Devil May Cry 4 PS3 / Xbox 360

Devil May Cry 4 PS3 / Xbox 360
Devil May Cry 4 is the first game in the series to appear on the next gen consoles, meaning that expectations are deservedly high. The game has helped to define stylish action titles since it first appeared on the PlayStation back in 2001, helping to pave the way for the likes of God Of War and Heavenly Sword. Anyone who’s played the other games in the series will suffer from a certain amount of déjà vu simply because there aren’t a whole lot of new ideas. What has been accomplished, however, is that everything looks much prettier than before and there has been an attempt to develop what was already there. The combat is a lot smoother, with a neat system of upgrades to help power through the later levels. The difficulty curve is actually a curve this time around, so players won’t get slapped around until much later on than in Devil May Cry 3. But when it comes down to it, there’s a lot of style over substance, something that could have been said about earlier sequels too. Still, sometimes style is more than enough. The plot is still as unnecessary as ever, with Dante, the series’ hero, being joined by Nero, a new holy warrior who turns out to be a lot more interesting than Dante ever was. His biggest asset is a possessed robotic arm ("the Devil Bringer”), which can yank in enemies from a distance and also be used to grasp floating items to swing around on. Dante becomes playable in the latter half of the game and is still only notable for his wicked gun and sword combos, although Nero is no slouch in that department either. The not inconsequential amount of demons to slaughter, along with sporadic boss battles, makes sure that the combat is still the main attraction. The overall look and sound of the game are very impressive and are the areas where it really does feel like an Xbox 360 game. The music is still the weak point, as the never-ending metal soundtrack grates after the first half-hour. Control isn’t too bad, although leaping around with Nero’s Devil Bringer can be frustrating due to the usual camera issues that rear their head from time to time. And when it comes right down to it, button mashing is still annoyingly successful, but there’s very little that can be done about that. While there aren’t too many surprises in Devil May Cry 4, it is still an enjoyable romp that delivers on the action front. It does fall a little flat with the repetition of some levels and the sheer lack of ambition in the game design but the unlockable extras help take the edge off. However, Capcom is definitely going to have to up the ante next time around. (Capcom)