New DmC — “Don’t worry” or just Dumb?

So a new Devil May Cry (DMC) game has been announced at TGS this past week and since then we’ve been getting a decent trickle of information. First off, I love DMC, and my best friend might as well be addicted to it and he’s really the one that pushed me to play it some, as he’s done with fight games. Anyway, the short of it is, like him, I’ve become invested in this character of Dante, the main protagonist of the first 3 games and the secondary protagonist of the 4 game. Dante is a wise-cracking, rock/metal music loving, bad ass. Plain and simple. He has been defined over the course of years and games. When DMC2 came out, people were upset that the persoanlity of the character had changed, so they made him younger in 3 and made a prequel so he could go back to what people knew and loved. In 4, while he was a secondary, the main character carried on some of the same style. But there was also a look to Dante that Nero (DMC4) had as well. Short cut white hair, sword, guns, duster. There’s a recognizable silhouette, there are color choices and styles that are just who the character is.

So back to the new DMC game, referred to simply as ‘DmC’. So it’s made by Ninja Theory who I have nothing bad to say about. Heavenly Sword might not have been a run away hit, but it was their first game, and I want on the edge of my seat for Enslaved – my aforementioned roommate has the demo and we both LOVE it. If I would make a game, half of it would be Enslaved, parkour elements combined with a History Channel’s Life After People post-apocalypse Garden of Eden aesthetic. DmC looks like a decent game, but it doesn’t look like a Devil May Cry game. As my roommate, the crazy DMC fan, exclaimed “If it was called ‘Slasher Extreme’ or something, it would be fine!” but it just doesn’t look like a DMC game. DMC has those previously mentioned tropes that have been established over the years, define DMC games. It’s not just the gameplay here, it’s the heavy metal sound track, the look of the protagonist. DmC just doesn’t LOOK like a DMC game. Capcom has struck out before trying to make a game for Western audiences – remember Lost Planet 2?

I understand it’s a reboot (I think), a new start for the character, and Capcom wanted some extreme changes and new takes. But for something like this franchise, is that really a doable option? How would players feel if Capcom decided that Street Fighter wasn’t recieved well enough over seas and called up say Midway to make them a Western Street Fighter game? Some fans were upset at what they perceived as overly muscular character models trying to appeal to Western gamers. Those were even incorrect assumptions (print out a sprite from Street Fighter 3 and print out the same fighter at the same scale from Street Fighter 4 and the lines match up pretty close). So what happens when you drastically change things for real? I’d foresee a metric shit ton of rage-quits for that alone, not to mention what happens when you start messing with the mythos and rebooting things. That was tried with Street Fighter 3 to a certain extent by removing Ken and Ryu as main characters, but fans eventually got Ryu and Ken added back in – though for me, my favorite character is still Oro :D.

Compare this to say the Prince of Persia series. People warmly accepted the reboot of the Sands of Time Trilogy, but there was only a little bit that players were attached to. Platforming puzzle elements and a Middle-Eastern aesthetic, but the SoT Trilogy added the parkour elements to the history and gave something that players loved. Then when the next in the generation came out with the simply named ‘Price of Persia’ there were some elements players wanted and were given back with the 4th installment to that Sands of Time ‘trilogy’ with Forgotten Sands. What I’m getting at is that I have no problems in reboots per-say, but there comes a point when players think of a game series in a certain way and you change that you alienate players that have come to love those elements.

Does this look like a bad game? No not at all. I can genuinely say I’d think about getting it. The character looks cool, the game looks fast and frantic. But was it the best choice in trying to build a game to appeal to an audience as opposed to make just a fun game? They’ve got established loved characters and a franchised that established its own genre – games like God of War owe some of their game play heritage to the DMC franchise. All that and they’ve got a new character to explore and work with in Nero from DMC4. Improve gameplay and make an interesting story around that character.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just improve on what you have.


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