It's been a while since Capcom announced that the original Playstation 2 Devil May Cry trilogy would be making their way to PC, upscaled and polished up for modern machines. After going silent over the holidays, the Japanese publisher have finally piped up, and released a trailer for the updated bundle, along with a release date: March 13th.
Even though Dante's iconic red duster never goes out of style, I feel that this debut on PC may be a little more than fashionably late. Even more strangely, Capcom may well torpedo their own launch plans by giving away the first of the three games to anyone subscribed to Amazon Prime as part of their Twitch perks package later this month.
The reason why the Twitch Prime giveaway (scheduled for February 27th) may be a problem: Of the original three DMC games, only two were good, and the first was one of them. Originally envisioned as a Resident Evil spinoff, the original Devil May Cry still bears some similarities to the classic survival-horror franchise, especially in its use of convoluted puzzles and locking mechanisms, and some very dramatic but occasionally awkward camera angles. Still, it was a new, fun and stylish kind of hack n' slash action game that would go on to set the foundations for great things.
DMC2 was the black sheep of the family. While the HD update may smooth over some of the more technical flaws with it (lower framerate, less responsive controls, fuzzier graphics), the core design of it was just oddly bland and awkward. Characters moved stiffly, bosses became little more than punching bags with over-inflated health bars, and the new modern-day urban setting gave players an uninteresting world of grey and beige boxes to run around. Taken by itself, it wasn't a terrible game, but it was a huge step down from the first.
DMC3 was more than a return to form, and established the template which the entire character action genre would build on for the next decade, with Bayonetta lifting almost her entire repertoire from it. The series also found its love of wild, campy excess here (another thing borrowed by Bayonetta), with one notable sequence being a boss fight against a topless lady vampire who, upon acknowledging her defeat, transforms into a magic guitar for Dante which shoots electric bats.
So, too little, too late? With one of the two good games in the package being given away for free, good character action games being widely available on PC now (including Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising, as well as the semi-recently updated Devil May Cry 4), and DMC3 technically already having had a PC launch, I personally can't see this release really catching on. At least for series die-hards, it may help pass the time until Capcom (hopefully) announce the long-rumored Devil May Cry 5.