DmC has seen its fair share of controversy ever since its reveal. Initial reactions were highly negative due to Dante’s punk attitude and new style. Even so, I’ve been cautiously optimistic that the end product would be solid. Ninja Theory’s previous efforts have been very positive for me and I was never heavily invested in the series, so there was little to lose. After running through the demo, I can confidently say that Dante is back, better than ever.

Gameplay doesn’t deviate too far from past games, as its still the stylistic hack-and-slasher that’s been so much fun in the past. Prominent hit counters and flashy finishing moves are still the centerpieces of the game. Switching between styles of fighting is as simple as ever; holding either trigger allows Dante to switch styles on the fly.

More interesting are the new changes that have been implemented. DmC features a fairly extensive makeover for Dante and his surroundings. Dante sports a new haircut and a snarky attitude. While I haven’t exactly warmed up to him, he’s not distracting enough to actually negatively influence my gameplay. Some of the other changes are far more impressive. The art style has taken a page from Ninja Theory’s previous works. There’s a unique atmosphere that straddles the line of Western and Eastern influence, similar to Heavenly Sword or Enslaved.

The only gripe I really have at this point is the platforming that was present. It was simplistic and felt like busywork. Worse still, the jumping felt imprecise and hard to gauge accurately. I found myself falling off platforms more than once. Hopefully, Dante sticks more to his sword-swinging than jumping around when DmC drops on January.