Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry looks rather spectacular, but if Capcom's Alex Jones is on the money, that ain't nothin' to what the Enslaved studio will knock out in years to come.
According to Jones, key Capcom designers have been round the Ninja Theory offices every month for the past two years, tutoring the developer on lifts, slides, juggles, cancels, parries and all the rest of that arcane shizzle that's apparently necessary if you want to maul somebody upside the combo gauge.
"Yeah it was hard," he told VG247 in an engaging interview. "I only observed it for the most part, but it was the designers on the ground and a number of key creatives in Capcom Japan who worked on it most intensely.
"In essence it was like a 25-year wisdom transplant from Capcom to Ninja Theory - from Street Fighter up to Dragon's Dogma - everything Capcom's ever learned about one man hitting another essentially, as well as how you hit people in the most enjoyable fashion possible.
"We've been working on this for a couple of years, and we were at Ninja Theory about a week out of the month. We'd spend probably one day intensely on Dante's redesign at the start of the project, and then another three out of five days on just combat, combat, combat.
"It was everything from frame-counting, putting a hit stop there, no not quite like that, we have to use this sound for that move, and it was really awesome for Ninja Theory and I think they learned a lot. They're going to be making amazing combat games for years to come now."
Ninja Theory deserves its fair share of the credit, of course. "They have been great to work with, no doubt about it. A lot of developers may crack under the pressure, and we have been taskmasters throughout this whole project. But they are just as perfectionist as us, and they have been so passionate about every little pixel.
"On top of that they had a deep reverence for Dante and the first DmC especially is a big thing for [creative director Tameem Antionades], it resonated with him very deeply. Yeah I think they were humbled, but I think they were also super gratified that we came to them with this opportunity.
"They have turned down other publishers to work on some of their IP, and we felt honoured that they would work on it, just as we felt honoured we brought it to them.
"We had difficult challenges to overcome together, but it's all part of the process. They took our feedback amazingly well, we understood the strengths of what they did well and we got out of the way of that, and it's one of the best partnerships I've ever been involved in."
We're looking forward to sampling the fruits of that union. Regarding the perennially provocative shift in aesthetic, Antionades had this to say: "we're not pretending we're Japanese, or apologising for it".