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DmC laid bare: we score a SSStylish exclusive interview with Ninja Theory

by Steve Powell on Apr 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
  • Steve Powell

    Steve Powell Cheeky Wee McGregor Staff Member Administrator

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    The community submitted their burning questions by the truckload, and we picked a dozen of our favourites to forward onto the Ninja Theory crew in order to get some good, hard answers from the Cambridge-based independent development studio that’s in charge of bringing DmC to life. Ninja Theory’s own, lovable ‘Comms Ninja‘ Dom Matthews was the brave soul to take on the task of answering the community-submitted questions and setting the record straight. Read on for the full, exclusive Q&A.

    Tiran: What aspects, if any, of the original Devil May Cry series did Ninja Theory feel were the most essential in preserving for DmC?

    DM: There is a backbone that runs through the Devil May Cry series that has made the series such a success to date. A strong, charismatic protagonist in Dante, fast, fluid combat that allows players to experiment and explore combos and the concept of rewarding players not just for completing a mission but also for completing a mission with style and panache. All of these are a feature of DmC.

    Meg: For the sake of clarity, and to put to bed any still-lingering confusion, what would be the most accurate way of describing DmC: reboot, prequel, parallel universe, or something else entirely? How does DmC fit into the series?

    DM: You can compare what DmC is in contrast to the previous 4 games with what Christopher Nolan’s Batman is in contrast to Adam West’s Batman from the 60’s. The game doesn’t sit within the timeline of the previous 4 games, however fans of the existing series will find familiarity with some of DmC’s themes and characters.

    Sieghart: What was the reasoning behind developing DmC on Unreal Engine 3 tech, as opposed to Capcom’s own MT Framework?

    DM: Initially there was a brief discussion about using MT Framework, but it was really a decision that came down to the amount of time that we set ourselves to make the game. We’ve already got a lot of experience with Unreal and didn’t want to spend a year of the development just learning a new engine. Using Unreal meant that we could really get stuck into the gameplay and content from the start without having to get to grips with the tech first.

    Dante’s Stalker: Can you tell us anything about the voice cast? Whom has been hired to play whom, and why Ninja Theory felt that they were the perfect candidates for their respective roles?

    DM: We actually capture our actors’ voices, body movements and facial expressions simultaneously, so when we’re casting we’re looking for actors that not just sound right, but move in the right way, have the right physical appearance and complement the rest of the cast with their acting style. Each of the actors bought a real enthusiasm and energy to their roles, which comes across in the game’s narrative.

    For now we’re not talking about specifics of which actor plays which character, but we’ll certainly be touching on it in the near future.

    ZeroLove: The news of a Devil May Cry reboot is extremely exciting, with many hailing it as the next logical step for the franchise, but there has also been a very vocal minority of hardcore fans that have not been especially receptive to the series’ change in direction. How has both the positive and negative feedback influenced DmC’s development??

    DM: It’s our job, along with Capcom, to take Devil May Cry in fresh new direction and that’s what we’re doing. We have a creative direction that we all firmly believe in and we’re confident that both existing DMC fans and those new to the series will enjoy the game. We’re not blind to feedback, but we’re sensitive to the fact that change naturally brings fear. All we ask is that people keep an open mind to DmC and judge it as the game it is rather than the game that you think it is going to be. Every time we release new information about DmC there is a buzz – people care a great deal about the franchise. That can only be a good thing.

    chocolateghost79 & StuntXL: In past games, Dante has been privy to a wildly diverse array of ethereal weaponry and supernatural powers. Will the same be true for DmC? And will unique gameplay opportunities arise based on Dante’s angel and devil forms?

    DM: Dante can switch between 3 forms on the fly: Human, Angel and Demon. Within each of these forms Dante can switch between weapons and abilities. It’s like a toolbox of options that the player can build up over the course of the game and use strategically in different combat and traversal situations. We’re actually very excited to hand the toolbox over to players and see what they come up with. Just walking around the studio you’ll see people playing the game with very unique styles and pulling off moves that you’d never even thought about. We had a well-known Devil May Cry player come into the studio and play the game for a couple of days and he and I had a lot of fun sharing combat ideas and trying out chains and experimenting. We’d talk about something, I’d go back to my desk and nail it over a lunch break and try and take the chain one step further. He’d then inevitably take it one step even further and show me how it’s really done!

    Frantix: Was there any truth to the rumours of Ninja Theory supposedly inviting specific Devil May Cry fans to the studio to play-test DmC and provide feedback? If so, can you divulge just what sort of valuable input was collected from their experiences?

    DM: It’s true that the game has been played by some very experienced Devil May Cry players and we’re happy that they went away excited by what we’re doing.

    As a rough estimate, how much time on average do you believe gamers will be able to garner from the single-player story mode? Are there any incentives for encouraging players to revisit the game, such as unlockable content?

    DM: Once you’ve completed all of the main missions there are some big incentives to revisit them a few times over. There is a lot more to challenge your skills than that first start to finish run.

    Z218: Are there any plans to introduce co-operative or competitive multiplayer modes into DmC.

    DM: Multiplayer isn’t a feature of DmC.

    darkslayer13: What is DmC’s official release date for all territories?

    [Ninja Theory did not answer this question.]

    2niperwolf: Are there any plans to release a PC version of DmC? If so, can fans expect a simultaneous release alongside consoles?

    DM: For now we’ve only announced that DmC will be coming out on Xbox 360 and PS3.

    mrrandomlulz: Given the opportunity, would Ninja Theory be interested in also developing a Devil May Cry game set in the original series’ universe?

    DM: I think if Capcom wanted to make a Devil May Cry game that was in-line with the rest of the series that they would probably develop it themselves.

    Many thanks to Ninja Theory, Capcom and, of course, our brilliant Devil May Cry Community for making the magic happen.
     
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