DmC: Vergil’s Downfall is a new piece of downloadable content for Ninja Theory’s excellent Devil may Cry. It’s a relatively short piece of content, it took me two hours on normal difficulty, that puts you in the role of Vergil, Dante’s brother. The DLC picks up right after the end of Dante’s story mode. The actual plot, without spoiling anything, is pretty threadbare. Very little actually occurs and it seems to more or less confirm what you probably already assumed was going to happen. It lacks the humor and character of Dante’s story, and Vergil just can’t carry the plot on his own. The cutscenes are almost entirely done as motion comics rather than the stylish and well animated in-engine scenes from the main game.
This is understandable, as the team presumably had far less time to create this content. It’s still frustrating however, especially as the cutscenes don’t have any particularly interesting content and are not particularly well animated, even by the standards of motion comics. The actual in-game sections look better than the comics, but lack the visual variety and creativity that was in the main game. Rather than the twisted parody that was Limbo, Vergil navigates a strange dreamscape with floating islands that serve as arenas for each battle. There’s a lot of empty space, and very few new or striking environments. Technically the DLC looks as good as the game ever did, but it suffers creatively and artistically.
These issues could be largely forgiven if Vergil was as much fun to play as Dante. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. The basic outline of his abilities are similar to Dante, Vergil has angel, demon, regular, and ranged attacks, but on a reduced scale. There is only one weapon for each type of attack, which is disappointing considering the massive arsenal in the main game. Vergil does have a unique move set, many of which look really cool especially the spiral swords ability, but using the moves themselves is disappointing. They feel slower and clumsier then Dante’s fluid attacks, and it feels much harder to string together combos of different weapon types. Because of this, the encounters aren’t nearly as much fun, and the abundance of flying enemies makes the combat somewhat frustrating, as combos sometimes end with you over the edge of the floating platforms you often find yourself fighting on.
There’s quite of bit of platforming as well in Vergil’s Downfall, which was by far the weakest aspect of DmC, though it feels even more frustrating here. The gameplay, especially the combat isn’t bad, it’s just not that much fun. The one actual positive in the gameplay of the DLC is Vergil’s Devil Trigger, which gives him access to the spiral swords ability and clone abilities. The spiral swords summons a halo of blades around Vergil that constantly damages enemies. It seems like an overpowered move, but it’s a lot of fun to use. The clone ability summons a second Vergil allowing for increased damage. You can even change the clone’s behavior mid-combo allowing for some unique set-ups.
Vergil’s Downfall is not fundamentally broken, but it’s over quickly and falls far short of the quality of the main game. It’s super disappointing. I really liked Vergil’s new characterization, and I was excited to play as him. Unfortunately he’s just not that fun. Ultimately you’re probably better off playing through DmC on a new difficulty or playing through the Blood Palace DLC, which was recently released for free. The only people I can really recommend this game to are those who absolutely need to play as Vergil, and even then you’re better off playing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.