Devil May Cry HD Collection is the first collection from one of Capcom’s legendary franchises but the second HD remastered games. The first being Resident Evil 4 which made a pretty decent transition to current gen systems and holds up very well. Devil May Cry games on the other hand, whilst perhaps having fond memories of way back when on the PS2 from 2001 – 2005, the HD makeover might not do the series as many favours as you might expect. All three games offer third person action adventuring where combo attacking enemies using killer moves with guns and melee weapons is the order of the day.
Included in the package is the 2001 release of Devil May Cry (DMC) which heralded a new dawn for Capcom as it wowed gamers with the introduction of white haired demon child son of Sparta Dante. At the time it was a stark contrast to Capcom’s other games such as the Resident Evil and Onimusha games. The game’s Gothic looks and cool action combat made for challenging gameplay, but the dodgy fixed camera became the bane of many gamers. Despite the camera, the game was still highly praised, and so its inclusion in this package as a HD remastering is most welcome.
Devil May Cry 2 released in 2003 and was met with much more harsh critique due to easier difficulty, a new playable female character and a loss of charm set from the original. With a less impacting game world, the open streets of the opening paved the way for dull interiors with lifeless enemies and a game not as enticing as its forebear.
In 2005 Capcom aimed to readdress the balance with the release of Devil May Cry 3 which told the story before events of the first game and introduced Dante’s brother. The gameplay was tweaked offering more options including a controllable camera, but still didn’t manage to capture the success of the first game. Whilst perhaps superior in every way to the original, expectations in 2005 were a lot more and so the game’s reception wasn’t as good.
So, Capcom brings the three games under one roof for players to relive past memories but in the glory of HD visuals. We’re not going to go into too much details regarding how each of the games play, or what the stories are, rather, take a closer look at the reason why you might be interested in replaying them again over years later. Since 2001 games (and their quality) have changed a lot, and even Devil May Cry 4 is leaps and bounds above these past offerings – so why jump back in time. It’s probably safe to say, aside from the achievements on offer, the main reason will be the HD visuals, but in all honesty, these are a mixed blessing.
Starting with Devil May Cry, the game’s art direction and enemies truly come alive with the HD version and actually proves that HD remastered games can and do work. The details whilst lacking in texture detail expected of today’s games, hold up well but this is largely due to the game’s distinctive art direction which wowed gamers back in 2001. It’s probably safe to say that this is the best of the three games in terms of how well the graphics have been spruced up as everything is sharper looking and moves fluidly – although you still have to wrestle with the fixed camera. Sadly, the cutscenes are in their original form and look muggy and horrible in comparison which is a shame.
Devil May Cry 2 follows a similar fashion to the original and looks sharp enough in terms of upgraded visuals, but the nature of the art direction which includes some very dull interiors makes for a game which isn’t as appealing. The enemies are also not as well designed and this is reflected more within the game’s spruced up resolution. In fact, the HD visuals simply show off how aged the game looks which in some ways is a negative. If you weren’t the biggest fan of DMC 2 back in 2003, then this HD remastered version isn’t going to change anything.
Finally, Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening offers the most recent game but there’s something not quite right with the visuals here either. Again, the HD makeover seems to amplify some really horrid looking textures which whilst acceptable in 2005 have no place in today’s games. With improved gameplay and a bit more over the top action, the game is still a joy to play which alongside Devil May Cry makes the package worthwhile; however, to expect visuals on par with today’s downloadable only offerings is perhaps going to leave you disappointed. Sure, the visuals are sharper than their PS2 counterparts, but not to the point where you’ll feel like you’re playing a new game. If anything, the bonus content that was never released in the west is perhaps the only genuine reason to want to replay it. This version allows you to play as Dante’s brother Vergil, a extra Bloody Palace Mode and a speedier Turbo mode offering.
So to conclude, there are three games on offer here of mixed quality when looking at the HD makeovers lavished upon them. All three ignore the cutscene quality which warps you back to 2001-2005 in a blurry mess. It is a big shame these weren’t updated to suit the rest of the game. If you’re a fan of the original games and rinsed them out back when they released then it’s probably neat being able to play them once more on Xbox or PS3 complete with the trophies and achievements; however if you’re not so bothered about these and are in it for the HD makeovers then aside from Devil May Cry, you might be a little disappointed. Capcom have indicated that the games include improved texture details, but don’t be expecting a complete overhaul as the game’s looks are unfortunately very dated now. If you’re a newcomer and interested in catching up with the series past – if you’ve played DMC 4 or are looking forwards to the next game coming this year – then you’d do well to run through these three games to see where it all began.
Devil May Cry HD Collection offers good value as there are three games which commanded top dollar when they originally released, so there’s no question over the longevity or value for money here. In this regard the collection comes highly recommended as a solid purchase despite some dated visuals and gameplay elements.