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Devil May Cry 4 Review
|ON OTHER PLATFORMS: Xbox360, PC|
publisher: Capcom Entertainment
developer: Capcom Entertainment
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Feb 05, 08 (released)
|» All About Devil May Cry 4 on ActionTrip|
With a strong fan base, the Devil May Cry franchise went through several iterations over the years. However, due to often sloppily programmed PC ports of earlier DMC games, the series wasn't favored much by PC gamers. That was also the case with the previous installment, Devil May Cry 3, which was available for PS2 and PC platforms.
Ouch, that hurts!
Devil May Cry 4 marks Capcom's first attempt to bring the series to Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms. The PS3 edition wasn't received too well by a number of eager console gamers who have complained about the infuriating 22-minute (albeit one-time) installation. Fortunately for X360 users, this is an issue they won't have to worry about. However, the long installation thing on the PS3 turned out to have its benefits. Crucial game files are transferred to the console's HDD, reducing load times between cut-scenes and levels. Although from our experience with the 360 version, these load times are insignificant and can hardly be construed as a drawback.
The thing about Devil May Cry 4 (360) is that it captures your attention straight away with its excellent artwork and first-rate overall design. The impeccable character design, highly detailed environments, as well as the beautiful architecture shown on structures and buildings throughout the game, is enough to captivate any gamer. Each character and enemy model has been carefully animated, which makes each combat scene a pleasure to watch. The cinematic feel is perpetuated throughout the entire game, thanks to a huge number of cool-looking cut-scenes, skillfully brought to life by Capcom's animation team and directors Hideaki Itsuno and Yuji Shimomura.
The stylish art direction and top-notch non-interactive movie sequences help maintain the steady flow of a decent, though at times unclear, storyline. New-comers to DMC will surely feel slightly puzzled at the beginning. Things improve later on as the plot unfolds and you are given a clearer picture about some of the key characters such as Nero, Credo, Kyrie, Sanctus and so on.
Okay, try to stay with me. You play as Nero, a youthful Holy Knight in the Order of the Sword - a society dedicated to fighting demons. The story begins with Nero arriving to a meeting of the Order. Bored by the ongoing ceremony Nero decides to leave, but before he does, his demonic arm flashes and warns him of imminent danger. At that moment, Dante (the main character of the previous game) crashes through the window and kills the head of the Order, Sanctus. Nero and Dante begin a duel, after which Dante escapes. As instructed by Credo (bother of Nero's love interest, Kyrie), Nero heads out in pursuit of Dante.
Like I said, the storyline may bewilder you at times, but all in all, Devil May Cry 4 does a pretty good job of presenting the crucial characters, unlike some DMC titles before it, which had rather weak characterization and dialogue (not to mention, pretty lousy voice-overs). Voice acting in DMC 4 is superb and goes remarkably well with everything that transpires during the game's frequent cut-scenes. In short, while demanding gamers may not find the story too interesting or original, its presentation greatly contributes to the well-thought out single-player campaign.
Gameplay is where all the fun's at in DMC 4. The pace of the game is dictated by the constant spawning of bizarre monsters and demonic entities, most of which Nero has to slice and blast into oblivion. The gameplay mechanics revolve around using Nero's abilities and weapons to gain additional, more complex, combos; both for melee and ranged combat. It takes a bit of practice to memorize all the moves. Whenever you're stumped, you may access the skills list, where a description is offered on how to pull off each move or combo. Also, at the beginning of the game, you can set the difficulty to "Human," ideal for newcomers to the series, or "Devil Hunter," perfect for hardcore DMC players. Both provide a satisfying single-player experience.
While most of the game puts players into the role of Nero, there's a portion where you may also play as Dante (a welcomed tribute to the old games and a nice moment for DMC fans). When playing as Dante, you'll notice that there's a variety of new moves that are definitely an improvement over earlier games. Newcomer Nero, on the other hand, remains the central character in this installment and you're bound to get a kick out of his fighting styles, which involve the use of his demonic arm (the Devil Bringer), a powerful Red Queen sword (that can be charged up to deliver more damage) and a revolver referred to as the Blue Rose, along with other abilities. There are literally dozens and dozens of combinations with which to create havoc as you chop your way through enemy ranks.
8.7 Very Good
First class art direction, awesome cut-scenes, lasting visual appeal, exciting gameplay, new moves and fighting styles, plenty of extras, challenging enough for every gamer out there.
A certain amount of level backtracking, puzzles aren't much, camera may still bother some players.