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In Defence Of Ninja Theory’s DmC

Last week at TGS Capcom announced the return of Devil May Cry. This should have been a cause of celebration. Instead it seems the air is filled with vitriol and indignation. ‘Fans’ (and I use the inverted commas deliberately) have chosen to attack what little they have seen of the game, damning the ‘new look’ of Dante and new developer Ninja Theory into the bargain. At the risk of being skewered on a digital pike, might I offer a call for calm.

My chief issue with those attacking DmC is that they are choosing to ignore the gradual decline of the Devil May Cry titles and the rise of significantly better competitors. There can be no doubting that Devil May Cry remains a strong brand (the strength of reaction this last week vouches for that), but things haven’t been brilliant recently. The Metacritic average score (perhaps the issue Capcom is most concerned with post-Bayonetta) has been in gradual decline. Beginning with a 94 average it dropped down to 84 with the most recent outing. To my mind Capcom has always been a company that strives for quality first and assumes sales will follow, so I would imagine it’s the average scores rather than sales that bother it most (around 2.5 million for DMC 4 across platforms, which isn’t terrible).

So, in light of these declining scores and the original creator of the series Hideki Kamiya making better games in the same genre, it’s really no wonder that Capcom has sort a fresh start. Whether reboot or prequel, Ninja Theory has been brought in to give us a new kind of Devil May Cry game. For my money, Heavenly Sword has already shown it can handle the combat side of things and Enslaved will prove to all of you that it can handle the story too.

But the bottom line here is that Capcom wants to be more successful in the west and to do that it’s working with western developers to find new directions for its franchises. And while you may be concerned that it will mean these games losing their identity then may I point you towards Blue Castle’s Dead Rising 2, which was as bonkers and infuriating as the original despite being developed in Canada. Capcom has already confirmed members of its team have joined the Cambridge developer to help bring DmC about.

And let me reiterate that Ninja Theory is a superb developer, second to none in the field of story-telling and cut scenes. It’s really come of age with Enslaved, showing great potential and that alone promises to help make DmC an amazing ride. I for one welcome their appointment and can’t wait to see what they come up with. Besides they’re British… I’m duty bound to support them on patriotic grounds.

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  • rondon

    This game deserves the *pancake* it’s getting.

    Redesgining such an iconic character like dante is just stupid. They’re alienating their existing fans by redesigning dante into a meth addict street punk. They’re just making dante appeal to the lowest common demoniator.

    Also, Ninja theory? They’ve only made mediocore games. and from the looks of enslaved their games are still continuing that trend. They suck at combat systems. So I have no idea who the hell they’re gonna replicate the super tight, super fast DMC combat system.

    DMC4 got low scores because of the repeating levels and bosses. Not because of the gameplay(which was indeed weaker than DMC3), Dante was one of the highlights of the game.

    I do hope to god this is only a spinoff. Fans wanted DMC5. A reboot is innoying, but bareable. Redesigning dante? No-one asked for that! No-one wanted that!
    *edited for poor language choices, but not spelling*

  • yami

    i don’t think capcom made the right decision to make a western company to develop the game at first place … they are really gambling with their own franchises …

    japanese games in general are about complex and deep stories talled Through professionally made cut-scenes, gameplay, detailed and well designed characters and each with his own personality and i think japanese game devs are still the best .

    While western games feels soo simplistic and generic i mean every thing from the characters to story and the gameplay …for example GOW3 nothing but graphics -_-”
    so i think for a japanese DMC standers the new Ninja Theory DmC game is a fail …

  • CoyoteSlim

    I wholeheartedly agree. Despite the fact that I don’t agree with the design of the new Dante I do feel people are being overly critical of the game as an entire whole already just based upon Dante’s design. There is no info on the game whatsoever beyond that teaser video and already people are acting as though its of the same quality as E.T. on Atari. For shame.

  • Dave Moore

    redesigning dante is like redesigning nathan drake.yes the series needs a fresh take on it but dante most definitely doesn’t.

  • ck

    Sorry capcom i was so happy when i heared a new dmc will be shown up and than look that trailer and it destroy me . this is not really DANTE please capcom that cant be DANTE do something!!!!!. You have asked the fans what they want for a new dmc and yet you show us this DUMPY PUMPY POO. why?????? I hope that you change that emo into the old Dante or say that this isent Dante. Please do it for the fans pleeassee!

  • MSX2

    Ninja Theory a superb developer? Based on what? Kung Fu Chaos, Heavenly Sword or Enslaved? Two of those are out, and the quality is questionable at best. HS is their best game, and it struggled to hit 30fps with sluggish controls to boot.

    Unless the new DMC is a series of cutscene based QTE’s, I’d say there is reason to worry about the quality given NT’s track record. Enslaved’s demo wasn’t too hot either.

  • Melroy

    I must be the only guy who has hope for this game.I know the developer is questionable but they’ve got a penchant for telling exquisite stories..As for the gameplay, Capcom have said they’re working ALONGSIDE Ninja Theory to make sure gameplay is up to scratch. This is Capcom we’re talking about here. Not Activision :). I’m sure they know the colossal risk they’re taking on here. Other than Dante’s character model reboot, if you felt that any other element in the trailer was not at all like the DMC you all know and love, you’re not thinking clearly.

    It’s still the same badass in a much MUCH younger shell. That’s all. And again, hopefully they’ve got a good story to tell too.

  • Sean

    I am, it seems, in the minority that thinks that the new design of Dante and new developers is a very good thing. Although I will say that, if Dante looks so much different why not it be a new character altogether, it seemed to go very well with Nero. High hopes indeed.

  • Mykayel

    I loved the DMC Games, even the 4th one. I think Dante is awesome. But DMC has lost it’s spark, the main reason it did so well was because it targeted the ‘rebellious’ generation. The old Dante looks tamed by today’s standard so it makes sense that they would hit the refresh button.
    I’d also like to address something to the fans: You do realize that the accusation that Dante is a gay-emo-punk has been targeted at the old Dante as well? You do realize that our primary defense was “Who care’s if you like what the character looks like? The game is awesome” and now look at you, you are just as bad as the “Devil May Cry Haters” (the original series).

    I am way past the age where I would think the new Dante looks cool and yet, I don’t mind the new design. As for the personality? IT’S THE SAME! Did you people even see the trailer? The guy was facing 3 enemies, grabbed one of them and put out his cigarette in the monster’s eye while the others where watching. I don’t care about the new design, but the way he moves and fights look awesome.