Capcom has never taken it easy on the Devil May Cry franchise. All four games have sported a bone crushing level of difficulty unapproachable for casual fans looking for a quick action fix.
This trend peaked in Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening when Capcom stripped the American release of a “normal mode” and made the Japanese version’s “hard mode” the default setting. The result was one of the hardest games ever thanks to overly intelligent enemies, scarce health bonuses, and a lack of checkpoints within levels, even during boss fights. Capcom released a Special Edition down the road and fixed the incredible difficulty so gamers could finally enjoy the game past level one.
Just to show how serious they are about taking over this series, Ninja Theory is not going to let Capcom out-torture the masochists among us. Their controversial angry teenage revamp of the series, DmC: Devil May Cry, has four additional levels of torture outside of the traditional easy, normal, and hard as posted on Capcom Unity.
Son of Sparda – Remixed enemy layouts, tougher enemies and enemy behavior throughout.
Dante Must Die – As above, but contains the strongest enemies and insane attack waves.
Heaven or Hell – Another remixed mode, but everyone and everything, including Dante, dies after one hit. Supremely satisfying!
Hell and Hell – The same as above, but only Dante dies after one hit. For serious contenders.
I’ve tangled a bit with the more difficult modes in Devil May Cry, and higher levels of gameplay are obviously not for me. I’ve beaten the game on normal, and possibly hard could be in the works, but it’s the Heaven or Hell mode that fascinates me as a reasonable exercise in finesse. The idea reminds me of nailing a difficult platforming section in Prince of Persia or pulling off a perfect battle round in Batman: Arkham Asylum, where one mistake will throw you out of whack. Practice until perfect.
Also accompanying the announcement came a handful of screenshots and two new gameplay trailers titled Home Truths and Bloodline.
I’m torn. Ninja Theory has come a long way in appeasing detractors ever since the horrendous announcement trailer, and the game is looking more and more like an actual Devil May Cry entry with each reveal. As a game in itself, it’s shaping up nicely and slowly winning me over. It’s escaped the image of a misguided revamp, but it still stands as the pillar of Capcom’s recent western fetish, a viewpoint I can’t move beyond until Capcom shows they’re still dedicated to producing decent in-house Japanese games again.
DmC: Devil May Cry is being released on January 15th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.