DmC Devil May Cry did a bang up job giving us an alternate take on the familiar Devil May Cry characters, even going so far as to portray Dante’s previously villainous brother Vergil as a calculating rebel who fought by Dante’s side against the demon regime that had clouded the world. The end of the game showed that there was a certain degree of fate and inevitability to the two brothers’ relationship, regardless of the “universe” that they occupied.
That inevitability came at Vergil’s revelation that he wanted to displace the demon lord Mundus in order to rule over humans as a benevolent dictator with Dante at his side. Dante displayed his displeasure at this idea by impaling Vergil with Rebellion, but allowed his wounded sibling to teleport away. The first DLC pack for DmC, “Vergil’s Downfall,” picks up almost immediately after this moment, putting players in control of Vergil as he fights his way through a surreal afterlife where he does mental and spiritual battle with Dante, his mother, and even himself.
“Vergil’s Downfall” sets itself apart from DmC almost immediately with its rough-hewn cinematics, which eschew glossy rendered FMVs for monochromatic, sketchy animation. It’s jarring—especially after the jaw-droppingly gorgeous cinematics of DmC—but it makes more sense given the ethereal quality that “Vergil’s Downfall” is going for. This is not a concrete, firm story set in reality (not that DmC was a firm version of reality) so the cinematics lend to the dreamy quality.
The other main difference stems from Vergil’s play style. His movements are more deliberate and more defined that Dante’s frantic gun and swordplay. He still has both angelic and demonic “modes” for his sword Yamato, but the lack of Ebony and Ivory makes for a more calculating and challenging play style. He has a few tricks of his own, including teleportation and a sweet vertical evade that makes escaping large mobs a snap. Once you get used to the differences it’s no less fun, but the first few levels spent on the new learning curve can be daunting at times.
Unfortunately, but expectedly, there’s less to do in “Vergil’s Downfall” than in DmC. Bonus missions are nonexistent, giving the events of the game a much more linear and brief feel, which is compounded by the lack of new weapons that DmC doled out in near-perfect rhythm. Again, this is DLC and not a full game, but it certainly bears mentioning in case you were expecting the same ridiculous level on content that DmC offered.
Fans of DmC will certainly flock to “Vergil’s Downfall,” and rightfully so. It gives us more of a fascinating character fighting demons—both literal and figurative—as he marches further down the dark road to villainy. However, Vergil never really feels overly villainous: he’s a man with his own ethics and his own sense of right and wrong that aren’t that far off from his own brother. He’s a deep, fascinating character, which makes watching his downfall a must.