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February 20, 2008
Devil May Cry 4
PS3 Review Page 1
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
7/2/2008ActivisionCapcomCapcom PS11None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Next-gen graphics, looking hot.
Capcom's Devil May Cry franchise has millions of loyal followers around the globe and has, in the first three titles, achieved well over 7 million units sold. This loyalty can be put down to a number of factors, but primarily due to the entire philosophy behind the game. This is a kick-ass, take no prisoners action title that really tests the skills of gamers. Indeed the difficulty level has been a selling point of the title with hardcore gamers being tested on all levels. The series has had its ups and downs though. The first game was a complete blast (reviewed here). The second (reviewed here) was a complete letdown while the third (reviewed here) was up there with the original. Devil May Cry 4 is the first game in the series to hit next-gen (or should we call them current-gen now?) systems including the Playstation 3. First unveiled at E3 2005 it has been a long wait, but one that has certainly paid off.

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The levels are littered with enemies!
Set in the costal city of Fortuna, the game’s action begins when Dante bursts in on a ceremony being conducted by the Order of the Sword, an ancient sect based in the coastal city of Fortuna, which worships Sparda the devil warrior who saved mankind. As Dante begins indiscriminately slaughtering sect members, including the leader of the Order, Nero fears for the safety of his childhood friend Kyrie and confronts Dante in order to protect her.

With players taking control of Nero, the immense power of the Devil Bringer begins to be revealed as a fierce confrontation against Dante ensues. After an intense struggle Dante decides to leave this particular fight for another day and makes good his escape. Chasing after him Nero is suddenly stopped in his tracks as mysterious portals begin appearing throughout Fortuna spewing forth ghastly demons. What is the reason for this demonic invasion, is Dante responsible?

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Gun vs Blade, which will win?
As a fan of previous games it was very disappointing to know that Dante wasn't to be the main character in this game. But after a few minutes you forget about that. Nero is just as cool, and just as capable when battling the demons, and Dante still plays a part in the game, so he is around. Split across 20 missions Devil May Cry has a fair amount of gameplay with most missions often exceeding 30 minutes completion time, but it could be well above that given the number of deaths you may be suffering through - especially on harder difficulties. After you've replayed the game through several more times to unlock all the content you could well be looking at several times that game time.

Nero brings with him a few tricks, including the Devil Bringer. The Devil Bringer is a demonically-enhanced arm which allows Nero to use energy to perform actions. This may include reaching objects at a distance, grabbing and dragging enemies towards him, using it to traverse large gaps, or even inflict severe damage upon enemies in a series of brutal moves. The Blue Rose is another of his weapons and is essentially a pistol. Of course it's not your typical 9mm Glock, but rather a weapon which can be charged up to take up the supernatural. The other weapon is of course the Red Rose which is his sword. Using what is dubbed the Exceed System this sword can be charged up to inflict massive amounts of damage. Charging the Red Rose takes a few moments however it does also leave you vulnerable to attack, so user beware.

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One of the first, massive, bosses.
In the missions where you do control Dante which, we figure, is about 25% of the game, he has many of the skills and weapons which he acquired in Devil May Cry 3. His twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory, are present as is his sword, Rebellion. Gameplay remains much the same as when you're controlling Nero so there were no worries in adapting, although some of the attacks are a little different.

Returning in Devil May Cry 4 are the various orbs which can be used to upgrade your abilities. Green orbs will replenish your health, red orbs can be used to purchase items, blue orbs increase your life bar, white orbs replenish magic while gold orbs will allow you to continue the game after dying. After you have completed the game you will be able to unlock new difficulty levels, the Bloody Palace which acts like a Survival mode, and even a Theatre so you can watch all the cut scenes. Needless to say these are all worthy additions to the title.

One of the coolest features of this game is its ability to connect online and compare your rankings and scores with other gamers from around the world. Sure, other games have done this in the past, but it's rare to see it in an action game such as this. Perhaps more interesting is that the game notifies you when friends achieve different levels and abilities in the game. Kudos to Capcom for their efforts in this regard.

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