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DmC’s Dante Is One Of The Best Characters In Video Games
Slight spoilers for DmC: Devil May Cry ahead!
Love it or hate it, the DmC from Capcom is making waves across the gaming nation. While review praise is high, it seems like most of the community is still unsure of the game and its departure from previous Devil May Cry games.
Still, whether you are a fan of the way Dante’s reboot looks or feels, there is one undeniable claim in DmC: it has some of the best character portrayals in video games.
Set aside your hate for the hairdo for a moment and look at some of the reasoning behind that bold claim.
First off, one thing you need to realize is that Dante is Nephilim. That means he is the spawn of both demon and angel, therefore he is not human. However, his memory was wiped when he was a child and grew up believing he was human, just stronger and faster.
Think about how a human in Dante’s situation would most likely act. Here he is, living with some kind of “superpowers” and thinking he is human. The only thing he remembers about his past is how terrible it was. He has a disdain for authority because of it, as well. So what’s a strong, fast, and all around better human do with that kind of past? Well, looking at our track record as a species, he’s going to live it up, be a complete nuisance to society, be with whoever he wants to be with, do whatever he wants to do, and just generally not give a crap. He’s not going to add anything to the world and he’s going to be a dick. Honestly, think Hancock but with much more of a propensity to not give a crap and actually enjoy himself instead of being a bum.
We first see Dante in DmC out at a bar, getting drunk, causing a scene, leaving with multiple women, having his way with them, and waking up in a trailer by the boardwalk. It’s a fitting sight for this character if you think about what I just said above. He doesn’t live in a mansion. He isn’t a social icon. He’s a deviant and looked down upon by most of society.
So when the demonic crap hits the fan and the game begins, you couldn’t be surprised by Dante’s nonchalant approach to being hunted by “demon scum” and having some random woman trying to help him. He doesn’t want the help. He doesn’t want to be bothered. He’s got a hang over.
The thing that hit home for me when thinking that this new Dante could really be one of the best characterizations in gaming is after he learns about his real past. In any other situation it would have made him worse. He would have taken that knowledge and became even more of a problem for the rest of the world. However, with the reemerging of his brother, Vergil, Dante for once in his life has someone to curb him. He can channel his feelings and power into reasoning. That’s really when DmC begins.
What we get to get in this game is this new Dante’s way of life grow from being a deviant of society to someone who has purpose. We basically get to watch him grow up as a character. By the end of the game you get a sense that Dante is not the same person from Mission 1, he’s matured in a sense that he now knows how to use his gifts for the right reasons.
I don’t know about you but that’s damn good characterization. Any time in a game we get watch a character mature that much is a treat but when it is done with such accurate portrayal of humanity, it’s even more entertaining.
Dante in the old Devil May Cry games was hung on being full being of himself and thinking he was the best at everything. This Dante started out as someone who didn’t care, didn’t want to be bothered, and couldn’t care less about the world.
By the end, we see a character who still very much runs his mouth and can be looked at as a fool at times but instead of letting that dominate his life, he could now be viewed as a trustworthy brother-in-arms against a very real threat upon the world.
Although I feel this way, it’s best to experience a growth like this for yourself. In every cutscene and conversation in DmC you’ll continually get the feeling that you can relate to Dante. You may not live his life but the way he is written he just comes off more “human” than most other video game characters. Because of that, I got a lot more enjoyment watching his character change over the course of the game.
When Dante was asked if he would help defeat the demons until the end and he said, “count on it.” I felt that was the sign that he was ready to progress in his life. It’s a moment that even we have in our lives at times when faced with something that could change us forever. We, just like Dante does in that scene in the game, have to make that decision and just say it out loud.
This, my fellow gamers, is why I feel Dante from DmC may be one of the best characters in video games. His writing, portrayal, and just how well players can relate to his character in ways is going to make it hard to top in 2013. Hell, if the game came out last year I’d have to rethink my decision of saying either Vaas (Far Cry 3) or Haytham (Assassin’s Creed 3) were the best of 2012.