DmC: Vergil’s Downfall DLC for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
I really liked the Devil May Cry reboot, and since the poor sales mean a sequel is unlikely this DLC release is probably the only slice of DmC that I’m going to get. Thankfully, Vergil’s Downfall is a good release, providing a good template for what DLC should be, and adding an interesting perspective on the DmC lore.
Vergil’s Downfall takes place just after the end of the main game, following Vergil’s defeat by his brother Dante. Vergil retreats to another dimension and is taunted by figures from his past, such as Dante, Kat and his mother. Vergil’s inner crisis is played out in outer violence as we get to the core of what makes Vergil tick.
The bizarre dimension Vergil finds himself in is interesting, but the complete lack of a grounding in reality means that this location doesn’t feel quite as vivid as that of the main game. Part of what made DmC’s Limbo so striking was the way that it featured twisted variations of our own architecture and landscape, with the floating platforms of Vergil’s Downfall lacking this element. Still, it’s hard to deny that this DLC is still visually strong, with a boss battle taking place in a desert whilst Vergil’s metaphorical heart hangs in the background provided that wonderful mixture of bizarre and compelling which made DmC’s visual design so great.
The story of Vergil’s Downfall is largely told in animated sequences; this is a common storytelling method in DLCs to save money, but unlike in most DLCs these sequences are actually really cool and look very nice. Sure, it probably is there for financial reasons, but who cares when it looks this good? Vergil’s Downfall’s plot is a bit of a mess, but it’s definitely interesting to get inside Vergil’s head a bit; Vergil was one of the most interesting characters of DmC, the definition of a tragic villain.
Vergil controls in a similar manner to Dante, but he’s more than simple palette swapped clone. His style is much more rigid and firm than Dante’s more flowing movements, giving the fights a subtly different character. Still, the basic mechanics are unchanged from the main game, which considering the quality of those mechanics is no bad thing. The fun ‘angel/demon’ weapon mechanic returns, and the platforming is as fun as ever. There are a couple of fun boss battles, with one against a shadow version of Vergil standing as a definite highlight.
The animations for Vergil are as excellent and satisfying as they were for Dante, with Vergil’s Downfall looking every bit as great as the main game. The voice acting still stands up well, with Vergil containing that exact right balance between sinister, cool and tragic. The production values were one of the defining strengths of DmC, and this is also the case for Vergil’s Downfall.
Vergil’s Downfall isn’t long by any stretch, but it certainly offers a lot more value than a lot of DLC. The opportunities for replayability which define the main game are still there. This, coupled with the excellent production values makes this DLC one to recommend to anyone who liked Ninja Theory’s reboot half as much as I did.