By John Young
June 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM EDT

The Game: Like Tomb Raider, this is an origin-story reboot that stars a considerably younger Dante. Once again, Dante — the child of a demon father and human mother — is out killing demons and other gruesome monstrosities. But this time he’s doing so in Limbo City, a distorted mirror image of our own world. The player’s objective, as has been the case throughout the 11-year-old Devil May Cry series, is to tally combo moves by alternating among a variety of weapons. (Available Jan. 15, 2013, for Xbox 360 and PS3)

What We Played: There were two single-player demos at Capcom’s booth. The first, called “Underwatch,” was a training tutorial set in Limbo City that took you through all of Dante’s primary moves. The second, called “The Secret Ingredient,” was a boss battle against Poison — a demon that can most accurately be described as, well, a giant intestine with a face and arms.

The Good: The controls do their job, making Dante a kick-ass warrior who’s a pleasure to maneuver. You can switch between your angel weapon (a scythe in this case) and demon weapon (an axe) whenever you desire by using the left and right trigger buttons. Combine those upgradable weapons with your sword and twin pistols, and DmC offers gamers a multitude of ways to string up slick-looking combos.

The Not-So-Good: The boss battle. First, there’s the matter of the pre-fight conversation between Dante and Poison. I don’t require Aaron Sorkin-level dialogue in a scene between a demon killer and the world’s ugliest slug. But could we get something more imaginative than the following exchange:

Poison: “You can’t kill me. I’m twelve-hundred years old!”

Dante: “You don’t look a day over twelve-thousand.”

Poison: “F— you!”

Dante: “F— you!”

Poison: “F— you!”

Then there’s the fact that the battle simply isn’t much fun. It drags on and on, and Poison’s repeated attacks, like projectile vomiting at Dante, quickly get tiresome.

Excitement Level (on a scale from 1 to 10): DmC: Devil May Cry gets a 4. The controls feel right, and Limbo City looks appropriately warped. But I was anxious to move onto another game after 20 minutes of play, which is the last thing you want to feel during an E3 demo.

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