Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action
Release Date: 02/05/08
Xbox 360 owners point to Devil May Cry 4 as a sign of a shift in the industry, with the title now hitting both the PS3 and Xbox 360 while previously it was a PS3-exclusive, hinting that it’s possible that other big-hitters like Metal Gear Solid 4 may also someday reach Microsoft’s console. PS3 owners seem quick to point out that the game is still hitting their platform of choice, and the recent multiplatform announcement doesn’t change the fact that they’re getting the highly-anticipated title. However, regardless of which side of the fence you reside on, Capcom’s E3 demo of Devil May Cry 4 makes it perfectly clear that you’re in for a thrill ride that’s sure to be a must-have title.
The game’s graphics are phenomenal, with intricately-detailed locales and characters infused with an abundance of personality. From the game’s protagonist, Nero, to the hordes of demonic goons he dispatches, every character features a unique and inspired design and fluid animation. Add to that some nice lighting and impressive effects added to every swipe of the sword or pull of the trigger, and you have one nice-looking game. And that’s not to mention the beautiful areas the demo had us fighting through – an old monastery with classical-style fountains, a creaky old dock, and a snowy arctic ruin, each impressive to look at and showcasing the level of detail possible in the HD era.
Fans of the series may notice that this time around, the controls seem a bit more streamlined, some may even say simplified. The four face buttons control Nero’s jump, sword attack, gunfire and a new weapon called a Devil Bringer, which is a kind of gauntlet with a kind of supernatural aura that can be used to either flail away at enemies or reach across the room and grab them. The shoulder buttons are used in conjunction with the primary attacks to modify them and give you some options for different techniques.
As before, you can hold the right trigger and pull back the stick to make your sword swipes fling enemies into the air. The button also allows you to switch up your Devil Bringer attacks, switching between throws and uppercuts on the fly. Furthermore, players can use trigger buttons to lock on with guns, roll to avoid attacks, and they’ll also get the ability to charge up their sword and gun, in some cases even while performing other actions (although it should be said that this requires a bit of dexterity and multitasking where the controls are involved).
Enemies Nero fights include zombie-like enemies with scythe-like arms and legs, and later he’ll battle a pair of bosses made of ice, flinging icy projectiles at you, drawing icy spikes out of the ground to impale you, and encasing themselves in ice to regain health. And me without a flamethrower. Sigh. As it happened, these two proved to be too difficult for me, and they quickly proceeded to cut short my play-though with terminal efficiency.
However, even after being schooled by a couple of glorified sno-cones, I’m still looking forward to the final release of this game, and fans of the series and genre (regardless of their platform of choice) will undoubtedly find Devil May Cry 4 to be well worth the wait.
The version playable on the floor was the PS3 version, so it's possible that the 360 version may not be quite as far along. However, there's little reason to doubt that Capcom will have both versions running in fine form in time for release.