Life can sure be hard when your arm is infected by satanic powers. Sure, you’ll gain the ability to use it as a grappling arm, and be able to make it really big to punch large foes, but it can be a real put off to the ladies.
Thus is the story of Nero, A trench coat clad, white haired lad that has a blue demonic arm (affectionately called the “Devil Bringer”). Nero leads the story of Devil May Cry 4. Fan’s of the series will notice that there has been a change up. Normally players assume the role of Dante, a similar trench coat clad white haired lad, that also has ties to demonic power. Early on in the game (shortly after Nero runs to church, kicking creatures with swords for legs on the way), you’ll find that Dante isn’t missing from this installment. He makes his grand entrance by attacking the church leader, just as Nero makes his way in. With a new found rival, and a dead clergyman, the events of Devil May Cry 4 are set into motion.
The average player could play the game by furiously mashing the attack buttons, but the real fun of the combat comes by generating combos. It’s satisfying to launch your opponent into the air with your sword, juggle him mid-air with bullets, jump up in the air to join him with aerial sword attacks, and finish him off by using your demon arm to throw him to the ground. There are weapon and skill upgrades throughout the game, but if you don’t want to get into all of that you can set it to automatically upgrade you.
The first half of the game was very enjoyable. The enemies are fun to fight, and try combos on. The bosses are larger than life, and present interesting challenges. The problem is that once you make your way to the final area, something happens to Nero and you begin playing as Dante. While it’s interesting to see how the two differ in playstyles, what’s not as interesting is the environments you’ll find yourself traversing. Dante’s missions are basically everything Nero just did, but backwards. You go in reverse order through the same levels, fighting the same foes and bosses. Once this is done, you get back to controlling Nero. The next mission is fighting the bosses a third time, working your way up to the the final boss. Sure they’re much easier to take down at this point, but I really think Capcom could have expanded the variety a bit more. Despite repeating content, what’s available is fun.
The production value of the game makes it feel like a summer action movie, with epic battles, a love story, and fairly good acting. The orchestrated music can really complement serious scenes, and when you’re locked in the heat of combat the music will reflect that situation with an offering of rock. The voice acting in the gorgeous cutscenes is equally good. Seeing the graphics that the game pulls off makes me extremely excited to see what future Capcom games will look like (Resident Evil 5, I’m talking about you).
Overall I’m pretty satisfied with what Devil May Cry 4 offers. Besides some backtracking complaints, I can’t really think of many other issues I had with the game. Having never played a Devil May Cry game before, I didn’t feel overwhelmed due to lack of knowledge of the universe. I played it on Human (Easy) mode, but I plan to replay it on a Harder difficulty to see what’s different. If you’re a fan of the series, or a newcomer, I really recommend checking this game out.