When Capcom announced in 2002 that a sequel to Devil May Cry was in the works, expectations were high, as the original was a mega success, even though it started out as a failed attempt in the development of Resident Evil 4. The bar was set with a demon-slaying mercenary and a unique combat system. However, Devil May Cry 2 managed to strip out everything that made the original a joy to play, making it the most mundane game in the series.
Yeah, fans complained about DMC1 being difficult, but Capcom totally ruined it by making it so simple. You could almost go through the game with one hand on your controller. Now, where’s the fun in that?
Back to the pertinent question: Is Dante’s Fire Still Burning in him to tackle hard, ubiquitous opponents? and most importantly
Will the Devil cry again?
On This Page
Dante returns in DMC2, not as we knew him, and that’s not to say he came back better. He appears to have gone through some life-altering experience that left him permanently depressed, or maybe he was kidnapped and replaced by a clone.
I don’t know, but either way, I don’t like him. Set in the fictional world of Dumary Island, his journey revolves around a girl named Lucia. But even she didn’t get much character development. There are so many flaws the game is plagued with; it makes you wonder what went wrong during development and why it only took 4 months to be completed.
When we ask if the Devil can cry again, we’re not just talking about the game itself. We’re delving into the very essence of what made the series great and exploring whether that spark is still there in Devil May Cry 2. Obviously, the game is missing something, or should I say a lot.
Read on to explore further as you say goodbye to the charismatic Dante we once knew and loved, and welcome a nonchalant, repugnant Dante who comes off with a cold look.
One of the issues DMC2 was plagued with was the lack of a creative plot. It’s an action game, alright, so you expect it to focus more on the gameplay. Nevertheless, the story shouldn’t be neglected, as that’s what makes a game memorable. DMC’s storyline was not only boring but short, which I guess is a good thing because if it were any longer, it would have been torture.
The story kicks off with Lucia standing in a museum, staring at an item before demons suddenly burst in and grab the item. Just as they are leaving, Dante arrives and slays them all. Lucia thanks him, and he follows her to her homeland, Vie de Marli.
There he meets Matier, Lucia’s mother, and she explains to him the history she has with his father, Sparda. After narrating about her past, she asks Dante to help fight Arius, owner of the international corporation, Uroboros, who has transformed their land into a demon stronghold and seeks to acquire more demon power. He decides if he’s going to help them with a coin flip, and heads it is.
Eventually, we learn that Lucia is actually a creation of Arius, and Matier isn’t her biological mother, although she explains that they have a history together that runs deep. Over the course of the game, Dante and Lucia fight Arius, with Dante eventually defeating him. Lucia asks Dante to kill her because she fears she will eventually turn into a demon and betray the human race.
While they’re still arguing about this, a portal to the underworld opens, and they both argue about who should go into it. Lucia makes a good argument as to why she should be the one to go into the portal, but Dante decides to let fate decide by flipping a coin. Heads it is again, and Dante slowly walks towards the portal, but before he departs, he tosses his coin to her.
In the underworld, Dante fights Arius’s master, Agrosax, and while this is ongoing, Arius returns in demon form and fights Lucia, who ends up killing him. After Dante defeats Agrosax, the portal closes, and with nowhere to go, he rides off on his motorcycle deeper into hell.
Later on, Lucia examines the coin Dante left for her, and she discovers that both sides of his coin are heads, therefore proving that he was always going to help; perhaps he was just trying to be edgy. Lucia reminisces in an office about what Matier had told her about Sparda, assuring her that one day Dante would return. Just as she’s done thinking about that, she hears a motorcycle in the distance and goes to see who it might be.
The goal of DMC2 remains the same: Run around in open landscapes, slaughtering demons, gathering orbs, and eventually upgrading your collection with them. While this is good, there are other tweaks done here that spoil the game.
The fighting system has been noticeably degraded. In DMC1, you could execute different combos by simply delaying attacks while performing them, and each sword came with new tricks. But now you have to use the analog stick to change the combo style, which is useless if you don’t cancel the auto lock-on, which brings me to another issue with this game.
The auto lock-on completely destroyed this game. It would have been more logical to simply leave it to the player to decide if they want to lock on to an enemy manually or not, rather than make it the go-to option and have it randomly change who you are locked onto frequently. The combat camera doesn’t help at all because most enemies are out of view, especially those birds that are always flying above you. You never see them, but your auto lock-on always knows they’re there.
At least now you get to know the enemy you’re locked on to when compared to DMC1, but it’s more annoying than ever because, while it ruined the combo system, it also made the game extremely easy. You can button-mash using your sword or hold on to your guns and keep firing at your enemy. You don’t even have to aim, and besides that, you have infinite ammo.
Even the boss fights don’t pose a challenge at all. The terrible design aside, simply shooting from a distance with your standard guns without an upgrade will get you through most boss fights and most demons. That’s just incredibly boring if you ask me. You don’t even get to practice any skills you might have picked up while playing because close combat is trash and can be ignored for much of the game.
The enemy design is questionable as well. From the names to the outlook, I sometimes wonder if a 9-year-old was responsible for creating these monsters. I mean, come on, what the hell is an infested chopper or an infested tank? It seems like ideas from Resident Evil that were thrown out because of how ridiculous they sounded happened to make their way to Devil May Cry.
These monsters will mostly attack blindly, and some of them literally just exist to do nothing. This applies to all the bosses, even Arius, who literally just sits down while you kill him. Once again, all you have to do is shoot at them while dodging maybe a few times. Oh yeah, you now have a dedicated dodge button, but it’s pretty much useless anyway due to how slow it is. You look at a game like God Hand’s dodge mechanics, and you applaud it because it’s quick. Although it has a learning curve in God Hand, it’s reliable, which is what this game needed.
You can find new weapons as you progress, but they’re not as exciting as they should be because you have the same move-sets as Rebellion. Unlike DMC1, where upgrading would unlock new skills and increase the damage of your weapon, upgrading here only increases the damage, which is just excessive because your weapons are already overpowered.
Red orbs are still used to upgrade weapons, restore your health and your magic for your devil trigger. Devil Trigger is customizable now with amulets, which grant you special abilities and can transform you into a demon form when your health is really low.
Lucia, who is a playable character, has her story linked to Dante. You end up going through the same levels you did when you played Dante. Unfortunately, she is plagued with the same issues Dante suffers from with her overpowered weapons and boring fights. She gets two curved swords instead of a large one and throwing knives compared to Dante’s guns.
Exploration in DMC2 is terrible, as the levels have clearly gotten bigger but still feel empty. You’ll find yourself running around just looking for enemies to kill or orbs to collect. None of these are as exciting as they seem because you can easily choose not to fight and walk past them. Though some locations are well designed, there’s just nothing to do for the most part, leaving it feeling incomplete.
With both Dante and Lucia’s ranged weapons, no enemy is able to put up a fight. Honestly, beating the game is so easy. All you have to do is gun-spam, except if you’re trying to make it a little tough for yourself. Hard mode and Must Die do actually pose a challenge but not the necessary amount to make the game more enjoyable.
Visually, I think the game did a fantastic job of displaying the grotesque vibe it aimed for. There is no debating that the dialogue was downright awful, and not much work was put into the characters developing a personality. But the outfits were great. Dante and Lucia’s costumes were so on point here; it’s a shame that it got overshadowed by all the negatives of the game.
Animations still look as good as they did on the original; nothing much has changed here. It’s funny when you remember that this dropped 20 years ago, and the graphics look a little dated, but at its time of release, it was one of the best on the PS2.
The sound design is superb, as are all the games in the series. I cannot even begin to imagine running around so many empty areas without that heavy metal soundtrack keeping me going. I can’t fault the Capcom Sound Team here; they really did a fantastic job by choosing the perfect song for each moment. The sound effects are still similar to the original, and the voice acting is amusing. Whoever voiced Arius should be a comedian.
Dante and Lucia’s campaign can be completed in under 5 hours, and after that, I don’t think anyone would ever want to pick this up again. Perhaps you enjoyed it for some reason and if so you can unlock hard mode for each both Dante and Lucia, which isn’t really hard. The best thing about playing the hard mode is you can unlock Trish, remember her, from DMC1? Yeah.
If I’m being honest, that’s the most exciting thing about this DMC2. She still maintains the same combo system from DMC1 while getting the upgrades that DMC2 came with, and this is precisely how Dante should have been designed. That still doesn’t stop the game from being annoying, as the game mechanics remain unchanged. Bloody Palace is also unlocked after completing both characters’ stories in normal mode.
Devil May Cry 2 was clearly plagued with issues from development, which ruined what could have otherwise been a great game. As the game producer, Tsuyoshi Tanaka revealed, the game was supposed to be ground-breaking, and you can tell it was headed in the right direction with the vast environment but was rushed to completion.
Though it sold well, it left a sour taste in the mouths of those who played it, crashing down expectations that were held for it. It still managed to have some positives with the sound design and costumes, but everything else than that is just complete nonsense.
- Engaging demon-slaying action
- A thrilling and action-packed adventure
- Gothic and visually striking landscapes
- Repetitive and boring exploration
- Combat Camera mechanics has an ugly blindspot that urgently neds improvement
- Easy and simplified gameplay