The people at Fox News are not going to like this new “DmC: Devil May Cry” game. In it, Hell is a corporate conglomerate. And Hell’s mouthpiece is a Fox News-esque channel that smears human rights activists as “terrorists” under its motto, “Just Doing God’s Work.”
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
“DmC” is a big cinematic hack-and-slasher. It is good enough to be mentioned in the same company as the “God of War” series.
You portray a cocky young amnesiac named Dante who thinks he is human until he finds out he is half-angel, half-demon.
Then a bunch of demons start attacking him in his trailer on a local boardwalk, because they consider his mixed-breed soul to be an abomination.
So Dante has no choice but to slay hundreds of demons for a few days, en route to tracking down the head demon who runs Limbo City.
Almost everything is great about this epic reboot of the “DmC” series, and it should be: It is four years in the making.
You slowly acquire excellent weapons — a sword; a “God of War”-esque chain blade; a massive axe; two fiery fists; and guns.
You earn currency to upgrade those weapons in myriad ways. For instance, you can upgrade your axe so you can throw it, or slam it into the ground earthquake-style, or use it as an uppercut punch. Or all three.
The game stays fresh from start to finish. Just when you get accustomed to weapons and demons (devil lions, evil ninjas and uglier beasts), the game gives you new weapon skills, demons and beautiful environments to marvel at.
In the middle of “DmC,” you infiltrate Raptor News Network, and you punch an anchorman reminiscent of Bill O’Reilly while taunting him: “Segway into this!”
The socio-political undertones of this game convey a pro-Anonymous backdrop of an Orwellian dystopia, where out-of-control business demons use corporate structures to rule humans and government. To wit: Our hero is a mixed-heritage guy from the trailers who rises up against a moneygrubbing entrepreneur demon, who enslaves the working class via labor productivity and consumerism. The entrepreneur’s office banners demand workers “Sell More Debt!”
As for the game play, “DmC” could be a contemporary classic, but it has an unfortunate quirk: The last third is extravagantly difficult in relation to the fluidity of the first two-thirds.
Fighting the penultimate demon monster took me a zillion repetitive moves, and it made me feel as if I were chopping a mountain with a fork. A casual gamer may never get past this level.
In fact, I am a hardcore gamer, and I consider that penultimate monster to be a major bummer. He is a stupid and redundant level boss. I finally beat him after two hours of executing flawless attack patterns.
But overall, “DmC” is a grand achievement. It is often stunning to look at. It’s almost always fun to play. And the Bill O’Reilly-looking guy gets his comeuppance.
(“DMC: Devil May Cry” by Capcom retails for $60 for PS 3 and Xbox 360 — Plays great. Looks excellent. Supremely difficult. Rated “M” for blood, gore, drug reference, intense violence, nudity, sexual content and strong language. Four out of four stars.)
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Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at http://www.lvrj.com/columnists/
Doug_Elfman.html. Twitter at @VegasAnonymous.