This week saw the release of DmC: Devil May Cry’s first piece of story-related downloadable content. Aptly titled ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ the DLC stars Dante’s white-haired twin brother as he embarks on his own frightening trip into limbo and does battle with a variety of old and new baddies. Read on to see what vgu.tv staff writer Nate Hohl thought of the ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ DLC.
*Spoiler Alert!* This article contains plot spoilers. You have been warned….
‘Vergil’s Downfall’ picks up shortly after the end of DmC’ base campaign. Following the heated battle with his brother Dante, Vergil is in rough shape, somehow managing to venture to his mother’s grave with a rather large hole in his chest before collapsing and being pulled into limbo. The cinematics in ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ are portrayed using stylized drawings, giving them a sort of “moving comic-book” feel. They do a good job of transitioning seamlessly into gameplay but they can be a bit jarring for players who devoted a lot of time to Dante’s campaign.
Unlike Dante, Vergil only has one melee weapon; his Yamato katana, and one ranged weapon; his spirit sword projectiles. Just like with Dante’s grapple moves, Vergil can use demonic and angelic versions of his spirit swords to traverse the environment and reposition both himself and enemies during combat. Vergil can also utilize the popular “angel glide” move from Dante’s campaign to further aid his mobility and traversal capabilities.
The first time a player boots up ‘Vergil’s Downfall’, it provides a prompt to display tutorials for both basic controls and new Vergil-specific controls. Even if you’ve played the base game recently, I’d recommend you opt in for all of the tutorial messages to at least reacquaint yourself with basic strategies and combos. I honestly wish more DLC story-campaigns took the time to reacquaint players, especially if the time between the base game’s release and the DLC’s release is quite lengthy (*cough* Assassin’s Creed III Tyranny of King Washington *cough*).
Despite his smaller arsenal, Vergil’s repertoire of moves is just as robust as his brother’s. As players work their way through the DLC’s expansive six-mission campaign, they can unlock and purchase new combos and attacks and can even unlock angelic and demonic “modes” for Yamato. As with Dante’s weapons, angelic mode consists of quicker, more versatile attacks while demonic mode trades speed for power and damage. Completionists will be happy to hear that, in order to unlock all of Vergil’s moves, multiple playthroughs will be required.
Vergil’s combat-style definitely feels different from Dante’s but it is also more newbie-friendly since players don’t have to worry about switching between different weapons. While Dante was more about raw grit and crazy action, Vergil takes a more refined and elegant approach; using positioning, maneuverability, and tactics to his advantage. Once he acquires his Devil Trigger, Vergil’s options become even more robust; allowing him to conjure a ring of swords that can slice groups of enemies to bits or even summon a doppelganger to aid him during tougher battles.
All of Vergil’s combat tricks will be put to the test as he does battle not only with returning enemies but also with two entirely new enemy types: the Wisp and the Imprisoner. The Wisp is a floating, incorporeal creature that must first be “solidified” using Vergil’s spirit swords before he moves in for the melee kill. Imprisoners on the other hand are large, hulking, four-armed beasts with a multitude of nasty tricks that make them deadly at either close or long-range.
The environments that Vergil explores during his journey through Limbo, while new, don’t look too terribly different from Dante’s Limbo excursions and Downfall’s later missions even have Vergil doing some light backtracking through levels he previously explored. Fortunatly, each mission is jam-packed with its own hidden collectibles such as lost souls and health cross pieces, most of which cannot be attained on the first playthrough, more welcome news for DmC completionists.
Aside from completionist players, I’d really only recommend ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ to die-hard Vergil fans or to those who really want to see the aftermath of DmC’s ending. Downfall ends rather abruptly and, unless you want to go back and collect the missed goodies or unlock new costumes/difficulties, there’s really no reason to play through it more than once. If you happened to get ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ for free through the GameStop pre-order deal, then go ahead and play it. If not, I’d say its $9 asking price is not really worth it unless you know for certain you’re going to be playing through it multiple times.