One of the pleasing things about Devil May Cry 4 is that you don’t have to know the entire background story to play the game. I have been a big fan of the Devil May Cry anime previously and I played the first
Devil May Cry way back when the only platform you could find it on was the PS2. Fast forward to the year 2008 and now on the Xbox 360, Devil May Cry 4 takes things to new heights and ultimately, delivers what you’d expect – fatal blows, carnage and good looking demon killers with white hair.
There is an abundance of cut scenes to wade through at the beginning of the game, all of which look relatively stunning on HDTV. If you’re new to the game, you can play it with the tutorial mode turned on and you get to choose between two difficulty levels which are ‘Human’ for those new to DMC or ‘Devil Hunter’ for those more familiar with the DMC mechanics and gameplay.
In DMC4, the main protagonist is Nero not Dante. But don’t worry about that Dante fans because your beloved demon hunter puts in an appearance early on in the game and you also get to play as Dante further on down the track. If you’re relatively new or just rusty (like me) you’ll probably want to spend some time familiarising yourself with all the different fighting combinations that you can use when playing Nero. Some of them are pretty cool, especially when utilising Nero’s ‘Devil Bringer’ demon arm. You can cause a lot of damage using the ‘Devil Bringer’ which is handy for those slightly difficult mini-bosses mob fights you’ll eventually encounter. The option to switch between swords, guns and the ‘Devil Bringer’ makes for some interesting and exciting and fast-paced gameplay.
Movement in the game is slick and once you’ve mastered the basics of jumping and dodging bullets (and anything else) you should be ready to roll on through each mission. You’ll also have to jump and grip things depending on where you need to go. During each mission, you’ll be presented with specific challenges where you may have to collect something and/or move past obstacles to clear the mission. The missions are set up in logical sequence with a stunning array of maps that include a cathedral, taking on a mini-boss in a decrepit looking shanty town and traversing breath-taking snowy landscapes like that of Fortuna Castle. One thing about DMC4 that’s glaringly obvious is that the graphics in the game have come a long, long way since the good old PS2 days.
I did encounter some issues with saved games, however. After completing the first mini-boss fight, I saved the game as normal. After returning to the game I realised that my saved game had not saved at all which was a bit of a disappointment. Make sure that you’re saving your games correctly – especially if you’re planning a marathon session. You wouldn’t want to lose all of your saved game progress.
Powerups are an important part of the game. With your primary weapons you’ll be presented with an opportunity to increase your skills and abilities and thus increase the damage ratio you deal to your victims with each weapon. Collect as many orbs as possible. Red orbs can be found in abundance but are sometimes placed in tricky spots. Each mission will grant you a passing grade dependant on how well you do throughout. You can also upload your scores online via Xbox Live.
Although much of the gameplay relies on killing as many demons as possible, clearing missions and collecting power-ups, you’ll find the gameplay utterly rewarding, even if it does seem a little on the repetitive side. Ultimately, it’s not the stunning graphics nor the combat sequences that drive this game. I found the storyline to be the one thing at the centre of it all that gave Devil May Cry 4 a searing edge over other games in the genre. DMC4 is a fun, interesting and challenging game to play and even if you’re not exactly a DMC fan, you should certainly consider purchasing this title if you enjoy stylish fighting games with killer graphics and a substantial storyline to boot.