Devil May Cry 4 – Review

Nero should probably get that arm looked at.

Devil May Cry 4 is a crazy action game. Developed and published by Capcom in 2008, DMC4 saw a change in the series, namely the protagonist. Everything else has apparently stayed the same however. The plot is utterly ridiculous and much of the plot is outlandish. There are two hours of cutscenes in the game that progress this crazy plot. But the gameplay itself is fun. It was a little much to handle early on, but after some time with the combat system, I’ve learned how to battle effectively, and more importantly, look good doing so.

The plot in Devil May Cry 4 is relatively easy to follow and not too complex, although at some point I began to lose interest and cared more about just getting to the action. I played as Nero, a young man who, at first, begins fighting for the Order of the Sword, a cult like religion, but later on develops new motives. Demons are the scourge in Devil May Cry 4and boy, there are plenty of them. As a character, Nero came off as whiney, or maybe more naïve than anything.

There were a few different weapons to choose from later on in DMC4, and a lot of combos to unlock.

Strangely enough, you also get to play as Dante, the previous protagonist from the Devil May Cry games. With this being my first DMC game, I had no previous relationship with Dante as a character so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. Dante turned out to be, like Nero, very cocky, but much surer of what he was doing, he sounded like he had a plan from the start. Both were very full of themselves, but when it came time to fight, they’re both supremely able to deal with the situation at hand.

I thought the combat was fun, and as it progressively got more complex, I progressively got better. Even as I replay the game now I am still noticing an improvement. The action centers around looking good as you defeat enemies. As I battled it out with the various demons and bosses, I built up my combo meter. By mixing up combos and weapons I was able to increase the combo meter and use these points to unlock new skills and abilities.

Both Dante and Nero have swords and guns at their disposal, but unique to Nero is the Devil Bringer. Nero’s right arm can extend to grab enemies, which creates quicker, more frantic combat; this ability also comes into play for platforming and puzzles.

Most of the bosses were much, much larger than either Nero or Dante. This one specifically was absolutely incredible.

For an action title, there is quite a lot of platforming and puzzles. My initial response to these breaks in the action was to keep them out and let the game be solely action, but thinking about it more, the puzzles added a nice break, something different, and the right amount of different. It’s not like there are tons of puzzles, just a few, and the platforming goes along with the level progression. This diversity makes Devil May Cry 4 a more rounded experience; there is however, sometimes too little action, namely in levels which you play as Dante.

You begin playing as Dante because something happens to Nero, and Dante backtracks through the levels that Nero went through. As a result there isn’t much to do, you’re just passing by. There could’ve been way more enemy encounters in these levels, as they stand, they’re filler. Also somewhat annoying, you fight the main bosses three times. I remember when Devil May Cry 4originally came out and everybody cried about that, and while by the third time I was burned out, I didn’t think it was too bad. I felt I did better against them with each encounter, much like I did with the rest of the game when replaying it.

DMC4 is no technical slouch. This game looks phenomenal, be it cutscenes or actual gameplay.

Having this character change is jarring though. Here I have spent a few hours learning Nero, figuring out techniques and combos that I like, and all of sudden I begin controlling a character who plays quite differently. The beginning levels and most of them for that matter, with Dante are a breeze and this gave me ample time to figure Dante out, having played previous Devil May Cry games probably would’ve assisted as well. But, the game throws you back into the shoes of Nero towards the end, and while this is again jarring, it doesn’t take long to get back into Nero.

Since Devil May Cry 4 isn’t too long, replaying it is a fair proposal. All the points, orbs and items that were earned previously stayed with me, giving me a large advantage starting over on a harder difficulty. The combat system progressively gets more complex and my skills and techniques have consistently gotten better.

While it may have been complicated at first, now that I know the combat system, it’s really fun. I look forward to enemy encounters and after each, I feel like I did a good job at managing attacks and crowds. I’ve also noticed that I’ve improved from earlier attempts; at the end of each level you are graded and with each new attempt, I usually fare better than before, of course I do have more tricks up my sleeve, but it’s still one of the best times I’ve had replaying a game.

While it’s not necessary, it’s usually good to think why we play video games and why we play the ones we do. In the case of Devil May Cry 4, it frees me from this, sometimes dull, reality and allows me to experience something I’ll never experience in this life. DMC4 has an unrealistic story and over-the-top action, but it’s an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed, and will continue to do so on multiple playthroughs.

DMC4 has a story that I started to care less about it, but it was exciting and fun to watch the cutscenes. The action in DMC4 was over-the-top, complex, and ultimately, fun; I feel like I’m consistently getting better at the game, and it continues getting fun. While I don’t know what I’m missing having never played another Devil May Cry game, I found Devil May Cry 4 to be an over-the-top and outlandish action game.

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