DLC Talk: Vergil's Downfall
Our souls are at odds, brother
Published on Sunday, 24 March 2013 18:00
So who’s the only person in the Devil May Cry universe that even stands a chance at being as cool as Dante? Nero? Lady? Lucia? Trish? Nope, it’s definitely Dante’s twin brother Vergil with his awesome hair, sense of style, his Katana...ok I’m getting a little too excited.
Anyway, soon after Bloody Palace mode was released as free downloadable content for Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry, a story based DLC called Vergil’s Downfall was released allowing players to control Vergil directly after the events of the main game! So is Vergil fun to play as? Is it stylish? Is it awesome? Is it worth it? The answer to all those questions is yes!
Just a warning: There will be SPOILERS within this paragraph, folks. Vergil’s Downfall takes place just moments after the end of the main game. You’ve been warned! As the game begins, we see Vergil retreating to his mother’s grave for guidance, but is then dragged into Limbo(or something like it) and is told by his mother’s voice to follow the light. Vergil is met with his "hollow" self and advises he heal the "wounds" of his heart, meeting up with illusions of Dante, Kat, and his own mother. After healing the wounds however, Vergil develops a lust for power and becomes something very similar to the Vergil we know in Devil May Cry 3. Like the main game, the story here is passable and entertaining but nothing close to a great narrative. What we’re seeing here is the transition period from formal nice guy Vergil to pretty much pure power hungry vergil. It’s something to get you by and you’ll enjoy what you see, but it’s not the main focus. If anything though, the ending in particular is somewhat riveting and had me excited to see Vergil this way in a possible DmC2.
Okay play time is over, it’s time to talk combat! In Dante’s campaign, fighting can become a little bit of a drag until you get your angel and demon modes. The same applies here, and boy does it deliver later on. You begin the game with Vergil’s basic triangle mash and pause combos, the latter combo being particularly fun to use with its speed. In fact, that’s the most appealing thing about Vergil: his speed. Guns here are replaced with sword illusions summoned at the sides of his head, jabbing into enemies with quickness. He also comes equipped with your standard launcher attacks just like Dante, making your Katana a definite bread and butter weapon. This all changes however, when you get your angel and demon modes. Angel is mapped to the left trigger and demon is mapped to the right trigger yes, but if you think your triangle and circle buttons will do the same things across all fields, think again. Here, you don’t change weapons when you go into angel and demon; you keep using your Katana just in a different "mode" which of course changes your attacks. What makes it so alien though, is what each button does in these modes. Think Angel circle button will launch enemy into the air? Nope, it performs a horizontal spinning attack(unless you hold it down). Don’t think you’ll go into Vergil’s fight style with grace. These are totally new moves for a totally new character. Vergil’s attacks are varied, quick, and just as much of a blast to experiment with as Dante’s. Additionally, Devil Trigger now summons a doppleganger; a direct copy of yourself to deal twice the damage. You can even customize the delay at which it repeates your attack for added strategy. Now that is cool.
Though combat easily holds your attention, Vergil’s Downfall takes some missteps. Unfortunately one of those missteps is its presentation. The main game offers a plethora of gorgeous scenery, some of the most motivating music in the genre, and a visually interesting color palette. Here, it’s a downgrade on all fronts. Limbo here is always blue and nothing more. Music feels very hollow compared to Dante’s rockin’ industrial electronica style, though to be fair, maybe this fits Vergil more. The biggest distraction out of all of these however, is the cutscenes. In Vergil’s Downfall, 90% of the cutscenes replace 3D graphics with somber comic book style artwork, and instead of being sweet eye-candy, all I could think of when watching them was the phrase "low budget." The game also only offers one boss, and it is a pretty sweet one, but it would have been nice to have at least one more. Unfortunately the reasoning for this is its disappointing six mission length. There was enough territory here to explore ten missions, but sadly they didn’t.
Vergil’s Downfall is by no means perfect, but the combat alone is worth it. Playing as Vergil is incredibly different than Dante and if you’ve mastered Dante, you will definitely want to master his brother as well. If you’re a DmC fan with a spare $9, you should absolutely check it out.
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