Devil May Cry 3 was a great achievement in gaming; not just because it was fun to play; but because it saved the series and allowed people to forget the horrific garbage that was DMC 2. It was VERY hard but gave you an amazing sense of acomplishment when you finally beat a boss or even just a group of enemies. It was relentless but kept a great sense of style; the story was good and the dialogue jumped between funny, corny and just plain badass.
So obviously there were some high expectations for Devil May Cry 4. Would it be another DMC 3 or would that even number spell death for it?
Gameplay - Devil May Cry 4 continues with the series' tradition of fast paced, addictive, stylish and challenging gameplay. It also goes to great lengths to introduce a new character, Nero, who you use for the majority of the game.
Now the first time the DMC series introduced a new playable story character...it was Lucia in DMC 2; and we all know how that turned out. However they made up for that in DMC 3 Special Edition with Vergil, who added a new challenge and gave the game a fresh style since he was completely different from Dante. Nero is kind of stuck in the middle, though he's definitely closer to being welcome like Vergil rather than useless like Lucia.
Nero gets three weapons: The Red Queen, a gas powered sword; the Blue Rose, a double barreled revolver; and the Devil Bringer, his right arm. The Red Queen is a powerful sword with which you can perform some very strong attacks, but as Nero's only Devil Arm (close range weapon, not his actual arm) it feels a little limited compared to Dante's huge set of weapons in DMC3. One unique point with the Red Queen is how it can be "revved" up like a throttle on a motorcycle. You can power up this ability in order to deal out a lot of damage with a single attack; but while you rev it up you are forced to walk slowly; which leaves you wide open to be attacked. However, a welcome feature is that if you rev it up in an empty room and then enter one filled with enemies, it keeps its charge; which is a very good feature that makes this more than just a throw away ability.
The Blue Rose, again, a little limited and its rate of fire is average; but it can be charged. Plus you can buy new levels of charge for it; the third one being the best as it creates an explosion a few seconds after it hits; and the explosion does a good amount of damage and can stun normal enemies. However, once again its your only gun and feels like a slightly dumbed down fusion between the handguns and the shotgun.
Then there's the Devil Bringer, which has been the most talked about ability of the game. With it you can grab enemies and toss them around like rag dolls; plus your throw varies depending on the enemy. You also get an ability called "Snatch" where you grab an enemy and pull it towards you; or if it's too big then you are pulled over to it. But that's it; that's all you can do with this supposedly revolutionary gameplay feature. You can't buy new abilities for it and you can only upgrade the length of the Snatch grab.
To be honest, Nero isn't a bad character; but he is very limited with what he can do and it keeps him from being as good as he could have been.
You may now be asking: "Well what about Dante? Is he just sitting back and getting it on with Trish?"
Nope he's still here; and he's even a boss for Nero; and a very fun boss at that; but he is also playable. Though it's only for 7 of the 20 missions. However...HE KICKS EVEN MORE ASS THAN IN DEVIL MAY CRY 3!
You start off with the Rebellion sword, Ebony and Ivory handguns and the Coyote-A, the shotgun. You have immediate access to the original four styles from DMC 3: Gunslinger, Sword Master, Trickster and Royal Guard. Oh and here's the best part: you can switch between all of your weapons AND styles at any time on the fly. Just hit L2 to switch guns, R2 for Devil Arms, and the buttons on the D-Pad for the styles. Dante is incredibly fun to play as and I have to say that it's impossible to stay with one style and one set of weapons for more than a few seconds as it's so easy to switch between them.
One of the downsides, however, is that all but one of Dante's bosses are just repeats of the ones you fight with Nero. You even go back through the same levels as well; which makes Dante's section seem a little half-assed. Especially since the bosses are much easier with the varied son of Sparda than with the limited Nero.
Also, the base difficulty is MUCH tamer than Devil May Cry 3's, but landing a plane with one engine is tamer than that game. You are immediately offered two difficulties: Human (easy) and Devil Hunter (normal). I skipped Human and immediately selected Devil Hunter and overall it's not as intense as DMC3, but it's not a walk in the park either. After you beat Devil Hunter you unlock the "Son of Sparda" difficulty and the Bloody Palace. Son of Sparda isn't so much hard as it is frustrating as you are forced to go through a harder difficulty AND achieve an "A" ranking on EVERY mission. The only way this is more managable than in the previous games is that the damage you take doesn't affect your rank anymore. You are graded on three things: Time, which you are actually given plenty of; Stylish Points, which is affected by grades you get when you beat down enemies; and collected Red Orbs, which is a little hard to get a good score on since every mission has too many hidden orbs that you need to be psychic to find the damn things.
I haven't unlocked Dante Must Die! yet, but I hear it's more challenging than DMC3's DMD mode...which scares and intrigues me...
Do these blotches hurt the gameplay, unfortunately they do, but do they stop it from being fun? HELL NO! The game is still fun to play, though the parts with Nero just feel a little repetative when compared to Dante just because Nero is just so damn limited with what he can do.
Graphics - Hot Damn! Yeah, it looks that good. The game runs at 60 frames per second and I haven't hit ANY slowdown at all. Everything is very detailed and the characters look very good. My only complaint would be the style; it just seems to be missing a lot of the gothic style that gave DMC1 and 3 their unique looks. However, the style chosen does look good and works for the tone of this game.
Sound - The music is just like it was in DMC1 and 3; heavy metal with an old themed gothic influence. However, Nero and Dante only get one normal battle music...which can get a little repetative over time. In DMC 1 and 3 there were multiple battle songs to keep things fresh. One cool thing though, is that Dante's battle theme is a remix of "Lock and Load" from the first game and it is very badass. The boss themes are good though I have to say that I sometimes find myself firing up the DMC3 soundtrack to pump myself up for the game's harder levels and bosses.
The voice acting is very good and Nero's voice actor gets his personality down perfectly. Dante's VA from DMC3 is back and though he does an EXCELLENT job, he just makes Dante sound a little young compared to the VA in the first game.
Story - DMC4 takes place after the first game where Dante defeated Mundus and Trish is now his partner in Devil Hunting. The game starts out with a young man named Nero, who has his right arm in a sling, attending a church session where the congregation praises Sparda, Dante's father, for his heroic efforts of defending the human world from the demons. However part way through Dante bursts through the roof and pumps a bullet into the leader's head. Nero tries fighting him but can't keep Dante down and only gets angrier as the cocky demon hunter mocks him and disappears.
As the story progresses you find out some freaky truths about the Order and about Dante's true role. This is also where Nero comes off as less likeable than Dante as at points he just gets too malodramatic for my tastes. There was some melodrama in DMC3, but Dante would always break through it with a smart mouthed comment to keep the pace up beat...which he does a great job with in this game. Wait until you see Dante get the Lucifer weapon and then when he and the character Agnus do a Shakespeare parody, they are the funniest scenes in the game.
Also, there are some plot points that are never fully explained. Such as: where did Nero get that right arm and why does it react to a certain katana...
Replay - Of course the biggest part of the DMC games is the replay and going through on harder difficulties to unlock cool stuff. Well there are no extra costumes...which is kinda lame; but if you beat it on Dante Must Die! you get Super Dante and Super Nero. Plus there are two other difficulties...Heaven or Hell, everything takes one hit, including you; and Hell and Hell, you take one hit; everything else doesn't...alright.
Overall Devil May Cry 4 is a great game, it just doesn't feel as intense or impactful as the third entry in the series. However, it avoided the curse of the even number in the series by outshining the dreadful DMC2 and unlike 2, DMC4 is a very fun game; just with a little more repetition than the previous installments.
Pros and Cons:
+ Nero can be fun to use.
+ Dante is more fun to play as than in DMC3 due to the ability to switch styles on the fly.
+ Dante's cutscenes are hillarious.
+ The game looks amazing.
+ 60 frames per second!!!!
+ Music is still good.
- Repetative levels.
- Nero is too limited.
- Devil Bringer feels underdeveloped.
- Story leave plot holes open.
- Nero is a whiny bitch at times.
Overall Score: 8.5/10.
Hmm. While I played the 360 version, and there may be some difference, I honestly wasn't all that impressed with the game. With the exception of a few songs, the music was forgettable and mostly just indecipherable background music. The game itself was also way too easy and a little too short. I got to play it literally less then 24 hours, and still beat the game. And the storyline was just... bleh. They could've done so much more with it, yet they didn't.
Oh well. I'm sure my opinion of it will go up in due time.
As an update; I recently got Dante Must Die! mode...it's a bad joke. I beat the second mission without getting touched ONCE! I beat the first two bosses; Berial and the giant frog; again, not getting touched!
What a horrible disappointment this mode turned out to be...ugh.
I'm going back to Devil May Cry 3 and I'm gonna try to beat Dante Must Die! mode in that one since I still haven't done it...yet.
I ended up playing the crap out of the 360 version of this so here's a quick rundown of differences:
Load times...are not a problem; they are maybe a second longer than on the PS3.
Many of the levels seem to be brighter; not a huge difference but in some of the less well lit levels you'll see a few things you didn't notice on the PS3 version.
There are some serious jaggies/tears on the shadows; again, not a problem, just a minor difference.
Controller works nicely, though the 360's D-Pad is still the equivelant of a mushy strawberry so once in a while Dante's styles won't change perfectly; not too big of a deal.
Achievements; kinda neat to get; but they only appear through normal progression of the game; buying everything and going through the Bloody Palace.
Overall no big differences between the 360 and PS3 versions. If you have both systems then just pick by whichever controller you prefer.