PlayStation 2


Devil May Cry 3: Dante\'s Awakening Developed by: Capcom Production Studio 1 Published by: Capcom ESRB Rating: M For: PlayStation 2

I am grateful to Capcom. Too often games are designed with the mindset that it should appeal to the masses, and unfortunately the masses just aren\'t very good at games. The consequence of this philosophy is that games are easy. Sure, they are fun while they last, but when they are finished the player feels no sense of accomplishment. Luckily, we have Capcom around to consistently produce the old-school kind of game that makes the player work to complete it. Devil May Cry 3: Dante\'s Awakening is just such a game. It\'s the kind of game that requires skill. I loved it, and anyone else who wants to prove to himself or herself how hardcore a gamer (s)he is will too.

Quite frankly, this is a game for true gamers only. If you aren\'t familiar with the story of the Devil May Cry series, don\'t worry; neither was I when I started. Because the game\'s setting is chronologically earlier than the two previous games, comprehension the story doesn\'t depend on prior events detailed in other games. The story follows Dante, a young man whose father happens to be a demon who long ago rebelled against the forces of evil and sealed the gateway between Earth and the demon-world. As Dante is trying to come up with a name for his new private investigation business, he is attacked by several demons. To make matters worse, a giant tower rises up from the ground in Dante\'s neighborhood. Dante quickly realizes that this is the work of his evil twin, Virgil, and he embarks on an adventure to stop his sibling from opening the portal to the underworld where a great power is locked away. The story is very engaging and the cutscenes that tell it are mind-blowingly amazing. They are brief enough to not get in the way of game play but action-packed enough to be absolutely thrilling.


The game play of Devil May Cry 3 (DMC3) is pure action. The game is pretty an endless battle that is broken up only occasionally by small puzzles and finding keys. These elements aren\'t anything special and they are mainly an excuse to get from place to place. I didn\'t mind though, because the action in this game is hard, fast, and relentless. From the very beginning the difficulty level is ramped way up, and the player is forced to learn the art of anticipating attacks and dodging or jumping back or else die within seconds. Dante\'s default sword and gun combo allows for some pretty outstanding combos (knocking an enemy in the air with the sword and keeping him suspended by blasting him with guns is my favorite), but things really get crazy when Dante finds new weapons that he can switch between in the fly. Every gun and melee weapon has its own attacks and combos, and the only way to earn the big points (which are awarded for fighting stylishly) is to learn the abilities of each of them. Thankfully the controls are so good that performing these epic maneuvers becomes second nature after a few hours of play.

There are also four fighting styles that can be chosen from right off the bat. Each one focuses on a different type of skill and expands the abilities of Dante even further. If you choose Sword master as your style, then Dante\'s selection of melee moves will increase exponentially. If you prefer fighting defensively than pick Royal Guard. The enemies are unforgiving and intelligent, and each different type of demon requires the mastery of a different technique to defeat. As soon as the seemingly endless waves of monsters are killed and the stage is fully explored, it is time to confront one of the brutal bosses that wait at the end of almost every level. These encounters are the high point of the game and will really test the limit of what your nerves and your thumbs are capable of. Often they will kill Dante within seconds and then it is back to the beginning of the stage. Normally this would create a tedious experience, but because Dante is constantly collecting orbs that he can use to purchase new moves and powers, I always felt like I was making progress. The only thing that gets annoying is that the semi-fixed camera has minor issues at times, but it never made the game harder because of that. Besides that, the game play in DMC3 is practically perfect. The game is exclusively on the PS2, so naturally the graphics engine doesn\'t have the raw power of what we see on the Xbox or the Gamecube. Nevertheless, the game manages to look impressive. What it lacks in polygons it more than makes up for in style.

The environments are appropriately gothic and spooky, and there are all sorts of great details like statues, suits of armor and artwork. It\'s obvious that somebody put their heart and soul into designing the tower in which most of the game takes place. After a while you might get tired of looking at gray and black, but there are several interesting locations within the tower that help keep things diverse. The character designs and animations are also spectacular. Dante\'s cocky swagger almost bleeds coolness, and his moves are always dazzling to the eye. I only have one complaint about the visual presentation and that is the way the game transitions between areas. Dante walks up to a door and the screen fades into the next room. I would have rather seen the doors actually open, but to bring the score down because of that would be too picky.

The game play music fits the style of the game perfectly, but I can tell many people will just hate it. It\'s mostly hard rock/heavy metal and while it matches the mood of the brutal battles, I wish there were more themes throughout the game. The ambient music during the exploration sequences is as soft and creepy as it should be. The voice acting is pretty good, and only a few lines in the game sounded awkward. Overall the performances of the actors do justice to the simple-yet-engaging script. Also, some of Dante\'s one liners are classic. The sound effects work well too. The slashes, grunts, and gunshots all sound like they should.


Devil May Cry 3 is rated M, so keep that in mind if you are worried about appropriateness. The game revolves around violence, and there is a bit of unrealistic blood, though most enemies don\'t bleed. The cuts cense have a couple brutal sequences with people getting impaled with swords, but there is never any gore and the actual game play is no more violent than most T-rated games. It should also be noted that Dante never kills a human being in the game, just demons. The language is relatively mild, but minor curses are used throughout. The game makes *almost* no reference to sexuality except for one battle with a female demon who is topless, covered only by strategically-placed long hair. What is going to bring this game down is the occult themes.

The game is filled with demons, and Dante himself is half-demon. There are references to human sacrifices and a villain is seen offering his blood to complete an evil ritual. Dante uses magic that can temporarily turn him into a demon, which I think can easily be viewed as explicit occult magic. I hate to have to do this to an otherwise-great game, but DMC3 loses all ten points for occult references. Morally, the game\'s story stresses troubled families. Dante is on a quest to kill his brother, and another important character is intent on killing her father, who is another major villain in the game.

Closing Comments:

The official score is understandably low for appropriateness reasons, but from a secular standpoint this is the best action game on the PS2, and an incredible challenge. Mature gamers who think that they are skilled enough to conquer anything owe it to themselves to try this game out and be swiftly humbled. For them, missing out on Devil May Cry 3 would be a shame.

Final Ratings:

Game Play: 20/20
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 7.5/10
Stability: 4.5/5
Controls/Interface: 4/5
Subtotal: 45/50
Violence: 5.5/10
Language: 7.5/10
Sexual Content: 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural: 0/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 9/10
Subtotal: 28.5/50

Total: 73.5%

Like us!


Please consider supporting our efforts.  Since we're a 501 C3 Non-Profit organization, your donations are tax deductible.

Latest Comments

Latest Downloads


About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

S5 Box