DmC: ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ Review
WARNING: Full DmC: Devil May Cry Spoilers Below
Platform: Xbox 360 // PlayStation 3 // PC
Developer: Ninja Theory Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Action, Hack and Slash Platform Played: PlayStation 3
‘Vergil’s Downfall’ is exactly that, we see the proud, egotistical twin brother of Dante fall from graces. Vergil led the ‘Brotherhood’ in the fight against the Demon King Mundus, to try and save the world from his vile grasp. Having shown his “true” intentions upon the conclusion of DmC, Vergil has lost the main thing that matters to him. Power. With his defeat at his brother hands, Vergil is disgraced, disrespected and powerless. Devil May Cry fans know Dante’s biggest enemy throughout the series has been his own brother, but Vergil’s evolution to pure evil has never been showcased. ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ provides the context behind his motivations for complete power and destruction of his brother, Dante.
In this post DmC story content we play as Vergil, who is now trying to defeat his own inner demons in an effort to pursue revenge against his brother. It follows Vergil’s attempt to cut all ties with his past, what he believes hold him back from true power. This idea of power is what drives Vergil, knowing that he was defeated by his brother fuels this desire. Throughout Vergil’s childhood he has always felt second best to Dante, which is a key aspect the narrative makes sure to emphasise. The story itself can be completed within two hours on a normal playthrough.
“Vergil’s techniques can be very powerful when mastered”
‘Vergil’s Downfall’ is meant to be played numerous times, offering players multiple difficulty levels, more collectibles and Vergil’s own batch of unlockable moves and combos. If you enjoyed being rewarded for your combat efficiency in DmC, this system still exists and works exactly as it did in the main campaign. Players are also given the same leaderboard functionality, so chasing those SSS rankings among friends will continue.
Players will notice a drastic changes to cut scenes during their time with ‘Vergil’s Downfall’, throwing away the gritty, realistic tone that DmC’s cut scenes provided. We are given an inFAMOUS-like cartoon representation, which is definitely something we have never seen. These cartoon scenes felt like they were rushed, with the images looking quite different to their in-game counterparts, especially in their facial appearance.
“We are given a handful of new enemies to battle throughout the adventure”
Playing as Vergil changes the combat from DmC, Vergil is slow and methodical and might take players familiar with Dante’s agility a few levels to comprehend. Vergil’s techniques can be very powerful when mastered, however once you start to master his abilities the campaign ends. Vergil lacks Dante’s Ophion/ grapple abilities, which allowed him to bring enemies closer or vice versa. Vergil instead uses a transportation ability to the same effect, transportation however lacks the finesse in comparison. I found this was most apparent during traversal. It’s hard to get clarification of your characters location when he is invisible, which was never an issue with Dante as he was always in view. Vergil provides a fresh take on the combat that DmC offered, though he is definitely not for everyone. It offers a nice change of pace.
One of my main praises of DmC was the unique environments, providing a vibrant background to some stylish combat and leaving a memorable impression. This is noticeably absent from ‘Downfall’, the environment are similar to many of Dante’s visits to limbo. Each level seems to blend into one another, offering no memorable locales and instead feeling distinctly similar. You will also notice this when you are facing off against enemies; there are many familiar faces in the demons you will constantly cut to pieces. We are given a handful of new enemies to battle throughout the adventure, but nothing really stands out. Sadly the DLC lacks another big boss battle, which would have been appreciated.
“The evolution of Vergil as a character as he turns into a power hungry enemy of Dante”
There were also a few technical issues I encountered during my time with ‘Vergil’s Downfall’. Environmental issues only occurred twice, with the first allowing Vergil to get half his body stuck within the environment itself, the second sending him falling to his demise. The game also got stuck on a loading screen, after ten minutes of no progression I was forced to restart the DLC, though the issue never appeared following. An issue that kept appearing however was during the post-mission summaries, audio would sometimes be missing completely or continuously drop out. It was very odd when this issue didn’t occur, as it pointed out the fact this wasn’t meant to be happening.
‘Vergil’s Downfall’ is going to be a DLC pack that true Devil May Cry fans who are enthralled by the games characters, will definitely enjoy. The evolution of Vergil as a character as he turns into a power hungry enemy of Dante, is something that I found truly interesting. The problem is once you finally start to master Vergil’s skills and get to the meat of the narrative, it ends leaving you wanting more rather than feeling satisfied.
Beyond the positives, it feels too similar throughout its short adventure. The exquisitely unique environments of DmC are lacking, alongside the appearance of many familiar enemies. The cartoon cut scenes feel rushed and various technical issues standout, it lacks the overall polish DmC provided. Hardcore fans looking for more DmC will definitely enjoy ‘Vergil’s Downfall’, but fans thinking of only trying the contents short story and never returning, should hesitate.
We now know Vergil’s fate, now we must wait for the eventual meeting of the two nephilim brothers.
+ Narrative provides an interesting insight into Vergil’s motivations
+ Offers a fresh take on the games combat
– Once you start enjoying the adventure, the ride is over
– Environmental and audios issues are apparent
– Cartoon cut scenes feel rushed