The forth game in the Devil May Cry franchise developed by Capcom, and stars reoccuring protagonist Dante and new comer Nero. It continues the previous games' theme of demon killing that allows you to defy physics and deflect bullets with other bullets
There is something very theraputic about playing an over-the-top demon killing game, after all who has a problem with slaughtering demons in their hundreds??
No one, that's who.
So unlike games where you are essentially killing human after human the Devil May Cry games give you the freedom to perform gravity-defying stunts whilst slicing enemies apart with a massive sword - is all this as fun as it sounds??
This is, quite obviously, the fourth game in the Devil May Cry series, but it is the first out on the PS3 and XBox 360. Now I haven’t personally played the other games but I brought the first one for a friend of my skin sack and as I used to hang out at his house I have seen the previous games being played. It is a hack-and-slasher type affair. The previous installments had a half-demon protagonist named Dante who carries an enormous sword, and chops his way through various legions of demons on his quest to…I dunno, rid the world of demons I guess.
Unlike previous Devil May Cry instalments, this game follows newbie Nero, a cocky young chap, with a bizarre blue and red arm which may or may not mean he is a demon. The game kicks off with a familiar, but unknown swaggering antagonist, well unknown to anyone new to the franchise but obviously Dante to everyone who is. This time around Dante is an assassin who kills a holy man during a church service and vanishes with the young and arrogant Nero on his tail. Graphically, the game looks and flows very well, the characters are upgradable, and abilities from previous play throughs are available on different difficulty levels. However, the price of upgrades increases with every purchase so you are going to have to play the game on multiple difficulty levels multiple times to get all the upgrades.
As I said before, Dante is not the main character for most of this game, you play as Nero, however Dante does crop up several times during the course of the levels, plus you play as him for a large chunk of the latter part of the game. The plot is not exactly one that will challenge even the slowest gamer’s brain capacity as it involves demons, the end of the world, etcetera, etcetera. The plot is a little thin, Nero tracks the holy man's murderer only to uncover sinister goings on within his own supposedly holy Order. That’s pretty much it, but then who buys this game for a complex or intriguing plot?
As you progress enemies pop-up left, right and centre giving you ample opportunities to rain utter carnage down upon them, and as they are demons, you can slaughter them as you see fit without anything like a conscious getting in the way. Indeed, the more you kill, with as much finesse as possible, the more your style rank will increase reaping you much greater rewards at the end of the level.
So the game is mostly fun but there are a lot of pretty major drawbacks.
This game does seem to just be more of the same, running around killing demons, solving simple puzzles and powering up your character. There are also several secret mini-games which are incredibly difficult to beat which is more than a little frustrating. The first half of the game is spent tracking Dante back to Nero’s religious order’s headquarters fighting various bosses along the way, and the second half of the game you play as Dante who basically travels back the way Nero has come fighting the same bosses only actually killing them this time. Several of the mini games are repeated over and over too. There is a real sense of laziness draped over the second two thirds of the game with the same locations revisited time and time again. Dante plays pretty much the same as Nero so game play is not affected by which character you are playing as.
So…you play as Nero, fight demons and bosses, then change to Dante, fight demons and the same bosses, kill them this time, then change back to Nero so that you can fight yet more demons as well as the same three bosses yet again. Do you see how this would become tedious pretty quickly?? To make matters worse the game is very short so if you are trying to fully upgrade your characters you’ll be playing the same levels over and over again. But possibly even more irritating is the game’s habit of being fascinated with style so whilst it gives you health and magic crystals and even a crystal that can bring your character back from the dead, the game will give you a poor rating at the end of the level if you actually use any of them. Which personally makes me reluctant to use any of these items. I mean why bother to give players healing and magic crystals if the game looks down it's nose at you for actually using them? I have restarted levels and boss fights after being killed because I don’t want to use health items that will result in a poor level rating.
On the whole, the game is fun to play with Dante’s cut-scenes providing welcome patches of amusement as he taunts various foes, and even engages in a rhyming montage with one boss whilst Nero is a bit of a misery who just works to save the day and his love interest.
What is my final rating then?
The game play is fun, the fighting style is over the top, but the repetition is irritating and generally not much care has been taken to make the later two thirds of the game unique or different so on the whole my Thumb will have to remain Horizontal.
5/10 - Nero is too serious, thankfully Dante is fun but the repitition makes this game a fun but very repetative experience.