Dante's twin brother, Vergil, and a man named Arkham release the ancient tower of Temen-ni-gru from below a modern city and conspire to use Dante to unlock the gate to the demonic realm. While working toward confronting his brother, Dante encounters Lady, a fellow devil hunter, and the mysterious Jester, an enigmatic clown that aids Dante throughout his journey.
Devil May Cry 3 plays very differently from its predecessors although the premise still remains the same: slaying demons while solving puzzles to progress through the levels.
Unlike the first and second game, Devil May Cry 3 puts much more emphasis on style rather than simple demon slaying. As such, combat is much more intense and faster than before. Players can now switch between both Devil Arms and firearms with the R2 and L2 buttons, allowing for a very powerful and stylish string of combos. The Stylish Rank is now represented by a gauge. As players land successful hits and dodge attacks, the gauge increases. Once filled up, it will go up a rank.
If the player takes any damage, the gauge will be reset at a lower level and if the same attack is repeated over and over again, the gauge will not increase until a new one is performed.
In addition, players are free to choose how to go about each mission through Styles, which change the way Dante fights, thus allowing diverse ways to gain Stylish points. Trickster focuses on evasion techniques, allowing the player to deftly dodge attacks of any kind. They essentially increase Dante's speed and helps increase the Stylish gauge by using such evasive abilities. Swordmaster focuses on Devil Arms/melee combat. It allows maximum use of such weapons to their fullest extent and is recommended for those, who prefer close-quarters combat. Gunslinger brings about the best in each firearm allowing the player to unleash devastating firepower at a distance. Royalguard is arguably the strongest and hardest style to master. It allows the player to effectively guard and counter any attack delivered towards Dante and turn their powers back at them. Recommended for expert players, Royalguard is the hardest to master, but once perfected, makes Dante invincible. Later in the game, players can gain two extra styles: Quicksilver, which slows down time while allowing the player to move at normal speed, and Doppelganger, which animates the user's shadow to assist in offense.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is a re-release of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening with an impressive list of added content:
- It is now possible to play as Vergil on a separate save file. Vergil fights with only 3 melee weapons (Yamato, Beowulf, and Force Edge) and only has one style, Dark Slayer. He plays through the same levels as Dante but without the voiced cutscenes and behaves like him during scripted scenes. He also still fights a "Vergil" boss three times, however, this boss has a red coat to differentiate it from player Vergil. Players have nicknamed the character "Vante" to resolve confusion.
- The game difficulty modes were shifted down so that the Special Edition's Normal mode is equivalent to the original's Easy mode, and a new Very Hard mode was added to replace the original Hard mode.
- The Bloody Palace from Devil May Cry 2 was also added, though it ends at the 9999th floor instead of restarting, and beating it with either character allows them to obtain their first Super costume without completing the Very Hard mode.
- The "Demo Digest" mode was added. It allows the player to view any previously seen cutscene along with a hidden scene from the main menu.
- Three boss fights were created for Dante to fight the Jester character - the first of these is mandatory, while the next two are optional. Vergil can also fight him, although it is not mandatory for him either.
- The Super glitch in the first game was corrected so that Quicksilver and Doppelganger still drain energy, even while using the Super costumes. However, to compensate for that, a new Super Legendary Dark Knight costume was added which preserves the glitch.
Devil May Cry 3 begins with Dante, in his yet-to-be-named shop, where he has a call from a needy customer, but mentions he hasn't started business. Eventually as he digs into a pizza from a pizza box, an individual named Arkham comes in and speaks to its owner about him being the son of Sparda, where he is told by his older twin brother Vergil about the history of their father and hopes he can accept an invitation. The visitor vanishes and as Dante picks up a pizza, the "invitation" arrives and was an onslaught of demons. Afterwards, as Dante keeps the demons at bay, he leaves his shop to beat more demons as an enormous tower, the Temen-ni-gru, emerges in the background. As Dante progresses, he sets off to Vergil's "invitation" and begin a quest.
When coming across the entrance to the tower, Dante faces Cerberus (a massive three-headed hellhound) who warns Dante that he, because he looks like other humans, that he isn't welcome in the region, nor the tower. Dante defeats the demon where it has belief that Dante is unlike any other human. He is unsure about his true "nature", but Cerberus nonetheless offers his soul (the first of many bosses that give Dante weapons after defeat) as a weapon to give Dante protection against further danger. Dante then is shown up by a woman on a motorcycle (given the name Lady) who doesn't waste time and passes by Dante, where he gets more motivated to go into the tower.
The plan of the stranger and Vergil are seen to prevent any intruders from stopping the secret intentions, which is seen when they seek Dante's half of the Perfect Amulet, which is the only momento left from their mother, which the hidden power is to join the other half and open the door to the Demon World within the tower (in a function similar to a Hell Gate.) The man who is preventing an "unwelcomed guest" is Arkham, who has a known bond with the woman, and this "woman" is revealed to be Mary, his daughter. Mary comes to the tower to kill her father because he sacrificed her mother to gain power. The four characters do tasks and goals to meet at the same place overtime.
While progressing sections of the tower, most get encounters with demons and Dante comes across a fifth, more unknown character by the four, named Jester, who has knowledge of the tower and most of its functions, as he hides and takes his true form revealed later. Dante comes across Mary again and have an argument and different "beliefs" where he nicknames her "Lady" to escape while she is forced to take the job to finish the demons for him. Facing demons and many puzzles, Dante makes it to his brother at the peak of the tower, and he is dissapointed that nothing was preparred the way he wants. Vergil instead was busy waiting to fight him, and as they fight each other brutally, Vergil overwhelmed his brother and stabbed him with his Yamato. When Dante resisted and tried to keep going (to get his amulet and sword back to continue), Vergil uses his younger brother's own sword to make sure he was dead. Where Dante is assumed to be dead, his sword "tastes" Dante's blood that builds up his dormant devil powers and when the energy explodes, triggering his true form of his "power", Dante falls unconsious, and when he awakens, he finds his true might and heads out to get back to Vergil as fast as possible.
When Dante was busy escaping the Leviathan's body, Arkham and Vergil make it to the tower's door and figure out a way to open it to proceed to the control room located at the tower's basement, where Vergil is taunted and told that he is a joke for being more human than demon, he impales Arkham and slays him as he does not need his help anymore. When he is on his own, Vergil uses the pieces of the spell while keeping anything away from him (which was Beowulf, who stopped his tracks with scent, where Vergil takes his essence to aid him by swift force). When Dante comes to see Vergil's struggle, noticing he is trying to get the tower awakened, he taunts him to keep him distracted in a battle. As Vergil takes his chance to get more of Sparda's blood in his brother to reactivate the tower, they become very busy with the fight and are seen by Lady who steps in a forbiddon area not meant for humans. As they are all busy stopping each other, Lady thinks Vergil corrupted her father, but was in fact manipulated, and where they continue, Jester comes in and applauds their efforts for helping him get his desire. Arkham evades their attacks and overpowers their attempts to stop him who eventually tells that Vergil is missing one key to get the Force Edge, a force that has Sparda's power filled in it and to become a new god, Arkham stabs Lady with her bladed part of her cannon to get the blood that belonged to her ancestor that Sparda killed to supress the force of the tower to open the gate. When the start of the process that the tower awakened with Dante, Vergil and Lady's blood, Arkham is brought up to the summit by the elevator that he is on and waits for his chant and the bells (which were a mystery until now) to be put together. Vergil is also seen unconsious while the two continue onwards.
Dante progresses his own path and when chasing with the fatiqued Lady, he takes the chance to face her father for her and leave her out. Lady stubbornly fights Dante, who is seen unstoppable for her to do this task and when he comes in a peaceful way up to her. Dante soon tells her about his purpose; he cares to stop her father, and when Lady gets enough information for him to be trusted, she gives him the Kalina Ann, where she waits until the fight is over. When Dante comes to the top and into the tower, after finishing the strange encounter with his shadow, Doppleganger, he comes to Arkham in a strange area within the Demon World. When Dante is disgusted by Arkham pretending to be his true father and how it was a disgrace, he is later overwhelmed with the power and is pushed into becoming a blob-like creature. He battles Dante in an effort to be powerful by any means necessarry. In the battle, as Dante was busy with Arkham, Vergil appears and takes his stand against the two to get power, he and Dante take on Arkham for not backing away from something very hard to have a grasp of control over. As the brothers are hindered of their weapons and Dante has one of his guns knocked out his hand, they remininsce their old, childhood saying "Jackpot!" and with the weakened Arkham taken out, he is kicked out of the Demon World and drops to the tower's top in a hard force that paralyses his legs. Lady comes up to her father and as he pleades her assistance, she denies and abandons her name, while she also chooses to end his life (until ending up crying over her family's loss). Meanwhile in the demon world, Dante and Vergil face off to have control of the property to the sword, Dante is told to give up his amulet from his stubborn brother. Dante fights off his brother and ends him with a powerful slash at the timing of Vergil's swing, costing him to be wounded and soon enough fall off into the dark part of the Demon World. Where Dante escapes the soon-to-be closed and unstable portal, he takes the Force Edge and his amulet half back with him.
Returning to the Human World, Dante meets Lady outside the tower where she coins the phrase "devil may cry" while trying to comfort Dante over the loss of his brother. They form a friendship and the beginnings of a partnership in demon-slaying. He later on names his shop "Devil May Cry". By accomplishing certain conditions, there is an extra scene that shows Vergil's fate. Still in the Demon World, severely weakened, yet determined, he encounters Mundus, his father's old enemy, and charges into battle against him. His fate is later on revealed in Devil May Cry.
Devil May Cry 3 is said to be the most difficult game in the series, and the original release Is often regarded as one of the most difficult games of all time. Enemies and bosses generally get tougher while the player gets weaker as the difficulty increases.
Devil May Cry 3 boasts the most alternate costumes for Dante to date, with his DMC1 outfit, two "coatless" variants, a Sparda outfit, and two "Super" costumes. Vergil has his own set of wardrobe changes, including a coatless version of his standard look, a variant on Sparda's outfit where he is turned into Nelo Angelo upon his devil trigger and two "Super"costumes one for his reguar outfit and one for his corrupted outfit.
In the edition packaged with the Devil May Cry HD Collection, players can unlock PS3 Trophies and Xbox 360 Achievements for progressing in the story and other things in the game
- Every chapter beginning cutscene has the number of the mission it precedes shown at some point (i.e. The chapter 3 shows Lady with her motorcycle, making the Two Hell Prides and a Hell Lust burn and form "3" or the trail of Arkham's blood to form number "11").
- This is the only game in the series that has a pseudo-multiplayer mode. To do this, the second player must get a second controller and press start while the first player uses the Doppelganger Style's "After-image", or when Vergil joins the fight with Arkham. The second player will control a downgraded Vergil with lesser combos than normal, but with infinite health.
- This is the first game in the original franchise series to have gore, even though it's not rated "Blood and Gore" on its ESRB rating - while other games censor wounds, or show miniature fountains of blood spraying. This is shown when the wounds left after the 7 Hell Prides impaled Dante with their scythes; after Vergil mortally wounds Dante with Rebellion, exposing Dante's wounded area; and when Vergil's and/or Dante's hands sink in each other's blade. This also includes the higher intensity of blood, where blood trails from Arkham in missions 11 and 20 - making Devil May Cry 3 the bloodiest game in the franchise.
- Voice actor and motion capture actor series veteran Reuben Langdon was interviewed about the Japanese commercial of Devil May Cry 3; having starred in the commercial, the ad was planned to be bigger, but was denied the budget. Langdon was paid menially and was denied to keep the prop signature trenchcoat.
- Each background theme in this game, such as the lyrical Devils Never Cry and the choir-esque orcheatra for Unsacred Hellgate use a transition in the chords and sequences of a calm, pure human-based tone and where it all turns into a twisted demon-like demeaner which apparently defines the conflicts of humanity and demon-kind within the series.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
|Arkham - Dante - Lady - Vergil|
|Agni & Rudra (Firestorm) - Beowulf (Lightbeast) - Cerberus (Ice Guardian) - Doppelganger (Deathvoid) - Geryon (Timesteed) - Gigapede - Leviathan (Evil God-beast) - Nevan (Lightning Witch)|
|Abyss - Arachne - Blood-goyle - Damned Chessmen - Dullahan - Enigma - Hell Vanguard - The Fallen - Seven Hells of the Demon Army - Soul Eater|
|Devil Arms: Agni & Rudra - Beowulf - Cerberus - Force Edge - Nevan - Rebellion - Yamato|
|Dark Slayer - Doppelganger - Gunslinger - Quicksilver - Royalguard - Swordmaster - Trickster|
|Dante's Office - Demon World - Human World - Residential Area - Temen-ni-gru|