For the last time, it isn’t about the hair!
By Jamal I. - Wed Jan 16, 3:50 pm
Welcome to January. With a new year comes a new release quarter, and the game to herald the charge of new games to the market is Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry. A re-imagining of the series, a new Dante is thrust upon hopeful gamers en masse. And most of them resisted. But why? Is it generally a resistance to change? Are these people being tantrum-throwing tear-spewing children who don’t want a new blankie to replace their old one? It depends on who you ask, really.
Upon the game’s release, it received mostly positive praise across the board. With an average Metacritic review score of 86, the game sports a “generally favorable” review across most outlets. As expected with a game that garners this much following, the user reviews sport a different story entirely. Clocking in at 3.4, zero-point reviews continue to flood the site. Why? Why such hate? Why such vitriol from a fan-base?
The reviews themselves cite the game as having its share of low-points as well as positive marks. The combat, while having stuttering here and there, presents itself as a solid hack-and-slash with its share of charms that can wear thin at times. But let’s get to the meat and bones of the issue here: the writing.
The writing from the first iterations of the game were far from solid. Cheesy, tongue-in-cheek, and bombastic were standard fare in your average DMC title. And at times, Dante really was kind of a douche while his female companions were anything but likable. So how did they get away with it? Simple really: It didn’t take itself seriously. At all. And it did a good job of telling you it didn’t take itself seriously.
Dante was a douche, yes. But he was a likable douche. What more, he was OUR likable douche. The man had a sense of timing, class, and vibrato that could not be topped. I mean compare Dante receiving Lucifer in DMC 4 to him receiving Eryx in DmC. The guy just looks at the gauntlets, and slams them together. No comment, no innuendo, no CCCCCCRAZY.
And when the one-liners DO come? Oh god are they hackneyed.
“I am Mundus!”
“You’re an asshole!”
“But,” you may point out. “That’s not any worse than presented in the first four titles. Why should this be any different?” Here it is again: The first DMC titles did NOT take themselves seriously. Never did Kamiya or any of his staff nor any marketing materials claim that the writing in any of his games would be “Shakespearean.”
Oh, but God forbid you complain. I mean what’s the point? Bring it up to DmC’s new handler Tameem, and what will he do? Take a drag of his cigarette, gaze off into the distance, and say, “I don’t care.” What about games journalists themselves? Surely they’ll side with the fans and act as an impartial buffer between consumer and creator?
The article possesses an extremely narrow viewpoint of the overall fan response. And the tone the writer takes puts her on the same level as the indignant fans she so claims to abhor. There is no justification for this article’s existence, let alone the tone it takes on taking the so-called offenders to task.
So why? Why are people so willing to ignore the problems with the game, and just arbitrarily label it as fans being mad because his hair isn’t white? Is it the same game being played here? Did they not notice rifle-assisted abortions, “little wet chunks”, WUBWUBWUB, a fetus pulling his mother into his vagina (yes, HIS vagina) and literally attacking with dub-step, and “My dick is bigger than yours”? The writing isn’t subtle. It isn’t clever. It isn’t even in the same area code as “decent”. But the marketers had the audacity to label it as “Shakespearean” and label any decryers as “haters”.
What’s more, the biggest worry fans had wasn’t that NT would turn Dante from a likable douche to an unlikable douche, but if NT could even make a good DMC game. Because be honest, Ninja Theory isn’t exactly known for having the slickest of combat mechanics.
This game exists to be try-hard and edgy for the sake of edge. Even the walls say “FUCK YOU”.