Capcom has given gamers the opportunity to turn heel with DMC: Devil May Cry‘s Vergil‘s Downfall DLC. Players are thrown into the villain’s shoes as he seeks to quell his insecurities. Unlike Dante’s journey, Vergil’s Downfall isn’t filled with cheesy one liners. Instead, there’s a more visceral and raw character who develops — surprisingly! — in the game’s two short hours. In fact, the story arc makes you empathize with Vergil. And then makes you hate him.
You take control of Vergil immediately after his climatic bout with his twin brother. Vergil’s severely injured, but makes it to his mother’s grave where he finally succumbs to his wounds. Vergil then awakens in hell and soon notices that he’s missing his pendant (which lets him perform his Devil Trigger).
The story is the biggest winner here. Vergil travels through hell fighting off demon hordes with his mighty and stylish katana. What eventually amounts to Vergil’s revenge unfolds metaphorically over a span of 2-4 hours of gameplay as he transforms into the evil demon lord we’ve learned to hate. Upon the DLC’s conclusion you’ll wonder why Dante’s story wasn’t as fleshed out as this; there’s more character development in Vergil’s Downfall‘s two hours than the nine hours spent with Dante. It’s about a man coming to terms with his inadequacies and embracing his fears and weaknesses. It’s actually a refreshing break from the normal smart-assed jokes and immature shenanigans we get with Dante.
The story unfolds via short animated clips. Unfortunately, they don’t fit in with the games general art style. I found myself loathing these cut scenes and would rather listen to them than watch. Ninja Theory probably took this route due to budget constraints and the experience does suffer for it. However, in-game Vergil looks amazing and moves gracefully as he picks enemies apart.
Although Vergil’s combat looks thrilling, it doesn’t engage the player on the level as Dante’s combat. With Dante, you can easily combo and grab other enemies to continue the fighting flow. Vergil, however, teleports toward the enemy. This disrupts the action, and can lead to unexpected deaths caused by falling off ledges. Once you become accustomed to the slight differences and minor combat flaws, Vergil can be as formidable as Dante.
Logically, combat differences also apply to Vergil’s weapon. Unlike Dante, Vergil only has his katana, Yamato, and instead of Ebony and Ivory, Vergil uses Sword Illusions. These swords shoot enemies and are useful for extending combos. Since Vergil lacks multiple weapons, the gameplay becomes repetitive and stale. He also doesn’t have a unique angel and demon weapon. Instead Yamato’s and Vergil’s attributes change depending on whether angel or demon mode is active. In angel mode, Vergil is incredibly fast and able to dodge attacks; in demon mode he’s a bit slower, but swings viciously at enemies.
Speaking of enemies, there are only two new enemies for you to thrash. Wisps are annoying enemies that are immune to physical attacks. To defeat these gruesome demons, you must use Illusion Sword until the beasts become enraged and susceptible to attacks. Then there are Imprisoners, brutal enemies who can quickly defeat a player who isn’t careful. Imprisoners toss debris at Vergil with any one of its four arms and can be difficult to defeat in numbers. The other enemies should be familiar to players and the same strategies still apply. If they’re red, use Yamato’s demon variant; if blue, use the angel one. It becomes quite repetitive. There are collectibles scattered around each stage, and you can also choose to play on the Vergil Must Die difficulty setting (that’s Hard mode for anyone unfamiliar with DmC).
The stages in Vergil’s Downfall are gloomy and feature darker palettes. The guy is in hell, so I wasn’t expecting blue skies, but looking at the same colors becomes dull after a bit.
What you receive for $8.99 is slim pickings. Although the short story is engaging, I can’t really recommend this purchase. After you finish Vergil’s Downfall, there really isn’t much reason to return to it. It does serve as a good setup for the inevitable DmC sequel and gives those wanting a little extra something to enjoy. But not much else.
DmC: Vergil’s Downfall DLC Minimum PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
- Processor: 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS or better, ATI RadeonHD 3850 or better
- Hard Drive: 9GB HDD