DmC Devil May Cry Hands-On: A Few New Changes I Noticed

By Kris . September 11, 2012 . 2:55pm

While the DmC Devil May Cry demo I played at PAX contained the same levels as the one I played at E3, it had two new skills unlocked and a number of refinements from the E3 build. My skill had increased quite a bit since my first playthrough too, so here are a few things I noticed this time around.


Pause combos have a couple new tricks:


After the first two hits of any weapon, if you pause, the weapon will shine and the controller will rumble. These two indicators are signs that another press of the main attack button will set you off on your alternate combo. DmC also changes pause combos in one other way: if you switch weapons after the flash, you’ll finish the pause combo with the rest of your newly-switched weapon’s pause combo.


While this doesn’t sound like much, it’s pretty fun to start off a combo on a weakened enemy with two average-strength strikes from Dante’s standard sword, Rebellion, then finish it off with a heavy smash from the demonic axe, Arbiter.


Dante using the angelic scythe, Osiris.


Stinger is performed with a double-tap towards an enemy and an attack:


In my original hands-on piece I talked about how the lack of a lock-on threw me for a loop and kept me away from using the bread and butter of the DMC series. Well, I’ve since figured it out, and it’s double-tapping the stick toward the enemies and triangle. It felt incredibly awkward to me, and I failed the input on more than one occasion. However since it was my first time using this particular input for a stinger-like attack (I would use it in Metal Gear Rising later that day), perhaps it’s something that will get easier with practice.


Speaking of which, Osiris, the scythe, had another rushing attack that involved Dante spinning the scythe around him, and  the same input with Arbiter had Dante throw the head of the axe towards an enemy.


Notes on the guns:


The Rainstorm move from Devil May Cry 3 and 4 is back, albeit in a different form. In 3 and 4, Rainstorm was a very quick barrage of bullets straight down performed with a single press of the style button in the air when Dante’s pistols, Ebony and Ivory, and the Gunslinger style were equipped.


DmC’s Rainstorm is performed with Square and X (shoot and jump) at the same time and can be performed either in the air or on the ground. The ground Rainstorm seems to provide more air than Dante’s standard jump, and while both Rainstorms are slower than their classic-series counterparts, they hit a wider range below Dante and can be cancelled out of very easily.


In fact, just about anything would cancel Rainstorm during my hands-on, from a second jump to simply firing the pistols normally.


Random note: a single press of the shoot button fires two bullets, one from Ebony and one from Ivory.


Devil Trigger and Style meter balances:


While in my E3 demo, I had a decent amount of time to play with Devil Trigger as long as I stayed in the air, I used Devil Trigger in the same (prompted) place in my PAX demo and hardly had time to get into the air… in other words, it felt a lot like using a Devil Trigger with few upgrades early on in DMC3 or DMC4. In addition, staying in the air no longer extends the length of the Devil Trigger. While I wish that I could have played with Devil Trigger a bit more in the demo, balance-wise, this is more in line with the classic series.


(I do wish I had a taunt button to fill the DT meter up more quickly, though.)


The style meter has also become a bit more discerning as to what builds your style ranking. After taking note of certain videos on the Internet, I  made sure to try out repeating the same moves over and over. It looks like you can’t drop to a lower style ranking due to mere inactivity. Case in point: I managed to maintain an “S” rank even after a brief search for an off-screen enemy that caused the gauge in the corner to empty.


However, you can be knocked down two ranks if you’re hit, and the game is now fussier as to what fills the style meter. While I think the Arbiter gives the style gauge too big a boost (it’s almost a full letter grade on the first hit against the boss), the style gauge is less forgiving of repeated attacks than it was at E3.


Angel and Demon modes mold your mobility:


My previous attempt at the DmC demo was marked by failure and shame. I was taking hits, accidentally rolling across the screen in an attempt to perform Stingers, and generally making a fool of myself. This time around, I had a better grasp on how to properly use the Angel and Demon modes, and I finished the demo stage having only taken one hit.


Basically, instead of simple weapon switches, Angel and Demon modes are kind of playstyle mentalities. For instance, Demon feels very ground based. See an enemy with a shield? One grab with the Demon Pull (square in Demon mode) will stagger them, making them lower their shield. The next will bring them towards you, which allows you to dish out additional punishment. If you’re using Demon mode, chances are, your combat will be pretty grounded.


That’s not to say that the two playstyles are exclusive to ground and air. For example, the Circle button with Arbiter fires a shockwave that can launch enemies, and the Osiris can be pretty handy on the ground. But it definitely feels like the two have their specific uses, too. For instance, press Square with the right timing after you’ve performed an Angel Lift, and you’ll punch your enemy into the air, opening up an opportunity for you to lift yourself into the air and rake any enemies directly below you into the air with Circle.


Finally, something else I noticed is that when you come to grips with how the two grapples maneuver you around a battle, combat gets pretty fun. While the lock-on had me grab the wrong enemy once, the ability to adjust the makeup of the battlefield with the grapples feels like a heightened version of DMC4’s Devil Bringer when you get a handle on it.

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  • Sounds amazing. I’ll definitely be picking this up when it comes out.

  • Tales_of_Master

    No no no no no, this game is bad, and anyone who like it is bad. Hating on this game is the only way to prove that someone is a die-hard, hardcore DMC fan. Kris was obviously paid by Capcom >:c

    On a more serious note, the game looks great gameplay-wise. I’m interested in the story, so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna pick up the game sometime in the future.

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    The more I read these article the more I wonder why people hate the game

    • Curan_Altea

      They don’t like the new style, or how the characters look. I admit, I prefer their original appearances (though Dante’s new (old?) jacket is awesome). The gameplay seems just fine though, and the story has some cool ideas. I’m thinking while it looks like a great game, it doesn’t feel like Devil May Cry to them. I’m willing to give it a shot though.

    •  me myself, i dislike this game solely because on how they trashed the original DMC’s history, but at this point i don’t really care anymore, its not like i can’t think of it as just non-canon, but as for others, i’m not sure, haters gonna hate for no reason ~(-.-)~

      • xAKUM3TSUx

        I’m in the same “hood” as you but Capcom eased my pain a little about this when they said they don’t mind going back to the old series and to count this installment as another series. Basically stating they want to continue both worlds. Not saying that this ones gonna be bad cuz i have a little faith, I just want to see more Nero than Dante :/

        •  i guess that makes it abit better, as for Nero, i’m not sure on how his story will continue, unless if they decided to bring his “father” back into the foray, then that might be DMC5 for Nero’s arc

      • “Trashed.”


        You do know Capcom officially claims this is separate from the original timeline? You know, like a reboot always is? :P

        • Wasn’t this suppose to be some sort of prequel then capcom backpeddled and called it some alt time line or some crap?

          • That’s pretty much what they’ve had trouble deciding early on. In any case, reboots consist of alt. timelines, so calling this a “Reboot Origin Story” isn’t that farfetched.

        •  well yeah, that’s why i think of this dmc as “non-canon”

    • Dylan Anantha

      I despise New Dante’s personality, I find him immature and annoying. The enemy AI lags and doesnt react very fast, infinite air combos, slow-motion GOW style attacks, and putting FOX and Anonymous in looks ridiculous. I adore Kat’s design and Vergil’s, although Vergil’s design is one is one of his DMC Beta designs. Its still not enough to warrant a purchase for me though.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Eh, this Dante seems no more or less immature than DMC3 Dante.

        • Duo Maxwell

          If you prefer swearing nonstop, then you are right.

          Too bad for them that everything about the game system doesn’t sound like it’s anything new or better than, say, Darksiders II. I guess at this point I should stop caring about this game.

          • Kris

            I quite like Darksiders 2, but from what I’ve played… DmC is more responsive and (to me) enjoyable. There is a lot of swearing in what I’ve seen, but I like the dialogue without the profanity. XD

          • Kris, just a quick question if you wouldn’t mind: The only build I’ve tried is the E3 2012 one, but are there any moves that Utilize the double tap forward + (PS3= O), (360= “B”). Honestly when I played, the guns were useless as hell as the pulls basically connects the combos together.

            Other than Rainstorming (and Inverse storming I think its called) did you actually feel the Need and/or want of using the guns?

          • Kris

            @facebook-100001265730386:disqus I didn’t notice anything that made circle anything other than a launcher, but I didn’t go out of my way to try! 

            Pistol-wise… I don’t usually use the pistols in 3 or 4 unless I’m maintaining a combo while closing distance, and I did the same in DmC. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to damage output. If anything, when I tried the pistols on the boss, they did more damage than I’m accustomed to (although the boss’s lifebar is structured differently), but only when I shot her in the head. Anywhere else didn’t even scratch her. I thought they felt more powerful than classic DMC (excepting 2’s obscenely overpowered guns), but that could have been my imagination. I know there’s a charge shot that bounces between enemies that was supposed to be in this build, but I forgot to try it ><

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, he definitely swears more. Either way, in attitude he and DMC3 Dante are equally mature thus far. Adding in some vulgarity does little to change that, since the dialog between the swears is equally filled with cheese, attempted drama, and all that other stuff DMC3 Dante was good for. And I loved DMC3 Dante.

          • BUT: Did you love THAT Dante because of what he said? or what he did? Personally, I’m not really into this because of the crap they’ve pulled off after TGS2010. But thats no reason to ruin it for other people (said this so I’m not called a hater, sorry its just that there are some people like that). 

            With that said, When I ask who is Dante? Which Dante pops in your head? DMC1,2,3 or 4?

          • Solomon_Kano

            @facebook-100001265730386:disqus DMC3 Dante. And I loved that Dante for what he said as much as what he did.

  • tubers

    The stinger input requirement sounds like it’s gonna be annoying to pull of.. at least for me with below average reflexes and muscle memory.

    Ah well.. easy mode it is then :P

    • Kris

      Yeah, I’m really not a fan of the double-tap (never used it in Bayonetta, not excited to in Rising or DmC), but I am going to use Bayonetta to practice it before those two games come out! XD

  • Solomon_Kano

    Good to hear that the gameplay has been steadily improving. Looks like NT finally has a game I’ll enjoy playing.

    • Kris

      I’m pleased to say that (despite my fears that the Angel and Demon forms would make the game Heavenly Sword 2), the game is a million times closer to DMC than anything NT’s done on their own. XD

      • Solomon_Kano

        That’s definitely good to know. Lord knows I’d have had a breakdown if it played like Enslaved lol.

        • Kris

          You have no idea how nervous I was when I approached the demo at E3. I was just shocked that it felt so responsive and fun! Now that I have a better feel for it, I appreciate the improvements they’ve made and hope that they use the next four months to make more! 

          If they improve at the rate they did from E3 to PAX from now until release, I think we’re going to have something very enjoyable upon release… At the moment, it’s the Q1 2013 action game I’m most excited for, even over Rising and Anarchy Reigns! (But that might change after the ZoE HD MGR demo, we’ll see).

          • Solomon_Kano

            Wow. Even over Rising? That’s pretty crazy. Hopefully we’ll hear some more about the improvements from the people who get to play it at TGS.

          • Kris

            Well… the Rising demo was incredibly easy and straightforward. While the enemies in DmC weren’t particularly tough, they survived enough hits for me to play with the combat a bit more. 

            I’m hoping that the full Rising will have me fighting off lots of enemies at high speed, but at the moment, the pacing of combat and the ease of the parry made things a bit too easy considering the protagonist can slice through anything like butter. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to play and I’m really looking forward to it, but I’ve always been a DMC fan, and DmC tapped into that custom combo vein more than Rising did. XD

          • AFTER, they clear all the bugs/glitches. In terms of the gameplay system its really inviting (I also heard that the Angel Lift is now timing based instead of dial). But in terms of exploring the areas and stuff. They may need to work on the kismet more.

          • Kris

            From what Ninja Theory told me back at E3, the level design and and story stuff  is done. Now it’s all just polishing combat until release, and to me, that’s the important thing. I guess some bug squashing will go along with that!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    “Meh” Never know till you try it right?…..  Just wait for the reviews on youtube. 

    • Kris

      I’d recommend trying… I’m not sure where you got “meh” from in the article though. :P

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        Meh:”Just Whatever”

        • Kris

          Oh, I know what it means, I think I just misread your quotation marks as a summary of the article. XD

          Still, do check out the demo when it drops. It’s doing some interesting stuff with combat, and it might just change your opinion!

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            Will do 

          • Search DmC Dumbed down gameplay, it was E3 Build (at ACGHK 2012) but the style ranking is still damage based. PLEASE read the annotations as well if you can.

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            Wow What I got from the videois that the game is pretty much dumb dawn and all you have to do is Spam X and Win The Game. That was just the beta right?

  • Learii

    if they make Dante look the same as in DMC 3 i bet ppl love this game but i guess i skip this one

    • GreekGod88

      I skip it too!

    • thats soooo shallow of you, and you call yourself a gamer? tsk3

    • Actually I kinda hate how it looks and reminds me of DMC3. If you look at the silhouette Its still the same guy.  

    • Kaihedgie

       It’s actually still DMC3 Dante. He just got a haircut

  • Valtiel Ikari

    sounds like good improvements, but still doesn’t pull me in the “buy” section, rent it will be then for me.

  • Göran Isacson

    Question- how do you activate the different modes? I seem to recall it’s not like Devil Trigger, with separate meters for both modes, but that they’re more like switching styles with the D-Pad in Devil May Cry 4. Is this true?

    • Solomon_Kano

      From what was said in the gameplay videos I’ve watched, I believe the triggers are used as the Angel and Demon modifiers with DT being a whole other thing.

      • Göran Isacson

        Aah, now I get it. So it’s like more like you “swap out” the button-functions when you press down the shoulder buttons? Three move-sets in one, if you will?

        • Solomon_Kano

          Yea, that was my understanding of it. Like pressing X might be an attack with Rebellion, but pressing X + R2 might be an attack with Arbiter (the axe).

  • what’s the framerate?

    • 30 FPS, and going by Ninja Theory’s other games it’ll drop like crazy, which is why this game runs so much slower than the first series. 

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