Devil May Cry 4

aka: DMC4
Moby ID: 32479
Xbox 360 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Devil May Cry 4 is the second sequel to the original Devil May Cry game.

This time the player gets cast as Nero, a member of the Order of the Sword who worships Sparda, in addition to playing as the previous games' protagonist, Dante. The game follows the story of Nero in which witnesses the assassination of the leader of the Order of the Sword, Sanctus, by no other than Dante. The murder causes chaos and Sanctus' deputy, Credo, orders Nero to go after Dante, who is heading for Fortuna Castle.

Nero is equipped with a sword (Red Queen), a revolver (Blue Rose), and powers from his Devil Bringer arm that works like Dante's Devil Trigger. They also give Nero special abilities: pulling and pushing enemies, slamming them on the ground and zooming across areas. Overall gameplay with Nero is still hack-and-slash but with fresh attack styles and techniques. Dante joins later in the game for some levels of his own. His gameplay stays mostly intact with the four attack styles: Trickster, Sword Master, Gunslinger, and Royal Guard.

The Windows version adds the Legendary Dark Knight mode with a large number of enemies on the screen along with the Turbo mode at a faster speed. The cut-scenes run at 120 frames per second while the console sequences are run at 30. Network ranking is however, not supported.

Spellings

  • デビル メイ クライ4 - Japanese spelling
  • 惡魔獵人4 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 데빌 메이 크라이 4 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

310 People (299 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 114 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 1 reviews)

More, less, more-or-less

The Good
There is an odd sense of kinship between the even-numbered Devil May Cry games. Neither 2 nor 4 are actually bad games, but as a result of rushed development and some bad design decisions, they both end up very disappointing in comparison to their immediate predecessors. They also actually share some gameplay elements and visual themes.

The main thing that keeps DMC 4 together and makes it work is its core combat gameplay. Despite some problems I'll talk about later, Nero's combos and special moves do flow great together. Accurately executing an entire sequence of attacks against an enemy is genuinely satisfying.

The game's visual design can be its strong point as well. While it does borrow a lot from its predecessors - with locations bearing strong similarities to 1's Gothic castle and 2's vaguely Mediterranean coastal region among others - it's still varied and interesting. Between the white-and-gold Neoclassical buildings, icy mountains, lush green forests taking over ancient ruins, and dark underground labs, the colour palette does its best to make the player experience more exciting.

The Bad
One of the biggest and most obvious problems with Devil May Cry 4 is its division into the main portion where you play as Nero and the seven-mission Dante segment squeezed into the second half. The two parts completely lack balance, as the latter is clearly rushed and unfinished, with no unique goals or mechanics, no new locations or enemies, and a general lack of polish. To make the contrast even larger, Nero's missions tend to overstay their welcome, trying to cover too much of the large, convoluted locations at one time. Sometimes more is less - but less is less, too.

There's a slightly similar problem with the game's arsenal. Between 4 base combos, many special moves, the Devil Bringer, a chargeable gun, and "Exceed" mode for his sword, Nero has a much larger combination of attacks available at the same time than any character at any point in the first 3 games. However, because he cannot switch weapons and the Devil Bringer upgrades mostly apply to story progression and platforming rather than combat, this abundance actually feels more limiting than switching between wildly different playstyles in DMC 1 and 3. Again, more is less.

Dante's weaponry is disappointing as well. Playing as him, you can choose between the basic sword Rebellion (because I guess Alastor was too good for this game), yet another Ifrit clone (which at least looks even cooler than Ifrit and Beowulf), and a hybrid melee/ranged weapon probably meant to compensate for the absurdly underpowered guns. It's a very uninspired set that clearly shows the developers didn't have the time to properly think over Dante's portion of the game.

When it comes to its camera system, DMC 4 goes even farther than its predecessor, making the camera mostly controllable by the player. It means the carefully planned angles from the first two games are almost completely gone, while you have yet another thing to worry about during intense combat (as if the very out-of-the-way Exceed trigger and slowly charging gunshots weren't enough). The occasional fixed camera angles, which worked very well when they were the norm, are now disruptions that can mess up the gameplay flow on several occasions.

Another problem with the game is its portrayal of female characters. After Dante's Awakening made pretty good progress by introducing the strong, confident tomboy Lady, 4 regresses to blatant sexualization of both Lady and the newly designed Gloria through a combination of skimpy outfits (which, to be fair, were already a thing in the first two games) and absurdly in-your-face camera angles during cutscenes. The only female character who's not clearly sexualized, Kyrie, is a painfully generic damsel in distress who completely lacks personality and whose dialogue revolves almost exclusively around the male protagonist Nero.

An interesting similarity between DMC 2 and 4 is the simple fact of player attacks pushing the enemies relatively farther than in 1 and 3. In both cases it serves to facilitate the game's main gimmick - as 2 is designed around rolling which allows you to both dodge and close gaps, so 4 expects you to snatch enemies from far away with the Devil Bringer. Though it's absolutely not a bad mechanic in itself, it feels a lot like web-slinging in a Spider-Man game, while 2's solution is much more in tune with DMC's overall theme of high player mobility.

The Bottom Line
Offering more and at the same time less gameplay variety than 3, often looking and feeling more-or-less like a combination of 1 and 2, Devil May Cry 4 is an unfinished game whose decisive advantage is the great flow of its base combat. The weakest entry in the series at the time of its release, it's still definitely not an actual bad game. 6/10

[based on the Nero/Dante campaign in Special Edition]

Windows · by Pegarange (296) · 2023

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Devil May Cry 4 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

PC version

According to the game's director Hideaki Itsuno, the Windows version is not a regular port of the console title. Instead, both versions were developed simultaneously, but the Windows game required more testing due to the wide variety of hardware. Taking this into consideration, the console versions were prioritized and released earlier than the Windows version.

Sales

According to publisher Capcom, Devil May Cry 4 has sold 3 million copies worldwide since its initial release (as of June 30, 2016).

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Solid Flamingo.

Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Paulus18950, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, Zhuzha.

Game added February 4, 2008. Last modified May 16, 2024.