DmC: Definitive Edition – Review
Xbox One, PS4
The current trend of the HD Re-release is something that I have a moral dilemma with. On one hand I am loving the fact that I can pick up some games that I missed or play some old favourites in HD on the new consoles, but on the other hand I am annoyed that companies seem to be focusing on these titles instead of something new and exciting. I can see that some of the HD releases are simple cash grabs while some have had a significant amount of work put into them and are more than a simple retread at 1080p. I am more than happy to place DmC: Definitive Edition in the second category as it is clear that quite a bit of effort has been put in by Ninja Theory to improve on an already great game.
I am not going to focus too much on the gameplay as that is largely unchanged since the original release but for those late to the party DmC is a prequel/reboot of the Devil May Cry games. It was developed by Ninja Theory who are best known for Enslaved and Heavenly Sword. Upon its release it did upset a few of the Devil May Cry hardcore by changing the look of the protagonist Dante and altering the combat. Happily though, many players (myself included) embraced the change and were rewarded with a cracking game with a solid story and exhilarating combat. I personally thought that it set the standard for what a franchise reboot should be by both honouring the originals but at the same time forging its own path.
Now I have caught everyone up let me tell you about the changes in the Definitive Edition. Perhaps the most obvious one is the graphics. DmC was already a good looking game but with its new HD coat of paint it is truly stunning. The beautiful yet deranged world that Ninja Theory built is now more amazing than ever. I was surprised about how much more detail shone through, bringing an extra level of immersion to the game. The hellish versions of a real city made me on more than one occasion simply stop and pan the camera so I could take in the lush locations. The art direction for this game is to be applauded and I can say that it is almost worth the purchase just to admire it.
The Definitive Edition has also bundled all of the original release’s DLC into the package, which is hardly surprising but nice to have. I enjoyed playing through the other side of the story with Dante’s brother Virgil and his differing combat. It was also good to see all of the cosmetic tweaks were included as well. I could quite drastically alter the looks Date and his weapons with a healthy selection of skins. Players upset with the new Dante can even revert him to his old white haired self. It is a nice bit of fan service that acts like a cherry on top.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the whole package however is not the obvious changes but the subtle ones. Ninja Theory have gone over the game and fixed a whole range of small issues with the original release. The bonus room keys are now universal, combat has been tightened, collectable locations have been refined, dialogue has been improved; the list goes on. The more I played the more improvements I discovered, further increasing my respect for the developers. It is clear that Ninja Theory have listed to the fans and taken this opportunity to fix up all the little niggles that were discovered upon the original release. Individually these changes are minor but when that are all added together…. Well let’s just say I was heartily impressed.
The final addition to the game was the ability to customise the experience to my heart’s content. There was five difficulty levels, a turbo mode, combat modifies and extra bonuses that I could fiddle around with to create the best experience for my abilities and desires. This makes DmC almost endlessly repayable as I could adjust the game to my skill level with much more control than just a simply difficulty selection offers. All of the options are dangling a mighty big carrot in front of my inner completionist, making me plan my second play through when I wasn’t even halfway through my first. It is a nice addition and will be perhaps the best reason for owners of the original release to once again spend their cash on this title.
I have no problems recommending this HD Re-release. It is so much more than a simple graphical update and is well worth playing. I can see returning players getting a massive kick out of the new combat customisation, extra content and gameplay tweaks while new players will get to experience one of the best brawlers in recent memory looking better than it ever did. DmC: Definitive Edition is a must play for any action fan out there and especially for those that missed it the first time round. The battle between heaven and hell has never been so much fun and you don’t want to miss out.