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Devil May Cry 3 PlayStation 2

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Devil May Cry 3, an introduction.

Capcom have a fine tradition of producing quality games. For many years now we've been treated to superb series such as Resident Evil and Onimusha. They don't just bring out sequels of classic series though. Every so often a new game will be released that manages to impress gamers the world over with its originality and sheer playability. More recently we've had Maximo and Viewtiful Joe and we are all waiting for Killer 7 to be released after seeing the promising screenshots for quite a while now. A few years ago Capcom released Devil May Cry and almost instantly the game was hailed as a classic. Whilst most would agree the sequel wasn't up to the same standard, we now have a third game that marks a stunning return to form.

What's the game about?

Here we have Devil May Cry 3, the third in Capcom's successful hack 'n' slash action game series. Once again you'll control Dante, however this time it's a younger looking Dante. The story is actually set sometime before the events of the original Devil May Cry. The game gives you the chance to control Dante the half-human, half-demon demon hunter in the events preceding the fight with his brother Vergil, who decided to side with the forces of evil rather than fight against them. The game will pit you against some insanely difficult enemies and bosses but thankfully the game is of such a high quality that you'll want to persevere and play through the best game in the series to date.

What's good about the game?

The outstanding feature of DMC 3 has to be the combat system. It takes a while to master but once you learned it you'll really enjoy how engaging this game is. Dante has four combat styles to choose from, Trickster, Sword Master, Gunslinger and Royal Guard which determine what his special move will be. Trickster for instance allows Dante to hastily dodge enemy attacks whilst Gunslinger allows him to blow enemies away with his firearms. The game also has a great combo system and the controls are intuitive, which is essential given the level of difficulty on offer. During missions you'll be able to spend the red orbs that you've earned defeating enemies on items, actions and weapons. Items include various stars, orbs and Holy Water. Unlike in most action games these items are crucial to your success (the Yellow Orb for instance will allow you to carry on from the exact point where Dante is killed) and you ignore them at your peril. There are 5 different types of guns and 5 types of swords to choose from to add to the secret weapons that can be found in the game by defeating bosses. Speaking of bosses, the boss fights in DMC 3 are truly impressive and whilst they are difficult, you feel a great deal of satisfaction when you do eventually defeat them.

What's not so good about the game?

The game has a few problems. The most prominent of them is the steep learning curve, which means that you'll need to put in the hours before you begin to master the combat system. A testing difficulty level is certainly no bad thing and makes success all the more sweet but the difficulty is Devil May Cry 3 comes as a bit of a shock compared to a lot of modern games. Then again, Capcom have always created games with the hardcore gamer in mind but even so DMC 3 is very challenging. The other thing I would say, and this carries on from my first point, is that the missions don't follow the usual pattern of a steady progression in difficulty. The first mission is fairly straightforward whilst the second can appear insanely hard. Some of the later missions seem quite easy too. The camera can be tricky at times but we'll mention more on this a little later. Despite these issues the game still comes across as a classic and it's worth persevering with to experience all this game has to offer.

How does it look?

Whilst DMC 3 isn't the most stunning game we've seen on the PlayStation 2, we've certainly no complaints with how the game looks. It's not quality of the graphics, or indeed the hideous nature of some of the enemies, that stand out though. For me the biggest mention has to go to the rock solid frame rate which is unwavering even when the screen is choc full of enemies. All too often it's been a complaint in games of this nature that the frame rate takes a dive when the action becomes hectic but Capcom have proved that when the developers know how to squeeze every last drop of performance out of a console, then even a game as frenzied as DMC 3 can have a great frame rate. The character animations are also impressive and Dante in particular moves which such fluidity that you don't see often in a game of this nature. If there's one complaint I do have with this area of the game it's that the camera could have been better. All too often I've found myself unable to turn the camera around as quick as I would have liked in order to face the enemies. It's not a major issue and you do learn to adjust to it but it's not the greatest camera control ever to be implemented into an action game.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

As the game loads and you go straight into a cutscene I began to worry as this introductory cutscene had no subtitles. I needn't have worried though as the subtitles can be enabled and as soon as you start a new game the dialogue is all nicely subtitled. In fact the speech that is given when the game is loading is the same as when you start a new game so you won't miss out. The text is displayed in the lower border and is very clear and easy to read. All of the tutorial messages and information on the in-between mission screens is in text and you'll have no problems playing the game at all. There aren't any captions for ambient sound though which does take some of the game's creepy atmosphere away but on the whole deaf gamers will enjoy the game.

Final thoughts.

Capcom really seem to be on amazing form just lately. Resident Evil 4 was a truly superb game (only lacking in its provision of subtitles) and Devil May Cry 3 is another stunner that will impress all who play the game. The game is fiendishly difficult and the less dedicated gamers will probably want to give in early on in the game but our advice is to stick with it and as soon as you've navigated the game's learning curve you'll appreciate what a superb combat system this game has and indeed what an excellent piece of work the game is.

Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

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Capcom have yet again given us another memorable title and without a doubt it's the best in the Devil May Cry series to date. The game is difficult to begin with but this increased difficulty makes completing the missions all the more satisfying.