Everyone knows who Ninja Theory is, and a handful of them are Devil May Cry fans who want to bust their skulls for the DmC reboot. I’ll admit I was in that camp until I saw the gameplay vids which are actually badass. Design lead Tameem Antoniades has come to the team’s defense a few times, and is doing so again.
Atoniades acknowledged that a reboot is often met with hostility, saying “Nothing needs a reboot unless that reboot works. Look at Batman. The parallel to the Batman reboot was Catwoman. Nobody needed that, but when it works it can change the course of a franchise in a positive way. It can make it survive.”
He also said that it was unfair that Ninja Theory was being targeted and blamed purely for the drastic changes to Dante’s character from a white-haired and very sarcastic badass to a black-haired punkish badass. He said in an interview with PSM3 that it was not his decision or opinion, as Capcom were the ones that told him to reinvent it.
Devil May Cry 4’s rather lackluster reception compared to Devil May Cry 1 and 3 (let’s forget 2 exists okay?) prompted Capcom to reach out to Ninja Theory to give the series a more western-game flair. Atoniades said that Western games had levels that felt much more open, and the world felt more “grounded”. The stages of Devil May Cry were rarely open and were often linear and claustrophobic, allowing for chaotic small-scale skirmishes for Dante.
Videos of Devil may Cry have shown that the areas are significantly more open, dynamic, and much more spacious. Western RPGs in particular have also had a liking for large open areas and non-linear gameplay. Ultima and Elder Scrolls being perfect examples. Capcom told them to reinvent it with these traits in mind.
The fan reaction to Devil may Cry continues to be quite negative, and I’m honestly surprised it wasn’t mentioned in Mr. Larcena’s recent editorial which pointed some strong fingers at the fandom of Mass Effect.
Antionedes also said that from his point of view, making a successful game involves making a game that you want to play and that you are proud of. A design philosophy that is also used by Team Shanghai Alice. He also said that trying to design a game around what you think people want will put you into creative bankruptcy and that will kill a series.
You can read the interview on CVG here. Enjoy.