Ninja Theory just can't seem to catch a break. After a series of solid but quiet releases they at long last got a hold of an awesome franchise like Devil May Cry. They went ahead to give it a whole new story and look, adding an interesting string of action scenes, fighting mechanics, and a rather intriguing and visceral combat set up that appears to makes it completely fresh and interesting.
Then they put out a trailer replete with their re-imagining of Dante and the cool gameplay. And what do they get for their efforts? Hatred! Scorn! Ridicule!
And why is this? The gameplay? The story? The overall development? Nope, nope, and nope.
It was the hair.
Yes, the hair.
One of the main reasons for the vitriol poured upon the reboot is the new look Ninja Theory developed for Dante. In lieu of the trademark white hair of the old version, his new appearance has him sporting a brunette color scheme (with a small patch of white on top). And this slight change has brought the entire internet“s rage on their heads. Some people on the message boards call the new Dante lame, wiry, or surprisingly worse, while others are even refusing to buy the game regardless of how good it may be solely because he doesn“t have white hair anymore.
I must call shenanigans. This is essentially the double-edged sword of fanboyism: the same love and acclaim they can shower, can immediately change to an absolute hail of hatred the very moment something changes. But I must say, couldn“t this change be for the better?
Let us recap. Ninja Theory“s foray into the Devil May Cry series is essentially a trial by fire. A test to see if they can make a true hit with something with a real draw and personality – something that Devil May Cry has a lot of. Secondly, Dante himself was more about the persona, not the coat or hair. If this new Dante can pull off the same attitude as his predecessor, I see no problems with this new look.
Plus, with this being a reboot, Ninja Theory is working on a new story of origin. Maybe in this one, Dante is just starting to tap into his demonic lineage? Which would explain why he has only a patch of white in his hair and that when he does enter into his devil trigger, his hair DOES turn completely white, which further strengthens that argument of him just learning to control his demonic powers – so guys and gals, cut them some slack for Sparda“s sake. What everyone needs to remember is that this game isn“t even out yet, so writing it off before even picking up a controller appears to be a rather foolhardy thing to do.
Personally, I think it is a good move on Ninja Theory“s part to try something new with the franchise. With games like Bayonetta, Vanquish, and even the upcoming Asura“s Wrath, the original formula of Devil May Cry has been taken into gaming culture and become perfected over time. For example, just look at Devil May Cry 4. It tried working the very same tried and true system the series once pioneered and in turn just felt stale and heaven forbid – a little boring. Ninja Theory“s new DmC could be the right trick that the series needs to pull it back from the brink.
With this in mind, just remember folks: Ninja Theory are very good at making interesting characters and stories; just look at Heavenly Sword or Enslaved. They are very good at making beautiful levels and designs. And lastly, they are good at making good games. So please, fanboys and fangirls, put down the pitchforks, douse your torches, and put away the picket signs. Let“s just give this young devil a fighting chance.