DLC review: DmC: Devil May Cry - Vergil's Downfall

Following the endgame events of DmC, Vergil finds himself trapped in a chaotic realm that seems to give physical form to all his inner turmoil. Still failing to understand how Dante and Kat could deny him his vision of a new Nephilim-governed world, Vergil’s calm and composed demeanor begins to deteriorate as he chases down apparitions of Dante, his mother, and plenty of monsters similar to those he and Dante faced in the city of Limbo. This DLC pack – which includes multiple chapters in a similar, albeit considerably shorter format as the main game – recycles some environmental assets, placing them against a red nebulous backdrop where floating platforms and blue vortex doorways are commonplace.

Vergil’s attacks are considerably faster than those of his brother, and can be upgraded in the same way to increase damage and offer a wider variety of ways to take down foes. Aerial juggles and charged power slashes prove practical for dealing with a handful of weaker grunts, while Vergil’s airborne daggers stand in for Dante’s Ebony and Ivory handguns. A couple of key abilities unlocked late in the DLC as part of the story’s progression prove a real treat, though their fanfare is unfortunately short-lived. Whereas Dante had both Angel and Demon weapons he collected during his missions for the Order, Vergil’s sword Yamato can take on either form with the press of the left or right trigger respectively. Angel attacks do less damage, but allow Vergil to dash about the stage at ridiculous speeds, while the slower Demon slashes do considerably heavier damage that is ideal for quickly boosting the combat ranking from D to S.

Vergil’s Downfall lasts a couple of hours, and while most of what lies in wait is rather predictable, the story does hold a couple of unexpected twists that provide greater insight into the antagonistic brother’s outlook on those around him. The dialogue is rather lazily scripted, but the game doesn’t get too bogged down with telling it, opting instead to let you enjoy the combat and seek out hidden health crosses and lost souls as much as possible. Vergil’s Downfall also takes a curious approach to its cutscenes, with most bearing a thickly-stenciled noir motion comic style instead of fully-rendered 3D character models and environments. Though a stark contrast to the core gameplay of this DLC package, it does not feel out of place, just somewhat lazy, given how stiff the motions are of each and every character rendered in these sequences.

Though the finale of DmC gave us something of a teaser of what might lay in store in a possible sequel game, Vergil’s Downfall would appear to be more concrete indication that Capcom and Ninja Theory intend to continue with this boldly reimagined vision of the Devil May Cry series. There is little complicated about the direction of Vergil’s Downfall – it’s not terribly lengthy to burn through once, though it does offer all the same variable difficulty settings as the core game. Vergil’s Downfall is an epilogue that plays out as a short and streamlined version of the core gameplay familiar to anyone who has already completed DmC: Devil May Cry.

My rating: 6.75 (out of 10)*

*(rating applies solely to downloadable content, not its inclusion with the content on the original game disc or other downloadable content)

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