Published on November 24th, 2012 |
by Mitch North
Devil May Cry, Fans May Too: Community Reaction to DmC
Capcom’s upcoming installment of the Devil May Cry series has provided nothing short of Internet outcry since its inception. With the release of the demo, we take a look at how the vehement dismay that outspoken gamers have bestowed upon the game reflects on how they feel about both the changes that the Devil May Cry series has taken and the industry in general.
Announced during the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, Devil May Cry (DmC) (2012) appeared to incur the wrath of fans immediately. As an old History teacher of mine used to state was the main problem with any single event throughout history: nobody likes change, and we need to look no further than Devil May Cry as an example within recent video gaming history where this is the case.
The initial problems arose from the decision to turn Devil May Cry from a series that proudly reflected its Japanese roots into one that is more concerned with appealing unapologetically to those in the West.
A lot of criticism has been directed at Capcom for being one of the main instigators of this change. After all, it was Capcom who set off a spark of angry Internet responses about their motives when they promoted their recent Resident Evil 6 title as wanting to appeal to the same audience as the popular, but equally maligned, Call of Duty series.
After speaking to several Devil May Cry fans about the upcoming prequel it seems that there are certain changes which they feel reflect badly on the game as part of the Devil May Cry series. Though developers Ninja Theory can dig themselves out of any potential logical consistencies by highlighting that the game occurs prior to the events of any of the subsequent Devil May Cry titles, it seems that fans have been less willing to adapt to the changes that have been taken.
Get the Dante look.
The aesthetic differences between old Dante and new Dante, affectionately known as ‘Dante’ and ‘Donte’ in order to differentiate between them, are relatively pronounced on a first glance. Whereas Dante was portrayed in neo-gothic clothing reminiscent of many 90’s and 00’s games and coupled with a long, ironically angelic-coloured hair-style, Donte has been thrust into a role of a modern day poster boy, more befitting as a model for the walls of Topman or River Island rather than a typical video-game hero.
Though the trench coat and boots still remain they are largely more fashionable than the original Dante’s more cumbersome choice of clothing, and this exemplifies the differences between both characters as a whole. Donte has even had his hair chopped and dyed (or is it prior to being dyed?) in order to fit in better with the look of a Western alternative adolescent. Whereas Dante may have screamed hell-raiser, Donte now appears as a cross between Jared Leto and that guy from Twilight, with a little bit of Jersey Shore attitude mixed in; hardly a fitting attribute for one of the Sons of Sparda.
One word that keeps being brought up regarding the personality shift is ‘edgy’. Whilst Dante proved a calm and assured figure it seems that fans are at odds with the way Donte chooses to express himself. Shortly after an official gameplay teaser was released, gamers across the Internet took to forums to speak at length about their concerns.
Rather than mirroring the idea of Dante as heroic and laidback in the face of adversity, Donte provides a series of cocky and unwitty ripostes when confronted. How gamers feel about this is best surmised in the amount of ‘Fuck You’ memes that have spread virally ever since.
Fans are not just riled by the direction of Donte himself but also the direction that the series has taken in other areas. The soundtrack has notably shifted from exclusive raucous heavy-metal tones to the overly familiar sound of dubstep. The setting has altered too, and instead of taking place in the desolate environments of old, the game suggests that we’re looking at a more contemporary world which, despite being set in an alternative universe called Limbo, people can easily identify as Europe and the United States. Plot is also more central and suggests that the game is looking to be more of a typical package rather than letting the game-play do the talking.
Please don’t be alarmed, but yes, that is Dante SMOKING.
Capcom has done itself no favours. A big question which needs to be asked is whether the game needs to be a Devil May Cry game at all. Is there any need for it or did Capcom simply see a cash-cow they hadn’t used in a while?
Perhaps we should take into consideration that despite being negative, the exposure has played into the hands of Capcom’s marketing team by keeping interest in the game alive. Such a concept may undermine the fans concern’s but there is no denying that DmC has remained a constant talking point amongst gaming circles for a long time and this is something any publisher would want.
Concerns about the industry are everywhere at the moment and the constant desire to appeal to the latest fashionable trends is something that most, if not all, of the big industry players can be accused of doing right now. It is also something that seems to annoy core gamers more than anything else. Whilst Capcom’s insistence on changing the style of Devil May Cry has made them high on the list of gamer’s hate-mail this time it is not the first time that they have struck a nerve over their treatment of a beloved series.
It’ll be interesting to see how well Devil May Cry fares after all the backlash, not just in sales but in critical reception also. The whole affair has only served to taint the legacy of Devil May Cry at this stage and DmC is proving to be the black sheep of the family. The festering Uncle who came to stay though nobody asked him to. Will the game prove its worth? Only time will tell but it has a lot to do to win fans over.