The lights are on
With few exceptions, I’m typically not the type of gamer to complete games on more than one or two different difficulties. I might do a quick second run to mop up some achievements or try a harder difficulty on games that I truly love, but the majority of games I play are “one and done.” Despite this, I wound up beating the new Devil May Cry seven times in two weeks. These playthroughs were in no way connected to work, as I purchased the game myself and continued to play it solely because of how much I was enjoying it. What makes DmC such an outlier when it comes to repeated playthroughs is how it handles different difficulty levels.
Most importantly, everything carries over everywhere. Every red orb you collect, every item you purchase, every new ability you unlock, and every collectible you find is reflected in each of the seven difficulty levels from Human (easy) to Hell and Hell.
Let’s take a look at how the difficulty breakdown goes:
With such varied difficulty levels, it’s fun to plot out your course through the game. My suggestion is starting with Nephilim. It’s difficult enough to capture the traditional Devil May Cry feel, as Devil Hunter mode tends to be a bit too easy. If things get too hard on Nephilim, farming orbs and abilities is as easy as a quick downgrade to Human or Devil Hunter. Going back to Nephilim with an improved Dante is frequently all it takes to succeed where you previously failed.
Stockpiling orbs isn’t the only reason to revert to an easier difficulty level. Many Lost Souls, hidden keys, and secret areas are only accessible once you receive abilities from later in the game. Because of that, it’s not important to focus on finding them all on your first go-round. Finding all of them and getting the SSS ranking on each level is impossible on this initial run. Beat the game once, and then bump it down to Human for a collection run.
If you’ve done your initial run and the collection run, you’ve probably played enough and upgraded Dante enough to tackle the harder unlockable difficulties. Son of Sparda and Dante Must Die are no cakewalk at any level, but the experience and new combos that you’ve gained in the past will be of great help.
One of the best things about these difficulty levels is that many of them change the overall play experience. Dante Must Die isn’t a gimmicky mode, it’s just really hard. That’s why it’s so fun to go from that to Heaven and Hell, a gimmick mode that lets you fly through with guns blazing. Sure, Dante dies in one hit, but it’s still awesome to jump into the air and use your pistols to clear a room in a matter of seconds.
I didn’t feel like I played the same game seven times. My initial playthrough allowed me to experience the story and learn the mechanics for the first time. My second was like a giant Easter egg hunt, scouring each level for hidden goodies. My third was a challenging unlockable mode. After levelling Dante up all the way, I had a completely different experience when I got SSS rankings on every stage in Nephilim. Dante Must Die offers a feeling of triumph, while Heaven and Hell offers insane, gimmicky fun. By the time you finish the crazy-hard Hell and Hell mode, you feel like you just finished several completely different experiences with the same title.
Instead of simply making Dante weaker or his enemies more difficult, Devil May Cry does a great job of giving incentive for multiple playthroughs. If it handled difficulty like most games, I would have been done after seeing the credits once or twice. Because of how well Ninja Theory structured the difficulty system, I found myself having seven very different, yet still very enjoyable experiences.
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I'm playing Dante must Die difficulty before Hell and Hell so I can use the infinite devil trigger.
Couldn't agree more, I don't really have anything extra to add since you said everything already. Great article.
I'm on my Dante Must Die playthrough man they really throw it to you. I did heaven and hell just need hell and hell next I absolutely love the game and hope they stick with the series I think they did a fantastic job best DMC in my book
We're definitely in agreement Dan, DmC has a good grasp of how best to handle difficulty setting.
It's nice to see options like this for players. It just makes the game so much more accessible to everyone, hard-core gamers and casual ones alike. I usually play on normal, but I'm trying to muster up more courage lately with more hard runs on games.
It's why I beat DMC4 six times. Each difficulty just had its own flavor. I thought Dante Must Die was harder than Hell or Hell in that one due to enemies DT'ing, so I'm curious how this one plays out.
Ninja Theory did an awesome job of making a fresh new DmC its not DmC 5 not a sequel or a prequel it's under a new company but Capcom publish the game, and I want my copy now : /
Heaven and Hell -really- interests me. I'm curious how that also works in the boss fight department. I like the idea of such an even playing field. It might actually be easier for me and help train my dodging reflexes for the other difficulties.