The Trav­eler

Dani re­vis­its the world of DmC be­cause Cap­com won’t

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - INSIDER -

Re­boots can be won­der­ful things. Take Tomb Raider in 2013, for ex­am­ple: It let Lara Croft be­come a se­ri­ous pro­tag­o­nist away from the voyeuris­tic, Play­boy trap­pings she went through in the ‘90s. Re­boots give old games a chance for beloved char­ac­ters and worlds to be­come rel­e­vant once more. Un­for­tu­nately, Ninja The­ory’s

Devil May Cry re­boot, DmC, didn’t fare as well. Cap­com trusted it with its nichebut-stylish ac­tion se­ries in an at­tempt to re­vi­tal­ize it. Fo­cus­ing on a young, punk­ish Dante as he fights demons, it was crit­i­cally very well re­ceived. Se­ries fans, how­ever, weren’t as pleased.

This new, brunette take on Dante was too dif­fer­ent from the white-haired orig­i­nal, so re­ceived a back­lash be­cause of it. The game also suf­fered be­cause it came out right near the end of the last gen­er­a­tion of con­soles when peo­ple were al­ready look­ing to the Xbox One, so it didn’t sell as well as ex­pected. Cap­com has now dropped this re­booted world, com­pletely sweep­ing it un­der the rug in fa­vor of Devil May Cry V— a con­tin­u­a­tion of the orig­i­nal story. I haven’t for­got­ten this un­ap­pre­ci­ated gem how­ever, so I’ve de­cided to re­turn to its world to see what gamers are los­ing out on.

Limbo City, the place where the ma­jor­ity of the game is set, has a New York-like feel to it thanks to the ar­chi­tec­ture, but it’s even more dank and run down. The streets are cov­ered in graf­fiti, and you’re con­tin­u­ously watched by CCTV cam­eras. It’s got the airs of a for­mally grand place that has fallen into dis­re­pute, which is fit­ting con­sid­er­ing the game is about deal­ing with the demons who have over­run the joint.

There are ar­eas of bright­ness and fri­vol­ity such as Bel­lview Pier which houses the Fun­land Car­ni­val, but there’s a gaudi­ness to it. Again, that brash sense of taste fits the world per­fectly

“Food ads be­come mes­sages that ex­tol the virtues of glut­tony”

even if it isn’t pleas­ant—this is a place of ex­cess and sin. The new Dante fits right in with his ar­ro­gant at­ti­tude and cheeky, punk­ish swag­ger. In­stead of the orig­i­nal’s an­cient cas­tles, this is a mod­ern city for a mod­ern hero full of mod­ern evils like con­sumerism. It makes for a more grounded, re­al­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ence com­pared to the older games, as the en­vi­ron­ment is so re­lat­able even if it is a fan­tas­ti­cal farce.

Dark side

But where the game shines bright­est is in its Limbo sec­tions, where you’re pulled into an al­ter­nate di­men­sion that sits just along­side the hu­man one. Full of demons, it’s a twisted place where build­ings jut out at odd, bro­ken an­gles, and ad­verts show their true col­ors—food ads be­come mes­sages that ex­tol the virtues of glut­tony, for ex­am­ple. It’s a neat shift that show­cases the depths of ma­nip­u­la­tion of the masses by the demons in con­trol. The whole place can change un­ex­pect­edly around you as it’s com­pletely un­der big bad Mun­dus’ full con­trol. That con­stant shift­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment demon­strates just how strong the grip that demons have over Limbo and Limbo City re­ally is.

Be­ing the son of a de­mon and an an­gel, Dante gets to see the city from a unique per­spec­tive, un­like its or­di­nary cit­i­zens, who mill around a bit brain­lessly, sub­con­sciously bro­ken by their sur­round­ings. Again, this feels very much like it’s on pur­pose as most of the city’s oc­cu­pants are un­der de­mon con­trol, be that through pop drinks made from mon­ster se­cre­tions or just the daily grind of con­stantly be­ing watched by the un­blink­ing eyes of the CCTV net­work.

It’s a shame we’ll prob­a­bly never re­visit Limbo City and its young Dante again, now that Cap­com has re­turned to its older time­line. The city feels far more in keep­ing with the world and new lore that DmC was cre­at­ing—it’s a bril­liantly de­signed lo­ca­tion that de­served bet­ter than the hand it was dealt. It’s an im­por­tant slice of gam­ing his­tory, and well worth vis­it­ing be­fore it van­ishes from peo­ple’s mem­o­ries for­ever. You can see more of Dani’s gam­ing trav­els on In­sta­gram: @daniel­lam­lu­cas.

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