Review by mf29
"Devil May Cry 4 is a rather average installment to the DMC series."
This game is a sequel to its predecessor video game wise, but chronologically speaking, it takes place after Devil May Cry, and before Devil May Cry 2. Devil May Cry 4 seems to be a rather average installment in the series. While it isn't a bad game at all, its overall rating is higher than that of Devil May Cry 2, but lower than Devil May Cry 3.
With that said, the game is fairly unique. Firstly, the main protagonist this time isn't Dante, it's a man named Nero. He is a member of the Order of the Sword, a clan of warriors who worship Sparda. At first glance, this "Nero" character resembles Dante and his twin brother Vergil due to his white hair. After further examination it can be said that in the face, they look nothing alike. Dante is playable in the game; he's playable in the second half of the game, after Nero's quest is completed.
The game's wrapped around a central love story, and an undeveloped one at that. There seems to be no character development, all you know from the beginning, is that you know a woman named Kyrie. So throughout the game, (not actually aware of why or how you met this woman), your main goal will be to save her. You will then find out how inferior Nero is to Dante personality wise as well.
There will be random encounters and skirmishes between you and Dante throughout the game, at first Dante can be seen as an antagonist, but later in the game it's revealed that he's not really that, he's just a person on the side who doesn't really play a major role in the story. He's just, Dante, still messing around with his shop, Trish, and Lady.
With Dante, you will replay all of the stages and bosses that Nero played. So there's more backtracking than desired. The thing about Nero is, his distinctive power called "Devil Bringer" which is a wraith type entity that is engraved within his right arm. His right arm plays a large role in attacking because it can grasp enemies, and can also perform many mind blowing attacks. More importantly, it's required to navigate in stages and to progress in the storyline. He also contains a temporary power up called "Agro", which can be charged within his sword to perform a more devastatingly damage giving slash. He has one gun and does not gain any other guns.
I mean, the controls are mapped well; I didn't get any hand cramps from playing on the XBOX 360 controller. It's basically the same as Devil May Cry 3.
As far as customization and leveling up goes, not much has changed. Although, this time around, you don't use Red Orbs to gain new attacks, you have a separate currency that is gained from how well you fight and complete stages. Considering that this new currency is more difficult to obtain, gaining new moves takes longer than it does to buy new items. There are still the same items, and the secret missions make a return, giving you a blue orb fragment after each successful attempt.
All of the secret missions require both Dante and Nero, because the missions are sometimes mapped for only one character. Once completed, you cannot complete it again for another orb, once you've gained the orb that's it. Other than that, Dante has new weapons, I won't spoil you there. He retains all of his well renowned attacks from previous installments. It must be noted that Dante is much faster than Nero too.
When I said that there's much backtracking, that also means that you will have to fight the same bosses twice. The boss battles are engaging and invigorating at first encounter, but once you fight them the second time, their attacks can be easily predicted, and no joy would be retained from defeating them. However, fighting them the second time around also throws off your strategy because Dante plays differently from Nero of course.
Dante's new weapons are gained from defeating the bosses that Nero already fought. I can't find much more to say about the game. Once you get the hang of the gameplay it becomes enjoyable but a tad bit too easy. Fortunately there is a "Hard" mode that can be unlocked upon completing the game on Normal. The only XBOX LIVE or PSN involvement the game has is just uploading your score on the leaderboards.
The puzzles aren't very arduous this time around. Yes, there is still that old dark and ambient music that plays in the background throughout dungeons. The cut scenes use the in-game graphics. I don't think that I saw one FMV. The graphics aren't really impressive, but simultaneously they aren't bad either. They're sufficient at best, but the shadowing effect in the sunlight looks really terrible, I should say.
The game seems incomplete due to how much backtracking is done. It feels that there should have been ten other different dungeons to fill in how many Dante plays through. Nero earlier in the game unlocks doors and whatnot that Dante easily skips through later down the road. With that mentioned, Dante's playthough is much easier than Nero's. It's because as Nero, you do everything, and that leaves little for Dante to do, outside of his combat.
Well, I guess about wraps up this review. I didn't really have much to say about this one, it's a Devil May Cry game, and its formula is beginning to grow a bit old. Back then, it was highly acclaimed for defining the Hack and Slash genre, but here in 2008- Present, more and more games are beginning to cross the threshold. They are also surpassing Devil May Cry games action wise. Currently, this game can be found cheap. So, don't be afraid to give this one a go. A very fun game, but doesn't leave much replayability.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/12/09
Game Release: Devil May Cry 4 (US, 02/05/08)
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