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Why DmC is a bad game - long

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  1. THIS VERSION HAS AROUND 3500 WORDS
  2. Short version here:
  3. http://pastebin.com/ATrHKWdf
  4.  
  5. DmC: Devil may Cry is the fifth game in the Devil May Cry series and is being made by Ninja Theory, the creators of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Capcom specifically hired a western development team in an attempt to 'make it more attractive to American and European players' [1].
  6.  
  7. It's no secret that the game has been undergoing extreme controversy. Contrary to popular belief or what PR would lead people to believe, this is not based on blind hatred or an angry mob. DmC is the only game in recent years that has had this much of its content shown before the release.
  8. Based on the demo, interviews, trailers and gameplay videos shown by various sites and game journalists, it's possible to make a large amount of valid points as well as pointing out what exactly is wrong with this new direction.
  9.  
  10. This pastebin is divided into 3 different categories:
  11.  
  12. >Writing and Design
  13. >Capcom and NT
  14. >Gameplay and Technology
  15.  
  16. A TL,DR BREAKDOWN OF THE DEMO GAMEPLAY CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PASTE IN THE RECOMMENDED VIDEOS SECTION.
  17.  
  18. ====Writing and Design====
  19.  
  20. -Dante's new appearance (henceforth to be referred as Donte) was designed by Ninja Theory's
  21. Creative Design Boss Tameem Antoniades 
  22. He is also now a Half Angel/Half Demon
  23. This ruins the motif of the series as well as symbolism from this game and before.
  24. Dante was always about embracing your humanity, because he believed it made him stronger for it.
  25. Donte isn't even part human, neatly removing this character intricacy.
  26. Ebony and Ivory were direct representations of this embrace. They were handcrafted, human guns that Dante suffused with his own demonic power and some of the strongest weapons in Dante's arsenal, even outmatching Force Edge in DMC1.
  27. In DmC, they are just random demonic artifacts that Donte found in his pockets one day. Their origin has not yet been explained.
  28.  
  29. -Tameem's inspiration for Donte came from his theory that Dante is 'no longer cool' "But you know, what was cool 12 years ago - I think that was when the first game came out isn't cool anymore. If Dante, dressed as he was, walked into any bar outside of Tokyo, he'd get laughed out." [2]
  30.  
  31. -During the initial trailers of the game, Donte looked surprisingly similar to Tameem. Almost
  32. exactly like a younger version of him, in fact. Not only that, but according to Ninja Theory
  33. staff, Tameem usually has some form of reference or cameo in all of their games. Donte's design
  34. might actually be an extreme version of such a self insert. Claims to that were of course, denied,
  35. and Donte's design was repeatedly changed throughout the trailers to look more similar to his
  36. voice actor Tim Philips.
  37.  
  38. -You can watch the remaining development of the design process, as well as a dissertation on why
  39. Donte is a bad character here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuoUfyMUQTc
  40. This video is putting it as best as it can be.
  41.  
  42. -The story of the game revolves around a completely different universe, with names seemingly only
  43. tacked on to make it a Devil May Cry game.
  44. Sparda, for instance, is no longer the legendary Dark Knight who turned against his demonic brethren to save Humanity, he is merely Mundus' right hand man who impregnated an angel. Sparda was imprisoned for this and is now being tortured.
  45.  
  46. -It's all about how the government is controlled by demons who corrupt and brainwash mankind with
  47. their media, and their evil drinks, and they false advertise cheeseburgers and run orphanages to
  48. torture children. Donte is teamed up with this world's anonymous activist freedom fighter group,
  49. complete with demonic Guy Fawkes masks.
  50. They are the ones who see everything for how awful it is. They are the good guys,they are right and you should believe them.
  51.  
  52. -The writing is almost comically awful in places. Notable examples include:
  53. "DONTE RUN!" "I AM RUNNING!"
  54. "FUCK YOU!" "Fuck you! "FUCK YOUUUUUU!"
  55. "YOU DISGUSTING FUCKCHILD!"
  56. "Me, a god. Versus you! A piece of shit."
  57. "You are dead, just like your whore mother." "I didn't know my mother but if you're calling me a
  58. son of a bitch you wouldn't be the first."
  59. Note that these lines are all spoken and presented completely serious. This is not intended to be
  60. tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, or whatever.
  61.  
  62.  
  63.  
  64.  
  65. =====Capcom and NT=====
  66.  
  67. -As stated before, Capcom wanted a western developer outside of the house to take helm of the reboot
  68. to appeal to a new audience. Ninja Theory was chosen because of their track record of games which
  69. were universally praised for their excellent dialogue. Now, here's the funny part:
  70.  
  71. -Ninja Theory didn't write those.
  72. Rhianna Pratchett wrote Heavenly Sword, while Alex Garland was brought in for Enslaved.
  73. The former had to COMPLETELY REWRITE THE SCRIPT when she joined the project.[3]
  74. As for the latter:
  75. "I guess if I were to make a criticism it would relate to character and consistency. Making
  76. sure characters are true to themselves, and true to some kind of larger truth, which    
  77. relates to the recipients of the narrative. That is to say, the player. Us. For example, I
  78. think the first serious discussion we had about the narrative was on the very first day
  79. that I, Tameem and the level designers all sat down together. We got to a section where
  80. Monkey was walking down a walkway, and he sees an escaping slave trying to pull himself up
  81. to the walkway. And instead of helping the guy up, Monkey kicked him in the face and sent
  82. him to his death. They thought that projected the idea that Monkey was a badass. Whereas,
  83. to me, it projected the idea that Monkey was a bit of a cunt."[4]
  84. This is reflected in Donte, who knocks bouncers out for doing their jobs, slaps soda cans out of
  85. peoples hands and calls people "ugly sacks of shit" as a greeting.
  86.  
  87. -So, they're out from a writing standpoint. Furthermore, both Heavenly Sword and Enslaved were criticized for having a slow, shallow combat system and in the case of Enslaved, horrible tacked on platforming. This should've already shown that Ninja Theory may not be the best choice for a Devil May Cry game.
  88.  
  89. -Furthermore, Tameem fails to realise the 'point' of DMC:
  90. 'Ninja Theory creative design boss Tameem Antoniades said the essence of DMC's look is "all
  91. about cool".'[2]
  92. Not only is this incredibly vague, it completely misses the point of what made the games so
  93. successful. Stylish, over-the-top, quick gameplay with a clean cut, sharp main character that's fun
  94. to listen to and watch.
  95. Only basing a design concept about "cool" tends to go wrong very quickly, as everyone has different
  96. ideas about that.
  97. Just to give an idea what this means, this is what Tameem said when he was asked about Bayonetta, a
  98. game made by the director of DMC1, Hideki Kamiya and what is considered to be the spiritual
  99. successor to the DMC franchise:
  100. "I think it's awesome...But in terms of, 'Do I think it's cool?' No, not at all. I think
  101. it's caricatured and over-the-top and very 'Japanesey'...that's not what I want." [5]
  102. This makes it apparent that Tameem is ready to throw out the reasons that the franchise was
  103. popular to begin with in a vain attempt to make something that he thinks is cool.
  104.  
  105. -It also probably isn't a good idea not to antagonize existing fans. However, this does not bother
  106. Tameem as he openly says that he does not care about how fans are reacting to Donte.
  107.  
  108. 'I instead assumed the snarky journalist persona, and without thinking asked, "So, how do
  109. you feel about the fan reaction to DmC?"
  110.  
  111. Tameem looked at me a moment and took a drag of his cigarette. Then without blinking, and
  112. without pausing to exhale the smoke from his mouth he said, "I don't care."' [6]
  113.  
  114. Despite saying this, he then went on to redesign Donte to look less like him, completely revamp his personality and give him a DT that changes his hair color to white. Well done.
  115.  
  116. -Capcom were the ones who asked NT for a complete redesign. Original concept sketches were far more
  117. similar to the old Dante we know and love, but Capcom responded with "If we wanted the old Devil
  118. May Cry, we wouldn't have hired you."
  119.  
  120. -NT insisted on using the Unreal Engine 3. Capcom was ready to let them work with MT Framework, the
  121. engine that ran the beautiful DMC4 at 60fps and spawned Dragon's Dogma, one of the best releases
  122. this year. Ninja Theory, however, didn't want to spend a year to learn a new engine, since they already familiarized themselves with UE3, so they declined.
  123.  
  124. -Regardless, they still got stuck halfway through and had to get Capcom's help to fix the combat
  125. system. Since they were on UE3, the team Capcom sent, the people behind DMC4 and Dragon's Dogma struggled with helping them fix the combat system.
  126. Their choice in the engine hindered development severely.
  127.  
  128. -It's hard to really pinpoint a fact on this, so take the following with a grain of salt.
  129. In some interviews, Tameem stated that he wasn't actually a fan of DMC. He played a bit of 2,
  130. and that was it. However, in other interviews, he states how he LOVES DMC, how happy he is that
  131. his team gets to work on this project and how much it influenced his work.
  132.  
  133. -Tameem admits we have already seen at least 70% of the game. From the achievements, we can see
  134. that there are 6 bosses (Hunter, Poison, Bob Barbas, Spawn of Mundus, Mundus, Vergil), 2 of which seem to
  135. be endgame related, 1 who is a tutorial boss similar to the first Dante fight in DMC4, 2 we have already seen and 1 we have seen in pictures. We've also seen all weapons bar one, so this
  136. seems consistent. The only thing we haven't seen a lot of are different environments, as so far, we've seen 1 complete level and bits and pieces from 5 others, which all shared settings.
  137.  
  138. So, we have a design concept that is ready to throw away everything the established series is known for.
  139. A dev team that refuses a proper engine and gets stuck regardless. A creative design boss who doesn't understand what made the games popular and is ready to spit in the faces of the fanbase.
  140. Surely, this wouldn't affect the gameplay in any negative way.
  141.  
  142.  
  143.  
  144.  
  145. ====Gameplay and Technology====
  146. -The game runs at 30 fps, which is all the engine, UE3, can handle, even while heavily limiting the
  147. amount of enemies.
  148. Note that DMC4 and the special edition of DMC3 ran at a perfect 60 fps.
  149.  
  150. -The control layout takes heavy inspiration from Heavenly Sword
  151.  
  152. -NO LOCKON
  153. This affects the game in a multitude of serious ways
  154. Controls:
  155. Launching now requires a dedicated button (B)
  156. Stinger now requires a double-forward+attack input (which makes the attack slow, clunky and
  157. hard to consistently pull off)
  158. Gameplay:
  159. Lockon lets you keep an enemy in your sights as well as letting you know what you are going to be swinging at. In DmC, you can only guess. Furthermore, it changes how you move. Locking onto 1 enemy gave you a central point that you could strafe around. It made directional inputs easier and allowed you to dodge into specific directions.
  160.  
  161. -Styles have been completely removed from the game
  162. These added a heavy amount of depth to Devil May Cry 3 and 4. It allowed you to choose how you played and customize your play even more. Do you want to focus on swords or guns? Do you want to focus on dodging and teleporting or do you want to be a Royal Guard and reduce all damage to 0 if you were good enough? Do you want to use your DT meter to slow time? Or to create a Doppelganger?
  163. 4 even gave you 5 different styles at once that you could switch between on the fly. This provided years of replayability for Dante and is still regarded as the best combat to exist in an Action game to date.
  164. New things and technology to use this system were found out for years and integrated into pro-gaming True-Style Tournaments.
  165.  
  166. -Weaponswitching is gone, instead, you equip a different set of weapons by switching stances
  167. The Angel Stance gives access to the Scythe Osiris and the bladed throwing weapons Aquila.
  168. Osiris is worthless. Plain and simple. It lacks the damage, lacks the speed and the control to make it a worthwhile weapon. It's supposed to be used in midair, but it can't do anything that Rebellion or Arbiter can do better.
  169. Aquila is hilariously broken. Once thrown, it darts between multiple enemies, dealing damage and subsequently stunning them in place as every attack in the game tends to. The amount of hits it delivers can be upgraded as well.
  170. On a DMD stream by Capcom Unity, a non-upgraded Aquila was observed to control a single enemy for 7 seconds, with more enemies being controlled for 5-6 seconds.
  171.  
  172. The Demon Stance gives access to the Ax Arbiter and the Hulk Hands Eryx.
  173. Arbiter is undoubtedly the most overpowered weapon in the game for solely one attack: Tremor.
  174. Tremor has a quick startup, has a fairly large impact and UTTERLY DECIMATES everything in its way.
  175. Having the +damage bonus from a perfect demon dodge allows a Tremor that hits just 2 targets to catapult the style straight to SSS while instantly killing the enemies. Without Devil Trigger.
  176. Spamming the attack can get the player up to a SS rank while crushing everything in its way without any danger.
  177. Eryx is a worse version of Arbiter. It's in the same vein, slow but heavy hitters, but it's slower than Arbiter, has less of an area of effect and does less damage. The game often forces you to use it to progress, but it has little actual application outside of that.
  178.  
  179. -Combat now puts heavy focus on two different things:
  180. Grappling:
  181. There is a demon and an angel pull. The former moves the enemy to you, the latter moves
  182. you to the enemy. This allows you to stay in the air indefinitely, tying into the second
  183. focus: Aerial Combat:
  184. Aerial Combat is easy to do, incredibly easy to uphold, and the safest way to fight in
  185. this game. Almost every melee mook will be completely helpless once you take to the skies,
  186. as they CANNOT POSSIBLY HIT YOU.
  187.  
  188. -Devil Trigger not only gives you more damage, higher speed and health regen like former games, it
  189. also now causes every enemy to be knocked into the air and stunned, giving you a ridiculous amount
  190. of time to just wail on enemies as you like. Style is also doubled for aerial attacks while in DT.
  191.  
  192. -Style points are now almost purely based on damage.
  193. Time does not affect a combo ranking any more. If you leave a combo with a SSS rank, you'll start
  194. the next combo at an SSS rank. The only way for your style rank to depreciate is to get hit.
  195. As mentioned before, heavy demon attacks are completely broken and supply you with ridiculous
  196. amounts of style points. It's entirely possible to go from a B to a SSS ranking in. ONE. HIT.
  197. To compare, a single hit of Rebellion might give you 100-200 style points. A single hit of Arbiter yields 1000-2000, catapulting to 5000 under the effects of a demon dodge.
  198.  
  199. -Enemies are incredibly stupid. Similar to Assassin's Creed, demons will now form a proper line
  200. before attacking. And anyone who wants to attack will politely ask for 3 seconds with very loud
  201. noises and a glowing weapon before actually proceeding to hit you. This continues for every single
  202. enemy we've seen so far, including ranged enemies who actually form a blinking laser between you
  203. and them, again, 3 seconds before attacking.
  204.  
  205. -The game, as a result, is piss easy.
  206. This does not change with a higher difficulty setting. All that changes is the spawn setup of
  207. enemies and their damage output. It does not change their behavior and does not make them any
  208. faster. This was observed for every difficulty in the game save Heaven or Hell and Hell in Hell, which only add gimmicks to the game without actually making anything harder.
  209.  
  210. -Not only the enemies are complete pushovers, this applies to the bosses as well.
  211. Poison has an incredibly broken AI that is incredibly easy to force to use a specific attack.
  212. This sideways swipe has a 1 second long parry window. Attempting to parry the arm with any attack
  213. during this window will cause the boss to be stunned and defenseless, leaving herself open to any
  214. attack.
  215. THIS CAN BE REPEATED UNTIL SHE DIES.
  216. When asked about this, Tameem responded that there is nothing to fix.
  217. That person apparently just has awesome parrying skills and there are other ways to fight the boss, so the AI isn't broken.
  218.  
  219. Bob Barbas feels more like a mini boss. He forms very badly rendered laser walls to stop Donte
  220. from reaching the giant DO NOT SMASH WITH YOUR NEW WEAPON WE ARE TOTALLY NOT WEAKSPOTS glowing red
  221. spots throughout the room. Smashing into them (the game forces you to use Eryx, this game's
  222. gauntlet weapon, in a specific attack), will stun the boss, leaving you free to wail on him until
  223. he comes to his senses and, again, you repeat the process ad nauseum until he dies.
  224.        
  225. One more thing to note is that all bosses are constantly interrupted by cutscenes. This was already
  226. decided to be bad in earlier DMC games as it breaks the flow of combat and takes you out of your
  227. combos, ending them for arbitrary reasons.
  228.  
  229. Reviews have stated that all bosses in the game follow the same cookie cutter pattern, so it's reasonable to assume that this holds true for the entire game. (Which also means it is highly likely that the final boss, Vergil, will transform into a big monster, for those who have been hoping for a certain leak to come true.)
  230.  
  231. -The rest of the game consists of platforming. Either using the very awkward to pull of Angel Dash
  232. (jump, jump, hold LT, press forward, jump) to reach small platform after small platform hanging in
  233. empty space or forced, scripted sequences where the morphing city kind of tries to kill you. You
  234. can go up to 5 minutes without seeing a single enemy. Some missions contain more platforming than
  235. fighting.
  236.  
  237. -The game forces you to use specific weapons for specific enemies.
  238. This goes against the experimentation aspect that every DMC game had. You were given a set of
  239. weapons and styles to work with and then left to your own devices, overcoming the challenges
  240. however you saw fit.
  241. In DmC however, Ice Demons force you to use Angel weapons and Fire Demons force you to use Demon
  242. Weapons. The night club stages even feature ground tiles that will damage you if you don't have
  243. the right weapon equipped.
  244.  
  245. -Jump cancelling is back, but in a bastardized form.
  246. Cancelling an attack animation in the air by jumping is still possible, but only way before or way after the attack connects.
  247. The point of jump cancelling in previous games is to avoid the recovery frames after an attack connects with an enemy. This allows to either continue a combo or simply make it quicker, stringing attack after attack after attack together.
  248. This is no longer possible in DmC.
  249. Additionally, each time a Jump Cancel is performed (or just an Enemy Step for that matter [jumping off an enemy]), the enemy is locked into its vertical position in midair, meaning it doesn't fall to the ground even if it should. This factors into the nature of aerial combat, as discussed previously.
  250.  
  251. -The mission rank is no longer your average performance, but based on score.
  252. Taking your style points as the basis, you earn multipliers  based on your rank in Time
  253. and Collection. The basic score gets multiplied by 8 if the time rank i SSS, for instance, and then multiplied again by 8 if the Collection Rank is SSS (lower ranks resulting in lower multipliers, naturally)
  254. Collection is what replaced Red Orbs. Instead of depending on how many Red Orbs you gained from
  255. killing enemies or finding Orb caches, the game now checks how many collectibles you found during
  256. that mission. Finding them all PERMANENTLY GIVES YOU AN SSS-RANK IN COLLECTIBLES.
  257. This is a well meaning, but horribly implemented attempt at encouraging exploration.
  258. Earlier DMC games had a Red Orb rank. These were hidden throughout the missions as well as earned from enemies. To get an SS Rank in a mission, it was necessary to plan the quickest route through the mission, while picking up as many of the Red Orb caches as stylishly as possible.
  259. Instead of deeply familiarizing oneself with a level layout, this new Collectibles system heavily incentivizes using a walkthrough on gamefaqs to find all
  260. Lost Souls(red orb caches, not so cleverly hidden), all keys (used to open up Secret Doors) as well as Secret Doors (=Secret Mission) once.
  261. After that, they never have to care about exploration never again, instead just speeding through
  262. missions as they will forever have a SSS rank for exploring.
  263. Blue Shards should be the reward for completing Secret Missions. They shouldn't be mandatory to
  264. earn a good rank.
  265.  
  266. -Overall, Combat feels slow, clunky and shallow while the bosses and enemies are pathetic pushovers
  267. and the rest of the game insists it's Mario Galaxy.
  268.  
  269. If you can somehow look past the terrible writing, cringeworthy dialogue, fan fiction story and mediocre animation, you'll find nothing but a painfully average hack'n'slash.
  270.  
  271. We don't hate this game just because the hair color isn't the same. We hate the game because the gameplay is completely uprooted while characters and story are completely awful, with nothing else to look forward to. It seems that the developers have ripped everything we enjoyed about the series out of the game in favor of their own opinion of what is 'cool'.
  272.  
  273. If you want to see what made DMC or games like it so great, you have a lot of options available to you, including:
  274. Devil May Cry HD Collection (360,PS3)
  275. Devil May Cry 4 (360, PS3, and an absolutely amazing pc version)
  276. Anarchy Reigns (360, PS3)
  277. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (360, PS3, with a pc version being considered)
  278. The video section of this article also features some videos that demonstrate the blinding speed and tremendous skill, the constant action and incredible design that made us fall in love with this series.
  279.  
  280. If you still want to buy DmC after that, that's cool, just please understand where the controversy actually stems from, and don't blame it on the hair. That's not a big deal and it even changes during the game anyways. What makes this game so bad is everything else and no namedropping in the world could fix that.
  281.  
  282. And, finally, if you do want to play the new DmC game, we ask you to do the DMC community a favor by buying the game used.
  283.  
  284. Recommended videos:
  285. DmC Demo Analysis
  286. www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9wth1Wk3EM
  287. Indepth tl,dr analysis of demo gameplay.
  288.  
  289. Donte and the Slurm Queen
  290. A demonstration of Poison's completely broken AI
  291. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEvZJdkHn24
  292.  
  293. Secret Ingredient Speed Kill
  294. Demonstrating the power of Demon Dodging and Arbiter, completely laying waste to the boss even on the highest available difficulty on the demo.
  295. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7KOgE6LDWo
  296.  
  297. Donte and Gravity
  298. Demonstration of the Aerial Combat mechanics and the ability to stay suspended in mid-air forever.
  299. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2NwBpHeTQ
  300.  
  301. SSSSSSSSSSTYLE
  302. One dodge and three attacks result in a SSS rank.
  303. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WvXYnDdnR4
  304.  
  305. Donte takes flight
  306. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts00KdUYAqY
  307.  
  308. DMC videos:
  309. Terminus DMC4 combo video:
  310. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKIq2U5p1LQ
  311.  
  312. Elysium DMC3 combo video:
  313. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T_RdUPNg6k
  314.  
  315. REFERENCES:
  316. [1]http://www.psextreme.com/ps3-new/7709.html
  317. [2]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/265914/dmcs-new-dante-is-all-about-cool/
  318. [3]http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2007/09/rhianna-pratchett-talks-heavenly-sword-sony-and-andy-serkis/
  319. [4]http://www.edge-online.com/features/interview-alex-garland-part-two
  320. [5]http://devilmaycry.org/573/ninja-theory-bayonetta.html
  321. [6]http://www.bitmob.com/articles/should-developers-listen-to-their-fans