If you had not played DmC Devil May Cry on last gen consoles when it originally released then this Definitive Edition is a no-brainer; the gameplay is still fun and holds up well. If you did previously play it though, the big question is "should you rebuy?" I'd say yes simply because while the graphics have been updated slightly, but the biggest improvements come in the form of listening to fan feedback and the wish list of features requested, which is delivered in bulk.
+Keeps the same great gameplay as the original release but improved with new modifiers.
+New features such as lock-on and turbo mode make the game feel refreshing.
+All DLC included is a bonus, especially the Virgil campaign.
-Bump to 1080p / 60fps, but seemingly no work on the muddy textures, so it can look dated.
-Certain cutscenes ignore your chosen DLC skin and will show Dante in default clothing instead briefly.
So, let's get this out of the way first and foremost. There was a small uprising of unhappy fans when DmC originally released because of the new artists style and character designs compared to the original Dante and others in the original games. Because Dante's look was changed too drastically, many fans didn't like the change and possibly didn't give the reboot a chance. Luckily though Capcom did create a fun game by enlisting the help of Ninja theory, known for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (one of my favorite games) and Heavenly Sword. While Dante may have a new look, the frantic hack and slash action the series is known for is intact, and actually vastly improved in this Definitive Edition.
For those that haven't played the original release from a few years ago, the narrative begins with Dante waking up when a shadowy woman knocks on his door, warning him about a hunter demon that has finally found him. Dante is thrust into a seemingly alternate reality, later revealed to be Limbo, where the normal world that we know is drastically distorted and trying to block Dante from escaping. This woman is sent to find and recruit Dante into "The Order", which hunts demons in Limbo and whose goal is to stop the demon lord Mundus. Dante is a Nephilim, the spawn of a demon father and angel mother and is being hunted by Mundus, as a Nephilim is the only one able to destroy the demon king. The story has slight variations from its original series, but I enjoyed the new direction and westernized take on the series.
During each stage, Dante will be pulled into Limbo and will have to kill the hordes of demons trying to kill him. Not only are the demons trying to kill him, but the Limbo world itself will do what it can to prevent him from being able to proceed any further also. You can never know what to expect while in Limbo, as sometimes the road you're running along will break up into dozens of pieces that need to be traversed or a pathway might block you off completely, forcing you to find another path. Each stage does have the same formula though (aside from the few boss fights) where you'll run a little ways, be trapped in a room until you defeat all the demons, then wander in Limbo until you're locked in another room; rinse and repeat.
As Dante begins his journey he'll only have access to his standard sword, Rebellion, and his trademark twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory, but throughout his journey across Limbo he'll inherit new powers, combos, and weapons as he becomes more powerful. Since Dante is a Nephilim, he has access to using an Angel and Devil Mode which is activated by holding down one of the triggers. Doing so replaces his default weapons with a massive axe named Arbiter in Devil Mode and a scythe named Osiris in Angel Mode, but you'll also gain more weapons as you progress further in Dante's story. These mode triggers are not only used for combat though, as you'll also need to use them to traverse Dante through Limbo as Devil Mode will allow Dante to pull massive objects (and enemies) towards him, where Angel Mode will pull Date to his target. Some sections will have you chaining these moves in quick succession and you'll need to learn to use them in combat as well if you want to be effective.
As you defeat enemies and earn combo rankings for varied attacks, you'll defeat enemies throughout Limbo and gathering souls that they drop. These souls are Dante's currency which he can use to purchase upgrades and other health recovery items. New moves are unlocked when you spend upgrade points and you can place these points in any of the weapons to increase their damage, effectiveness, and even completely new move sets. This allows you to customize Dante in the way that you prefer to play, and since I like to be much quicker and nimble, I usually upgrade my Angel Mode weapons before others. You're able to test new abilities before buying to see if it's something you'd actually use, but you're also able to undo your upgrade selections whenever needed if it's simply not a move you find yourself using.
It needs to be noted that the soundtrack for DmC is absolutely stellar and completely fits the backdrop of Limbo in every way. Metal bands Noisis and Combichrist lay down the recordings and fit the tonality of the game perfectly. There's nothing quite like finishing a platforming section only to be surrounded by a small army of demons which is exactly when the hard metal riffs start to kick in and get you pumped up for the ass kicking about to ensue.
So this is the Definitive Edition of DmC, so what's new and been added to justify a repurchase for many fans? It seems that Capcom has listened to fans and critics and have added many of the wish list features that have been asked for, short of going back to the original artist style of the game. Firstly, the game touts 1080p and 60fps, and it is noticeable at first, but is then quickly brought down by the lack of work done to the textures in game. Cutscenes look great as always, but environments and background textures are still very muddy and look like they've not been touched up in any way.
Enemies have been rebalanced and you're given a lot more tweaks to create the DmC experience and challenge that you want which is great for veterans. New difficulty modes like Hardcore, Must Style, and Gods Must Die, have been added for an extreme challenge. If you want to test your skills, these new modes will absolutely test your skill and patience. Must Style mode is insane, this is where enemies won't take ANY damage until you achieve an S rank or higher in your combos, which is no easy task; combine this with the Hardcore modifier and you'll have a massive challenge.
All of the previously released DLC is included with this Definitive Edition as well, so this not only includes all of the new skins for Dante, but also Vergil's Downfall campaign as well which takes place following the main DmC campaign and you get to play Dante's brother Vergil. Vergil controls the same way as Dante with the mode triggers, but he plays drastically different and has a completely altered move set compared to his brother. There's even a new Bloody Palace Mode for Vergil where you can take on a huge amount of enemies as you try and survive. His campaign is only 6 chapters long and you'll finish it in roughly 2-3 hours, but it's a welcome change and I really enjoyed how it extended the main narrative from the DmC portion of the package.
There are two new additions though that alone make the Definitive Edition completely worth the repurchase if you've already played it before. First, Turbo Mode which can be enabled to increase gameplay speed by 20%. It might not sound like much, but it makes a drastic change and it feels like playing a completely new game. Combat feels much more fluid and natural, but also increases the challenge.
The biggest complaint I had about the original DmC release was the lack of a lock-on, as the camera was never reliable since you couldn't focus on a single enemy. If you know DmC, you know how annoying it was to have a group of demons attacking you on the ground and the flying harpies constantly picking you off from afar. Now that a lock-on is an option, you can focus on a specific enemy in a group of foes which changes your strategies drastically. Also, enemies are no longer color coded for the most part, as in the original release only specific weapons would damage certain demons, but now almost all weapons can damage an enemy, but with a greatly reduced effectiveness. This means that yes, you can use your pistols to shoot at the much larger demons, but it'll take a dramatically longer time to do so.
As for being the Definitive Edition, yes there are a lot of much needed improvements, but I was hoping that the game itself was going to look much more current. Instead, it's got the much requested tweaks that no doubt make it a better game, but it still looks like the game you played on your last gen console. Having all of the included DLC is welcome, as is the slightly lower price point, and as a whole package, it's still a fantastic game with great controls (even made better with the new additions and challenge) that holds up today. As a whole, it's absolutely the Definitive Edition that the title implies, and while I would have loved to see a true HD version, the newly included tweaks and included DLC makes it a worthwhile package that I fully recommend.