After I finished Devil May Cry 2 (or at least the half of it I cared to), I was incredibly nervous to go into DMC 3. What if my nostalgia betrayed me? Maybe this series wasn’t as good as I remember it being.
God I’m so happy to be wrong.
DMC 1 was clunky, cheesy and fun. It was aged, but it laid a solid foundation to be further developed upon. DMC 2 failed to build on that. It took all the potential that the first game had, blew it’s brains out and skull fucked it. Then DMC 3 came along, murdered DMC 2, then took everyone by the hand, leaned in and whispered in their ears: “This party’s getting crazy. Let’s fuck.” It then took everyone by the hand and gave them the best night of their god damn lives.
In case it weren’t obvious: I really like this game.
All the flaws of the previous two games have been finally addressed in some way or another. From the story to the gameplay itself, everything is bigger and better than the games that came before it. This is the game where the series finally gets really good.
Let’s start with the story, which is the first one in the series that is actually pretty good. Like, genuinely good, not ironically good. This takes place several years before DMC 1, and Dante has just formed a new service shop, though he doesn’t know what to call it yet. Before he can think about it, a mysterious bald man appears and tells him that his brother Vergil has invited him to a special event. After Dante is attacked by some demons, a mysterious giant tower rises from the center of the city, with Vergil atop. Meanwhile, a currently unnamed woman arrives at the tower with the goal of killing the bald man: her father. And shortly after Dante’s arrival, he meets the mysterious (and annoying) Jester, who knows more than he lets on.
Unlike the other games in the series, this plot is incredibly cohesive and evolving. The characters actually develop, plot twists change the dynamic of the plot and characters, and the events here effect the events of the games later in the timeline. As an origin story for the Devil May Cry, this plot is excellent.
This is also the game where Dante’s personality finally came into it’s own. His wild, goofy, immature pizza-loving nature is on full display. He does some crazy shit, like charging down a building so fucking fast that he catches fire!!
Oh yeah, this game is fucking crazy by the way. Just so you know.
It’s also one of the best looking games on the PS2. The character models still hold up, the animation is incredibly solid, and the music is fucking awesome!! And, on top of everything: I can actually see what the fuck is happening most of the time!
That’s right! For the first time in Devil May Cry history, the player can CONTROL THE CAMERA!! Well, for the most part.
The game’s camera controls are dependent on the area. Some areas have fixed camera angles, which are easily the best in the series thus far. Other areas allow you to control the camera. Unfortunately, while it is helpful you can do it, it’s not exactly fantastic. The camera moves super slowly, and worse yet: the controls are inverted. And no, you can’t change those controls. Believe me I tried.
The combat is also vastly improved. It functions as a hybrid between DMC 1 and 2, taking all the best aspects of each and making them awesome. The number of unique weapons in each category are even and perfect, and each weapon is incredibly distinct from each other. The lock on system from 2 is back, but now you can actually change which target you’re aiming at by clicking the left stick. On top of that, the game doesn’t auto target to an enemy on the other side of the fucking galaxy. You lock onto the one nearest to you so long as you aren’t pressing the lock on button.
The boss fights are also super fun. They award going in hard and fast, getting up close and personal and fucking shit up, and make it clear that sitting back and shooting things from a safe distance is not a strategy you want to work with. Each one is unique, distinct and fun as hell.
That’s the summary of the game, really. It’s fun as hell. From the plot to the gameplay, everything is just fucking fun. This is easily the best game in the series thus far, leaving each game that came before it in the fucking dust.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go play it again. And maybe a third time before I play 4.