Devil May Cry HD Collection is a bundle of three hack-and-slash games originally for the PlayStation 2: Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3. You play as Dante, a stylish, witty devil hunter out for revenge.
Pro Flashy and satisfying hack-and-slash combat
The combat in the Devil May Cry games has awesome animations, plenty of combos to master, and a helpful rating system that displays after each battle to let you know how well you did. Armed with swords and dual guns, you'll hack enemies into the air, and slash or shoot at them with cool-looking animations as blood gushes out from their bodies. Pulling off a chain of combos against an enemy not only looks great, but it feels satisfying to lock them in place while you slice away at them and maintain the upper-hand.
The ratings you get after each fight will give you a grade based on your speed and finesse for pure validation. New players can get away with button-mashing on the easier difficulties without caring about the rating, but more hardcore action game veterans could use the ratings to see where they can improve their play. The battle system as a whole is incredible for anyone looking for action-packed fights with either button-mashing or smart combos.
Pro Challenging boss fights
Bosses can be pretty tough, not only in how much damage they'll deal to you, but also the obstacles they throw at you to keep you on your toes. Their combat style is smartly matched with their design, including the ways they use their limbs or the environment to catch you off guard. One boss fight is against a lava-filled tarantula that swipes at you with its giant legs and makes spurts of lava shoot up from the ground underneath you. Another one is a giant bird that flaps its huge wings to blow you back, jumps up to the sky out of your view, and then swoops down to crush you beneath its feet. You'll have to react quickly to avoid taking too much damage, all the while finding windows to attack and bring the bosses down.
Pro The iconic protagonist Dante is witty and entertaining
Dante is an iconic character because of how clever and stylish he is, both in cutscenes and in combat. He's laid-back and has an air of confidence as he quips with witty one-liners during story moments. His combat style is slick and cool, with flashy animations with his swords and dual guns, and he loves showing off his moves during cutscenes. The opening scene of Devil May Cry 3 shows Dante slinging his dual guns at a group of monsters while he keeps a slice of pizza in his mouth, pulling off over-the-top kicks and acrobatics while he jams to a rock song on a nearby jukebox. He's such a cool guy that it's easy to like him and get invested in his story.
Pro Dark and tense atmosphere
The haunted locations in the games are dark and moody, giving you a tense feeling as you explore the levels. Shadows and unlit areas are stark in how dark they are, with the interiors of old style stone buildings lit only by torches or moonlight. Satanic-looking statues and archaic architecture are everywhere in the old, haunted mansions you'll explore. Demonic enemies and bosses will jump out at you from nowhere for sudden battles, forcing you to quickly react and strike back. The atmosphere can be downright creepy, but the dark mood and tense settings are really well-done, fitting perfectly with the devil-hunting themes of the games.
Pro Great bargain for its price with three games in one
For three games in a single collection, $29.99 USD at launch is a steal. Completing all of the games will take you about 30 hours, plus more time if you search around for all of the hidden secrets. If you don't want to pay the usual full retail price for a new game, there's a lot of value here for your money.
Con Devil May Cry 2 isn't as strong as the other games
Devil May Cry 2 is the weakest game in the trilogy, with combat, exploration, and a story that doesn't have the same quality as the other two games. Fighting against enemies and bosses feels bland and generic with almost no skill required to beat them. Running around the open city is also boring since it's way too linear and doesn't have the same tense atmosphere as the haunted locations from Devil May Cry 1 and 3. The story is pretty horrible as well, mainly because of the bad characters and terrible writing.
It's so awful that Devil May Cry 3 basically carries on with its story and characters as if the second game never existed. There's always a chance that you'll enjoy Devil May Cry 2, but it has so many problems going for it that it's hard to praise or recommend.
Con Annoying camera issues
The fixed camera angles shift in strange, frustrating ways as they try to keep up with your perspective. As you walk through a level, the camera will suddenly change from one point, for example, to somewhere right behind you. You're presumably still making Dante go in one direction, but the camera won't give you a few seconds to adjust your controls, forcing you to go in some other direction while the camera shifts wildly around to follow you. It's an antiquated design decision that showed up a lot during the PlayStation 2 era, making the games feel dated in this day and age.
Con Latest HD release adds nothing new over the previous one
This is the exact same version of the HD collection released for the previous generation, offering nothing new. If you already played the collection on the PS3 or Xbox 360, then the most you'll have to look forward to is earning trophies and achievements again. If you wanted something extra with this latest re-release, you'll sadly be disappointed.