DmC: Devil May Cry. But, hopefully, he won’t.

…’cause he’s sure as shit thirsty for chainsaw-smokin’ skeletons and migrated chemical goliaths.

To think, Capcom might also shed a tear or two come next Christmas, when they realize one of the year’s best titles might get lost among the typically huge blockbuster game shuffle come awards time.

Don’t scythe this messenger.

Just another Hollywood douche with a sword.

Devil May Cry was, in fact, my surprise game at Comic Con — thanks to the Hard Rock Hotel’s XBOX Lounge — which allowed this gamer a whirl at the lengthy demo. Thankfully, it’s final release (out tomorrow 11/15) has everything gamers would ever want in a platformer: mega-responsive, intuitive combat; outstanding widescreen visuals and talented voice acting (especially Robin Riker’s slithery pregnant witch,”Lilith”); a compelling arsenal and lightning-pumped score. The key to victory for the folks over at Ninja Theory in this cross-pollination of Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania, however, is just how pick-up-and-play DmC.. well.. plays.

The game is by no means an easy one, as there was a point or two where it took over an hour of deaths just to get through a battle. Rather, the left and right sticks are nifty enough to switch between “Angel” and “Demon” forms that separate faster sickles and blades — that are better suited for taking out larger swarms of ghouls — from heavier axes and scythes that will be needed for far more hellish warrior-demons. Particular weapons work on particular foes too, so there is indeed a learning curve; but, with more focus on action than exploration, it shouldn’t take long for players to fully immerse themselves into battle.

Now, that’s not to say there isn’t already plenty to explore. In fact, there were several missions (of the rough # of 15) that this monsignor only completed at 25 or 30%. That’s due chiefly to skipping out on several of the “Secret Missions,” which at first appeared a quick way to make a buck (yes, you buy upgrades and items just like every other platfomer, yo), but then proved a bit time-consuming and jarringly difficult. For example, kill these 20 floating enemies in less than 30 seconds, but only by using blah-blah-blah. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass. I’d say try ’em all, but you don’t want to distract yourself from the main story too much.

There are also plenty of keys to be found in the more difficult regions of DmC that help unlock more areas for bloody doe and fiendish worship.

You’ll be cracking literal skulls.

And thankfully, the story of this Devil May Cry reboot is damn good too. It fleshes a beat of the arcane underworld with current political structure and social reliance. One of the damnedest — and coolest — bosses in recent memory comes courtesy of a god-fearing Rush Limbaugh newscaster type, who sends our Dante through a cluster of neon television signals and stock red-white-and-blue telekinetic lasers. Some of these bosses are tough; but none of them are as fun to battle as the normal stock. DmC also does something pretty damn cool with its fights, as it cinematically introduces each new foe via a 3D Street Fighter or Tekken (or vs.?).

To think of DmC as an action/adventurer and not a fighter is one of its finest feats. Each battle relies on time, style and an almost hypnotic dexterity to it all, especially style. You need to mix in your Ebony & Ivory (gats double-deuce) in with the Rebellion (big ass sword) and your other merchandise. The longer you play, the more at your array. Soon you’ll find a way to whiplash tug on flying baddies all the while tornado dicing ground foes while leaping yourself with some insane combos– and then blast the last reeking dude with a one-hand shottie.

With the Skrillex meets Killswitch Engage-like soundtrack, perhaps some Bud and some bud, you’ll have around 11-12 hours — without death — to kill these ghastly gunk-sneezing bitches. Then you’ll do it all over again and again until the day something a little more riveting comes out.

Good luck.

4 (out of 5) Bibles. DmC won’t change the gaming industry, but it’ll surely have them rethink it. Maximizes the pixels and resolution on these system’s last wheels, with wondrous post-apocalyptic landscapes and lavish, contrasting colour schemes. Yes, colour. The best fighting combo’s in the business, which would give several of the game’s best fighters a run for their money…with thankfully enough story and exploration to make it a full package.

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