The lights are on
Luigi had to wait years before starring in his own games without his brother. DMC’s Vergil only had to wait a matter of weeks following the game’s release before stepping out from Dante’s shadow. I’ve played the first two chapters of Capcom’s new DLC offering, Vergil’s Downfall, which picks up directly after the first game’s ending.
I won’t give away what happens at the end of Devil May Cry, but Vergil begins his quest in rough shape. He’s recovering from a vicious attack and trying to piece together what happened. He wanders through what appears to be a Limbo version of his childhood home. As in the main game, the environments evoke a ghostly beauty that’s hard to match. This iteration of Dante and Vergil’s old home is fractured and torn, with bits of the huge dwelling floating on different pieces of shattered earth.
All new enemies emerge from the nether, including a black, wispy phantasm with an animal skull reminding me of the Grim Reaper-like enemies from the original. Vergil is no less competent at dispatching these demons than his brother, but goes about it differently. His projectile attack launches swords towards his foes, teleporting Vergil towards them or bringing them to him depending on which shoulder button is pressed. His katana deals swift damage that’s devastating in one-on-one battles. He eventually acquires a angelic version of this attack which allows him to dash through groups of enemies and deal moderate damage. Unlike his raw and unrefined brother, Vergil’s quick teleportation and clean swordsmanship lends an air of elegance to combat.
After working through the first chapter, players reunite with the graffiti-tagging medium, Kat. She’s being pursued by some huge, awful beast and Vergil gives chase. This section takes place on the floating remains of city streets. Several platforming segments require players to use Vergil’s sword projectiles to teleport across floating land masses or drag them towards him. After several more heated skirmishes Vergil catches up with Kat, who morphs into a demonic version of herself. Kat chides Vergil, insisting he’s not half the man Dante is. The interaction cuts through Vergil’s calm demeanor, and he appears to go through some sort of internal metamorphosis.
While I’m not sure what happens next with Vergil, I predict he’ll get some sort of demonic weapon which grants him slower, more powerful attacks to contract his angelic sword. Capcom says Vergil won’t receive quite as many weapons and abilities as Dante, but there are still a number of upgrades and new moves to learn at the shops. Achievement hunters can look forward to blasting through a new batch of challenges as well. Vergil’s Downfall supposedly clocks in somewhere between 3-5 hours, depending on player skill. That’s close to half the main campaigns total length, an impressive offering from Capcom. This is shaping up to be a new act worth checking out.
Read our review of Devil May Cry here.