Great for collectors, not much good for newcomers…
Devil May Cry was once the epitome of gaming. It’s rock soundtrack, violent hack and slash action mixed with gunplay was a hit for all ages. Easy to play and fun unlike anything else before it. Undeniably one of the best series of games to ever be released. Devil May Cry paved the way for modern games and provided a solid foundation to build and improve upon. It was the Batman Arkham series long before it even existed and if you look closely, you can feel very early hints of mechanics that would be passed on and bettered upon even to this day.
The multi-opponent combat style, various weapons, styles of play to master and limited ability and weapon upgrade systems were all things we would continue to see over the next (almost) two decades. This much is set in stone, without DMC we would not have some of the games we take for granted today.
The story follows Dante through his various battles and challenges and is actually quite decent once you get past the mechanics of each game. DMC 3, being my favourite, has both the best game mechanics and story by far and if you’re not interested in playing the games in any particular order, I’d suggest starting with 3 and working your way back to the first. Though I must mention, the story kind of moves between each chapter of DMC, you will not miss too much if you just randomly play each one but if you’re interested in finer details you probably should play them in the order intended.
Typically the gameplay is level based, level A, kill X amount of things, move on to next level or Boss Fight. There’s a lot to kill your way through and boss fights range from super fun to super annoying. It’s all pretty straightforward and easy to grasp even with the occasional puzzle to solve. You can also replay most levels for a better score, more points or rating if you’re all about the numbers and achievements.
The DMC HD Collection for PS4 contains all 3 games ported and remastered for PS4 as well as extras such as music and game art. It’s a great buy for collectors or nostalgic gamers.
This is coincidentally where the issue begins too. The main problem with DMC is that while it was once innovative, new and shiny, it has not aged well. The HD remaster and rerelease for PS4 is extremely limited and the games all strongly reflect their respective eras. You should know that these games are not up to 2018 standards of visual quality and will never be. All 3 DMC games will work perfectly on your screen and PS4 but will look arguably worse than anything else you’re used to seeing. For gamers obsessed with visuals and quality, this will be a large problem. The textures have been upped and unless you very closely inspect them, are baseline HD.
Each games title screen resembles an Arcade machine and does not fit to your screen aspect ratio, instead, it comes up as a block in the center of your screen and this kind of annoyed me personally. I mean, while the in-game graphics do fit your monitor and screen size, they could have at least made the title screens, text and general menus not look like something out of 1995.
Sadly all 3 games are victims of age. With almost 18 years having passed since the first DMC game, they all truly look and feel their age. In essence, what you have in the DMC HD Collection are games designed for non-flat screens, being slightly improved visually to work on flat screens. The games feel like they were only upgraded to HD half way and then the developers gave up and just released it anyway due to a lack of either funding or caring.
This is great for nostalgia or collectors wanting to revisit an old favourite but newcomers to DMC wanting to give it a try will immediately be put off by the dated graphics, limited control schemes and rugged mechanics of early 2000’s games.