It’s a rare thing to come across worthwhile post-launch, story-driven downloadable content. There are only a few titles that have effectively pulled it off. Red Dead Redemption’s “Undead Nightmare” is the first thing that comes to mind. Likewise, BioWare has a pretty solid track record in regards to the Mass Effect series, specifically with Mass Effect 2 and 3. But those titles are just drops in a much larger bucket that’s filled with subpar post-launch DLC peddling itself as “essential” material.
And that brings us to discussing DmC’s first story-driven DLC, “Vergil’s Downfall.” When Capcom released “Vergil’s Downfall” last week, I was excited. DmC: Devil May Cry remains one of my favorite gaming experiences of the year thus far, so any excuse I had to dive back into it was fine by me. Now before we move forward, let me first warn you that this new DLC picks up after the conclusion of DmC’s main campaign. So there be spoilers below. You’ve been warned.
Watch us play DmC: Devil May Cry.
Vergil’s Downfall acts as an epilogue to the events of DmC: Devil May Cry, with Vergil slinking back to whatever hole he crawled out of after losing in battle to Dante following his sudden, yet incredibly predictable heel turn. At this point, Vergil feels he has nothing left to live for and gives himself over to fate, so to speak. He’s then transported into an afterlife/Limbo that he must fight his way out of in order to rediscover his purpose in life. Let me stop you there – don’t think too hard about it.
What Vergil’s Downfall sets out to accomplish is maybe provide players with a bit of satisfactory justification for Vergil’s warped perception that we only got a taste of at the end of the main DmC game. His aforementioned turn to the dark side was sudden, to say the least, and never really expanded upon. While Vergil’s Downfall delivers a bit of closure as to why Vergil went full-on dick mode at the end of DmC, the DLC doesn’t really do much but paint him as a jealous brother who’s angry his younger sibling was “the favorite.”
This “revelation” might have been an easier pill to swallow if the presentation of Vergil’s Downfall was up to the standards set by the main DmC game. Every cinematic in this DLC is done using an animated storyboard technique. This is nothing new to gaming, but it just doesn’t fit the world of DmC all too well, surprisingly. DmC is a beautiful looking game running on an impressive graphics engine; so why they deliberately chose to not use the in-game engine for the cinematics of this DLC kind of baffles me.
So the story of Vergil’s Downfall isn’t really anything to write home about. It’s also something that can be written off with a line or two of dialogue in the inevitable DmC sequel, making it so you’ll never feel required to go back and play this to understand what’s going on. However, with that said, Vergil’s Downfall is DLC worth playing.
See, Vergil plays nothing like Dante. He has a completely unique move set, which makes revisiting the fast, fluid combat system of DmC a blast to experience all over again. Vergil still has regular attacks, as well as angelic and demonic triggers, just like Dante, but everything in between feels fresh. For instance, Vergil does not have multiple weapons depending what form you’re using – he has only his Yamato sword. Furthermore, the character’s dodge, which is more of a transport, behaves much differently than Dante’s roll. It’s these subtle differences in the way Dante and Vergil control that makes the gameplay of Vergil’s Downfall feel like more than just a simple reskin for cash-grab purposes.
If you’re coming to Vergil’s Downfall for the story, you maybe want to pump the breaks. This DLC does not peel back all the complicated layers of Vergil’s psyche to a satisfactory level. There are still many questions to be answered, all of which will no doubt be picked up on in the eventual sequel. But if you really dug the gameplay of DmC, just as I did, then Vergil’s Downfall is worth checking out to play something that brings back that familiar rush while still being different enough to avoid feeling like déjà vu. Vergil’s Downfall might not be up to Undead Nightmare caliber, but it’s better than most story-driven, post-launch DLC we see released today.
We received one review code of DmC: Vergil’s Downfall from Capcom. We played the content to completion before starting our review. It took a little under two hours.