It’s interesting how things come about. In this game’s franchise it started with the attempt to bring in the next generation of Resident Evil. But as the game advanced it was clear it just wasn’t Resident Evil. However rather than abandon it they kept going forward and made a whole new game, Devil May Cry.
That was the first game, but not the first in its chronology, today we look at what, until 5 ,was considered the best in its franchise.
Devil May Cry had at this point 2 games under its belt. While the first one was good the second had issues especially with how it portrayed the lead character Dante and wasn’t well liked (nothing compared to how much people hated the reboot though, but we’re not talking about that). The first game however had details in it that went unanswered, namely stuff to do with his brother. And so Devil May Cry 3 was made as a prequel to the first game and made Dante the cocky loveable badass we all know and love him as now.
Ok history lesson over. Devil May Cry 3 is the story of the two sons of Sparda, a legendary Demon and Dark Knight who fought against his own kind to save the humans from the demons and sealed off the demon world. His two sons Dante and Vergil have grown up very differently despite physically looking very similar (as shown whenever Vergil’s hair goes down).
Dante having become a demon hunter has set up his own business but not got a name for it when he’s greeted by a strange priest who babbles something then demons attack Dante impaling him with their scythes… of course this is Dante, so that does nothing and the first level is just you kicking the s***e out of them in this one room.
The game is a hack and slash action game. You control Dante using his mix of melee weapons and guns to slash and shoot your way through hordes of demons trying to make it look and feel as stylish as you can. You get the choice of multiple styles such as ones focused on trickery and evasion, one more focused on guns, one more focused on the melee weapons etc. You are judged by how well you did at the end of a level based on things like time, how many red ords (a form of currency) you got, damage taken, stylish level (hence why you want to get good at ranking up that stylish level while fighting) and using any items.
At the start Dante has his trusty two pistols and his large sword the Rebellion but you get more weapons as you play the game. Additional guns like the shot gun and sniper rifle are found in the levels while additional melee weapons like Nevan and Cerberus are given after beating key boss fights.
The game is set out through 20 missions some having boss encounters some just involving reaching an area or completing a task (though a lot do have boss fights). Through these the story plays out as Dante must climb the demonic tower The Temen-ni-gru and stop his brother, while encountering the demon hunter he calls Lady and being “aided” by the strange demonic being Jester. As you progress you will no doubt get better at playing, level up some of the styles, unlock new moves BUY new moves, upgrade upgrades for your guns, health and after your first (yes first) fight with Vergil the means to increase the time you can stay in your powered up form.
The game isn’t perfect and now to say some of my issues, and namely that’s the camera and controls. The camera is often in a fixed location and though you can move it slightly given the speed of combat it’s best kept there as it’s not easily fixed. This is then exacerbated by Dante’s actions being related to where he’s looking and what he’s targeting. Many times I was prepared to dodge or do a specific attack but since the boss moved slightly the input reversed a different move and I got hit. On some bosses especially on hard this is rather a death sentence (and there are harder difficulties than hard). It’s not just on bosses though as in rooms full of enemies you can be careful dodging then suddenly they move slightly or another thing attacks you out of your line of sight. So yeah controls are a bit of an annoyance for me.
The game however is VERY rewarding. As well as the afore mentioned powerups while playing the game, completing the game unlocks new costumes and modes. Complete the game your first time, unlock Vergil to play as, beat it on normal, unlock hard mode plus some costumes including Dante’s Devil May Cry 1 look, beat it on hard unlock more costumes and very hard mode. So there are plenty of things to do. You can even go back to the earlier levels with your full arsenal and beat the arse out of those bosses that killed you repeatedly while you learned their moves. Also get a bonus scene if you kill 100 enemies during the credits, I recommend using the bazooka, it one shots everything but the 100th.
I should point out I played this on the Switch. It uses the final build of the game which includes the Vergil unlock and more importantly the means to easily switch weapons and styles on a whim rather than use the golden statues. This makes the game A LOT more entertaining as you can switch up weapons as you wish mid combat, Freestyle mode it’s called.
When we look at movies, we have come to groan when we hear the word ‘prequel’, yet here a prequel vastly out did the original. It wasn’t until the franchise’s return with DMC5 that something could be considered as good if not better than this entry. But of course there is still the first game to play. I intentional didn’t start the series (not counting owning 4 on the Xbox360) till this one as I wanted to do it chronologically… and will probably skip 2 unless struggling for games to play.