When images of the newest Dante from the Devil May Cry series were published online last year, it was perfectly acceptable for outraged fans to take to the forums and social media platforms to express their concern. With less then two months until the game is released in North America, however, it’s time for you to stop criticizing and take an objective look.
It’s safe to say Devil May Cry has an extremely dedicated and multi generation spanning fan base. You can walk into a game store and see kids pick up the newly released Devil May Cry collection and beg their financial investors, also known as parents, for a loan. The original Dante had elements which made him the epitome of cool for thousands of kids. The silky long white hair, the assortment of weaponry available including the longsword and the scythe, and the ever empowering black motorcycle.
All of this leads to the unveiling of the newest Dante, a character to be revealed in the upcoming January 15 release title, DmC. The new Dante has short black hair, a severely limiting drug and alcohol problem, and the arrogance of a 22 year old all wrapped up in a modern day punk rock anarchist’s body.This caused an uproar on online forum’s including Reddit’s massively popular, r/gaming.
This is where subjectivism and objectivism come into play. There’s a blinding force which prevents people from seeing past his demeanour. What many players out there need to understand is that not only is this a Western revamp of an extremely traditional Japanese series, it’s also the first time a Western company has been directly involved with the design, production, and programming process of the entire title.
Capcom, legendary publisher behind the original Devil May Cry franchise, as well as Street Fighter and Resident Evil, handed the reigns over to Ninja Theory. Ninja Theory, a developer based out of Cambridge, England, is best known for their 2007 game, Heavenly Sword. The 2007 Playstation 3 exclusive title focused heavily on close melee combat, leaving room for some strategic long range attacks. What does this have to do with Devil May Cry though? If any developer was going to take on a game and it’s battle mechanisms like Devil May Cry, it would have to be one with experience creating melee based games, with both close and ranged combat, for a large audience. Ninja Theory fits that bill.
But this is about his appearance. I remember having this conversation late last year when the images had circulated. While I’m nearly positive Ninja Theory didn’t quite take this into their planning stages, I thought the new Dante was offering today’s generation something other than just a character they could pick up and play as.
On January 25, 2011, a group containing thousands of protestors stormed Tahrir Square in Cairo. They were sick of the oppression they were living under, handed down to them by their President, Hosni Mubarak. Less than a month later, Mubarak stepped down and the Egyptian people celebrated their win and their new found democracy. This movement sparked courage and life into people all around the world to stand up to their dictators, and let the underdogs get their chance. People in Libya and Syria took up arms against their governments. Libyans enganged in month long battles before eventually overthrowing their government, and along with it, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
In many ways, the newest Dante embodies all of the qualities I saw within the protestor. I think they’re also qualities we can all relate to. Feeling squashed and stepped on, only to finally stand up and take back what is yours. It’s an attribution I’m glad Ninja Theory included into the storyline. The world, and the events and people in it, are not stationary, but constantly changing. Such is the same with the Devil May Cry franchise and Dante. While the old Dante reigns as both nostalgic and “cool,” the new Dante better reflects the current problems and issues facing today’s world. From the alcoholism to the anarchist ideologies, new Dante slips right in with today’s generation.
From the trailers that have been released, we’ve seen what his character is capable of, but we’ve also seen glimpses of the struggle he’s had to go through. An orphan, with a probing drug problem, who is walking around with a chip on his shoulder and ready to take action. The new Dante may not look like the original, but the world no longer looks like how it did when the original Devil May Cry was released. To further explain what I mean, I ask you to look at the latest Call of Duty, Black Ops 2. Treyarch used groups like Anonymous to further the storyline players experienced through in the single player campaign. This may just be a small aesthetic change, but it’s the incorporation of modern day elements into our gameplay that fans related to.
Early reviews of the first 15 minutes of gameplay also made their way onto the internet last week, and received nothing but words of praise and excitement for the finished feature. It’s impossible to judge whether or not you’ll love or hate a character without controlling him for a couple of hours and taking a trip through his back story first. This is why I’m writing this piece. This is why I’m asking you to reserve judgement until January 15. This is our community, dear readers, and we need to support it by reserving judgement until judgement deserves to be made.