Capcom is back with Devil May Cry 4, the latest installment of a highly successful series. Does this Dante/Nero combo have what it takes to keep us DMC fans entertained?
It is that time again, yep demons are on the prowl, the morning dew is saturated with the blood of the innocent and we are in need of a hero. Am I talking about Lindsay Lohan getting her drivers license back? No nothing that perverse or scary as I wouldn’t do that to you. Instead Capcom is here to supply the many Devil May Cry junkies with another “fix” by means of Devil May Cry 4. Let us take a look at the Xbox 360 version to see if DMC4 can live up to the hype.
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Capcom develops products for all age groups and supports the programs and guidelines established by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Capcom’s “E” rated games for Everyone (content suitable for persons 6 and older) include the Mega Man franchise of games. Capcom’s “T” rated games for Teens (content suitable for persons 13 and older) include the Street Fighter, Breath of Fire, and DarkStalkers franchise of products. Capcom’s “M” rated games for mature audiences (content suitable for persons 17 and older) include the Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Onimusha series of products.
DMC4 takes a different approach to the continuing saga which I thought was a nice change of pace. You start not as Dante but Nero, a close resemblance in appearance with the exception of your reptile like right arm. Nero is a young cocky demon hunter who is part of the Order of the Sword, an organization dedicated to protecting humans for the demon world.
The story starts off with Nero at a sermon being given by Sanctus the Holy leader of the Order of the Sword. All is well until Dante of all people falls though the plate glass ceiling and puts an extra hole in melon of Sanctus, a bold assassination. Can it be, has Dante truly lost his way and began an attack on humanity? You need to distract Dante to give the civilians, including Kyrie, whom you seem to fancy, time go get out.
Once you force Dante to flee the scene the hunt is on as you are ordered to track him down at all cost. Your journey after Dante takes you though many different environments from shipyards, forests, abandoned cities and underground caves to name a few. The more you pursue Dante the more of the story unfolds. It seems so clear in the beginning, Dante has gone rogue and needs to be stopped, but if you are a hard core DMC fan you know Dante, who while not polite always seems to have good intentions.
As the story opens up around Nero he finds that the Order of the Sword has lost their way, abandoning their virtues and their mission to protect humanity. They seem to now be on a secret mission is to harness demon powers and imbue them onto themselves. Nero’s world is turned upside down as he is now the hunted because he refuses to participate in their sadistic scheme. To make matters even worse they have taken his busty babe Kyrie hostage.
For most games that would be enough plot to hold us over, however Capcom has gone even deeper and switches characters mid way though the game. This is where it gets old school as you then control Dante, the veteran demon slayer. Dante teamed of course with his trusty side arms, Ebony and Ivory are back with a vengeance and ready to show the rookie Nero how it is done. Now that you can see though the deceptions, the elaborate illusions it is time to once again, save the world.
Gameplay for the most part follows very closely to its predecessors, therefore veterans of previous versions will have little trouble jumping into DMC4. Overall the idea behind the game also remains unchanged versus other DMC versions. This familiar formula consists of overcoming a few puzzles in an effort to navigate a level in its entirety then challenge the boss at the end of the level. I did notice that the boss fights happened more often then in previous games, but found this to be a change I enjoyed. The boss fights provide a good challenge especially when you unlock even harder modes of play.
Instead of hosting dual pistols Nero carries only a single pistol, which might provide a slower rate of fire then you, may be used to. Have no fear as what Nero lacks in fire power he makes up with attitude and sword play. Nero’s sword does have the ability to be charged up before each fight allowing for more damage, however with the fast paced action this charge does not last long and you will not get a chance to recharge it without loosing style points.
Nero’s right arm, known as the devil bringer, allows for a multitude of different attacks. In face the devil bringer will truly separate Nero from Dante in regards to gameplay. Everything from grabbing a distant enemy in an effort to drag them up close and personal for a beating, to insane WWE type throws against your enemies. Different throws for different demons really helps keep the fights fresh and exciting.
As mentioned before about mid way though the game you will get to play as Dante and I must say it was a genius idea. This really helps keep the gameplay refreshing and in my opinion allows you to step up your game play. While Nero is fun with this devil bringer, Dante by far takes the cake. Not only does he bring back his previous moves he comes equipped with a few new ones.
True fire power returns to the screen once Dante arrives. Don’t get me wrong you will have a blast playing as Nero however his single gun solution can not hold a candle to Dante’s Ebony and Ivory. DMC4 keeps true to previous versions in regards to the extreme nature of Dante’s dual pistols, even firing at two different monsters at the same time.
If you played DMC3 you are probably already familiar with most of the different styles of fighting for Dante; Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger and Royalguard. DMC4 takes it to a whole new level by allowing you to switch your styles while in the middle of combat. Go from trickster to get out of the way of an attack and jump into gunslinger to soften them up then finish them off with swordmaster. You will even be able to switch swords while attacking, thus really allowing you to mix it up.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
As mentioned before the game takes you to a variety of surroundings. Each end of the spectrum is covered as one minute you may be playing in a dark confined dungeon and the very next level may be in a lush forest. Regardless of where you might engage in combat one thing is always certain and that is the outstanding level of detail in the graphics and sound
If the surround areas are not enough to impress you then the exotic array of demons and monsters will. Not only are the boss characters you must face impressive due to their sheer size and look, but great amounts of detail have been put into all of the characters and monsters.
The cut scenes are among the best you will have seen thus far. Top notch graphics teamed with the sound to match really bring out the cut scenes. In fact this will be one of the few games that will keep you looking forward to the next part of the story, the next breathtaking scene. At this rate it will not be long before we stop allowing Hollywood to port our games onto the big screen and allow the game designers.
CONCLUSION & THOUGHTS
For many of us DMC4 is the game we have been anxiously anticipating and I must say there is no disappointment. The game is visually beautiful and has the gameplay to match. The only thorn on this rose would be the backtracking as there is a good amount of it. Keep in mind doors and paths you can not access for any reason as you will need to find them again down the road.
It is very difficult for a game that does not have online play to really catch my attention but DMC4 did that and much more. If you are looking for a game to provide seemingly endless hours of fun and really show what your platform is capable of then Devil May Cry 4 is what you are looking for.
How Devil May Cry 4 Scores:
Graphics – 10
Capcom spared no expense in regards to the graphics. Be prepared for some of the best you have seen.
Sound – 9
The sound was top notch almost on par with the superb graphics. Turn up the volume and enjoy!
Gameplay – 10
Outstanding gameplay as mentioned before. Exciting mix of firepower and swordplay teamed with special signature moves keeps the action constant.
Replay Ability – 9
Prepare to play DMC4 over and over as the more you play the more extras you can unlock.
Learning Curve – 9
DMC4 is keep very similar to previous versions allowing veterans of the series to simply pick up the controller and go.
Price – 9
Price is what you would expect at $59.99 for the normal version and only $79.99 for the Collectors edition that includes Volume 1 of the Devil May Cry: Animated series, steel metal case and a bonus DVD packed with extras.
Final Score: 9 out of 10 and the prestigious Bjorn3D Golden Bear Award.