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Devil May Cry 4

Score: 90%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Devil May Cry 4 continues the hack and slash series in yet another example of solid, fun gameplay.

Visually, DMC4 is a sight to behold. Everything from the character models to the visual special effects just look good. Whether the story is conveyed via the in-game scripting or the fully rendered cinematics, the game just has a lot going for it. Even the levels themselves are full of detail.

As far as the game's audio is concerned, the voice acting is pretty dead on, if not a bit over the top at times. I did enjoy the dialogue itself, but there were a few times when the one-liners were just a bit too much to handle. As for the game's background music, the rock-style tunes return to help give the game its unique flair. While some players might feel this contradicts the fantastical feel of the game (maybe preferring something with more classical overtones), it seems to really work.


Gameplay:

Devil May Cry 4 is actually the third game chronologically speaking (taking place between the original and second games [which means Devil May Cry 3 is actually the earliest events in the series]). Instead of following the series' main protagonist, Dante, this version gives you control of a new hero, Nero. But fans of Dante and his weapons shouldn't have too much of a problem since you will get to play him for seven of the 20 levels.

Nero is a member of a cult known as The Order of the Sword. This group apparently worships Sparda and is getting ready to perform a ceremony that will fulfill the group's purpose. But just as the ceremony begins, Dante breaks into the chamber and murders not only the Order's leader, but also many of its members. Nero is, of course, charged with finding and bringing in Dante.

As Nero, you wield weapons like the Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver and Devil Bringer (which is actually Nero's right arm). Both the sword and gun should feel familiar to existing DMC fans, while the Devil Bringer is used to throw enemies around or pull them towards you. This power's ability increases when you've dealt enough damage to fill up a meter and release the Devil Trigger.

While playing as Dante, many of the abilities players have gotten to know from the previous games come back through, including Dante's ability to use weapons that were used against him in boss battles. However, some of Dante's old arsenal does return, such as the Rebellion Sword, the Ebony and Ivory handguns and Coyote-A shotgun.

Another change to the series is the use of Proud Souls, which are granted to the player based on how your score is in a level. These Proud Souls are used as currency in the game's shop that will let you buy upgrades and abilities.


Difficulty:

Devil May Cry 4 has quite a few tough spots, but nothing that really feels so insurmountable as to cause you to give up. As long as you keep upgrading your various abilities and weapons, and use your powers effectively, you should have no problem completing the game, at least not on Human difficulty. The Devil Hunter setting, on the other hand, had a noticeable increase in sheer toughness.

Newcomers to the DMC series should definitely start off slow with the Human setting, while those players who are familiar with the combo and weapon system of the license should be able to start off on the higher setting.


Game Mechanics:

Devil May Cry 4 takes quite a few features that were seen in previous games and improves upon them. For instance, instead of being forced to only have two melee and two ranged weapons on hand, Dante can actually cycle through all of the weapons he picks up in the game. Dante's styles (Trickster, Royal Guard, Sword Master and Gunslinger) also return, but instead of having them level up via experiences, the upgrades must be purchased in the between-level store.

I have to say, while the game plays well with a keyboard and mouse, I have always been better with a controller in my hands, so of course, I had to try it out with the Xbox 360 controller, and it's my personal belief that the controls are just a lot slicker and smoother when using it. But then again, if you are seriously looking into the PC version, then you probably prefer the keyboard and mouse setup over controllers anyway.

DMC4 is a great addition to the series and really adds to the line. If you are an existing fan of the license, then you should definitely look into this fourth installment. Even if you are new to the series, then you might want to look into it anyway, though there are quite a few relationships that will be lost on you.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows XP/Vista, Intel Pentium 4 or higher CPU, 512 MB Ram (Windows XP)/1GB RAM (Vista), 256 Video RAM or higher NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series
 

Test System:



Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Duel NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

Sony PlayStation 3 Civilization: Revolution Sony PlayStation 3 NCAA Football 2009

 
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