The Devil's Due
The series started originally on the PS2 back in 2001. At the time I owned a first gen Xbox, and I was kinda a one system man. What can I say? I was loyal back then (aka cheap). DMC (as its commonly abbreviated) was one of the few games on the PS that actually had me considering switching sides. But thankfully, this year Capcom made that decision for me and released the fourth DMC for both Playstation 3 and the 360.
Despite new moves and weapons, Dante is not the center of attention this time around. The game’s lead character is another Devil-armed upstart named Nero. Nero is on a quest to find Dante, but he also uncovers many secrets about the other characters he thought were his allies.
People looking for strong connections to the previous DMCs may be disappointed here. It seems that opening the title to the 360 has encouraged Capcom to take things in a different direction.
It goes without saying that any title that makes a jump for previous systems to current gen is gonna look like a game from the gods, and DMC is no exception. The visuals are clean and the animation is pretty smooth – but all this stuff is to be expected. Where DMC 4 really takes it up a notch is in the fighting system. Starting off with Nero you get a pretty sweet set of offensive weapons: a gasoline powered sword called the Red Queen, a chargeable six shooter called the Blue Rose, and your trusty Devil arm. All the weapons are upgradeable and can be used to create a variety of combos that would make any fighting game fan green with envy.
If it’s possible to get tired of Nero’s abilities, you can switch characters to become DMC mainstay Dante. Dante still has his trusty sword Rebellion and his two sidearms Ebony & Ivory. This time around he also returns with a sawed off shotgun called Coyote-A, and over the course of his part of the game you gain a variety of new weapons that give the word ‘combo’ a new definition.
Devil May Cry 4 has four levels of difficulty and some power–ups that can’t be achieved even after the second play though (thanks to a sneaky raise in prices every time you buy something). So DMC definitely stakes it claim on replayability, which is good because after taking control of Dante the game seems like a rush to the finish. That’s one of my few problems with this game. It’s the gaming equivalent to a giant slide – climbing up the ladder as Nero only to slide back down quickly as Dante. I wished they had given you more time and different levels to play Dante. He has a lot more variety in his fighting style, but the time you spend with him seems inadequate.
My only other problem with this game is the music. Even classic role-playing games manage to switch up the battle music once in a while, but that is a rarity where DMC 4 is concerned. The game has a variety of enemies, but because of the constant repetition of the music it makes the battles themselves seem repetitive. I just hate it when little things can actually pull down the effectiveness of other aspects in a game.
As a whole, DMC 4 is a great addition not only to the series but also to the action genre. Team Ninja may still hold the title for action games with Ninja Gaiden, but it’s nice to see that an upstart named Nero has brought Devil May Cry 4 closer to challenging Gaiden’s supremacy.