With this generation, Capcom keeps getting better with every game. From Dead Rising to Devil May Cry 4, we’ve seen much growth. Each and every game gets better and better. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the DMC series, I jumped at the opportunity to review part 4. My only experience with the series is the first game. It was beautiful looking but too repetitive for my tastes. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ll understand that cinematic presentation and immersion are now my two most important review factors in next generation gaming. Has Capcom achieved next generation standards with DMC 4? Read on to find out.
Devil May Cry 4 is among us. It has tons of new features and brought back many characters from past games, including the series main protagonist, Dante. This time around however, Capcom has given us a new hero named Nero. Nero sports a demonic arm called the Devil Bringer, a trusty pistol and a beautiful sword that revs up like a Kawasaki. Nero could easily pass as Dante’s brother, but I think the whole point of the Nero character was to breathe a little bit of new life into the series and at the same time, keep it real. By keeping it real though, they’ve given us a cooler, younger version of Dante, so to say.
The storyline is very shallow. I’d go as far as saying there isn’t much of a story. You kill demons, solve puzzles and upgrade powers. The only story elements revealed throughout the game tend to revel in the antagonistic identity crises. Right from the opening of the game you are dropped in the middle of a demon infested city and you don’t know why it’s infested. I could go back and play all 3 of the previous games but what’s the point? Plus there’s plenty of back story information during the install of the game. It just doesn’t lend itself too well to the new game.
Graphically, DMC4 is better looking than any Capcom game made to date. The digital architecture is breathtaking. There’s classically designed castles, bridges, churches and hallways. They are highly detailed and lit to impress. The characters and character designs are also gorgeously done. There was a lot of detail added to the textures. Some of the clothing items clearly make use of bump mapping in a good way. My favorite new character is Gloria. She’s is hot to trot. Her motion captured moves and artfully erotic costume will make her the video game chick of the year. The burning question…is she wearing panties or not?
The bosses are also graphic masterpieces. Of all the bosses I’ve gone through, the very first one is the best looking. Berial is a fire demon straight off the pages of Fellowship Of The Ring. He’s huge and a marvel to look at. Being able to toss him around with the Devil Bringer is pure pleasure.
I was kind of disappointed with the soundtrack for DMC4. The opening music was beautifully orchestrated but the rest of the game didn’t follow suit. All of the fights play the typical Japanese digital guitar music that resembles old school PS2 games and the like. It’s the same soundtrack for every fight and it really got annoying. With a game of this caliber, I expected something more epic like the orchestration used in Heavenly Sword. Hopefully in future games they’ll take a nod to how important a soundtrack can be in delivering a next gen quality game.
If you are familiar with the DMC universe, then you will love the gameplay. The standard hack and slash from days of old has returned. Instead of 2 guns you now have one. The sword now sports some cool power ups called Exceed. Lastly, the Devil Bringer adds a fresh and delightful twist to DMC gameplay. You can grab demons from a distance and bring them to you to rip apart or slam against the ground. You can also use the Devil Bringer to fly across the screen to get to hard to reach places. Each weapon is upgradable by purchasing skills with Demon Blood. Along the way you’ll also pick up other power ups like the Yamato Sword; which are necessary in some of the boss battles to be successful.
DMC4 has some online features like rankings and also has Accomplishments. Accomplishments are the PS3 version of Achievements. It’s actually cool to get these in a PS3 game. I only miss the little graphic popping up when they are unlocked. I’m guessing these will also earn you trophies when Home arrives.
Like the first DMC, the only other DMC game I’ve ever played, I thought DMC4 was repetitive. I got tired of killing the same demons over and over again. The boss battles, however, were challenging and exciting. I actually chose to play in Devil Hunter mode, not knowing that it was actually a much harder difficulty. So my game has been frustrating at times. However, it is even more rewarding clearing missions knowing that my first time through is on the hardest level. Word of advice, save that Demon Blood for Gold Orbs.
I’m no DMC fan but I can honestly say that DMC4 is a rock solid, next gen title. I wish they could have done more with the sound track and spiced up the missions with a larger variety of demons. Parts of it do get repetitive. This is just water under the bridge though, as any DMC fan will simply love this game regardless of platform. Lastly, don’t worry about the 5gb install. It’s not as bad as some are claiming. Just don’t expect the game to start right away the first time you pop it in. One last word to Capcom…please make Gloria a playable character via download in the near future. The whole world of gamers will love you for it.