X360, PS3 Saturday, January 19, 2008 | 11:35 AM

Devil May Cry 4 interview

Devil May Cry 4 interview

Hiroyuki Kobayashi and his team have been working hard to finish up Devil May Cry 4, and the game is now just three weeks away. A demo will hopefully hit the net before the release day, 7th of February, but the game's producer is now here to still your hunger thanks to the XCN. Hiroyuki Kobayashi covers multiplatform development, DLC, cut-scenes and much much more from the game, so read it all inside.


Answered By: Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Producer, Devil May Cry 4

· What new elements will be installed compared to DMC3 that will be especially appealing to fans of the genre?
Top of the list would have to be the introduction of Nero to the series. Not only did this allow us to expand the DMC universe through the added introduction of new characters from Nero’s world, but more importantly a new combat system. In previous DMC titles when you attacked with Dante the force of his blows propelled the enemy away from him, but now with Nero’s Devil Bringer you attack the enemy with sword or gun and then grab them back to continue the combo and rack up the style points. Players will also be able to charge Nero’s sword using the all new Exceed System and unleash some devastating and spectacular attacks. We’ve also provided Dante with some new skills and weapons to keep things fresh - Lucifer allows Dante to throw out a myriad of swords in front of him while with Gilgamesh Dante gets up close and personal with close combat moves made all the more deadly by the addition of blades to his gauntlets & boots. Finally Dante also gets access to Pandora’s Box, an assortment of 7 weapons ranging from a boomerang to a mobile missile launcher! So, to sum up DMC4 has all the intense stylish combat the series is renown for plus some fresh new tricks up its sleeve.

· A lot of developers are reporting that it's easier to code for 360 then PlayStation 3. Do you share these thoughts?
Development for DMC4 was led on PC using Capcom’s proprietary multiplatform framework tools that enable us to create games for both next-gen consoles with relative ease. That is not to say each platform does not have its differences and certain changes need to be made to take advantage of each platform’s strengths. However by working closely with 1st parties we were able to overcome any initial issues we had.

· The game looks absolutely stunning, especially the backgrounds. Can you tell us more about how they were conceived?
In the early days of the development process a number of staff travelled to Italy, Spain & Turkey specifically to research the gothic architecture of castles, cathedrals and other great buildings found in these countries. The photos and sketches they took were then used as the basis for the creating the city of Fortuna and its surroundings.

· Are the in-game characters animated using motion capture, and what is the process?
When creating the game’s cutscenes, we begin by having Japanese performers act out the various game scenarios. We video tape those performances, and the overseas motion capture actors use them for reference when they record the game’s motion capture data. We then add the motion capture data to the in-game models and recreate the performance in the CG world of the game. We then tweak various elements to create the finished cutscenes.

· In what ways will the story be different from previous instalments (without giving spoilers)?
With the addition of Nero as the game’s main protagonist Devil May Cry 4 has a brand new central storyline that focuses on Nero and the Order of the Sword that worships Sparda, Dante’s demon father and in which Nero is a key figure. The action begins when Dante bursts in on an important ceremony and kills Sanctus, the Order’s leader, and other members of the group. Fearing for the safety of his childhood friend Kyrie, Nero attacks Dante and the game’s first battle ensues. Soon after this encounter mysterious portals begin to appear spewing forth ghastly demons and while Nero initially believes Dante to be responsible as the game progresses players will learn the true reason.

· Are there in differences in the games for Xbox 360/PS3?
No, both versions feature the same content.

· This will be the first time I have played Devil May Cry. Can you tell me what kind of experience I can expect?
Since the first Devil May Cry game, the series has continually delivered its unique blend of stylish intense action and DMC4 is no exception. Players are rewarded for dispatching enemies with stylish attacks, mixing up gun and swordplay and unleashing devastating combos. In addition you the series has always delivered incredible enemies and bosses and with DMC4 I think we have surpassed ourselves and you will be truly impressed.

· To settle any confusion, where does DMC4 come in the DMC timeline?
Chronologically DMC4 is the third game in the DMC timeline. DMC3 was set first, followed by the original DMC, then DMC4 and finally DMC2.

· Because Dante is not the main character or focus around this instalment, is there something more sinister going on with Dante?
Certainly the action at the beginning of the game would lead you to believe this. Dante bursts in on a ceremony being conducted by the Order of the Sword and without apparent reason kills the Order’s leader and other members. However as the game progresses players will learn that all is not what it seemed.

· Can we have the Marionnettes and Scissor Sisters back?
I’m glad you liked these enemies, but while they do not feature in DMC4 I think you‘ll find plenty of other enemies to keep you busy.

· With Lady and Trish making an appearance, will we see the return of any old tyrants from the last 3? Or even Nelo/Vergil?
Well I will say that you will see Frost and Assault making a re-appearance in DMC4.

Have you found that allowing DMC to launch on the Xbox 360 has opened any doors to you with what the 360 delivers Hardware/Marketplace wise?
Working on the 360 has certainly meant that the scope of DMC4 is bigger than ever before. In previous DMC games the environments were on the whole confined to rooms and corridors, but now we have much more expansive areas for the action to take place. The action begins in the city of Fortuna but soon spreads out to surrounding areas such as a jungle and snowy plains. In addition, any indoor areas are much bigger in scope and highly detailed.

· As part of the DMC Franchise, Light Novels and Anime, Devil May Cry is more than just a game today. What do you think about adaptions of games (movies,comics etc.) in general?
It makes me very happy to see the DMC game universe become so popular. It’s great to see DMC evolve in these other formats. We heard that Devil May Cry 4 will feature more cut-scenes. Does this mean we will have a bigger focus on the characters (new and old)? It certainly does. There are around two hours of cutscenes in DMC4. This latest instalment of the series also features the largest number of characters seen in a DMC game. All of these characters are integral to telling the all-new story of Nero. In addition, we are spending more time exploring the relationships that exist between Dante, Trish and Lady.

· Will the game feature the same level select and progress mechanics like DMC3, where your character progression is saved at every savepoint and you can use it to tackle every previous level on each unlocked difficulty setting?
Yes, the mission progression as well as the save and unlock elements will be similar to DMC3.

· Will you be able to choose from a variety of different combat styles like in DMC3?
Nero does not have the ability to change combat styles, but in addition to his sword and gun attacks he has the Devil Bringer with which he can simply slam enemies to the ground or grab them and bring them towards him to deliver another attack. When Dante attacks an enemy the force of the blow will send the enemy away from him, but with Nero’s Devil Bringer the skilful player can keep the combos rolling. When the action switches to Dante you will of course be able to select from the four familiar styles – Gunslinger, Trickster, Sword Master & Royal Guard – but now you can change styles instantly with a quick button press.

· Don't you consider it to be rather risky to give Dante more of a side role within the game?
Certainly some people have thought it was an odd decision, but the introduction of a new main character has a number of positives. Firstly it allows us to introduce a new gameplay mechanic - the Devil Bringer & this opens up some really interesting combat opportunities. Secondly we are not just introducing Nero, but also the characters that make up his world and a new setting for the series with the town of Fortuna. As the series is moving to a new generation of hardware, and indeed making its first appearance on the Xbox, this is an ideal time to introduce a new character to the DMC universe and new gamers to the series. But Devil May Cry would not be Devil May Cry without Dante so of course we had to include him in the game and as you play and the story unfurls you will see that he has a very important role to play.

· One of the best features in the original Devil May Cry was the fact that every enemy within the game had 5-6 different attack patterns which provided a very unique mix-up style of play. Will we see the same type of unpredictable yet challenging enemies again in DMC4?
The enemies will have a variety of attacks and actions. We have designed the game in a way which forces the player to discover effective means of taking each enemy out. The bosses will be challenging as well. I imagine you will have to go toe-to-toe with some of them at least three times before winning the battle.

· This is the first time that Xbox users will play a DMC game: will it be fully enjoyable from the people that never played the previous games?
I definitely think so. As you know DMC4 features Nero, a brand new character to the series so both newcomers to the series and those who have played any of the previous titles will have the opportunity to master his unique skills and abilities. At the beginning of the game we have also included a brief tutorial to familiarise players with Nero’s basic actions.

· Are you planning to offer Live play features, like co-op or multiplayer modes?
We don’t have any plans to include co-op or multiplayer modes.

· Will you be offering some Down Loadable Content for the game? If yes, what kind of contents? New missions, weapons, maps?
Unfortunately we don’t have any downloadable content planned for DMC4, but I do think that we have included a massive amount of exciting gameplay right out of the box.

· In DMC 3 Dante could use 4 different combat styles: will Nero be able to use a similar wide choice of styles?
Nero does not have the ability to change combat styles, but in addition to his sword and gun attacks he has the Devil Bringer with which he can simply slam enemies to the ground or grab them and bring them towards him to deliver another attack. When Dante attacks an enemy the force of the blow will send the enemy away from him, but with Nero’s Devil Bringer the skilful player can keep the combos rolling. When the action switches to Dante you will of course be able to select from the four familiar styles – Gunslinger, Trickster, Sword Master & Royal Guard – but now you can change styles instantly with a quick button press.

· The DMC series has been around for a long time, what new features can we expect from the game to make it stand out from earlier versions?
Top of the list would have to be the introduction of Nero to the series. Not only did this allow us to expand the DMC universe through the added introduction of new characters from Nero’s world, but more importantly a new combat system. When you attack with Dante the force of his blows propels the enemy away from him, but now with Nero’s Devil Bringer you attack the enemy with sword or gun and then grab them back to continue the combo and rack up the style points. Couple this with the Exceed System – the ability to charge Nero’s sword – and I think both newcomers to the series and existing DMC fans will enjoy taking on the demons with Nero.

Thanks to the power of next generation hardware we have also been able to create much more of a real world environment for the game. In previous games a lot of the fighting was confined to interiors, but now the action can take place in much more expansive environments such as a jungle and snowy plains. Also the extra power now means that Dante can switch between his four fighting styles on the fly with no need to stop the action.

· What was behind the decision to bring DMC 4 to Xbox 360 as a multiplatform title? We're not complaining but this has annoyed the Playstation loyal masses. What's your take on console rivalry?
Releasing DMC4 on multiple platforms obviously has the advantage of greatly increasing the potential audience for the game so it makes good business sense. The timing of the decision coincided with Capcom bringing on line its proprietary multiplatform framework tools that make the process of developing titles across different platforms much easier. As for the second part of your question I think a small amount of rivalry is a good thing as it helps prevent complacency.

· Can you shed some light on the femme fatales that appear without giving too much away?
Two of the ladies featured in DMC4 – Trish & Lady – have both appeared in previous DMC titles, but for those who don’t know them they are both on Dante’s side. The new addition is Gloria. She is the only female executive in the Order of the Sword she

· Will there be any additional characters we can play as (perhaps unlockable)?
Nero and Dante are the only two playable characters. However, they both have so many moves and abilities that I don‘t think it would be possible to fully use them all in one play through.

· Will the achievements be challenging yet fun to achieve, offering a variety of original tasks?
We have certainly tried to offer a good variety of fun challenges for players to unlock. I think that the fans will be satisfied!

· Do you think Capcom's support for the Xbox 360 with big-name titles such as this will help the 360 in Japan?
I do think that this is a title with the potential to boost not only the Xbox 360 in Japan, but the next generation game market as a whole.

· When will we be able to control Nero and when Dante? Will it be well-balanced?
Players will get to take control of Dante roughly half way through the game and we have been very careful to ensure that the change is smooth. With his ability to change fighting styles Dante does play differently to Nero, but they do share common elements such as the basic sword & gun attacks.

· What can you tell us about in-game locations? Are they more like in the first DMC (gothic) or DMC2 (modern)?
The coastal city of Fortuna and its buildings certainly take their inspiration from the past, rather than modern times. The power of next-gen consoles has allowed us to create much larger and more detailed environments compared to previous DMC titles and Fortuna feels more like a living, breathing city. In addition we have been able to include expansive environments such as the Jungle and Snowy Plains that simply were not possible previously.

· Are you going to make background story for the most important enemies like in DMC1?
Absolutely, I think it is important that the player understands who or what they are fighting.

· Devil May Cry was great game with perfect story, nostalgic music, scary atmosphere. Is DMC4 going to be close to DMC1?
I really believe that this instalment has not only the best story and music, but also the very best action in the series. It’s been a challenge, but I think die-hard fans and newcomers alike will be completely satisfied with DMC4.

· Ninja Gaiden 2 is also scheduled for release next year. Do you see it as a threat, and what differences do you see between the games?
I have to admit that I don’t know too much about Ninga Gaiden 2 as I have been so busy with DMC4. I guess we will have to wait and see!

· What’s the one feature or aspect of DMC4 that really brings the franchise into the next-gen?
If I had to pick one I would say the size and detail of the world we have created for the game. We wanted to create a world that felt real and I believe that with the city of Fortuna, its buildings and surrounding environments we have achieved this.

· How have you advanced the acrobatic and flowing sensation of controlling the lead character in DMC4?
By lead character I assume you mean Nero. Nero’s Devil Bringer arm has allowed us to bring never-before seen action to the series. We have been able to bring extremely smooth controls and a great sense of uninterrupted action to DMC4.

Do you see more DMC games in the future?
As a whole, the series has certainly been successful and it would be great if it could continue.

Thanks for your time!

All comments

Commented on 2008-01-19 12:07:06
Good stuff, but not new stuff.
Commented on 2008-01-19 12:11:23

· This will be the first time I have played Devil May Cry....

· Can we have the Marionnettes and Scissor Sisters back?...
these two questions don't make sense, were they asked by different interviewers?
Commented on 2008-01-19 12:41:50 In reply to indigo0086
Posted by indigo0086

· This will be the first time I have played Devil May Cry....

· Can we have the Marionnettes and Scissor Sisters back?...
these two questions don't make sense, were they asked by different interviewers?
Yes, it consists of questions submitted by like 10 different sites. It's the same ones we submit questions for via our forums.
Commented on 2008-01-19 12:58:31
UHm..good. Waiting the demo...

EDIT:
HEY !! He's got tits !! OMG !! LOL !!
Commented on 2008-01-19 14:34:33
A little bit of deja-vu in there... But it was a good read nonetheless :-)
Commented on 2008-01-19 14:46:09
This interview pretty much kills any hope I had of the game being as good or better than the original, but I'm still looking forward to trying it. I just hope it's more of a DMC3 suck instead of a DMC2 suck.
Commented on 2008-01-19 15:12:14 In reply to XboXEmaXX
Posted by XboXEmaXX
HEY !! He's got tits !! OMG !! LOL !!
He? Who's he? Wooaa... you mean that's not a woman? :|
Commented on 2008-01-19 15:19:21 In reply to synce
Posted by synce
This interview pretty much kills any hope I had of the game being as good or better than the original, but I'm still looking forward to trying it. I just hope it's more of a DMC3 suck instead of a DMC2 suck.
Uhm, DMC 3 didn't suck ...
Commented on 2008-01-19 15:20:57
The whole interview was all about PS3 and X360 version.

So...


Will DMC4 be released on PC?
Commented on 2008-01-19 16:54:24
great interview, great questions.

can't wait for DMC4! dante rocks!
Commented on 2008-01-19 18:49:17 In reply to Stac
Posted by Stac
The whole interview was all about PS3 and X360 version.

So...


Will DMC4 be released on PC?
Tbh, I think this is one of those games that plays best on a console.. Hack&slash doesn't really play nice on a PC unless you connect a controller..

Personally I'm not really into these games.. They are SP only and the gameplay, although cool, gets boring for me fast..
Commented on 2008-01-19 21:03:12
It doesn't sound like he's offering anything new to the gameplay. I wanted a controllable camera and a block button.
Commented on 2008-01-20 04:05:42
great interview thanks alot
Commented on 2008-01-20 10:10:45
Nice interview. Also cool to know how they developed the game, ie on a multi-format PC engine first and then optimized for each console. Guess this dispell's the talk about the PS3 being the lead format for this game...
Commented on 2008-01-20 13:34:52 In reply to jackdoe
Posted by jackdoe
It doesn't sound like he's offering anything new to the gameplay. I wanted a controllable camera and a block button.
Sounds like you never played with the Royal Guard combat style?

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