What a difference a haircut makes.
Most commentary on Devil May Cry has revolved around hero Dante's extreme makeover - and the implication that it's proof the new western developer, Ninja Theory, has broken the game. Which is wrong.
The redesign was ordered by Capcom themselves, to provoke reaction. This younger Dante is also reflected in the gameplay, which takes cues from Platinum's brilliant Bayonetta. Dante's moves remain slick, but they're more brutal and aggressive - less refined.
He's a jumble of gun and sword combos, and can flick between human, demon and angel powers at will. There's a new emphasis on air combat and juggling enemies, and happily for hairdressers, his barnet goes a reassuring white during Devil Triggers as enemies freeze in their places. Easy, right?
No. Even the Unreal Engine 3-powered world hates him now, so Limbo's streets collapse, twist and shrink around you as you fight. Maybe it's the hair...
Ninja Theory's bold new direction for the series is a massive departure from what we've had over the last few DMC titles, and while initial reactions to the grunge style and emo-ish young Dante haven't been positive we're throwing our support behind it.
Creative director Tameem Antoniades put it best when he said 'the Dante we all know now represents what was cool 12 years ago'. He went on to correctly point out that the genius of the first DMC was "it brought everything that was great about action cinema like the fashion, music -- it was like a cultural melting pot".
The all-new Dante is on track to be as culturally relevant and iconic as when he was back in 2001...
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