Capcom’s acclaimed Devil May Cry series finally makes it debut on the next-generation game hardware. For the first time Dante will get to unleash his deadly combos on the Xbox 360 while keeping this cool on the latest Playstation platform. The stylish action of Devil May Cry 4 has returned.
Ever since the first Devil May Cry was released in 2001 gamers have been hooked into everything Dante. The series that started battling demons on the Playstation 2 has continued its killing spree all the way into 2008 in its forth chronicle. Devil May Cry 4 (DMC4) puts gamers in control of a new hero named Nero. Since DMC4 was launching on the new generation of hardware, Capcom wanted to give gamers something new without loosing the essance that is DMC. So for the first half of the game, it's all new with Nero, but not to worry Dante fans, you'll get to run wild with the instant-classic in the second half of the game. If you're worried DMC4 loosing that DMC feel, don't fret, Nero is almost a clone of Dante making Devil May Cry 4 play the same as always, if not better.
As soon as you hit the start button you’re going to be treated to Devil May Cry’s unique style along which includes eye-catching cinematics. The first cut-scene that you are welcomed to in DMC4 is only the begging because the storytelling aspect of the game is built around balancing game time with the storyline which takes place in cut-scene cinematics. Even new enemies are introduced with cool short cinematics which officially has to be marked as one of the coolest and most consistent effort of introducing enemies. The art direction and detail to the characters and world is astonishing and visually pleasing. More than good graphics, DMC4 delivers a creative world with rich and strong characters wrapped into a wonderful mature storyline. Devil May Cry 4 is definitely its own game, a leading creative force in a pack of wanna-be copy cats.
The story in Devil May Cry 4 follows the religious organization, Oder of the Sword. The order lives by the credo to defeat and rid the world of all its demon entities. The order is made up of the best elite soldiers in the world including our lead hero, Nero. After an assassination attempt on their leader by a mysterious man wearing a red coat with silver hair (Dante), Nero as a Holy Knight is given the task to track down this mysterious slayer and bring him to justice. Little does Nero know, but his reality is about to be shifted upside down as he stumbles onto a plot of world domination, powerful demonic forces, and a warrior who closely resembles himself. Along side Dante you will be intertwined in a story line involving Credo, the General of the Holy Knights who is the brother of your love interest Kyrie. Gloria a voluptuous female vixen jumps into action surprising Nero with her agile ability to kill and her reviling clothing. Angus an alchemist within the Oder the man in charge of anti-demonic technologies and weapons. There are few other characters that make an appearance along with a host of demonic boss battles, but I’ll keep all that as a surprise.
One character I can talk a little more about is the lead demon-slayer Nero. Nero who worships the devil warrior Sparda has sworn an oath to annihilate all demons from earth, a lot like the Order of the Sword, minus the hidden agenda. Nero even has a few tricks up his sleeve and I mean that literally, he is armed with the arm of demon called the "Devil Bringer". Like Dante himself, Nero is half-man and half-demon which makes for another winning combination. Besides using his demon arm, Nero wields the Blue Rose which is a revolver with a distinct under-and-over double barrel and he carries a single-edge sword named the Red Queen. The Queen is a combination between a motorcycle and a sword as it has a motorcycle handle that you can rev it up like an engine. Putting some wrist action into the Red Queen gives the Nero extra power to your Ex moves giving an extra boost to your attacks. The Red Queen is very unique and stylish, perfectly matched to the unique characteristics of Nero himself. Nero also finds himself in possession of another powerful sword during the game that I will also keep a secret. This sword transforms Nero it’s another powerful state to deliver even more damage then his normal blade.
When Dante becomes playable (just over the half-way mark) you will be back into the combat the way you remember. Dante can easy be manuplated as well, using the same controls as Nero, minus the demon arm. Dante can also switch fighting styles on the fly using the D-Pad. Learning to switch between Dante's four fighting styles (Trickster, Gunslinger, Royal Guard and Swordmaster) changes the way he plays in battle from his swords technique to the way he shoots his guns. Dante is super cool with his fast shooting and selectable slicing abilities. You won’t have any problems adjusting to Dante besides missing Nero convenient demon arm. Dante also has a few tricks up his sleeve that I don’t want to mention, but trust me when you open Pandora’s box you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This gives the veterian Dante his own edge evening up the playground, if you where comparing the two silver haired demon hunters.
The easy to learn combat mechanics help boost the games fun factor whichout becoming overwhelmed with complex controls. The buttons are mapped to control all of your characters weapons at a single button press which helps keep the combat flowing. Nero’s new arm is an awesome for pulling enemies around and slamming them into the group as well as attaching to enemies for movement. In fact the arm is best used along with the other weapons creating awe-inspiring combinations that fills your style meter. Points are awarded during combat based on how stylish you eliminate the enemy. The more momentum you gain, the higher your rating will go and you’ll be updated on your style as you slice through wave after wave of enemies. Getting hit by enemies will slightly drop your rating as you start Deadly while looking for that Smokin’ Style and double and triple S rating.
DMC4 combat never becomes frustrating and provides a good challenge for new DMC gamers with the standard Human mode, and gives veterans their own difficulty called Devil Hunter. Boss battles are the hardest part of the game, but like all games once you learn their patterns and various attack methods they can be taken down easily. This also applies to each enemy in the game, I liked the different approach Capcom took in making own enemy interesting with their own weakness and strategy to defeat. DMC4 accomplishes something other games fail to do is make the game fun while keeping the gamer interested by introducing new enemies that are more than a replica of the last. For the hardcore gamer, you can also participate in “Secret Missions” when found. These missions are task specific and offer up challenging objectives that was too much for this demon slayer. Completing secret missions might be daunting, gives the player rewards mainly as items that can be used to upgrade your character.
Red orbs collected in game are used to purchase items to boost your statistics in game. These items can be used to increase your health, or devil energy bars, along with nice bonus items like golden orbs that fill up your health bar if you parish in battle. Beside the orbs that can be collected, Souls are given out at the end of each mission. The better you rank with your style, speed, and percentage of orbs found, the more Souls you will receive. Then you can cash them into for enhancements that can boost the abilities of your weapons, teach you new combos for maximum damage, or simple moves like double jumping and counter moves. Collecting Souls boosts the replay value of the game giving players an incentive to re-try missions aiming for a highlight wheel performance. If you’re interested in how well you’re doing you can log into the leader boards to see how you stack up against other demon hunters around the world.
For downsides, you could mention the difficulty on the Devil Hunter is challenging to say the least, but that’s how some gamers like it. If it’s too hard start at the beginning and work your way up. If you find yourself stuck, take a breather and return later to the game, a clear mind does wonders at times. Another complaint could be dragged out that the gameplay is too repetitive. In one aspect, I would agree, however most gamers fall into this category. Because of Devil May Cry 4’s pacing between combat and storyline, I never felt like the game dragged on. In this area, I might only pick say that using Dante can get a little tiresome when coming straight from the Nero missions.
In the graphics department Devil May Cry 4 is simply outstanding. Brings the best capabilities in both next-generation platforms, Devil May Cry 4 is a beautiful work of moving art. All design aspects from the epic boss battles, colossal landscapes, creature design and lead characters is second to none. Everything ties in perfectly in DMC4 running fluid at an impressive 60FPS. Besides the already magnificent design aspects, DMC4 also boasts spot on animations, special effects, and impressive textures. You would have to be blind, not to be impressed with DMC4 graphic quality.
Devil May Cry 4 brings beauty and style in its own unique way. Needless to say, its mojo is out of this world, always cool and impressing. Along with the graphics the audio is excellent, not totally jaw-dropping like the visuals, however the auto brings great mix of ambiance sounds with a not-so-bad music track that turns on during combat. The voice over talent also does a good job, mixing well with the special ascetics of the Devil May Cry universe. Everything has its place, showcasing DMC4 as another true "next-generation" game, and even more than just a tech-demo showoff, DMC4 has the substance, style and personality which speaks volumes.
DMC4 returns showcasing how action games should be made. Staring a new hero and a few faces from the past, Devil May Cry 4 has everything you would expect out of your demon slaying, button-mashing game. Far beyond the game mechanics, Devil May Cry 4 is a visually stunning with an engaging storyline to help keep the player motivated. Even after the adventure comes to its climax, Capcom provides enough reasons to go back into the mix, one more time. Styling and profiling, Devil May Cry 4 is the first “must-have” console game of 2008.