Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone











With its intense action, richly detailed gothic environments and some of the most amazing moves ever seen in a video game, Devil May Cry from Capcom sets new standards for action titles on the PS2. The game has a stunning graphics engine with incredible, almost photo-realistic detail that will leave your eyes bleeding. Add in some really incredible enemies and intense gameplay, and you have the makings of a definite winner. Devil May Cry is likely going to be one of the most innovative, ground-breaking and incredible action games to come out this year.

Capcom’s Devil May Cry was spotlighted at Sony’s E3 press conference as one the console’s premier titles this year and for good reason: it looks simply amazing in all aspects As one of the most-anticipated titles of the year, not to mention the fact that the legendary Resident Evil series creator Hiroyuki Kobayshi is at the helm as the game’s director, Devil May Cry has a lot going for it. Taking the basic framework of RE and upping the action exponentially, this is an incredibly intense action-adventure title from Capcom. In this game, players take on the role of Dante: A half-man, half-demon hero whose mission it is to take on the forces of hell inhabiting a dark, seemingly abandoned castle. The action starts when a mysterious woman named Trish crashes her motorcycle through the window of Dante’s eponymous titled Devil May Cry detective energy. In the opening cinema, it’s revealed that Dante has demonic blood in him and can use this to transform into a demon-state, in order to inflict damage on any foes he might come across.  As Devil May Cry unfolds, Dante will gradually gain more powerful weapons like dual-barreled pistols and shotguns and a variety of special powered elemental swords and other weapons which he can unleash using his powers.  Dante’s journey through the possessed castle will take him on a very dark and quite gothic journey as he faces enemies of unimaginable horror. The overall approach of DMC is similar to RE, but there’s a much greater emphasis on combat while puzzles have been downplayed, almost the reverse of RE’s balance. Of course, Dante isn’t entirely alone, as he’s got his trusty sword and guns to use. Players can use these in tandem or in combination to wreak some truly devastating and incredibly awesome attacks on the enemies. What’s really cool about this, is that aside from the special attacks, all the weapons have unlimited ammo, allowing you to blast your opponents with impunity.

Dante will need to fully utilize their powers because the demons he faces are no pushovers, because they’ve got far more intelligence and aggressiveness than seen in most other enemies in games of this type. These minions of Satan don’t mess around and judging by their incredible designs, they will make quite an intimidating force. Add in the fact that Dante will frequently face more than one of them at once and you begin to understand Devil May Cry’s intensity. There are three main types of enemies that Dante will face: First there are cursed souls who are inhabiting the apparently lifeless Demonic Marionettes - these are normally slow moving but can move very quickly when they attack humans such as Dante. These are the easiest to beat, but no easy task. Next up on the enemy food chain is Death, who take the forms of Grim Reapers; they can attack while floating in the air or hovering and usually use oversize scissors or scythes when attacking. Finally at the highest level are the Phantoms, which are gigantic, vile looking creatures that resemble spiders and are also the most intelligent of the enemies. Phantoms are also, by far the most powerful enemies Dante will face since they have the ability to summon magic and make the earth shake under the hero’s feet. These are merely the appetizers in Devil May Cry since the game will also sport a cast of incredibly terrifying and difficult bosses to beat.

In many interviews with the press, the developers have stated that their main objective with DMC was to create something cool. They’ve succeeded famously because the gameplay is simply awesome. DMC unfolds at a fast-moving almost relentless pace with an excellent flow to the action. Battling the various enemies requires more than just mindless hacking, since you’re also ranked on how ‘cool’ your finishing moves. To make the experience a bit more than mindless hacking and slashing, DMC pauses once in awhile for a puzzle. These challenges mainly serve as breathers from the action, since they are fairly simple to unlock. The only problem with DMC is that the boss confrontations are far too difficult, requiring an incredible amount of stamina and patience in order to defeat. That said, there’s little let-up in the intensity throughout the adventure, if anything the game only increases in its speed and challenge as it moves along.

Devil May Cry’s presentation is a mixture of on-the-fly and pre-rendered 3D environments with rich, beautifully detailed environments that make this, by a long shot, the best-looking PS2 title to date. The castle is rich in detail with incredible textures used to create some almost photo-realistic environments. DMC’s light sourcing is also second-to-none, as are the special effects that light up the surroundings in a blaze of blue lightning. The character animations are also quite impressive, with most of the enemies moving about with a richness, and smoothness that hasn’t really been seen on the PS2 so far. Add in the incredibly smooth water effects, huge rooms and massive number of enemies and you can begin to appreciate just how impressive the game is from an aesthetic point of view. Unfortunately, while the engine is impressive, there are also a few points where the action is obscured thanks to rather dubious placement of the camera. Players are unable to control which angle to view the action, which makes fighting rather difficult. Still, DMC is an impressive title from a production standpoint suffering almost none of the PS2’s jaggies. The game revels in its high-polish and the high production value helps to immerse you in the game’s dark, creepy world, making the gameplay more believable and tense, even at its most seemingly absurd points.

As you can tell from the screenshots, the richly detailed environments are breathtaking with rich textures and almost no anti-aliasing to be seen. The environments are richly detailed with brilliant texturing on the walls and floors of the castle. The creature designs, obviously look absolutely amazing, giving the game a dark feel that is definitely not for younger players. Devil May Cry’s engine itself is very impressive, easily giving the game some of the best visuals seen on the PS2 so far. DMC’s high-impact particle effects and incredible light sourcing techniques, plus shadows and the aforementioned gothic feel place this in the elite of PS2 titles. This is all going to enhance DMC’s already intense gameplay is going to be very fast with fluid animation and smooth frame rates making for an overall intense experience. What the screen shots can’t show is just how smooth and fast the game runs – Devil May Cry is an incredibly fast moving experience that should keep players very busy for quite some time. Based on a short time with the title at the convention, the controls look just as smooth as the graphics, allowing the player a much higher degree of movement than other titles in the genre have so far. What’s most impressive about Devil May Cry is that will also allow for very intuitive character control with the ability for example to skewer an enemy on Dante’s sword, then unleash a ton of firepower on it. This is just one of the many cool abilities that Dante will acquire in the game.

The enemies are quite impressive from both aesthetic and strategic points of view. With huge numbers of evil marionettes, witches, demons and other denizens of hell attack you with their full ferocity unleashed. While some of these enemies are extremely difficult to beat, upgrades and new abilities make them easy targets later on in the game. This however can’t be said of the massive and truly frightening boss creatures which are almost impossible to beat until you figure out their weak points. You’ll definitely need a strategy guide or on online FAQ, which sort of hurts the game to a degree, but what real hard-core gamer, as DMC caters too, would shrink from one? Fortunately, Dante can also acquire other magical items along the way such as orbs and globes that further unleash his demonic powers and enhance his abilities. These include new moves, more powerful swords and special spells that he can use in his attack. Since of the majority of DMC’s action involves destroying the seemingly endless arrays of enemies, gaining these increased abilities helps you get through the missions a tad quicker. Though it’s not easy, enough persistence and you can grab enough of the orbs to buy new abilities – or second chances.

It doesn’t happen often but certain games just give you that certain feeling – it’s hard to describe, but any gamer knows it. The first time you played through the MGS2 demo, you felt it. It’s a feeling that has been occurring a lot on the Playstation 2 lately with titles such as ICO and Gran Turismo 3, and one Microsoft and Nintendo hope overcomes players when they power-up their XBoxes and Gamecubes for the first time next month. You can tell from the outset that Devil May Cry is going to be something special and it rarely lets you down. It definitely lives up to the hype its received and is in some aspects better than hoped for. Mostly in the gameplay, which is more polished and consistent in its action phases than any of the RE games were, though it still retains a lot of that series’ feel and structure in it’s puzzles and pre-rendered environment. Of course, these aren’t a bunch of mindless zombies. Far more aggressive foes await those who venture into this game. It wouldn’t be fair though, to label this as survival-horror since DMC feels very different – perhaps the label “Action-Horror” would be more appropriate. This is because Devil May Cry is one of the most innovative and enjoyable action-titles to come along in a long time. Combining the richly detailed environments of a RE game with the sheer ferocity of a good FPS makes for a truly great game. Despite some points that seem to be almost inhumanely difficult and some minor camera problems, the game is incredibly consistent. Despite the lineage, this isn’t another survival horror title – but what it IS can be summed up in one world: incredible.