So, it took me ages to get to this one but I finally played through Devil May Cry 1 (as part of the Devil May Cry HD Collection). I haven’t actually seen any gameplay of this one before and ended up streaming it on Twitch after a lot of people said they can’t believe I haven’t played DMC yet… Well, I did play “DMC: Devil May Cry”, Capcom’s attempt at rebooting the franchise into an edgier and more modern version… Back in 2017, when I first played through it, I actually really enjoyed the fluid combat and the story. Also, it was incredibly funny how overly edgy and stupid some of the conversations between Dante and some of the enemies are. But a lot of people didn’t like DMC: Devil May Cry for a plethora of reasons and I never understood it because I haven’t played the actual games.
Devil May Cry 1 originally came out in 2001, making it a “proper retro game” as it’s legally allowed to drink… everywhere. The story follows Dante, the son of Sparda, whose parents were killed by “Mundus”, some sort of devil. He gets tipped off to a location that harbours a lead for his revenge. There, Dante finds weapons, gains powers, solves puzzles, and essentially beats up devils to get to the big bad guy, Mundus.
The biggest enemy in this game is, however, the camera perspective and how awkwardly it changes when you move to different parts of a room. This makes secrets quite hard to spot at times but more than anything, it’s incredibly frustrating when you’re doing a platforming section or when you get killed by an enemy that you can’t see because they’re behind the camera person. It’s weird and very 2001-ish… I mean, the original Devil May Cry game came out on the PS2, so you can’t fault it that much.
What I really did enjoy, though, was the arsenal of moves and weapons you have available to you. Initially, you fight with a sword and two guns but as time goes on, you find new weapons, like this electrified and quick long sword or these fiery and powerful gauntlets. These “devil arms” can be then upgraded using “Red Orbs”, leading to you unlocking and upgrading powerful moves and combos. I mean, it’s less “combos” but button combinations but you get what I mean. The gauntlets were probably my favourite melee weapon as it was just fun to utilize roundhouse kicks, punches, and dash attacks to beat demons to a pulp. At the same time, some of its abilities allow you to shoot fireballs or set enemies ablaze, which is quite a lot of fun. Still, the game doesn’t really have combos despite featuring the iconic style meter that DMC is known for.
On top of that, you also can “pull the Devil Trigger” meaning that you enter either an electric or a fire demon stance, empowering your abilities and healing you as you deal damage. It’s pretty cool but drains energy that you only regain by dealing damage to enemies. Switching between the two weapons to then wield their devil triggers is pretty fun. At the same time, you also have a ranged attack… because you use guns in the game as well. Those automatically target the next enemy in range and can be quite powerful to deal with specific enemies. There is this underworld gun, for example, that shoots lasers… and then there’s a shotgun and a grenade launcher and other weapons that come in quite handy as you battle Mundus’ minions.
While the game isn’t necessarily “pretty”, I feel like it aged quite well. Some of its cutscenes are actually really cool to look at but I found the game’s structure to be less than ideal. You essentially complete “missions” with one objective but to get to that objective, you need to get to other areas first and even though there is a map available to you and even though the clues as to how to do it are at times quite obvious, I found it a bit hard to understand what was going on at any given point in time. We’re at a castle. Now we’re at a colosseum. Now, we’re on a ghost ship. Now, we’re back at the colosseum. Oh, back to the castle! Why are we doing this? The game never tells us really…
And well, there’s lore to everything here and I know some of it already because I played DMC: Devil May Cry but the first actual DMC game didn’t really tell me much. Dante is the son of Sparda and someone else. He likes Trish who looks like his dead mother… Also, Dante has a brother named Virgil but he’s only revealed at one point and then never appears again, leaving me with questions. DMC2 probably will answer those but I found the way the story was orchestrated a little confusing and not incredibly intuitive, personally… Eventually, after 7.4 hours, I beat Devil May Cry 1, leaving me with two more games to complete in the collection. The camera controls were frustrating but apart from that, I didn’t get bored. It was quite enjoyable to beat up demons and while a lot of the one-liners that Dante says are incredibly lame and at times even cringy, I had a blast overall with the game. I hope Devil May Cry 2 has fewer spider-like enemies in it. Looking forward to playing that on tomorrow’s stream!