DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY Man, that place totally wasn't up to earthquake code.

YOU NEED TWO THINGS to craft a convincing Devil May Cry sequel. First, you need tight, action-packed gameplay featuring (a) swords and (b) guns. Second, you need tons of style and just enough self-awareness to make the whole thing work. Sadly, the latest entry in Capcom's Devil May Cry franchise has zero of these things.

In Capcom's ongoing efforts to expand its stable of development studios, the company farmed out development of DmC: Devil May Cry to Heavenly Sword creator Ninja Theory. Don't get me wrong: Ninja Theory is a competent group, but they don't seem to have the chops to create a new Devil May Cry title. Actually, DmC: Devil May Cry feels less like a proper sequel and more like a teenager's attempt to fill a game with all the juvenile concepts he or she still imagines are "cool." Right off the bat you'll notice that protagonist Dante has an all-new backstory, as well as a new look that is equal parts Daniel Tosh and the world's dirtiest Abercrombie model. Dante's sharp wit has been excised as well, replaced with copious instances of the word "fuck" and a maudlin brooding tone that might be described as "emo" (unless you actually know what that word means).

The poor design choices could be overlooked if DmC: Devil May Cry lived up to the gameplay potential of its predecessors, but therein lies the game's most grievous sin: Combat just isn't fun. Neo-Dante retains hints of his earlier self in the form of familiar attacks, but everything feels greatly slowed down. Combine that with a new combo system that rewards damage instead of style and you get the feeling that Ninja Theory has little understanding of what made Devil May Cry a success in the first place.