by Chris Scott, reviewed on
The River Runs Red
A few things have become synonymous with the Devil May Cry series. One is high-octane fast paced gameplay, another is over-the-top boss battles, and the most important is the red trench coat wearing, smart assed hero of the series, Dante. The newest iteration of the series has all these things and more. Although some fans may be disappointed in the role Dante plays in Devil May Cry 4.
For those that have been keeping track of the whole convoluted storyline, Devil May Cry 4 takes place between the original Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2. The game starts off with a bang as Dante busts through the roof of the Opera House and kills the high priest of the Order of the Sword. Nero takes it upon himself to take on Dante, generating some of the most breathtaking visuals ever put forth in a video game.
Dante makes an exit and Nero is tasked with bringing him back to the Order to answer for his crimes. But things are not as they seem and Nero is being played, by all parties. He slowly comes to the realization that maybe not everything is right with The Order of the Sword. Mysterious experiments, gates to hell, ascension of gods, giant frogs and glowing lesbians are all part of the story that unravels in this game. It’s a decent tale that is told well but some longtime fans may be left questioning if this should be a true Devil May Cry game or just a side story bearing the series name.
New Kid on the Block
Fans have grown to love Dante and he has become somewhat of a cultural icon of gaming, so it was quite a surprise to find that he takes a back seat in Devil May Cry 4. Instead we’re introduced to a new trench coat wearing smart assed hero, Nero, who upon first glance might be mistaken for a slightly younger version of Dante with a black coat. Nero looks like Dante in more ways than one: He carries a big sword and is deadly with a gun like Dante, and they have very similar mannerisms. The only differences that make Nero stand apart from Dante are the fact that he has a demon arm and that he whines a lot. Unlike the Devil Bringer, the whining is not a solid edition and while some may like the new kid, I found myself despising him any time he opened his mouth.
Bringing on the Hurt
The Devil Bringer adds a new dynamic and a few new gameplay mechanics to the series which were much needed. Nero can use the Devil Bringer to perform the Buster; the move picks enemies up in the air and slams them down, inflicting a good deal of damage and temporarily stunning them. The Devil Bringer can also be used to Snatch enemies, dragging them into closer range for either a sword combo or a Buster. The Snatch skill is not just limited to grasping enemies though; you can also grab hard to reach orbs as well as latch on to specially marked grip points to make your way to areas that are out of reach. There are a few platforming sections that will require you to use the Snatch skill to be able to progress. In the end the Devil Bringer is used to great effect to give Nero his own identity.
Dante, for the short time you will use him, handles much like he did in Devil May Cry 3. By pressing a direction on the D-pad you select a certain fighting style, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You will be able to upgrade both characters by collecting Proud Orbs which are obtained by completing levels and earning high grades in completion time, style points and orbs found. To unlock all the special moves and abilities you will want to play levels over and over again to obtain orbs.
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