It's risky to reboot a series already popular with a committed group of hardcore fans, but with DmC: Devil May Cry it's exactly what British studio Ninja Theory has done. The risk has paid off - this is an exciting, fun game and just an hour in all doubts melt away.
Devil May Cry sees players taking control of the half-human, half-demon Dante as he works to take down the empire of evil banker Kyle Ryder. But that isn't the sole motivation for wanting to kill him, as Ryder is the human vessel for the leader of the nefarious demonic forces currently holding an iron grip over the citizenry of the world - watching their every move, controlling their thoughts, keeping them docile.
The way Dante goes about bringing down this Orwellian empire is the meat of the experience: shooting, slashing and jumping like a man (literally) possessed. Devil May Cry is a game all about combos, rewarding skill, timing, creative use of the numerous skills you unlock as you progress and nuance with massive scores - all of which are uploaded to worldwide leaderboards so you can boast to your friends (or try and hide your very public shame).
On the lower difficulty levels DmC verges on being a welcoming experience, allowing unfamiliar players to hone their skills as they progress. But knock it up a rank or two - as you really should to get the most out of it - and it turns into a game of true challenge and huge difficulty. Naturally it becomes many times more rewarding when played this way - if you can cope.
Devil May Cry is stylish, surprisingly funny and - above all else - a very good game. It's not the most inventive experience and if you've played previous DMCs, Bayonetta or God Of War you're unlikely to be surprised. But viewed in isolation, away from the corrupting influence of Devil May Cry 3 (one of the best games of this type ever made) and ignoring the 'fans' baying for DmC's blood before it was even released, it's a fine achievement.
Reviewed by Ian Dransfield