Another thing the game gets right, that so many others get wrong, is the ‘boss’ encounters. Again, Ninja Theory take advantage of Dante’s moveset, never falling back on a lazy QTE section. These encounters feel epic and involving, as they should.
The soundtrack fits the action like a rubber glove. Frantic guitar riffs penetrate the action, and get the blood pumping, and in some sections, the crunches, cracks and booms of combat are layered with techno wizardry. Until, inevitably, the music fades out—because you died.
Dying isn’t that common in the standard Demon Hunter difficulty selection, but the game is designed to be played multiple times, vying for that number one spot on the leaderboard. Upon completion you unlock the Son of Sparda difficulty, which not only ups the ante with more enemies, but since you get to keep all the skills and weapons you acquired in your initial playthrough, it also throws in weapon-specific foes with increased aggression.
This mode makes it feel like a different beast, and is extremely challenging. Which also makes it feel that much more rewarding. It won’t hesitate to pit you against legions of the strongest creatures in the game.
You are ranked at the end of each mission by how stylishly you fought, the overall completion of the level, the time it took you to complete and also if you used any items, or died. Many with a competitive streak, myself included, will find themselves captivated. And if a game were to be held up as a prime example of one that benefits from online connectivity, this is it.
The only downside to having a competitive nature, is that you feel compelled to rush through the levels, in the hunt to better your score. Skipping past the beautiful detail of the world Ninja Theory created. But I reiterate, you will play through multiple times, and because of the time constraints, the scenery never becomes dull.
Other than the adolescent cries of “OMG he got dark hair”, I could understand the outcry of a beloved franchise being outsourced to another company. Ninja Theory’s previous games were great, and they were in the correct genre. My only worry was that they couldn’t replicate the ferocious speed of a DmC game.
I was wrong.
Capcom has obviously had some input on the combat side of things and it has clearly been a collaborative process. Each studio playing to the others’ strength, and creating something spectacular in the process. Remember how I said Ninja Theory made great games? Well, this is their best yet.
8 out of 10