by Michael Moore

The third incarnation of the Devil May Cry series, is actually a prequel to the first DMC game. Although this seems a little cliché story wise, the story itself is rather solid and enjoyable. It seems strange that they would do a prequel now, considering how DMC2 ended, but I wasn't exactly a part of that decision. So although it's a little annoying that they wouldn't continue from DMC2, DMC3 doesn't suffer because of it, and if anything, it is probably better off because of it.

Now the story goes that the main character Dante is the son of a powerful demon named Sparda, who went against his fellow demons and closed the gates to the demon world so that the human world would be safe. While on Earth he fell in love with a human woman and they had Dante. It is also revealed in DMC1 that Dante has a twin brother, Vergil, and he is the main enemy at the start of the game.

The story is told through video sequences at the start and end of missions. The story itself is compelling and all the games characters are good and seem to all actually have personalities. Even the bosses have nice dialog sequences with Dante. It's nice to see the effort put into things like that, even if the bosses are only around for a short time.

The game's graphics are what you come to expect from a PS2 game. The game looks good. The lighting and sound help create a nice mood, kind of a horrorish game feel to it until you get into a fight. Then the music changes to some hard rock which goes along well with the action. The levels have a nice neo-gothic look to them, but unlike the previous two games, it changes enough level to level that it doesn't get repetitive.

The game play is solid, just as it has in the past, and what is nice is that they took it a step further this time rather then just settling with what they had. What I mean is that in DMC3 they introduce the ability to pick a “style” for Dante. What the styles do is they allow Dante to pull off certain special moves, for instance in the Trickster style you can run up walls and its easier to dodge attacks or with the Gunslinger style you can shoot in two different directions with your two guns. You start the game with four styles and pick up two more as the game progresses. The style system adds a nice element of variety, since depending on how you play, you can pick a style the suits you or you can pick one that will be more helpful for that particular level.

Although there are a lot of nice improvements, there are still some problems with the game. It's way way too hard. Even on easy mode, the game is surprisingly difficult. It takes many attempts to beat bosses, which you can't really do without reloading your last save since the prices of healing items continually go up. What is also a problem is that in the longer levels there are usually save points right before the bosses, since you can also buy items at them, but even though you save there, you have to start the mission from the beginning if you reload your save file. This leads to a lot of frustration, and makes it hard to sit down and play the game in short bursts, other then doing it one mission at a time. It's rather clear that this DMC doesn't seem like it was made for the causal gamer like the previous one was.

If you can get past the saving issue and the Grand Canyon steep difficulty, DMC3 is a very good action game. It looks great, has a very good story (which is rather rare in any game not just action titles) and it can be a lot of fun (between instances of throwing your controller across the room in anger.) I'd recommend that fans of the series pick it up, and non casual gamers looking for a good action game, otherwise just rent it. You'll feel better spending $3 and returning it in a few days than you will spending $50 and having to keep it.

Rating: 7.5/10

Devil May Cry 3
Distributed by
Release Info

Catalog Number: 246335
Number of Players: 1
System: PlayStation 2
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99