Review by MangledMailMan

Reviewed: 02/19/08

Devil May Cry 4 doesnt suffer from the Metal Gear Solid 2 Curse

If you don’t get the title here is the explanation. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty took your control away from Snake and into the hands of Raiden. The game was still fun but it just didn’t feel complete without you controlling Snake himself. Luckily, Devil May Cry 4 doesn’t suffer from this curse. As I go on with this review you will understand this game and why it is such a good game, even though for part of the game you don’t play as the main character from the previous Devil May Cry games, Dante.

Story 8.5/10

This aspect of the game is nearly flawless. I will be careful not to spoil anything that doesn’t happen within the first five minutes of gameplay.

The game starts out with Dante assassinating the leader of a "religion", called The Order of the Sword, which worships his father, Sparda, as a god, even though he was a demon. Young Nero tries to stall Dante while another member, Credo, goes for reinforcements. The first half of the game is controlling Nero while he tries to track down Dante while looking for the truth behind the string of events. You then gain control of Dante for reasons I will not disclose. The Story is extremely engaging, but at the same time somewhat confusing. There are many things which are left unexplained, even if you have played the other games. I have only played the third game and this one, and I got most of it, and playing the others would also help, I guess.

Characters 9/10

This score would have been a 10/10 if it wasn’t for Dantes attitude. While in control of him he doesn’t seem to have much intention to do anything. He still does it but it seems to feel like he just does it to kill demons and save the world, without any deeper inner intentions. Dante is pretty one dimensional. Nero on the other hand has a motivation throughout the entire game to do what he does. Whether it would be hunting Dante or any other inner motives he might have. All the other characters are pretty deep also. Everyone has a reason for doing what they do. While you do meet new characters such a Kyrie (Nero adoptive sister and his secret love), Credo (Kyries blood brother and militant leader of The Order), Agnus (a researcher for The Order), Gloria (a new demon hunter for The Order), and Sanctus (the leader for The Order), there are also returning characters such as Lady (a demon hunter that befriended Dante in the 3rd game), and Trish (a demon that befriended Dante in the 1st game).

Gameplay 10/10

This is where this and all the other Devil May Cry games shine. Both Nero and Dante have specific styles of play and both are equally fun. Nero weapons include Red Queen, a customized one sided blade that has a small engine in it allowing it to heat up and do larger attacks, Blue Rose, Neros customized double barreled revolver, and his Demon Arm, which can be used to grab foes in different ways. All this can be strung to together to make different combos to deal heavy damage. Dante sports different kinds of weapons. He starts out with Rebellion, his Demonic double sided sword, Coyote-A, a double barreled shotgun, and of course his trade mark guns, Ebony and Ivory. Dante also has four styles that affect what the B button is used four. They are Trickster, which focuses on speed and evasion of attacks, Gun Slinger, which focuses on special gun moves, Sword Master, which focuses on special guard moves, and Royal Guard, which allows you to block attacks and send them back at you opponent. These styles were introduced in DMC3 but had to be chosen at the beginning of the mission and were then locked. In this game you may switch in mid level with the D-Pad. There is also a 5th style that he unlocks later, but that is a spoiler to tell you what it is.

As for the actual combat everything blends very well together. When you get on a roll with good attacks the game lets you know with a style meter. This meter goes from D-SSS. The more style points the better because the game grades you at the end of the level. It grades you on your style points, time spent in the level, and how many red orbs you have collected. There are also bonuses and penalties that can affect your score. If you have live you can upload this score onto the leader boards to see where you stand.

All the enemies are really diverse also. As you progress through the game you will encounter a new enemy in every one or two levels. They are all unique and have a different way of dealing with them. The bosses are also really good. They are all fairly challenging and they all have a unique way of dealing heavy damage on them.

I think there is also a better item and skill progression in this game than the last one. Throughout the levels killing enemies and breaking scenery gives you red orbs. In previous games these would be used to buy items and skills. This time they only buy you items. At the end of the level you get Proud Souls which you can spend on skills. The good thing is if you want to rework what skills you have you can cancel a skill for a full refund of what you spent on it.

Graphics 8.5/10

The graphics are really good but some flaws keep it from being really good. When these little nuances aren’t seen the graphics are amazing; cutscene and in game graphics. Sometimes though, your enemy will be slightly in a wall while you are hurting it, which isn’t that bad but it can kill the mood a little. Also, lets say, in a cutscene if someone gets stabbed or shot, there is no skin or clothing damage. This might have been alright last generation, but it is not that good today. It’s something they could have done, and should have been done considering it is an M rated game and could handle something like that.

Sound and Music 10/10

Nothing is at all bad to listen to. The music also has an in game function. There is music for when you are just walking around and for when there are enemies near by. Once you clear out all the enemies the music goes back to normal. The metal/rock/goth music is also good with the Devil May Cry atmosphere just like in the previous games.

Controls 9.5/10

The default controls are very good and feel great, but luckily if you don’t like them they are completely customizable. The only problem I have is that when you get to the point in the game when you switch from Nero to Dante it is a little hard to get used to Dantes playing style. Once you get used to it though you’re fine.

Concept 10/10

Make a new and improved Devil May Cry with a new character was risky but Capcom pulled it off, thus making one of the greatest action hack-n-slash game on any current videogame system.

Difficulty and Replayability 9.5/10

They start you out with two difficulties, Human and Devil Hunter, which are equivalent to Easy and Normal. This is good if you are new to the game or if you have played it before. If you beat Devil Hunter, you unlock Son of Sparda, which is harder. This was a good move on Capcoms part. If they had given you Son of Sparda right away it would be near impossible without the skills and item you had collected from your previous playthrough. And since I didn’t mention it, you keep all your skills and items on your file for whatever difficulty you choose on that file.

The game is very fun to replay and to find and unlock everything. It also has SEVEN difficulty levels that are all a little different. I believe there is one where one hit will kill you but one hiss will also kill an enemy. Plus, after you beat the normal, Devil Hunter, mode, you unlock the Bloody Palace, which is a timed 100 floor enemy killing challenge.

Achievements and Unlockables 6/10

There are many achievements and only a hardcore DMC fan could get many of them. A lot of them are hard or near impossible to get. Also there aren’t nearly as many unlockable costumes or things in this game as compared to Devil May Cry 3. What you get is what you get, and its good but it doesn’t feel complete.

Total 9/10

This game is absolutely amazing. It gets even better with the special edition, which comes with four episodes of the Devil May Cry anime, a bonus CD with making of the game videos, art galleries, the game soundtrack, and PC content. I didn’t consider this in with the score for this game because it’s not standard with the game but I highly recommend the collectors edition. All in all, this is a great action game, and a great game to start with if you’ve never played Devil May Cry before, or even if you’ve never played a hack-n-slash game before (which I hadn’t done before Devil May Cry 3).

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Devil May Cry 4 (Collector's Edition) (US, 02/05/08)

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