same as the previous games.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I understand that but, being that it’s a reboot by a completely different developer, it’s rather odd to expect that it would play like the old games. If this was DMC3 to DMC4, I would agree. But this is more like GTA2 to GTA3.

            I understand that may be troublesome for you, but I just don’t see why you’d have expected it to play like the older one’s when, same name or no, it’s essentially an entirely new series.

  • Ive decided Im not getting it when it comes out. I was considering it, but they honestly have made the game and characters sound like immature children.

    • revivegamesrise23

      really?? immature? dude how are they children when dante is a damn teenager? bro get your ages right.

  • Göran Isacson

    Ha ha, WELP- I will say that I’m not against changing the controls. Adding two different kind of Nero-claws may be more hassle than it’s worth, but I’ll wait and see how the gameplay behaves before I judge that little idea.

    But tons of cursing? See… when something is done to excess, it gets childish. It gets “uncool”, because cool is about not trying too hard. If there’s as much swearing as is said here, I’ve a feeling it will end up being that way purely because they’re trying to artificially inject the game with attitude. You can have cussing and have a game come off as mature, not crude. So far I’m not seeing a whole lotta maturity or depth here, which is funny when so many keep arguing that the old game was so cheesy they couldn’t get into it but this, this which is still cheesy but in a different way, this they can dig.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    I’m not a prude when it comes to swearing. I find HOTD: Overkill hilarious. But it’s trying to be funny with its vulgarity. This…it just seems like somebody’s uncle’s idea of what “all the kids are into.” The more I see them try to be cool, the less cool it seems.

    • Scrooge_McDuck

       Eh, I really think that it’s tongue-in-cheek. Just like all those “cool” silliness in the previous DMC games.

  • Nathan_GreeneIV

    Gameplay seems ok. Ill just configure by swapping the L1 and R1 with the L2 and R2 so it should be alright once I get it. 
    Problem I got only is lock on thats all

  • LynxAmali

    – Speaking of the rapport between Dante and the Succubus, they mock each
    other throughout the entire fight. Dante is constantly dropping puns.
    It’s incredibly cheesy, but it made me laugh.

    At least that’s one thing that’s the same.

    Not really found of Devil and Angel or changing up the controls.

    – You can move the camera freely this time around, a first for the series!

    Meh. I actually liked fighting with the camera in 4.

  • Freesun4

    The last image. Does Dante’s hair change during fights?

    • Kris

      When you activate Devil Trigger, color drains from the world, enemies are launched into the air in slow motion, Dante gets stronger, and his color scheme changes.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I think, though I hope to God not, that it’s supposed to be NT’s take on Devil Trigger. I remember them explaining what that was back at last E3, but I can’t remember for the life of me.

    • revivegamesrise23

      yeah man. you can use Devil trigger anytime.

  • Domii

    Thanks for the gameplay info Kris. I hope this game gets nominated for best game of the show, although I think watch dogs or Last of us got it won.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Well then, looks like the gameplay is going well.

    There’s something that’s absolutely killing me though: if he already has an Angel and Devil mode… why the HELL does he have Devil Trigger? And if he has Devil Trigger, is it that color inversion thing we’ve been seeing? If so, consider me very disappointed. Lots of changes from DMC to DmC, yea, cool. It’s a reboot. One of the things that seemed like an essential to keep was the badass DT transformations. Not the same transformation, of course, but I loved that it made him more demonic in the original series. Now it makes him original Dante. That’s incredibly lame.

    Le sigh. Ah well. In the larger scheme of things, that’s not going to spoil the game for me. STILL, along with the incredibly bland new combo meter, it’s one of the touches from the old series that I’ll miss. IF that is indeed DT, that is.

    • Kris

      The color inversion thing is Devil Trigger! No more Kaneko designs a la DMC3. :(

      • Solomon_Kano

        Aww man :(

  • sigh if it aint broke… also why add useless new features o.O… only thing that seems halfway compelling are the arial evades (a la bayonetta)… does NT actually understand over-the-top action games or are they so far up STORY’s butt to notice you need gameplay innovations! What’s the banter… really… that stuff ALWAYS gets tiring and fake… capcom control your IPs… stop chasing God Of War sales (if you want that make an exclusive!)… 

    • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

       The problem with “if it ain’t broke” is then you get yearly releases with few updates, e.g. CoD and Madden. After a while, even if sales are good, you have to revamp your design to be able to get something better.

  • roadierun

    Probably getting this at launch because I love NT. Honestly I got tired of the old games and am curious to see how this changes it up.

    Also, other commenters: want some cheese with your whine? Fanboys sure are entertaining!

  • CudaBiro

    What I don’t get is why anyone would wish it to fail when the game hasn’t even been released yet. What if it turns out to be the best Devil May Cry yet? At least wait for early reviews.

    • British_Otaku

      A project which is perceived to be a disappointment from the get go doesn’t need to be released to get a hatebase. Likewise, once you saw the gameplay for Ultimate Tenkaichi or concept for One More Day (Spider-man comic series), you knew that it was going downhill.

      Wishing death on it early, reflects how immediate the dislike is and we have seen some developers change their mind due to this.

      For this to be the best Devil May Cry, it would have to fit into the mould from the combat, mechanics to consistent treatment of the franchise. Being a reboot with a completely different character who may as well not be called Dante, immediately puts it out of the competition.

      It may be a great game, with high reviews but it won’t be a good Devil May Cry and that is what it resembles most.

  • canarinta

    “DmC Devil May Cry”
    WHY CAN’T IT JUST BE Devil may Cry or Devil May Cry? WHY BOTH.

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