Angels won't laugh
There have been 3 previous Devil May Cry games, the first being one of the greatest action games of all time, the second being one of the most disappointing sequels of all time, and the third being one of the hardest action games of all time. Everybody gasps when I tell them I have never played one before, and all look at me in horror. Well, after hearing almost nothing but good things about the fourth in the series, I decided to give it a try. Is it a disappointment like the second one was, or does it join the first and the third? I seriously have no idea. All I know is that Devil May Cry 4 is amazing, and is the best game to be released this year.
This is the definition of a polished game. The studio has poured their souls into this game, and it really shows. The game on the easiest difficulty will take you 8 - 10 hours, but there are 6 difficulties to go through, and you keep all your skills as you progress. There are a ton of secret missions that will take your unbroken attention and skill. Once you complete the game, you unlock some new art in the art gallery, and the history of DMC. The extras are plenty, but aren't to the extent of a limited edition. After each mission, you get graded on your time, your style, and your attention to detail. There are leaderboards worldwide, and gives you more ambition to play. On top of that, the game is just flat out fun, and you'll want to play it through over and over again. The framerate never drops from a solid 60 the whole game,which is a real treat. Ps3 owners hardly ever get that, and it's really appreciated when it does happen. There are no glitches to be found in the game, minus a few instances of clipping. There's a lot of stuff in this game, and it is worth the price of admission.
I'm not the only newcomer to the series, so it's really great that while continuing the story of the series, DMC 4 is easy to follow as a seperate game on its own.
The story revolves around the coastal town of Fortuna, a town inhabited by followers of Dante's father, Sparda. A gathering is right away amushed by Dante, who assassinates the leader of the Order. Nero confronts Dante, and the two get into a battle, that Nero obviously loses from the start. The Order sends Nero out on a quest to capture Dante, and bring him to justice. Along the way, Nero battles demons, meets some intriguing characters, who aren't as they seem, and his girlfriend gets kidnapped. Nero's thoughts on who to trust, and who not to trust are shaken throughout the game, making for some very thought provoking moments that are unforgettable.
The only way that the story is told is through cutscenes. These are very frequent, and are a real treat. Every cutscene is choreographed greatly, and there is some very witty dialogue. Both Nero and Dante are against authority, and they show it through their heavy sarcasm, and ability to take harsh situations lightly. They love to insult each other, as well as the demons around them, making you absolutely love every single line thrown out by these guys. I don't know if this is in the other games of the series, but it is rampant in Devil May Cry 4.
What gets me, though, is although the cutscenes look great, they could easily been incorporated into gameplay. I'm not saying they had to be in game fights, but some kind of quick time event needed to happen. It unfortunately didn't but I can get over it. Maybe I'd cramp the game's style.
The story's characters are all very well developed, and you fall in love with them. Every character has their own tone and feel, and it just makes the game feel so organic. Every person in the game is well explained, and everything just feels right when you are watching the story unfold.
This is a stunning game. The facial animations are fantastic, as well as full body animations, both in game, and in cutscenes. Every texture is well realized, the water effects are good, and everything runs at a brisk 60 frames. This is a game to look at if you want to show off your system to a friend. The artistic style is great, the demons are all very unique, and the environments are all very good. The only real issue is the shadows. for 270 degrees, every shadow looks sharp and fantastic. For the other 90 degrees, every shadow is very pixelated. This wouldn't be such an issue, if one sixth of the game wasn't spent in the jungle. After playing something like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, I can't really look past this with ease. Another issue with the shadows, is that at one part of the game, a puzzle requires you to go in the opposite direction of your shadow, forcing you to look at the hideousness. This probably won't bother many, but I really won't forget it. Other than that, the game is a real feast for the eyes.
The environments you'll see include the town, dark mines, evil labs, lush jungle, and "hell"? Each one is different from the other and it keeps things fresh.
The soundtrack is full of these really cool electric metal songs. It's really unique, and makes you feel like such a stud when you're in battle. Not one song (minus the end credits) is bad, and actually, every song is worth getting on your mp3. The dialogue is very clever and funny, and is also very well delivered. The only questionable voice is the one for Agnus, but that's probably because I hate his guts. The sound is very unique, and is just as uber stylized as the cutscenes.
I know I've been complimenting this game on the other four categories, but the game play is what makes me love this game. The game is damn near perfect when it comes to this. You play as Nero, and as Dante, but I'll get to playing as Nero first.
Nero has a lack of weapons in his arsenal,but he still brings it. He has a sword, a pistol with unlimited ammo, and a possessed right arm, which he uses to grab enemies, toss them around, and rip them to shreds. You'll come up with a lot of creative combos. My favorite while playing with Nero was tossing enemies up in the air with my sword, jumping up to them, hitting them to the ground, grabbing them up to me with my arm(devil bringer), and tossing them to the ground again using my devil bringer. Of course, the variety of enemies causes you to come up with new combos that you'll need to use.
As Dante, who you get to play as halfway through the game, everything is changed. You no longer have the devil bringer, but you do have some really cool stuff. You have 4 different styles to use. There's trickster, which allows you to dodge attacks faster than normal, Royalgarde, which lets you block almost anything, Swordmaster, and Gunslinger. Everybody has their favorite style, as mine was trickster. However, you'll need to change your style frequently to adjust to the enemies. Dante has his large sword, Rebellion, his twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory, Coyote, his shotgun, and the coolest thing in the history of the world. But I won't spoil that.
Dante also has 3 different weapons. Rebellion, of course, but he also has 2 others that are very helpful for certain situations. Switching weapons is made possible on the fly, due to the L2 and R2 buttons. Due to the sensitivity of the buttons, this is a breeze to pull off, and it becomes essential.
What's really cool about DMC 4 is the lack of realism, while maintaining the fun. When you shoot at an enemy in the air, they will remain in the air as long as you continue to shoot. Same goes for you, if you are in the air, and you shoot, you will stay in the air. It adds to the uniqueness of the game, and again, its something that's really appreciated. Some people may not like it, but I certainly loved it.
You can pull the right trigger to lock on to enemies, and the game's controls are very responsive, keeping everything dynamic. Locking on is essential for combat, and you'll use it frequently.
There are a ton of combos you can purchase throughout the game, and you can refund them for other ones, if they don't work out. I've played for just over 15 hours, and I've barely scratched the surface. You can upgrade everything you have, and it's incentive to get you to be stylish in your play.
There are a few puzzles, but they are just lumps in the gameplay dominated by the swordswinging, and gun shooting.
There is never a dull fight in DMC 4. Due to the number of combos available, every single fight will be interesting and fun. The boss fights are proof of this. There are about 6 bosses throughout the game, and you fight each on at least twice. However, they never get old. It sound repetitive, but it just isn't, because of how much fun it is and the style that each fight brings.
The combat is just flat out fun. It is the best aspect of the game. The animations are all fluent, and each enemy has a way of being taken down. The fun is figuring that out, then executing on your plan. The combos that you can pull off, will sometimes have your jaw hit the floor, because it was just so cool and satisfying.
The latter difficulties are actually very hard. The last one, actually being on par with Ninja Gaiden in terms of difficulty. Meaning, when you complete the game, you feel like you have accomplished something. You really need to think about what you are doing.
The only real issue about the gameplay is the camera. It can be at the worst of places at times, taking you out of the action for a second while you adjust it. The other issue about that, is when you go into a room, the fixed camera changes, and sometimes you'll be running in the opposite direction. This sometimes has you running into a room, then running out just as fast. It gets annoying, but you'll get the hang of it.
Even though I've never played any other Devil May Cry games, I absolutely love Devil May Cry 4. The game is polished to a shine, it's very pretty and unique to look at, the gameplay is fast and furious, the story is fantastic and classy, and there are a ton of extras enough to bring you back for 3 or 4 outings. If you are a fan of fun games, look no further than Devil May Cry 4. It is one of the best action games I've ever played, and it belongs in your console. Everything about this game, will have you feeling like a total stud while playing.