Monday, 10 October 2011

Looking at Video Games: Devil May Cry

Continuing my research into third-person action adventure games, I'm looking at the Devil May Cry series.

Game: Devil May Cry (series)
Genre: Hack 'n' Slash
Developer: Capcom
Year: 2001-2008
Cultural Background: Eastern

In the fast paced Devil May Cry series, players take control of Dante (and in DMC 4 Nero too) a half Human, half demon Bounty Hunter. Devil May Cry's gameplay is the core aspect here, backed up by the ever appealing character of Dante.

The game is more traditional in that players have to complete levels by solving puzzles and finding keys whilst fighting off hordes of demonic with a variety of weapons ranging from pistols to swords and even over sized gauntlets. When fighting enemies players are ranked on screen by their performance, pulling off more difficult combos more often and not receiving damage is the key to getting A and S ranks when fighting. Once the main objective of the level is complete players are ranked overall on their performance through the level based on time, enemies killed, numbers of character deaths and collectables picked up. The game also features a range of settings from urban spaces to wide open jungle areas, even to the depths of hell this vast change in level design in one game is a part of what the Devil May cry experience is about.

Another aspect as to why Devil May Cry is so popular is that it's generally regarded as a fairly hard game with modes such as "Dante Must Die" where in if the player receives 1 hit Dante dies and must restart the level. This is so pivotal to the franchise that when the first sequel was released many critics complained that it was too easy. The challenge set by the game to the players is one of the key aspects of why Devil May Cry is so appealing. Below is a video of Devil May Cry's game play, taken from Devil May Cry 4.

The character of Dante is a huge part of the franchise as well. Being the son of a powerful Demon, Dante uses his heritage to specialise in fighting all forms of paranormal creatures due to his mother's death at their hands and his brother's ultimate corruption into a full demon. There's also his tongue and cheek attitude and the fact there's a little bit of cheesiness to the character. There's definite sense of the character Knowing/thinking he's awesome which also makes him very endearing and likable and it's clear to see why he struck such a chord with audiences. Due to his popularity dante has appeared in other games such as Veiwtiful Joe, Shin Megami Tensi: Nocturne and most recently, Marvel Vs Capcom 3 showing sometimes just the quality of character can keep fans coming back.

Devil May cry shows that there are still games out there which focus on core gameplay rather than a story to entertain players. This should be kept in mind when trying to develop my own game background for my characters.

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