Review by Galactus21

"A revitalized series..."

The Devil May Cry series has had its ups and downs. Devil May Cry was a great game at its time. Capcom followed that sequel up with a dud. Devil May Cry 3 on the other hand had all the mechanics for a fantastic game, but the overly difficult game dampened the experience. With Devil May Cry 4 making its debut on the Xbox 360, Capcom has found a great balance of difficulty, coupled with amazing game play that was featured in Devil May Cry 3. The combination of both has easily made Devil May Cry 4 the best in the series. Ranging from its insane combos, the ability to play as Nero and Dante, and its action filled missions makes Devil May Cry 4 a must have for any Xbox 360 owner – or any PS3 owner for that matter as well.

DMC 4 strays from past DMC games. Instead of starting off with Dante, the game introduces a new stud to the gaming universe. Much on the same line as Dante, Nero is a brash young man that wields tremendous power. The game starts off with Nero rushing to some sort of temple, where an order is praying to Sparda. With some nice cinematic to show off the gorgeous visual, Capcom threw a few surprises early on. Dante crashes down and leaves the leader of the order six feet under. Questions quickly arise from Dante's motive. Has Dante become the villain? After a brief battle with Dante and no immediate answers, your journey begins. As you go through the intense battles throughout the game, the story starts to unravel.

One thing that shines bright in Devil May Cry 4 is its combat system. Whether it is playing with Nero or Dante, both featured devastating, eye popping moves that'll leave you breathless. For the most part, you'll be playing through the game as Nero. Nero has a unique arm called the devil bringer. The devil bringer allows you to grab enemies from afar and pulling them towards, or it can be used as a mean to slam an opponent to oblivion. Of course, different enemies will have Nero slamming them in a different way. The devil bringer adds plenty of depth to the combat system. Players can launch enemies into the air, fly up and slash them a few times, shoot them a couple of times, and use the devil bringer as a vicious and gory finished to a dying enemy. There is plenty of ways to dispose of enemies.

Nero's combo may not be quite as plentiful as Dante's, but Nero's devil bringer brings a lot to the table. Nero's style and overall flair makes him a blast to play. Just like Dante, Nero also has a gun and sword at his disposal. As you play through the game, you can upgrade and learn new moves. Once your repertoire becomes up to par, the game becomes extremely fun. Even before then, the game is still fun, but as your character grows in strength, you'll feel like a tough son of a gun.

Dante on the other hand has more moves, more weapons, and more guns, but doesn't have the devil bringer grab like Nero. While the change in style later in the game takes a bit to get used to, especially if you haven't played any DMC games before, Dante's somewhat difference style keeps the game from being repetitive. Although I prefer playing as Nero, Dante has his own strengths. Dante's moves packs more punch so to speak. He also has numerous weapons at his disposal that gives him plenty of variety and moves to use. He has different styles like sword master and trickster to give players more options when they are playing. The thing that I liked the most about the switching of characters is the different ways to play them. While, similar in some ways, Dante had more variety in his combinations. I also felt it was a bit more difficult to pull off. Dante had much more options to choose from such as different guns and weapons. Nero on the other hand has his devil bringer, which brought limitless joy during my play through.

Throughout the game, you can collect orbs and purchase different items ranging from healing items to items that increase your life bar. At the end of each mission, you will earn a grade in different categories like time or style points. Based on these grades, you will accumulate upgradeable points to enhance your weapons. By doing so, you will increase the different types of attacks you can perform, abilities, etc. Albeit minor, these rpg elements bring a lot to the table to help the game come into its fine form.

The levels for the most part were very well designed. Each mission flowed very well. As you cruise through each mission, you'll get a sense of cohesion. Ranging from enemy placements and item placements, the game offers plenty of variety throughout each mission. There were also some fairly easy puzzles every now and then to keep things different. Although easy in nature, the puzzles were a nice break from the intense action. Each mission should take no more than an hour to beat. I clocked in at a solid 12 hours. While not a lengthy game by any means, 12 hours is still solid. The replay value is also quite strong due to DMC 4's overall style; it's simply fun to play. One negative note though is the enemies and bosses. While some of the boss fights are certainly intense, there are a lot of recycled bosses towards the end – especially when you backtrack with Dante. The backtracking with Dante towards the end of the game was a bit of a hassle as well. In addition, the enemies were recycled to some extent.

The graphics for the most part were quite good. The character models were highly detailed. The environment looked fabulous. In addition, the variety of colors in the mission designs was quite luscious. The game also ran exceptionally well with very little load times. The cut scenes were also quite interesting. They helped enhanced the game through its story. While the story isn't anything to write home about, the story was fairly decent for an action title, which helped my enjoyment of the game. On the other hand, the music wasn't quite as good. While the rock was quite befitting at times, there are other times where it grew tiresome. The voiceovers were quite good though.

Slam Dunk!

It's hard to find much to complain about with Devil May Cry 4. It's simply a wonderfully well crafted game. Everything from its insane combos to its well designed missions made the game an enjoyable experience. Perhaps the best thing about Devil May Cry 4 is its redemption. DMC was a very good game, DMC 2 stunk it up big time, and DMC 3 was technically the best in the series, but the harsh difficulty critically dampened my enjoyment of it. DMC 4 throws away most of the issues that have plagued the DMC series and blended all the right things to form a fantastic game. Devil May Cry 4 is easily the best game in the series. Whether you're a returning veteran or new to the series, DMC 4 delivers on nearly all counts. Its flashy moves and intense action will surely help cement your enjoyment. Be sure to go pick this game up!

Game Play – 92
Graphics – 95
Sound – 82
Replay Value – 87
Overall – 91

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/21/08

Game Release: Devil May Cry 4 (US, 02/05/08)

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