It all started with discovering a proper setup for developing future ‘Resident Evil’ games for the then-introduced PlayStation 2, when the research and development team of Resident Evil took a Spanish sojourn for determining the next instalment’s settings; this, however, started blossoming into a different game, with a totally different genre than the survival horror Resident Evil was known for. Thus rose ‘Devil May Cry’, a complete combat based game with focus on stylish action as core part of the gameplay. The story and premise were then altered, taking inspiration from ‘Divine Comedy’. The first game received near unanimous praise, with its setting, gameplay and especially high difficulty. This led to the development of a franchise, with the second part coming out in 2003 (less critically acclaimed), and the third part out in 2005 (received critical acclaim). ‘Devil May Cry 4’ released in 2008, again receiving a positive response from gamers and critics alike.
And this is where the supposedly ‘ugly duckling’ of the group, ‘DmC: Devil may Cry’ comes in. Even though ‘Devil May Cry 4’ boasted strong sales, the makers at Capcom, Hideaki Itsuno and Motohide Eshiro, thought that in comparison to other game series’, they were not performing as well. So with the original team Capcom Japan providing a creative overview, the American Capcom team provided the logistical support to ‘Ninja Theory’, which would be creating the game. The British game development studio was relatively unknown at that time, with an action game ‘Heavenly Blade’ their only development. Out went Dante’s Japanese look, and in came a Westernised stylish one. The trailer for the game released at the Tokyo Game Show in 2010, and to put it mildly, received mixed reviews. The team faced strong criticism from long-time fans, with the Westernised look being frowned upon. The game released in 2013 to positive critic reviews; however, its fans were not very pleased with the outcome; “too easy”, they said. The sales figure also showed, with 2.4 million copies being sold by June 2018, which was less than its predecessor. A quick glance at Metacritic reveals users’ contempt with the game, garnering an average rating of 6.9. The problem here is that the game itself is brilliant.
This was never meant for only the hard-core fans, as the makers wanted the game to be inclusive for all kinds of gamers, which was spectacularly executed. The main point of concern of the haters was that the game was not hard enough. True; on the first couple of difficulty levels, the game was easier than its predecessors. However, there were seven levels of difficulty, and the gameplay would become what its fans wanted, and more, from the fifth level. I played through the default difficulty and loved it. It was when I started the game from the fourth level of difficulty that it became extremely hard for me. That is where the game failed: its inclusivity for all gamers excluded its major base. And that’s a shame.