Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4
Devil May Cry 4
DMC4COVER.jpg
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Director(s) Hideaki Itsuno
Producer(s) Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Writer(s) Bingo Morihashi
Series Devil May Cry
Engine MT Framework v1.3
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, iOS
Release date(s) PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
  • JP January 31, 2008
  • NA February 5, 2008
  • AUS February 7, 2008
  • EU February 8, 2008
Microsoft Windows
  • NA July 8, 2008
  • AUS July 10, 2008
  • EU July 11, 2008
  • JP July 24, 2008
iOS
February 3, 2011
Genre(s) Action, hack and slash
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s)
Media/distribution Optical disc, download
System requirements

Devil May Cry 4 is an action game that was published and developed by Capcom in 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows platforms. The game is the fourth installment to the Devil May Cry series.

In the game, the player controls both Nero and Dante, the game's protagonist and the series' title character as they fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. The characters Lady and Trish from previous games in the series makes an appearance, along with new characters Nero, Kyrie, Credo, Gloria, and Agnus. The game is set after Devil May Cry but before Devil May Cry 2.

The game received generally favorable reviews, receiving an average 82% over three consoles from Metacritic (84% on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and 78% on the PC). GameSpy gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating that "DMC4 succeeds on many levels because it fuses fan service with entertaining gameplay", finding that "visually, DMC4 is a dynamo."

It spawned a handheld version, Devil May Cry 4: Refrain, that was released on iOS.

Contents

Gameplay

Gameplay in Devil May Cry 4 is similar to previous games in the series. The player must fight through levels called "missions", occasionally solving puzzles or gathering items. Performance in a mission is graded from D being the bottom grade through C, B, A, and S being the highest grade. Grades are based on items used, Red Orbs gathered, time taken, and the amount of Style Points accumulated. Each Style Point grade has its own tag-word. The stylish grade shows up on the side of the screen and starts at "Deadly"(D); progresses through "Carnage"(C), "Brutal"(B), and "Atomic"(A); then, progresses through one last bar of grade containing the phrases "Smokin'"(S), "Smokin' Style"(SS), and lastly "Smokin' Sick Style"(SSS). Stylish combat is the main focus of the game, which is conveyed through unbroken combos of varied attacks while avoiding damage. The player must avoid enemy attacks to continue performing combos, often by memorizing attack patterns.[2]

The Devil Trigger is a super state that enables the player to become more powerful adding a slow but steady health regeneration, with increased damage done. Devil Trigger can be activated by pressing the button to trigger it when the minimum amount on the gauge is filled.[2]

Dante performing one of his signature moves, the Stinger attack

Some changes introduced into Devil May Cry 4 are the presence of two playable characters, Dante and Nero, and a slight modification to the shop system. A new currency, Proud Souls, is used to buy new abilities while Red Orbs are used to buy items. Proud Souls are rewarded at the end of missions and the amount varies depending on how well the player performed. Cost of abilities also increase with the purchase of other abilities, though all abilities can be sold back for the original price.[2]

The player plays as Nero throughout most of the game. He starts and ends the game with his Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver, and the powers of his Devil Bringer (his demonic right arm). The Red Queen features an Exceed Gauge that can be charged up, allowing for subsequent attacks that are more powerful than regular slashes, until the gauge empties. The Exceed Gauge can also be filled by pressing the rev button at the peak of each slash. Nero also has the powers of his Devil Bringer, and can use it to pull himself towards enemies or vice-versa. The Devil Bringer may also be used for context-sensitive throw attacks, leading to high damage and various effects depending on the enemy. Nero's Devil Bringer also gains new abilities during the course of the game, such as being able to detect secret missions or caches of Red Orbs. Nero eventually gains the ability to use Devil Trigger after getting the katana known as Yamato, which increases his Devil Bringer's power, thus changing his Devil Bringer attacks into more powerful versions with different animations.[2]

The player plays as Dante through seven missions, taking over halfway through the game. His gameplay is similar to that of Devil May Cry 3, with him having access to multiple melee and ranged weapons which he gains after boss battles, and being able to cycle through them freely in combat, being no longer limited to equipping two weapons of each type as he was in the previous game. Dante also starts with his four styles (Trickster, Royal Guard, Sword Master, Gunslinger), each of which grants him different abilities, but he may now switch them at will with buttons or pads on the PlayStation 3 controller or the Xbox 360 controller, unlike in Devil May Cry 3. He also gains the Dark Slayer style near the end of his appearance, which only has one style level and can be accessed by pressing a style button twice. Styles do not level up through experience as in the previous game, but must instead be upgraded like other skills in the shop screen in between missions or at statues. Dante can also enter Devil Trigger; in his Devil Trigger he gains most of the benefits that Nero's Devil Trigger has, though, as he does not have the Devil Bringer, he gets animation and property changes on some of his normal attacks instead.[2]

Plot

Devil May Cry series fictional chronology

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
Devil May Cry
The Animated Series
Devil May Cry 4
Devil May Cry 2

Devil May Cry 4 opens with Nero, with his right arm in a sling, racing towards the Opera House where a ceremony celebrating Sparda is already underway. Nero lives on the island of Fortuna who worship the demon Sparda like a God. Arrving at the Opera House in barely enough time to see his romantic interest Kyrie perform for the ceremony, the high preist Sanctus begins a sermon which is interrupted by Dante who bursts from a skylight and assassinates Sanctus in front of the whole Opera House. Easily defeating the Holy Knight members who immediately attack him, Nero decides to challenge the unmatched Dante while Kyrie's brother and Captain of the Holy Knights, Credo, takes Kyrie to safety, promising to return with backup. Nero and Dante's fight is brutal as Dante taunts Nero, calling him "kid" until Nero taps into his own undiscovered demonic power which transforms his arm. Defeating Dante with his newfound power, he is shocked to see Dante immediately recover, impressed by Nero. Before leaving, he reveals that the Holy Knights members he killed were actually demons, and departs.

To investigate the confusing turn of events, Credo returns and gives Nero the task of stopping Dante and discovering his true intentions. However, the city suddenly finds itself under siege by a demonic attack, seemingly related to Dante's appearance. While Credo leads Kyrie and the townspeople to The Order of the Sword headquarters, Nero embarks on his quest through the destroyed city, to Foruna Castle where he meets Gloria, an Order of the Sword member who simply wishes him good luck. But as his journey deepens, Nero uncovers the secret lab of Order of the Sword Member Agnus, who has secretly been experimenting with demonic power by siphoning the intense demonic energy from the shards of Dante's brother Vergil's old sword Yamato. Imbuing normal items such as swords and suits of armor, Agnus has secretly created an army of demon infuse warriors and several Hell-Gates across Fortuna under the orders of Sanctus himself. But what's more, he has been imbuing Order of the Sword Members with the demonic energy turning them into demons, explaining the demons Dante had killed. Using this power he has ressurrected Sanctus who appears to be the mastermind of these events.

Shocked by the treachery of the Order, Nero fights Agnus but is mortally wounded by him, which fully unlocks his demonic power which mends the broken Yamato and sends it flying into his hand. Nero destroys the lab with his demonic power, and Agnus flees to inform Sanctus, who suggests using Kyrie against Nero in their next encounter while Gloria assumes Nero's old mission of finding Dante. Wrestling with the fact that he is not human, but in fact a devil as well, Nero continues onward to confront the Order. Fighting the creatures spawned from Agnus's Hell Gates, Nero eventually rejoins with Credo who he discovers to his dismay to be a part of the conspiracy as well and they battle. But their fight is interrupted by Agnus who brings Kyrie to see Nero's trasformation into a devil, which makes her lose her faith in Nero. Agnus then kidnaps Kyrie and departs. Credo, stunned by The Order's blatant use of his sister, is shaken in his belief and apologizes to Nero, promising to return once he has investigated Sanctus's true intentions.

Nero continues on his journey now to save Kyrie from Sanctus, and once more meets Dante. With his quest to capture him long since forgotten, he wishes to simply pass Dante. However, Dante wants Yamato, stating that it simply has too much power to be trusted with anyone. A fight ensues where Dante is victorious. However, he reveals that it was a test to make sure that he could trust Nero with Yamato for the time being. They trade names and form a steady alliance as Nero continues forward. Suddenly, Gloria appears before Dante as Nero leaves, and it is revealed that she is actually Dante's partner, Trish. Thus, it is revealed that Dante has had Trish snooping as Gloria for the entire game. She questions whether Dante should allow Nero to keep Yamato and Dante reassures her.Finally Nero finds Sanctus with an enormous statue, in Sparda's image, which he calls the Savior. Sanctus reveals that only Yamato and the sword Sparda, along with Sparda's blood can awaken the Savior and unleash hell. They battle and Sanctus uses Kyrie as a human shield to distract Nero and capture him. Suddenly Credo, having abandoned his faith, returns and attempts to rescue the two. Unfortunately Credo is defeated by Sanctus who using Yamato, subsequently stabs Nero. Revealing that Nero is a descendant of Sparda's blood, The Savior awakens and Nero is absorbed into it while Nero promising that he and Kyrie will get out of there together. Dante and Trish appear, unable to stop the proceedings, as they promise Credo in his final moments to save Kyrie and Nero.

Agnus under the city, opens the hell gate with Yamato, which releases countless demons upon the city. Using The Savior to defeat the oncoming demons, Sanctus enacts his ultimate plan by putting the city through hell and then acting as their "Savior" Sparda, in order to raise the people's faith and worship. Dante, making his way through Fortuna, succeeds in destroying all the hell gates and kills Agnus, sealing the final hell gate. Finally taking on The Savior, Dante takes Yamato and drives it through the Savior's chest, where Nero reclaims it inside. Facing Sanctus, Nero sees Sanctus's twisted interpretation of Sparda's will and defeats him, freeing Kyrie in the process. In the aftermath, Nero returns Sparda to Dante when The Savior awakens, having absorbed Sanctus. Destroying this final demon, Nero makes peace with his arm and sees Dante off.Having already returned Yamato, Nero attempts to give it back, but Dante, instead, entrusts Yamato with Nero saying that since Vergil's sword means so much to him, "That's the only kind of gift worth giving." Nero asks before Dante leaves if the two will ever meet again, and Dante only responds with a wave of his two fingers without turning around and leaves. Nero and Kyrie reconcile in the ruins of Fortuna. Stating that he is the most human person she has ever known, also that he is the one she wants to be with, despite his demonic heritage, they are about to kiss when they are interrupted by scarecrow demons. Nero readily goes to face them off.

Meanwhile, Lady returns to the Devil May Cry office where she had formerly hired Dante to go to Fortuna. Having completed the job, Lady offers a menial reward citing that Dante and Trish's presence escalated the simple job she had asked into the situation it became. As Trish and Lady argue over the reward money, they drag Dante into the argument while he reads a magazine. Unenthusiastically, Dante accepts the small reward as a phone call interrupts Lady exiting the shop. Trish answers and reveals that the caller is offering a job, which Dante happily accepts. As Dante suits up, Lady excitedly asks Dante if she can come along, to which Dante laughs and says, "Do what you want, but don't expect to get paid!" As the trio bursts through the door, Dante, Lady, and Trish all pose as Dante says, "Come on babes. Let's Rock!" and fires repeatedly at the screen.

Development and production

On September 6, 2006, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported that the past games' main character, Dante, will not be the protagonist in Devil May Cry 4. Instead, a new character named Nero, voiced and motion captured by Johnny Yong Bosch, will take the lead.[3] Nero resembles both Dante and his twin brother, Vergil, and is part of the Order of the Sword, a group of warriors who worship Sparda.[4]

Nero's attire consists of blue jeans, a long blue coat, and a red vest with a hood. He wields a revolver named Blue Rose, which has a distinctive under-and-over double barrel, and a decorated single-edged sword called the Red Queen. Nero views Dante as the antagonist, after witnessing the devil hunter first killing the Order's leader, Sanctus, and then murdering members of the Order.[5] Gameplay videos and screens reveal Dante to be an enemy boss in the game.[6]

Nero's right arm resembles a demon's arm, and glows supernaturally; it is also the source of his "Devil Bringer" power. Nero has his own "Devil Trigger" transformation, consisting of a demonic spirit hovering above him.[7] Capcom promotional videos revealed that the spirit mimics Nero's actions and that the Devil Bringer moves change depending on whether or not the Devil Trigger is active.[8]

Dante, the franchise's protagonist, is also playable, and has been updated with the core animations from his appearance in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, as well as that game's four basic fighting styles of Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger, and Swordmaster, which can be switched at will.[9] Game Informer reported that he was both an unlockable and playable character, playing an integral part of the game's storyline.[10] Capcom promotional videos revealed that, like Nero and the first Devil May Cry, the properties of his moves change if the Devil Trigger is activated.[11] Out of the 20 missions available, Dante is playable in seven of them. Returning weapons in his arsenal include the Rebellion sword, the Ebony and Ivory handguns, and the Coyote-A shotgun, but he will be able to acquire new Devil Arms after defeating enemy bosses.[12] During production, new gameplay options were implemented in order to "keep up with fresh action games"; among these is the Devil Bringer's ability to bring enemies towards the characters.[13]

Unlike Dante's progress in Devil May Cry 3, Nero was designed to become stronger by upgrading his Devil Bringer ability instead of receiving new weapons after defeating boss characters. During development, the production team noted several aspects of the game, including that Nero would be one of two main characters and that Dante was not going to be the only character from previous entries in the series to appear. Unlike Devil May Cry 3, the game's difficulty would be the same in both the Japanese and European versions as in the one released in North America.[14] The soundtrack for Devil May Cry 4 was composed by Tetsuya Shibata, Shusaku Uchiyama, Kento Hasegawa, Akihiko Narita, Kota Suzuki, Rei Kondo, Chamy Ishi, Masami Ueda and Shinichiro Sato.[15] The company presented the game's first demo at an event titled "Capcom's Gamer's Day", where Kobayashi highlighted several of the games features.[16] With the team focused in completing the game, a new demo was not produced in time for the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit.[14]

Next-generation elements

Itsuno said in the Famitsu article that the visuals attempt to deliver a satisfying feel of being in the air, and that the actions of Nero's Devil Bringer could not be done on contemporary generation consoles, but they could be done on the PlayStation 3;[3] however, the game has since been released on the Xbox 360, and a PC version was released in July, 2008. Gameplay visuals, shown at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, demonstrate this game mechanic. Kobayashi stated in a Game Informer interview that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would be identical, although he did not comment on the PC version.[10] In a Eurogamer interview, Kobayashi confirmed that the PC version "would be great, because the same team is working on both".[17]

Cross-platform move

On March 19, 2007, Capcom announced the game would not be a PlayStation 3 exclusive; it would also be released for the Xbox 360 and the PC. In a thread questioning the move on the official Capcom message board, the company's senior director of strategic planning and research, Christian Svensson, responded by saying that they were moved by people's strong feelings about the decision, but that it was the best decision for the company and consumers.[18] Kobayashi stated that Devil May Cry 4 will have no major graphical differences between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.[10] He also claimed that the contents will be identical, except that "the feel of the controller" may cause a slight difference.[17] The PlayStation 3 version requires the user to install 5GB of game data, taking 20 minutes, which shortens the length of the loading screens throughout the game. A slide show is shown during the installation process, which introduces characters from previous games in the series.[19]

Release

The first teaser trailer was shown at 2005, depicting Dante traveling through a snow-covered environment, and quickly performing some fast, stylish moves.[20] A more substantial trailer was released at that year's Tokyo Game Show, with a more rugged and older Dante in a city-like setting.[21] Both teasers show very little detail of the game itself. At the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, a more complete trailer debuted, along with a playable demo, featuring the character Nero.[22]

Images from the March 2007 issue of Famitsu show Dante as a playable character. A short trailer was released later, displaying the character in gameplay. While Nero is the game's main character, Dante is the supporting character, playable during the second half of the game until the final boss.[23] A trailer shown at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show revealed the return of Lady and Trish.[24]

A fourth trailer, released on December 17, 2007, revealed more gameplay and story detail, as well as information on new songs for the game, including a new version of "Lock and Load", Dante's theme music from the first Devil May Cry, with new lyrics written and performed by Shawn "Shootie HG" McPherson, the lyricist and lead vocalist on the soundtrack of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Released with the Japanese version of the game is Japanese rock band, L'Arc-en-Ciel, and their new single, "Drink It Down", which is used as the Japanese opening for the game.[3]

Collector's Edition

A collector's edition of the game was released at the same time as the regular version. The American version includes a DVD of four episodes of the English dub of the anime, while the European and Australian versions only include a signed artbook named "Art of the Devil".[25][26][27] It features a bonus disc containing the making of Devil May Cry 4, and an additional disc of the first four episodes of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series.[28] A very small number of Collector's Edition packages were signed by the game's producer, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, on the back of the metal tin on Dante's left shoulder. This number has been reported to be as low as only 100 signed copies of the Collector's Edition for each console, making for a total of 200 signed copies. Both versions were packaged in a Steel book case.[29]

PC version

GameSpot revealed that the PC version would have exclusive features, including more modes and visual customization. Turbo Mode is featured, giving the game a slightly faster speed, and a new difficulty called Legendary Dark Knight Mode is implemented. The PC version also has both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 mode. It is labeled Games for Windows and runs on both Windows XP and Vista.[30] (also works on Windows 7). It assumes a Gamepad is present and only uses the mouse in the menus, providing the same interface as the Xbox 360 version.

iOS version

It was revealed on January 11 that a version of Devil May Cry 4 titled Devil May Cry 4: Refrain was being released for iOS. It was released on February 3, 2011.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84%[31]
Metacritic 84% (X360)[32]
78% (PC)[33]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A− (X360)[34]
Edge 8/10[35]
Famitsu 35/40 (PS3)[36]
Game Informer 9/10[37]
GameSpot 8/10 (PC)[38]
GameSpy 4/5[39]
GameTrailers 8.6/10[40]
GameZone 9 of 10[41]
IGN 8.7/10 (PS3)[42]
8/10 (PC)[43]
Official Xbox Magazine 7.5/10

Upon its release Devil May Cry 4 sold well in Japan and the United States. On February 20, 2008, Capcom's president Haruhiro Tsujimoto announced in a press release that the game shipped two million copies in its first month, making it the fastest sequel in the series to reach this mark.[44] As of March 31, 2008, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions combined to sell 2.3 million copies, according to Capcom.[45] As of July 9, 2008, the PS3 version has sold 304,652 copies in Japan, according to Famitsu.[46][47]

The game received generally favorable reviews, receiving an 84% overall rating from Metacritic.[32] Xbox World Australia gave the game 90/100, saying "Devil May Cry 4 is everything a hack-and-slash should be and then some. Sadly it falters with repeated level design and a moderately troublesome camera; but in the grand scheme of things, these are only minor flaws."[48]

PSM3 gave the game a 80 out of 100. The magazine discussed the difficulty of the game, saying, "Most games these days tend to hold your hand all the way through...Devil May Cry is not like that. It'll throw a million demons at you because it wants to, put in half a dozen arbitrary fights in a 30-foot stretch of map, force you to survive for ages on a tiny sliver of health... and then give you a D at the end of the level because you weren't doing enough combos."[49]

1UP.com graded it A-, praising the gameplay and "predictably slick" looks, but criticized the "divisive industrial hard-rock nonsense.... that sullied DMC3 [and] returns here" and the game's "overly frugal approach to level design".[34] GameTrailers rated it an 8.6/10, and praised the voice acting while criticizing the corny dialogue.[40] IGN gave it a 8.7 saying, "Whether it's on the PS3 or the 360, action fans are going to get one incredible experience with this game, and if you own either system, you'll have a great time." However, the review also noted that, contrary to Kobayashi's claim, "Dante simply doesn't have nearly as many weapons as he did in DMC3" and found that "the amount of backtracking and repetition makes the game feel somewhat half-heartedly finished in the design department."[42] GameSpy gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating that "DMC4 succeeds on many levels because it fuses fan service with entertaining gameplay", finding that "visually, DMC4 is a dynamo." The review also praised Nero for "[bringing] something fresh to the franchise" and being "as diverse as DMC3 SE's Vergil";[not in citation given] however, they also claim that "it cheapens things a little to see that the team has opted to recycle assets in lieu of showing us more of this rich world" and call out the "annoying industrial-meets-butt-rock soundtrack".[39] Hyper's Dirk Watch commends the game for "looking great, combos galore and being more fun than Devil May Cry 3". However, he criticized it for "still playing like Devil May Cry 2 as well as choppy pacing and level design".[50]

See also

Devil May Cry

References

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