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Capcom: The Great DMC Defense Starts Now

Tuesday, 13th September 2011 13:19 GMT By Patrick Garratt

If we take anything away from the latest DMC demo, it’s that Capcom really wants you to believe this is the real deal. Defensive? Not a bit of it.

Ninja Theory’s DMC

The fifth game in Capcom’s Devil May Cry series, and the first to be developed externally.

Reboots protagonist Dante’s origins and focuses on his earlier life.

Outraged series fans upon reveal at TGS 2010.

Developed in close collaboration with Capcom Japan, including special attention from long-serving series director Hideaki Itsuno.

Expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.

DMC is a real Devil May Cry game. I know because it’s the one thing Capcom and developer Ninja Theory want to tell the journalists watching the title’s gamescom demo virtually every time any question’s asked. What did you have for breakfast? This feels like a real Devil May Cry game. That sort of thing.

The men standing in front of me – US producer Alex Jones, Japanese producer Motohide Eshiro and Ninja Theory frontman Tameem Antoniades – look as though they’re on trial. A third-party developer may be making this, but it’s legit. They swear it.

Exhibit A: the game. We see a combat demo. It’s a scene on a baroque street. Dante, the young version that caused such a fuss when he was unveiled a year ago at TGS, runs into a spot of demon-related bother.

“They dragged me into Limbo,” he huffs, as if being dragged into Limbo was some sort of minor inconvenience. There’s thumping music and we’re straight into combat with juggling moves, chained weapons, spinning attacks in the air with double pistols, close-ups for special moves and rolling.

I type “Bayonetta”. We’re not allowed to film what we’re seeing, but it’s impossible to ignore the impact Hideki Kamiya, the director of the first Devil May Cry, has had on the genre with his leggy witch. There’s a heavy surreal element to play, with the city breaking up around Dante as he fights.

Dante’s accompanied by a ghost-like female aid. She tells him that the city itself is trying to stop him.

“The world is malignant, it’s a malignant version of our world,” says Tameem. “It’s like a sentient, living world. It forms enemies to attack you like white blood cells. It tries to crush you and kill you in different ways.”

The team won’t elaborate on her identity.

“We’re not introducing her yet, but she’s in there for the journey with you,” says Antoniades. “She’s based in the human world, not in the demon world that Dante gets dragged into. And she can communicate to Dante, hence she appears in a ghost-like form.”

He goes on to explain the thinking behind DMC’s combat system.

“Dante himself has both demon and angel powers. Some of the side-attacks you see are his angel weapons, and there’ll be more angel weapons he can swap between. There are demon weapons like the axe. You can swap between angel, demon and human live through gameplay, and within angel and demon you can also swap into different weapons. There’s a lot of breadth to the combat.

“We’re having a real collaborative effort here. We’re making something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, something that neither one of us could really do on our own.”

“With the demon ability he can pull parts of the environment; with the angel one he can fly to different parts of the environment, chain up it or just glide, and it’s a mix between all of that – the combat, the gunplay, the angel, demon and human – that gives the breadth of combat we have.”

Tameem adds: “In the incarnation of Dante, he’s much more aggressive and young. He’s more of a street fighter.”

“There will be more depth in the final version that what you’re seeing now,” warns Jones, in case we judge too harshly.

“Obviously, from a combat standpoint, we don’t have all the moves in. What you’re seeing is just a very small sub-set of the final combat count.”

We see the Devil Trigger ability in action. Dante leaps from enemy to enemy in the air using chains, pulling himself around a courtyard without landing.

“With the Devil Trigger, a lot of the emphasis is on aerial combos and staying within the air. The more you stay in the air, the more damage you gain: it’s juggling. It’s very skill-based.”

Eshiro-san notes: “One of the biggest differences in this title compared to other Devil May Cry titles is the aerial combos. The Devil May Cry games up until now were much more focused on swordplay and gunplay on the ground. This time we’re adding another layer, another dimension, by focusing a lot on aerial combat and chaining between enemies in the air.”

A lot of the HUD elements – such as ranking and the Devil Gauge – are missing from the demo. They’re “coming,” according to Tameem.

The demo finishes with a section in which Dante’s platforming and racing against environmental puzzles, pitched against his malicious surroundings on floating islands and a church.

In the dock
From this point, talk switches to authenticity. I ask Tameem a question about weight of responsibility in creating something to appease Devil May Cry’s core fanbase and it’s as if we’re transported into a particularly taxing episode of Judge Judy.

“In terms of creating a combat system that feels right for DMC, that’s something that we’ve always wanted to do, but in terms of responding to the haters, we’ve got our plan. We’ve got our world and we’ve got our path, and we’re not changing that, because we believe that it’s a cohesive world that’s going to make sense when you get your hands on it,” says Antoniades.

“Unfortunately, people don’t have their hands on it, so they can’t appreciate or experience it. I think that all the people that are sceptical secretly want to like it, and our job it to prove that it is Devil May Cry in essence, and there’s a whole other dimension to it that we’ve added that will elevate it.”

And you think the new Dante is something Tameem and his desperately non-Capcom cohorts just slapped into the IP on a whim? Objection.

Jones: “Just to give some addition context: character design specifically is something that Capcom Japan is deeply, deeply involved in, probably second only to the combat fluidity and responsiveness. There have been dozens of meetings over the character design. This is very much collaborative. The vision for the character is shared across Ninja Theory and Capcom Japan.”

“In terms of responding to the haters, we’ve got our plan. We’ve got our world and we’ve got our path, and we’re not changing that, because we believe that it’s a cohesive world that’s going to make sense when you get your hands on it.”

Really? I put it to you, sir, that Capcom doesn’t care about Devil May Cry any more. I put it to you, sir, that Capcom merely wants a quick cash-in on the series we all love so dearly.

“Capcom Japan is also heavily involved in an advisory capacity, in kind of a co-design capacity,” says Eshiro-san.

“Capcom’s strength has always been control responsiveness, getting the character to do what you want him to do without stress on the part of the player, so we’re taking all of our know-how in that realm and we’re taking advantage of Ninja Theory’s know-how when it comes to storytelling, cinematics, presentation.

“We’re having a real collaborative effort here. We’re making something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, something that neither one of us could really do on our own. We meet with these guys on a nearly monthly basis at this point, and we have a very close collaboration with Itsuno-san, one of the guys from Capcom Japan side who was a director of many Devil May Cry games up until now [Hideaki Itsuno, director of Devil May Cry 2, 3 and 4 – Ed].

“He works very closely with the designers at Ninja Theory to come up with these results.”

Nonsense. A clear falsehood. And surely you can’t expect this jury to believe this abomination will feel like a Devil May Cry game? It’s running at 30 frames, for God’s sake.

“Sixty frames a second is important in terms of control responsiveness,” says Antoniades.

“I think we’ve got a very responsive control system that works, so when people say they’re worried about 60 frames-per-second, I think they’re more worried about the control response. That’s something that we’ve worked hard on with Capcom Japan to nail.

DMC’s gamescom 2011 trailer.

“Going to 30 frames-per-second – which is locked, by the way; every milestone runs at 30, so it’s not going to suffer as Enslaved did – allows us to introduce new elements, such as the world-changing elements, which I think will add an extra dimension to the overall gameplay.”

Eshiro-san: “As Tameem latched on, when it comes to the idea of framerate, a lot of that is based less and less on visuals and more on inputs and the way the game feels.

“Itsuno-san has spent a lot of time with Ninja Theory to replicate the control feel of a 60 frames-per-second game through motion design, through the input methods themselves.

“I think when you get your hands on it, speaking to someone who’s played the previous Devil May Cry games as well as DMC, it really does feel like a proper DMC game. You will not necessarily notice the difference once the controller is in your hands.”

The jury deliberates. It’s difficult to not believe him based on the demo. DMC is a furious adaptation of the Devil May Cry formula, with the series’ concepts and mechanics apparently stretched to the limit. We haven’t played it, obviously, but can creatives of this calibre, taking this much care, and looking this embattled by the fanboy legions really be condemned for negligence?

Verdict: not guilty. Looks awesome. You’ll be playing it on PS3 and 360 in 2012. Watch for more from TGS this week.

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38 Comments

  1. daytripper

    yeah but…this game is rubbish because of his hair!!…..

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I managed to get passed the hair to think it looks really awesome. It was a close thing, though. I nearly started crying.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. strikkebil

    omg u guys im so not buying this game. black hair? pfft.

    seriously??

    #3 3 years ago
  4. StolenGlory

    Honestly, most of you need to shut the fuck up and give the game a chance by the looks of it.

    Who gives a rats rectum if he looks like the fucking front-man for My Chemical Romance? If the game is solid, which it appears to be, I couldn’t give two shits about that other extra-curricular crap.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    :D

    It’s the real thing. It really does look like a Bayonetta-DMC splice. I can’t believe they’d release it unless it was what it’s supposed to be. I think they’re extremely aware of how “touchy” DMC fans can be :)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Dralen

    My gripe was never with the aesthetic changes but more with the actual character and story change. I f***ing loved Dante! :’(

    #6 3 years ago
  7. daytripper

    @4 exactly, the game looks great. i have a soft spot for ninja theory aswell

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    fuck the hair and character thing for now.

    Gameplay wise i haven’t seen nothing that this is Devil May Cry and i don’t feel something impressive either. What i saw was a stylish wannabe trailer with a guy who constantly press X,X,X,X,X and etc and hack and slash mechanic is still slow for the DmC game. I saw Dante hit only 1-2 guys at best. Combo scores and stuff are probably going to exist at some point.

    Also, judging by the gameplay trailer it looks and feels very empty. I hope it was just a show off and they won’t forget to bring furniture to smash something.

    So far i can’t get excited about this game even if i will throw away all shitty stuff what they did with the story, character look, character behaviour.

    for me DmC is like the same thing what CAPCOM does with Resident Evil:Raccoon city. Same shit basically, different developer.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    Old school Dante skin DLC announced for day 1 release, hair obsessed fans claim victory ;)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Clupula

    It’s more than just the hair. Where the fuck did Dante suddenly get angel powers from? Where’s…nevermind. I’m tired of talking about DINO (Dante In Name Only). I hope this game flops. If it kills the series, then fine. I’ll always have Bayonetta. I’d rather they stop with the series altogether than continue like this.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. KrazyKraut

    YoungZer0 in 3,2,1… (come at me bro..u know i love u..^^)

    The problem isnt, that a producer is living out his wet dreams. The problem is that this is not made in Japan. Thats the problem.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    @6: What character? Gotta admit, he was someone else in every game that was released.

    @11: Really? That’s the problem? REALLY?!

    #12 3 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    Sidenote: I hope smoking is part of the gameplay. Or at least the cutscenes. Don’t want them to be as afraid as Eidos Montreal, when they decided to vanish all hints that Adam might be smoking.

    @10: It’s a reboot. They are rewriting the story. If story is your problem, then why are you happy with Bayonetta?

    @8:

    “Gameplay wise i haven’t seen nothing that this is Devil May Cry”

    You sure you played DMC before?

    “What i saw was a stylish wannabe trailer with a guy who constantly press X,X,X,X,X”

    Don’t remember the trailer showing off any buttons. Making things up again?

    “Also, judging by the gameplay trailer it looks and feels very empty. I hope it was just a show off and they won’t forget to bring furniture to smash something.”

    Guess they will, but i guess the reason why it’s so empty is because the city will eventually start to attack you. The reason why DMC 4 looked so good is because the world itself was unresponsive to your actions of any actions.

    “So far i can’t get excited about this game even if i will throw away all shitty stuff what they did with the story, character look, character behaviour.”

    “fuck the hair and character thing for now.”

    Contradiction in one comment, you’re getting better at this.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. IrrationalGamer

    How about getting your face and hair out of the game, Mr. Tameem Antoniades?

    I mean, this picture looks like Dante has the hair of Tameem:
    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=antoniades+dmc&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&tbm=isch&tbnid=xwiyhDe4NFp3bM:&imgrefurl=http://cheezburger.com/Asset/View/4843576576&docid=V52hxzl9KVTncM&w=401&h=271&ei=t1xvTtaUM-LniALoqoSQBw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=962&vpy=112&dur=4692&hovh=184&hovw=273&tx=165&ty=87&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=217&start=0&ndsp=10&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&biw=1280&bih=487

    and then you look at the picture in this article, and now Tameem has his whole damn face in there!! My god, who in the hell at Capcom thought people would think it’s cool to play as Tameem in the new Devil May Cry? Doesn’t that kind of ruin the attachment players are going to have to the character? Change the god damn character face now before it’s too late and nobody wants to buy your game.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. joshua nash

    @10 i agree with 100% of what you posted, i’m just going to write this off as capcom has totally lost there motherfucking minds first they decide to out megaman legends 3 on the 3DS which imo they should have never done they should hav put it on PS3 and 360, then they go and cancel it, now they have gane and committed such vile blasphemy again the DMC fanbase by creating a game that does looks okay but starts a guy who is name dante but isn’t the dante we all know and love, this “new” dante is some jag-off emo douchebag prick that has demon and angel powers which is just MOTHERFUCKING WRONG YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE OR THE OTHER NOT FUCKING BOTH, i refuse to get this game, i refuse to even except it as cannon, the only good games in the devil may cry series are the first 3

    #15 3 years ago
  16. xino

    i can’t wait for this man

    #16 3 years ago
  17. YoungZer0

    @14: Well lets see. The eyes are different, so’s the nose, eyebrows and chin, the mouth could be similar though. It’s not the developers fault if you got problems with your eyes.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Freek

    We already have a next gen DMC, it just happend to be called Bayonetta, and there’s a sequel rumoured for TGS.
    So i’ll pass on yet another one of Capcoms “westernised” titles.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. FeaturePreacher

    It’s going to be hilarious to watch this title fail when all it had to do was change Dante back or release the game under a different title.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. hitnrun

    I never liked DMC, but I object in principle to same-name-no-subtitle franchise reboots, reboots of 10 year old franchises, darker and grittier reboots, and most especially same-name-no-subtitle darker-and-grittier reboots of 10 year old franchises.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Amir Hossein

    Just stop talking about a fucking game that you know nothing about. Instead, start admiring the article; it was greatly written.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    @19: “when all it had to do was change Dante back or release the game under a different title.” Congrats, that is by far the dumbest comment i’ve read in a long time.

    @21: Indeed it is.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. daytripper

    @19 cunty attitude that

    #23 3 years ago
  24. TD_Monstrous69

    I’m actually looking forward to this, and can’t wait to play it in 2012. This looks to be on how to westernize a Japanese game the right way (namingly, actually give it to a good western developer). Better than what Capcom was doing before (Lost Planet 2, Resident Evil 5 anyone?). By the way, people’s complaints over this are just plain tired; “Oh I’m not buying this cause he has black hair, instead of white hair, and is scrawny, he looks emo, I hate the way he acts”, broken fuckin records is what a lot of you are. @21, I agree.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. YoungZer0

    @24: I’m confused. Lost Planet 2 and RE5 have been made by Capcom Japan. No western developers involved.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. TD_Monstrous69

    @25 What I mean is japanese developers were trying to make a game with westernized game philosophies in mind, and didn’t succeed in the least.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Clupula

    @21 – are you coming on to Patrick?

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DaMan

    What did they westernize about RE5? It was pretty much a lame version of RE4 with an even more poor plot and a co-op.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Ireland Michael

    @25 Resident Evil? Resident Evil has always had a “westernised” feel to it, right from the very first game.

    Anyway, looking forward to this.

    Not even going to waste my breath discussing the pointless arguments being made against the game.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. GwynbleiddiuM

    Even though I was never in the category of DMC fans, I truly liked Dante as what he was and how he looked, it feels ruined for me let alone the core fans of the game. And now he looks like .. well as if the character designer wanted this to appeal to homosexuals more. I’m not impressed at all, in fact far from it. I truly hate this new look and I don’t know why they had to re-think the whole appearance thing.

    @29 it isn’t pointless, this is MGS2 all over again, but at least Kojima didn’t ruin Snake for us and made him even more popular, he just introduced a totally different guy.

    This is just stupid IMO, did Dante turned gay suddenly and realized his long suppressed feeling toward the same gender?

    #30 3 years ago
  31. triggerhappy

    How gay does that cigarette make him look? Honestly. Someone forgot to tell him that smoking’s just not cool these days. Unless your Solid Snake of course.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Ireland Michael

    Yay, homophobia in this thread!

    Keep it coming guys! We need more spess mehreens up in this sector, yo! NOT ENOUGH TESTOSTERONE!

    #32 3 years ago
  33. triggerhappy

    Oh, no offence to the actual real gay’s. Sorry Michael :P

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Gurdil

    @Pat (well I ask you cause you’re the one who saw the most) Simple question: am I correct in thinking that if I loved Bayonetta (which is an understatement), I will love DMC too? If you promise me that, I’ll get it! Maybe even day one!

    #34 3 years ago
  35. YoungZer0

    @30: Yeay! Immature Homophobia! Keep at it, man!

    If you really wanna talk about characters trying to appeal to gay guys you better check out Dante in DMC3. Half naked guy, the haircut and the glitter rock leather coat.

    @31: Yeah, i bet he’s smoking because he wants to be cool.

    Ugh, people, i’m so glad this game comes out. Hope it will alienate all old DMC Fans, so i don’t have to feel ashamed anymore.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Gurdil

    I don’t get all this “Dante is gay” bullshit… Where is that coming from? Just because he’s got kind of an emo look, people assume he’s gay? Complain about the real problem here! Who gives a shit if Dante’s gay or straight? But Dante being emo is unacceptable! lol

    Ok seriously, I’ll give it a try, that’s for sure. I just wonder if it’s gonna be as good as Bayonetta

    #36 3 years ago
  37. vastia

    @35: “Ugh, people, i’m so glad this game comes out. Hope it will alienate all old DMC Fans, so i don’t have to feel ashamed anymore.”

    I don’t understand.

    Are you saying you’re an old-school DMC fan who’s always longed for Capcom to bring Dante to his full potential by… *deep breath* giving him a dark, gritty, *totally* un-cliche overhaul so you can finally play the totes serious, game for grown-ups you know DMC’s always been inside? Thus removing the shame you felt previously for playing as that silly “old Dante”? What with his bare chest and 4th-wall-breaking nonsense. Honestly..

    I’ve probably got the wrong end of the stick here, I know.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. GaaraDDragon

    All i have seen so far from comments on various sites is people who bash “old skool” fans for fixating on Donte’s hair and not the gameplay, when its them that are actually attracted to the new DmC because of the stylistic approach.

    I am sorry but simply swinging a weapon is not “Stylish gameplay”. This game is just another victim of westernization, if you’re good with that give them your hard earned money.

    #38 3 years ago

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