Overlooked: DmC's Gorgeous Art Style

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Features | Mar 26, 2016

Capcom Dante Devil May Cry

For those too young to remember, Devil May Cry was one of Capcom's biggest franchises, right up there with Resident Evil and Street Fighter - before they turned to crap, of course.

It told the story of white-haired demon hunter Dante, the son of a demon and a human, and his quest to rid the world of evil in the most stylish way possible through the use of various guns, weapons, and a devil-may-care attitude.

The series amassed quite a sizeable fanbase due to its unique gameplay and notorious difficulty which gained it a total of four main titles - three of which were on the PlayStation 2 and one which was released on the succeeding consoles on February of 2008.

Fast forward to 2013, where we see the release of a new and rebooted Devil May Cry from Capcom by way of Ninja Theory. In attempts to reintroduce the franchise to series veterans as well as introduce it to newcomers, Ninja Theory made quite a lot of changes: 

Gone was the white-haired Dante of old - replaced by a teenager with a haircut and foul attitude that you would instantly recognize him as the kid your parents warned you about when growing up.

The environments also changed from gothic, cathedral-like levels to ones that mirrored cities, theme parks, and various urban areas.

Combat was also tweaked, making it a lot easier to pull-off combos and attain a high score while being more forgiving when committing errors or flat-out failing.

And the writing! Boy, was it horrible!

Capcom has never been known for their intricate scripts of characters, but this game by far had the worst writing I have ever heard or seen, bordering on cringe-worthy. It made all of their previous games seem like they were written by Spielberg while this one was written by an underpaid and underfed room of monkeys.

Yes, Ninja Theory and Capcom made changes that divided players' opinions. Some say the game (which was called DmC: Devil May Cry, by the way - which doesn't make any sense since why abbreviate something then spell it out anyway) was good, others say it was bad, while others say it was okay.

But no matter what anyone says about the game as a whole, I think we can all agree that Devil May Cry had a really beautiful art style.

Where the original games were dark and drab, DmC's art took a drastic departure and injected a wide variety of colours, shapes, and a whole new life into the reboot, making the game a different beast altogether.

From the characters to the graffiti and levels themselves, the art style was refreshing since it helped create a reboot that wasn't dark and gritty like most reboots usually are. It wasn't just to make the game look pretty either- there is a sense of practicality to the way everything was designed. 

For example: when going through the demonic equivalent of a news network, you actually have to jump from a series of flashing news reels in order to progress. The visual design actually becomes part of the level and makes it more immersive without intruding on the gameplay mechanics. It just gells so well.

Another instance is in this specific scene at the 24:00 mark:

Where Ninja Theory could have just as easily made flashback scenes to portray Dante and Vergil's past, they chose instead to incorporate the storytelling within the graffiti of the playground without missing a beat when switching between Vergil's tale and the dialogue between the two brothers.

I'm not even sure if the developers even realize that what they made was really good!

They just add more and more stuff to the game that makes you want to continue on playing just to see the next level since each one is unique and totally different from anything you've seen before- including the previous missions.

Years from now, I might not remember DmC: Devil May Cry's plot, or its horrible dialogue. In fact, I want to forget all about them. But I will always have enough brain cells reserved to know that this was a game that looked damn good.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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