Devil May Cry 2 (PlayStation 2) Review

By Renan Fontes 03.09.2016

Review for Devil May Cry 2 on PlayStation 2

It's never a good sign when the majority of a fanbase outright refuses to acknowledge an entry in a franchise. For the longest time, Devil May Cry 2 was considered the black sheep and worst instalment of the series, happily ignored and forgotten in favour of the stronger alternatives by new and long-time fans alike. As time passes, so does perspective, and with new perspective perhaps DMC2 has some worth.

Where Devil May Cry's focus was primarily on content, Devil May Cry 2 shoots its eyes towards quantity. A second playable character makes room for more missions, there are more weapons, there are more bosses, there are more secrets and extras to play with. It's a circus that wants to stuff as many ideas as possible into its tent and, to its credit, most of the ideas aren't bad.

The addition of a new playable character with different missions and weapons from Dante adds new variety. More weapons for Dante gives him more tools to play with and, theoretically, more attacks to explore new combos. The addition of Bloody Palace, an endless gauntlet of enemies, offers non-stop action without any breaks; a genuine challenge for even the most hardcore fans. Unfortunately, great concepts don't always lend themselves to great execution.

The new playable character, Lucia, is a nice idea in theory. She's built to be a smaller, speedier Dante and she fights with knives and a crossbow instead of a sword and guns, so there is weapon variety, but her three main weapons all play the same and, regretfully, the same is true for Dante.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on PlayStation 2

Devil May Cry shined brightest in the heat of battle; Dante could switch between his sword or his gauntlets to spice up combat while keeping a natural flow going. Each weapon had its own moveset, with attacks that could be chained in and out of each other. DMC2 sports more weapons, yes, but they're all the same.

All of Lucia's weapons are knives and all of Dante's weapons are swords, and besides an aesthetic and minor range difference, the new weapons amount to nothing. There are no new attacks to go alongside them, or any point in using any weapon other than the default one Dante and Lucia start their campaigns with thanks to the new level up system.

As a concept, the idea of levelling up a weapon is a pretty good idea. New attacks could already be bought with red orbs in the first game, so using said orbs to instead level up a weapon opens up shop a bit more. Alas, levelling up doesn't amount to much but a very minor increase in attack power.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on PlayStation 2

A level system implies progress, which implies enemies will also progress, but the AI in Devil May Cry 2 is so docile that the challenge is over before anything even starts. Dante and Lucia can mercilessly cut down mobs of monsters without any real trouble.

Only fuelling the fire of disappointment that is the combat, the level design has taken a serious blow. Before, the layout of each room was designed with combat in mind, with blocked paths to get around or openings to lure enemies into, but DMC2 opts for a more open environment without any real eye for proper design.

Missions are set in environments with too many wide and tall landscapes. The setting and scenery changes plenty of times, but it never feels like new ideas are being incorporated. There are industrial and rural areas but, outside of looks, they feel and play exactly the same.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on PlayStation 2

Open areas for combat aren't necessarily a bad thing, as Bloody Palace demonstrates. Perhaps the only idea that DMC2 came close to realising, Bloody Palace is effectively a playground of carnage. Dante and Lucia simply fight through swarms of enemies that get progressively more difficult and it's here where the sequel actually starts to feel like a sequel. Even then, Bloody Palace still isn't a strong enough addition thanks to the dumbed down combat.

To make matters worse, the tone is just so much dryer than DMC1. Dante is a quiet, serious type, instead of sporting his cocky attitude, the bosses don't banter anymore, and the atmosphere is just so dark and grey. Everything feels off and uncomfortable, and that comes across in the actual gameplay. Without a little bit of humour now and then to cut the tension, Dante and his world feels a lot more generic.

It's sad just how many steps back Devil May Cry 2 took, because it does try to offer some good ideas. At the expense of the combat, difficulty, and design, though? It's just not enough to salvage the package. There's a lot of good hiding here, but it's so well hidden, it's doubtful anyone will make the most out of it.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on PlayStation 2

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Devil May Cry 2 should be a lot better than it is. Its predecessor was full of charm, personality, and style, with an equal amount of substance, but DMC2 fails to hit the same marks. Bloody Palace, another playable character, and a level system are all fantastic ideas, yet none of them are either realised or fleshed out enough to make up for the watered down combat, easier difficulty, and barebones design. Gone are Dante's goofy one-liners, the bosses' ridiculous retorts, and general tongue-in-cheek tone. DMC2 is dark, brooding, and a hopelessly boring sequel to a game that deserved so much better.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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