When it comes down to fast-paced action, Devil May Cry is arguably the pioneer of the sub-genre, and shares pinnacle status with the likes of Sony's God of War and Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden franchise. Devil May Cry has quickly risen to all-stardom, despite a shortcoming with the sequel. Devil May Cry 3, and especially its special edition re-release, is widely regarded as one of the finest action games of the past generation. Well, now we're in an all new generation, and having endured a grueling three year wait for the fourth Devil May Cry, it relieves me to say that it's finally here – a mere 10 days away from release.
We've played Devil May Cry 4 in the past, and back when the game wasn't complete, we just knew that it would end up being spectacular. Fast forward to today, and all of the pieces have fallen into place, as everything about Devil May Cry 4 is, indeed, as we had predicted: spectacular. First, there are the controls. I kid you not, but my immediate first thought when beginning the game was "Oh my God, the controls are so tight." Now, don't ask me why I was so surprised, because much of that precision can be found in the PlayStation 2's DMC3.
It was most likely the shock of finally playing a game that's been on the minds of many gamers all around the world for nearly three years now. Still, the point stands, the controls are extremely well done, as you'd expect, and the use of Nero's Devil Bringer is just awesome. Nero, if you recall, is the game's main protagonist. But don't worry, because this is nothing like the Raiden & Solid Snake switcheroo from Metal Gear Solid 2; Nero is just as badass, moves, and even looks like Dante.
Again, the difference between Nero and Dante is that Nero doesn't dual wield guns, he can use one gun (the Blue Rose, a double shot revolver), and the other hand is the Devil Bringer, a fully functional third attack. The Devil Bringer is primarily a melee attack, but does have longer-range capabilities such as grabbing an enemy and pulling him towards you (think Scorpion of Mortal Kombat). This adds quite a lot to the gameplay and how you engage your enemies, as it'll allow for more combos and chains, in addition to grapples and throws.
One of my favorite moves with the Devil Bringer is the ability to grab an enemy, swing him around, and hurl him away. What's also neat about the throwing is that you can damage other enemies with it if you hurl the demon at them. Additionally, the Devil Bringer can be used as a grappling hook of sorts that can extend out to certain targets and carry Nero across to them.
The Devil Bringer is a core component of the game and will also become very useful during boss fights, as it'll grant Nero height leverage and allow him to attack the more towering and gigantic bosses with ease. It even possesses the power to slam a boss around when it's weak, similar to Kratos in God of War. Though, don't get the wrong idea, because ultimately, the sword (Red Queen) will still be the primary weapon of choice when you need to slay the demons of hell. It's just that now you've got an extra component to make doing all of that much more fun.
Furthermore, if Dante really does mean that much to you, you do get to control him a number of times throughout the game, without having to unlock him or anything like that. So Dante is not a secret character in DMC4. And while we haven't been able to confirm this just yet, it is possible that there are, indeed, secret characters in the game – much like in the past – but it's just some talk we've heard.
Devil May Cry 4 plays exceptionally well. It may not be revolutionary, but it sure won't leave you bored. Everything about the game is just so meticulously well crafted, from the fighting, to the controls, down to even the visuals. On that note, it's no secret that the visuals in the past DMC games weren't always drop-dead gorgeous. Regardless, they were pleasing to look at, and the amazing animation and glorious 60 frames per second sure did help.
Well, the character animation has been reworked for DMC4, and the flawless framerate remains. But this time, clearly, we get superb textures, amazing lighting, and a ridiculously clean picture that is free of aliasing defects, all wrapped into one polished HD image. Make no mistakes about it, Devil May Cry 4 looks absolutely stunning with its blend of solid lighting and gothic details, as well as explosive special effects. The scenery is nothing short of stunning, and the fact that there isn't a single jagged edge to be found makes my eyes water from joy. Aside from a sloppy texture here and there, this is some of the best eye-candy available on any console.
We hope you've got your pre-orders ready, because Devil May Cry 4 may already be one of the first contenders for Game of the Year.