TGS 07: Devil May Cry 4 Hands-On

September 24, 2007

A lot has changed since TGS 2006, and the loss of the PS3’s Devil May Cry 4 exclusivity is a big one. Both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 demos were on hand this year, though the PS3 version received a conspicuously larger booth, complete with nice headphones and huge displays.

Is Capcom feeling pangs of guilt, or do they just want to show off the better-looking version? My money is on the latter, though there didn’t seem to be much difference between the two aside from the Xbox 360 version’s colors being a bit more washed out. That, however, may be the fault of the screen.

In any case, Devil May Cry 4 is still one of the best looking games on either system, and it’s never been more apparent as Nero smoothly passed through classical architecture, snow-covered fields and a large castle that is reminiscent of the fortress from the first DMC. It all looks fantastic, though special notice should be given to some of the enemies. The Sin Scissors enemies that you encounter aren’t anything special, but the monsters in the snowfield leading up to the massive fire demon boss were impressive. The fire effects were particularly striking.

There are two modes in the demo, “executioner” and “exterminator.” The first pits Nero against a few simple demons on a snowfield before throwing them into battle against the aforementioned fire monster. It wasn’t difficult to get around its massive bulk and combo it with my sword, but its life bar took quite a long time to drop while it slammed me to the ground and smacked me with its tail. Not sure if it’s because I’m just really bad or because DMC4 is going to be as hard as DMC3. I wouldn’t be shocked at the latter.

The exterminator mode drops Nero into a city infested with Sin Scissors enemies. They move slowly and are easily knocked around with Nero’s sword, so there was no real problem there. This was a good chance for me to practice my aerials because the enemies in the other mode were too heavy to lift very easily from the ground.

I was pleased to see that the trademark gameplay is still extremely smooth. I had no problem sweeping the enemies into the air, juggling them with my revolvers and slamming them back to the ground. Nero also sports a sort of demonic arm that is also useful for slamming enemies around, but I found that I wasn’t using it much in favor of the more traditional gun/sword combination. Whether this is my loss remains to be seen.

Devil May Cry is famous for its wonky camera, and though it got a bit of an upgrade in DMC3, it hasn’t changed much here. For the most part, it did a very good job of giving me comfortable angles for the slicing and dicing of enemies, and it did feature the ability to make limited adjustments. Only once did it get stuck behind a pillar, but that was only a momentary problem. Regardless, I can’t figure why DMC still hasn’t given players complete freedom with the camera in the new generation. Surely the PS3 is powerful enough to handle such a feature? In any case, it’s a fairly minor complaint this time around, and I didn’t really feel any camera-related pain as I moved Nero around the stage.

Playing through Devil May Cry 4 on the PS3, I was pleased to see that the graphics have never looked sharper, and the controls have never felt smoother. There’s no doubt that this is a AAA game and will be a required addition to any PS3 owner’s library.

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