Publisher: Capcom Entertainment
Developer: Capcom Entertainment
N Amer - 02/05/2008
Devil May Cry 4 Review
Xbox 360 owners who also happen to be Capcom fans have plenty to be thankful for seeing as the next Resident Evil game will make an appearance on Microsoft’s console and now the once PlayStation 2 exclusive, Devil May Cry, brings the fourth game to the Xbox 360. Devil May Cry 4 is the latest chapter in the continuing adventure that began with the son of Sparda and believe me when I say that this is, by far, one of the best games in the series.
Loyal fans of the series have followed Dante as he took down demons and an assortment of hell’s minions but in Devil May Cry 4 he takes a supporting role. You see, the game opens in the castle town of Fortuna where devoted followers of Sparda are worshipping in the nearby cathedral. On his way to hear his love interest sing, a handsome young knight that bares a striking resemblance to a certain demon hunter encounters demons and dispatches them with ease. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time to see Dante murder the leader of the congregation as well as other fellow knights. The young knight named Nero faces off against Dante as we wonder why our old hero would do such a thing.
Players assume the role of Nero but before fans start comparing this to Metal Gear Solid 2, Nero proves to be a far more effective and actually very likeable. We also quickly find that his appearance is not the only thing slightly similar to Dante. Nero’s fighting style is somewhat alike with the exception that Nero has a demonic right hand that unleashes a powerful melee blow as well other abilities tied to it. With a fighting style that takes a page from Devil May Cry 3, Nero has gunslinger abilities as well as use his sword in nifty ways. That being said, Nero has personality and gamers will actually likes his story and the characters that surround him.
As demons begin to surface and attack the people of Fortuna, it’s Nero who takes on the job of ripping and shooting through the hordes. Early in the game, Nero has a few cool moves but later on he is able to upgrade his skills via the returning Divinity Statues used to enhance his sword (called the Red Queen) or his trusty six-shooter (called Blue Rose). Once again, you’ll be collecting orbs of various colors used to purchase said upgrades as well as offer interesting power ups. You’ll also learn new Red Queen and Blue Rose moves that increase the damage done to the enemy.
The level design is also handled wonderfully with open environments that allow you to explore your surroundings. There are points throughout the map where you need to solve simple puzzles to advance to new areas and there are areas that require Nero to use his demonic hand to “zip-line” his way across long gaps. The demons you’ll face off are numerous and oftentimes they’ll gang up on you. Combat, sorry to say, can get very repetitive after awhile even with the interesting new moves and abilities. The same can be said about boss battles. You will often find yourself going up against a boss more than twice (the only thing that changes is their attack patterns).
Still, the game is able to stay fresh throughout and a big part of it has to do with the fact that you will also get to play as Dante in a few chapters. Dante’s powerful attacks are back and so are his fighting styles that were introduced in Devil May Cry 3. With the D-pad, you can switch between Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger or Royalguard just as easily. Secondly, there are secret missions scattered throughout the game that are actually pretty tough to beat.
Surprisingly, the Xbox 360 controls works splendidly and it the game feels right at home with the controller that offers great rumble effects. The PS3 version has fewer load times than the Xbox 360 version but both games feature a camera that can often be a pain in the rear. In some instances, you can move the camera around but there are places where the camera is fixed and thus not giving you a view of your enemy’s position. Still, these somewhat minor gripes don’t really distract from the overall goodness that this game has to offer. The game also has some unlockable extras such as a harder difficulty setting and a mode called Bloody Palace.
Visually speaking, Devil May Cry 4 looks spectacular on the Xbox 360 just as it does on the PS3. The only difference I can note is the fact that the PS3 is slightly darker but not by very much. The game’s production value are right up there with the Final Fantasy games and the opening sequence alone will leave those gamers who love good eye candy plenty to salivate over in this game. Not only do the character models look lovely in cut scenes as well as during the action but the backgrounds will just leave you very impressed.
Complimenting the gorgeous visuals is the game’s sound that contains a wonderfully cinematic soundtrack that is just way too beautiful for words. We’ve heard great music from the series before but this one is just in a whole new category. There’s also a great voice cast, with voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch (known to anime fans as Ichigo from Bleach among others) leading a wonderful cast. The sound effects are also quite detailed so play this game with a really good sound system for the full effect.
A big round of applause should go to Capcom for bringing the franchise to the Xbox 360 after having been a PlayStation 2 exclusive from the beginning. Devil May Cry 4 for the Xbox 360 is one of those deeply involving and immersive action games that make this series such a genuine joy to play. It’s a nicely paced game that might not feature series favorite Dante in a prominent role but the game still manages to be just as interesting with Nero in the starring role. Do not miss this one, Xbox 360 owners.
Review Scoring Details for Devil May Cry 4
While the action can get repetitive in places and the boss battles are recycled, just try to putting the game down and see why it’s so addictively fun. The controls are perfect on Microsoft’s console despite some camera issues. Dante takes a back seat in this one but Nero fills his shoes nicely.
On the Xbox 360, the graphics are just slightly more colorful than the equally attractive PlayStation 3 version of the game. The character detail is considerably attractive and the backgrounds are just plain stunning.
Adding to the gorgeous visuals is a magnificent soundtrack that’s beautifully cinematic and very dramatic. There’s also a good voice-acting cast and detailed sound effects that make this game really stand out nicely throughout.
The challenging aspect of the game is not in battling against the numerous demons or the boss battles that the game recycles but rather the fast-paced, timed side missions. Also, the camera can sometimes be your enemy.
Nero has some great tricks up his sleeve and his abilities make him a powerhouse. While this game skips on extras (like the special edition of Devil May Cry 3), there’s no shortage of things to do in the open-world environments complete with extra side missions. Still, there are some unlockable goodies like Bloody Palace and a harder difficulty level. Plus, it’s a Devil May Cry game … on the Xbox 360!
A truly engaging and addictively action-packed game with amazing production value, Devil May Cry 4 is one of those deeply enjoyable games that deserve a place in your gaming library. While this forth chapter takes the spotlight away from Dante, Nero is a worthy hero to follow and thus making this an interesting sequel with a lot to offer.
Devil May Cry 4 for the Xbox 360 is one of those deeply involving and immersive action games that make this series such a genuine joy to play
Reviewer: Angelina Sandoval
Review Date: 05/05/2008