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Old 08-05-2008, 05:21 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) (G) (2008)


Release Date: 02/05/2008
ESRB Rating: Mature
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

By Shane Bettenhausen

Last generation, Capcom's Devil May Cry helped to redefine modern action-adventure gaming with its lush 3D environments, stylish slash-n-shoot combat, and lovably cocksure antihero, Dante. With its roots firmly planted in the old-school finesse-driven gameplay tradition for which Capcom is known (Strider, Bionic Commando) and glossy, Resident Evil-inspired presentation, DMC created a rock-solid template that inspired countless imitators. Unfortunately, that stunning debut begat two mishandled sequels -- DMC2 felt like a lifeless, repetitive retread (albeit one with designer-jeans product placement) while DMC3's absurd difficulty curve made it impenetrably tough for most gamers. An apologetic "Special Edition" of DMC3 corrected its problems, but the series' history of missteps left fans wondering whether this fourth installment would arrive fully formed. The good news? In many crucial ways, Devil May Cry 4 feels like the return to form that fans so desperately desire. But at the same time, an obnoxious design choice keeps it from being an unqualified success.

From the outset, DMC4 pulls some surprising punches -- benching well-liked, wisecrackin' Dante in favor of decidedly emo, hoodie-clad newcomer Nero may seem like a dumb move, but the gamble actually pays off. Nero's truly the star of this quest, and you control him through nearly two-thirds of the game as he attempts to rescue his lovely lass from a corrupt theocracy. It's a far more serious, earnest, and mature adventure than you'd expect, even if the game's female characters sport ridiculously massive mammaries and the "angels" you're fighting look more like Gundam mechs.

Nero offers a remarkably different style of play thanks to the Devil Bringer, his demonically enhanced right arm. Its various uses include tossing foes around, pulling off unique finishing moves, and grappling across chasms -- all of which mix up the otherwise predictable character-action proceedings. Devil May Cry has always rewarded pinpoint timing, and the Devil Bringer reconfirms that commitment with its brilliant "Instant Rev" mechanic that dishes out maximum damage by perfectly timing a button press during a combo. It's a seemingly insubstantial, purely optional gameplay addition that deepens combat immeasurably. Even though Nero lacks many of the skills that make Dante such a blast to control, he's far from boring.

Nero's new proclivities definitely tweak the formula, yet the fundamental DMC gameplay remains wonderfully intact. Few games boast such excellent controls -- you'll instantly find yourself pulling off impressive combos thanks to tight, responsive, and intuitive setup offered here. And you'll feel a real incentive to master combat, as the game constantly rewards stylish play with a branching tree of unlockable skills and attacks that expand your death-dealing repertoire.

While fans agree that DMC's addictive gameplay provides the primary draw, the series has a solid audiovisual legacy, as well. DMC4 looks predictably slick, with an excellent mix of hyperdetailed interiors, dense urban areas, and expansive natural environs. You'll spy a few glaring inconsistencies (the forest stage suffers from lighting problems and infrequent bouts of slowdown), but overall it's one of the most attractive current-gen efforts to date. The game's aural offerings aren't quite as compelling, though.... The same divisive industrial hard-rock nonsense (featuring torturous vocals by Shawn "Shootie HG" McPherson) that sullied DMC3 returns here, and the voice acting runs the gamut from lovably corny to embarrassingly melodramatic. Still, Dante's supremely charismatic actor deserves praise for making us love an increasingly insane devil hunter who repeatedly boasts about the prowess of his own genitalia (allegorically, of course).

Like its predecessors, DMC4 unfolds in a strictly linear fashion, with a diverse mix of combat, puzzle solving, and platforming in each of its 20 stages. Even though it's divided up into chunks, the game world stands as one interconnected, realistic realm packed with dense jungles, abandoned mines, and mammoth castles. But unlike the past games, this one takes an overly frugal approach to level design: Once you've battled through the holy empire as Nero, you get to trudge back through it all over again (including the bosses) as Dante. Sure, this crimson-clad badass controls like a dream -- his godlike strength, agility, and special attacks erupt with a fury that Nero simply can't match -- but having him merely retrace the other hero's steps feels like a missed opportunity. Also, while the initial appearance of a ponderous board-game challenge (in which Nero has to roll a die in order to move around a board riddled with potential enemy encounters) can be forgiven, the other four occurrences cannot. And just when it appears that no further corners could be cut, the game's penultimate stage parades the game's big bosses back out for an unprecedented third battle. Seriously, Capcom? They're good bosses, but not that good.

That said, you'll definitely want to play through DMC4 more than once. Burying fan-favorite Dante so deep in the game practically guarantees that you'll want to tackle the quest a second time on a tougher difficulty, if only to explore his incredibly over-the-top arsenal. Compared to the more defensive ebb and flow of Nero's gameplay, Dante's hyperkinetic tempo invites players to simultaneously experiment with a multitude of weapons and combat styles -- mastering how to switch up his attacks on the fly isn't easy, but the results are visceral and rewarding. New toys such as Lucifer (an evil backpack that lets Dante toss out an infinite number of glowing blades) and the unfathomably cool Pandora (a suitcase that transforms into everything from a spinning saw to a gyroscopic missile array depending on your controller input) bristle with creativity.

Although it dips into the recycling bin a bit too much, Devil May Cry 4 still remains a must-play title for action-adventure gamers. Its gorgeous trappings, addictive combat, and well-balanced difficulty make it the most satisfying DMC in years, and Dante's such a killer character that you'll actually want to tackle the game on a tougher difficulty in order to fully explore his amazing arsenal.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:08 AM Offline   #2 (permalink)



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is really a great game and it's cheaper now
 
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:54 AM Offline   #3 (permalink)



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Good game, I think it would be better if they had some other playable characters
 
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:26 AM Offline   #4 (permalink)



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thanks !!!!
 
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:41 PM Offline   #5 (permalink)



 
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I miss this game. It wasn't that great but nevertheless, it was entertaining.
 
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