Devil May Cry® 3 Special Edition
Developer: CAPCOM Co., Ltd. | Publisher: Capcom | Release Date: 2006 | Genre: 3rd Person Action / Adventure / Hack & Slash | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam
Devil May Cry and it’s protagonist Dante might not be that familiar to computer gamers, but console fans should be very acquainted with him and his devil hunting antics. The good news is that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of the series to enjoy this game as it’s actually a prequel to the first two titles. At the start of the game we meet a young, arrogant guy named Dante who is opening his own business, but still needs to put a few finishing touches to it (like deciding on a name). He gets a visit from a mysterious stranger claiming to bear a message from Dante’s twin brother. Shortly afterward Dante is attacked by a mob of evil creatures so suffice to say his brother’s intentions are anything but honorable. It turns out that Dante and his twin brother are sons of the legendary demon Sparda. Long ago Sparda turned against his own kind and fought on the side of humanity. He managed to seal the gateway between the human and demon realm, but at the cost of sealing his own power on the other side.
Both of his sons inherited some of his demonic powers but unfortunately Virgil desires more and thus seeks to open the gateway to the demon realm once again. Luckily Dante has a bit more sense and sets out to stop his misguided twin. Ok so it isn’t exactly the greatest plot and the whole “evil twin” thing has been done to death before, but it sets up the game nicely and provides plenty of cool cut-scenes. DMC 3 is unlike most other console games and its closest comparisons would be those arcade “beat ‘em ups” of old where the aim was to eliminate all the enemies in your way using a combination of punches and kicks. Dante is a bit more prepared than that and packs a huge sword as well as two pistols. Dante can find a few more cool weapons during the course of the game as well as increase his level in one of four different fighting styles. All in all this makes him a formidable fighter, but don’t for one second think this game is easy.
Since this is the “Special Edition” the difficulty has been balanced a bit more, but playing on “Normal” you can still expect to see the “Game Over” screen, a lot. It’s actually a pity that a lot of gamers will be scared away by the challenge — since once you’ve mastered the controls and improved your fighting skills a bit this is one seriously cool game. The game can definitely be overwhelming at times and without a decent gamepad you’ll get nowhere but trust me it’s worth the effort.
DMC 3 can be summed up in one word, “stylish”. Not only does the combat resemble something out of the Matrix at times, but you are encouraged to dispatch your foes in the coolest way possible. A combo score meter will rate your prowess, but using the same move over and over or getting hit will reset it again so the emphasis is on using as many different moves as possible all while dodging enemy attacks. This is easier said than done of course and the game can be unforgiving at times.
Enemies have a tendency to gang up on you so don’t think you’ll have a brief period of invulnerability to get out of harms way after you’ve been hit. Couple this with the fact that most enemies can only be dispatched in certain ways and all the bosses are giant monstrosities makes this a game the impatient best avoid. Dante gains the ability to change into a more powerful form later on in the game and once you get the hang of things you’ll be a force to reckon with but perseverance definitely is the keyword for this game.
It’s not just non-stop fighting as occasionally some puzzles crop up to give your thumbs a break. Nothing too brain bending, but it’s good to see violence isn’t the answer to everything.
DMC 3 was originally a Playstation 2 game so unfortunately the graphics can be a bit rough around the edges. You can crank up the resolution way higher than it ever was on console, but that doesn’t do much for the low-resolution textures. The cut-scenes are also taken straight from the PS2 and was rendered on the in-game engine so as entertaining as they are to watch they look terrible visually compared to the game itself. Levels mostly take place inside the tower of Temen-Ni_Gru but there are some other creative locations as well like the intestines of a giant monster that swallows Dante whole at one stage.
The audio is quite good, although the heavy metal song that plays during combat gets old fast. The voice acting is decent and for such a somber themed game there’s actually plenty of humor. Dante provides most of the laughs with his wisecracks which makes him all the more endearing as a character. If you have a decent gamepad the controls are a breeze, although some of the combo attacks can be cramp inducing. I haven’t tried playing the game using a keyboard and I definitely don’t recommend anyone attempting it. For a console conversion the game has some nice longevity and replay value with a lot of extras.
Despite the foes making the game quite hard the programmers still deemed it necessary to increase the challenge by upping the price of stuff like healing items every time you buy one. This means health recovery might cost 1500 points the first time you buy it, but if you want another it’s 2500 and so on. Since you have to use your points to buy items, increase weapon power and buy news you can see where the problem comes in. Currency takes the form of red skulls found during the game and after killing foes, but there’s just never enough for everything. Getting a good ranking after completing a level also earns you some extra points. Each level isn’t very long, but you can only save at the end. Saving any time during the level will simply place you back at the start of the level when you reload. You get special skulls that allow you to continue when you die, but they are quite costly and rare.
If you die during a boss fight you can try it again, but all the items you used in the previous attempt will be gone, so it will be even harder to fight them! After completing the game there are some extra modes to check out as well as the ability to play as Virgil so it’s well worth sticking through it to the end. DMC 3 is sure to test your skills and if you like a challenging, engaging game, then this one is definitely worth it.
*Review originally published 2006.
Minimum: Windows XP/2000*, Intel Pentium III Processor, 1.0 Ghz and above, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0n and above video card, 128MB VRAM, Shader 2.0, DirectX 9.0 Soundcard, Mouse/keyboard, 2.0 GB free disk space
Recommended: Intel Premium 4 Processor 2.0 Ghz or better, 512 MB RAM, VRAM 256 MB and above, game pad with 4 wheel-12 button analogue stick, 4.7 GB Free disk space
Operation not assured if VRAM is shared with Main Memory. Video card of NVIDIA GeForce 7500 and above is recommended. Please end other applications when playing with this product. Defects may occur if other applications are running.
* Not designed to run on Windows Vista