Review by prophet_of_cool
"It's every bit a DMC game that you'd want, but there are some minor issues."
Now, unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade you will have heard of the Devil May Cry series. The run down is basically that the first was the true pioneer of the 3D action adventure genre, 2 sucked, and 3 was one of the best games of the last generation, with new innovations on the DMC gameplay like styles and on the fly weapon switching made for a unique experience that no other game could offer. DMC4 does bring a lot of new content and some new gameplay ideas, however it seems the game has strayed a bit too far from its roots, this isn't all bad though however die-hard DMC fans might be slightly annoyed by this.
This is one aspect where DMC4 falls very short of its predecessors, at the beginning of the game you see the new protagonist; Nero cutting his way through demons to get to some meeting held by some dude with a serious hat fetish. At no point are his origins explained nor his EXTREME resemblance to Dante. In a nut shell, it's pretty much the same as every other DMC game; some dude wants to unleash hell upon the world and it's up to you to stop him.
Nothing is at fault here, that's for sure. A similar heavy-metal soundtrack is present as it was in DMC3 and lends itself well to the combat. The voice acting is all top notch (for the most part, there's a very cringe worthy scene with Dante however). The weapons all have great effects to them and the cinematic soundtrack is also very strong.
DMC4 is quite simply, a damn nice looking game! Character and enemy models are sharp with high attention to detail, environments are very well rendered (there are one or two that don't hold up to the rest though). Lighting effects are brilliant and the animation is smooth as its ever been. Unfortunately though, the action packed cut-scenes that were in 3 don't make a return, which is a real shame as they really stood out in DMC3.
One of the main complaints about DMC3 with the casual gamer that it was just too hard, while DMC4 is definitely a lot easier, there are some parts that are too easy. Newcomers will find it just right, while DMC veterans (especially ones that are used to DMC3) will definitely have to adjust not being able to beat on the same enemy for 5 minutes.
Now for the characters; I'll start at the beginning with Nero. He plays completely differently to the way Dante did in DMC3, but somehow Capcom have made him play very similarly at the same time. This is done by giving him new moves and techniques while retaining the same mechanics as before. DMC has always been about stylish gameplay, and this is remains true with DMC4, however the style system is a little different than it was in 3, now it's a basic point system which makes going for high scores very, tedious; something that DMC3 never was when it came to style.
The main difference with Nero is his right arm; the Devil Bringer. This is a fantastic new addition to the game and gives Nero ability to grab and throw his enemies, this has been integrated flawlessly into the game and about half way through you'll be wondering how you played DMC without it. Nero also has a very intricate system of powering up his attacks called the exceed system. Basically you exceed by pressing a button (default is the left bumper) after a sword attack and the next one will be faster and more powerful. This system can be levelled up for more flashy and devastating attacks. However, not all is good with Nero. He does only have one sword and one gun and his devil bringer attacks. This may be a turn off to people who enjoyed how much variety Dante's arsenal had in DMC3, but creativity has always been the key to mastering DMC, and even with such a lack of weapons, Nero is still very fun to play as.
Unfortunately Dante is not all that great to play as. The main change to his gameplay from DMC3 is that your styles can be changed on the fly. This was one of the most promising factors DMC4 offered and it should be amazing. However, all of Dante's styles have been significantly toned down. The styles in DMC3 completely determined the way you played, whereas in 4 they really don't offer as much depth. They have one or two moves that are useful and a lot of the best ones are gone, trickster's wall run is now only possible on enemies and swordmaster has nowhere near the amount of unique attacks as it did in 3. This isn't helped by the fact that Dante has a lot less weapons as he did in 3, you get 3 melee and 3 guns. All of which are in play at the same time, so switching weapons isn't as smooth as it was in 3 as sometimes you will require 2 button presses to get to your desired weapon, enemies and bosses are a lot more suited to Nero, I can guarantee you will miss Nero's right arm, which is a shame because all the enemies in DMC4 are fun to fight and the boss battles are definitely the highlight of the game. All in all though, Dante is still very fun to play as, he does have more variety than Nero but you will have to invest a lot of time to maximise his lethality while playing.
DMC4 is still a great game, while it falls short on some areas where its predecessors excelled in it still offers a lot that fans of the series will enjoy. When playing the game, you might get the feeling that Capcom just tried to do a little too much with the game, but in doing so have made some amazing new features and built the foundation to build on others that are not so great. But, if you're a fan of DMC then this game will definitely appeal to you and even if you're not this a great place to start.
Overall score: 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/09
Game Release: Devil May Cry 4 (EU, 02/08/08)
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