Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening
Dante, the half-demon with coolness written all over him, first appeared in Devil May Cry, one of the very best first-generation PS2 titles. Two years later, the half-baked sequel Devil May Cry 2 appeared and Dante was soon forgotten. Now, our hero has arisen again to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and he’s all out of gum…
Capcom knew they had to make this third game great again or let the series meet its early downfall. Because of this little game of everything or nothing, the developers really outdone themselves. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening once again features the continuous, adrenaline-pumping action and ever-interesting puzzle-solving we’ve all come to love in the first game.
The game is actually a prequel to DMC1 & 2. After Dante is challenged by his brother and sworn enemy Vergil, he goes out to face his rival. As in every action game, before he can duel Vergil, he has to wade through an onslaught of enemies. Along the way, he’ll meet a woman with her own secret agenda and the same hatred for the hell forces that scour Vergil’s tower. I won’t go in any deeper on the storyline (you’ll just have to find out yourself), but it really adds some depth to this game.
Unlike the previous game, Dante once again is the amazing badass he used to be. Headshots don’t even bother him (at least not in the cutscenes) and he gladly lets himself be pierced with swords, just to scare enemies and show them he’s immortal. The cutscenes are without the coolest and most over-the-top I’ve ever seen in a videogame. Dante rides rocket-propelled grenades like skateboards, chops bullets (!) in half and performs the most death-defying moves without breaking a sweat.
Of course, those are just cutscenes, but Dante’s ingame moves are almost as impressive. He can easily do somersaults and backflips, but his combat moves deserve the most attention. All of his moves are extremely well animated and it’s interesting to know that they depend on your chosen style. At first you can choose between Gunslinger, Swordmaster, Trickster and Royal Guard. The first two speak for themselves, Trickster is a style aimed at evading as much attacks as possible. You can dash out of harm’s way and run up walls. Royal Guard is a more defensive style, but it’s pretty useless in most cases. Later on you’ll unlock Quicksilver and Doppelganger. The first lets you control time while in Devil Trigger mode, the second one creates a spitting image of yourself, also in DT mode.
This Devil Trigger is something you’ll unlock early on in the game. After Dante awakens this gift (got the title yet?), he can transform into a demon that regenerates health and deals way more powerful blows than “regular” *cough* Dante.
Because the continuous shooting and slashing might become tedious after a while, Capcom added some cool puzzles into the mix. Your brains are hardly ever put to the test, but they do bring the necessary gameplay variety. Most of the time you’ll be looking for some item that is used to unlock a door, but although this idea originated way back in the Doom I era, Capcom brought it in a compelling way. You also won’t bother this hidden form of backtracking because of the marvellous gothic environments that don’t look alike (unlike, you guessed it, DMC2).
Dante and the other characters also look pretty nice, though not the best we’ve seen so far on the PS2, but DMC3′s atmospheric lighting is impressive. The game features a very nice pumping metal track that fits the theme well and Dante’s voiceover is prolly one of the coolest ever (aside from David Hayter doing Solid Snake). Indeed, DMC3 really impressed me in the audio department and that’s something I don’t see everyday.
I know I’m repeating myself, but Devil May Cry 2 is now simply a bad memory. Dante’s Awakening manages to save the series from an untimely demise and provides the best DMC experience to date. In all honesty, I didn’t expect Capcom to succeed in this task, but they did and they deserve praise for that. So, go out and buy this game so we can see this hero again!