Devil May Cry 4

March 20, 2008

The Devil May Cry series has been notorious for its difficulty, insane action, and a bad-ass anti-hero, Dante. Unsurprisingly, gamers were shocked to learn about the switch from Dante to a new character. Was this change good for the series? Was Capcom able to deliver on the hype and anticipation of the first Devil May Cry on a “next-gen” system?

Nero, the new character, is quite likable. He has his own set of cool moves (such as the Devil Bringer) and his own cocky/badass attitude. Nero’s journey leads through exotic forests, dark castles, and other mysterious places, trying to regain his abducted love, Kyrie. Japanese-style insane difficulty abound, but players can choose between “Human” and “Devil Hunter” difficulty, as well as a few more once you unlock them. You can even set the game to do some combos for you. If the difficulty of previous DMC games turned you off to the other titles, the lower “Human” difficulty of DMC 4 will make it worth your time to give the franchise a second chance.

Visually, the game is top notch. The game looks great in every environment, and all characters look unique. Dante’s and Nero’s moves are beautifully choreographed, making the game feel as realistic and ever. Voice acting, which can often break a game, is quite good here, though hearing Nero scream his secret lover’s name every five seconds per cut scene can get annoying.

The downside of the game, sadly enough, is when players take control of Dante again. While it would have been awesome to do some new missions with him, it’s rather tedious that players have to backtrack for almost a third of the game, fighting the same enemies, and even the same bosses. Speaking of which, you fight almost all of the bosses at least three times during the game. I’m pretty sure the folks at Capcom could have thought up something more creative. Also, the transition between Nero and Dante’s character is not too smooth either. The sudden lack of the Devil Bringer can be distracting especially against flying enemies. To compensate, the game unlocks some different melee weapons, as well as guns for Dante, that can be just as fun to do combos with, trying to reach the coveted SSS rating.

Though the game is short (you’ll likely beat it under 10-11 hours), there is plenty of reason to keep on playing. Since most of the missions are around 30 minutes, it won’t feel tedious to replay them. Going for achievements and S rankings in missions will probably allow you to put in another few hours. Not to mention, if you beat the game on Devil Hunter, you will unlock the Bloody Palace mode, where you will fight hordes and hordes of enemies for more than a hundred levels, and some harder difficulties, perfect for masochists.

Devil May Cry 4 could have been the best of the series, if only there wouldn’t have been so much backtracking (which, along with plot twists, are necessary parts of your average Japanese game, I think). The key word there is A

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.