Devil May Cry 4Devil May Cry 4 is an action-adventure hack and slash video game that was published and developed by Capcom in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms. The game is the fourth installment to the Devil May Cry series. It later on generated a handheld version released on iOS, titled Devil May Cry 4: Refrain. Unlike the previous title, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, this game is a sequel to the first two Devil May Cry games.
The story follows Nero, a teenager posssessing demonic powers who is on a mission to stop the series' main character, Dante, after he assassinates demons from the The Order of the Sword including its leader. During the game, the player controls both Nero and Dante as they fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. Devil May Cry 4 was the first entry in the series to release for multiple consoles at the same time; during its development, Capcom focused on all versions achieving the same visual quality.
Critical reception to Devil May Cry 4 has been positive with praise aimed towards its challenging difficulty and the characters' special moves. However, it has been criticized for its backtracking and a troublesome camera. The game has sold 2.7 million units worldwide, becoming the series' best-selling title. It has also been adapted into a two-volume light novel by its original writer, Bingo Morihashi.
Devil May Cry 4 PlotNero is a young man who works as a demon hunter for the The Order of the Sword that worships the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda as a god. When he goes to the Opera House to see his romantic interest Kyrie perform for The Order of the Sword's ceremony, the Order's high priest Sanctus is murdered by Dante, the son of Sparda who appears suddenly after crashing through a skylight. The Order's Holy Knights, led by Kyrie's older brother Credo, try to subdue Dante but he defeats them easily. Promising to return with help, Credo takes Kyrie to safety and leaves Nero to stall Dante. Tapping into his dormant demonic power, Nero overwhelms Dante. Impressed, Dante, before leaving, reveals that the Holy Knights members he killed were actually demons. Credo gives Nero the task of stopping Dante in Fortuna Castle.
In the castle, Nero discovers that Order of the Sword's Agnus has secretly been experimenting with demonic power using the demonic energy from Yamato, the long lost sword that used to belong to Dante's brother, Vergil. Agnus has created an army of demon infused warriors and several Hell Gates across Fortuna under the orders of Sanctus himself who has revived as a demon. Nero fights Agnus fully unlocking his own dormant demonic power thanks to Yamato. Agnus flees to Headquarters Nero follows him as he tries to piece together The Order's plan involving the Hell Gates. He discovers that Credo is part of the conspiracy, having similarly become a demon. Credo has been tasked by Sanctus to stop Nero, while Gloria has taken up Nero's job of hunting Dante. However, Credo stops his mission when Agnus uses Kyrie as a bait to capture Nero.
Nero decides to save Kyrie from Sanctus, but encounters Dante who tests him in fight to see if he is worthy of Yamato. Dante wins this time but lets Nero retain Yamato. Nero finds Sanctus in the Headquarters with an enormous statue, which Sanctus calls "The Savior." Sanctus reveals that only Yamato and the Legendary Sparda Sword, along with Sparda's blood can awaken the Savior. Having already received the Sparda Sword from Gloria Sanctus proceeds to absorb Nero who has Sparda's blood. Using Kyrie as a human shield to distract Nero, he succeeds in capturing him. Credo attempts to rescue Nero and Kyrie but is mortally wounded by Sanctus. Dante and his partner Trish, revealed to be Gloria, appear, unable to stop the proceedings, and promise Credo in his final moments to save Kyrie and Nero.
Underneath the city, Agnus opens the true Hell Gate with Yamato, which releases countless demons. Using The Savior to defeat the oncoming demons, Sanctus plans to strengthen the people's worship by acting as their saviour. Dante succeeds in destroying all of the false gates Agnus created, and kills him. After reclaiming Yamato, Dante engages Sanctus. Dante takes Yamato and drives it through the Savior's chest, freeing Nero who reclaims it inside The Savior. He races to the Savior's Heart where Sanctus awaits, with Kyrie as his prisoner. Facing Sanctus, Nero saves Kyrie and both escape the confines of The Savior. The Savior reawakens, having absorbed Sanctus's soul. Destroying this final demon, Nero finally makes peace with his demonic heritage after acknowledging the power it has given him to save those he cares about. Dante entrusts him with Yamato before departing. Nero and Kyrie then reconcile in the ruins of Fortuna.
In the post credits scene, Lady makes a stop at the Devil May Cry office. She had hired Dante and Trish to investigate The Order's intentions but gives them a small reward for giving them Sparda to the Order in an attempt get to close to them. The three stop arguing after receiving a call involving a new job.
Devil May Cry 4 GameplayGameplay 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, S, SS, and SSS 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. 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.
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.
The player plays as Nero throughout most of the game. He is equipped with the Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver, and the powers of his Devil Bringer. 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. 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.
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, each of which grants him different abilities, but he may now switch them at will with buttons or pads on the 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. 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.
ReceptionDevil May Cry 4 received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 84.13% and 84/100, the Xbox 360 version 83.26% and 84/100 and the PC version 80.05% and 78/100.
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."
PSM3 gave the game an 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."
1UP.com graded it A-, praising the gameplay and "predictably slick" looks, but criticized the "divisive industrial hard-rock nonsense.... that sullied DMC3 returns here" and the game's "overly frugal approach to level design". GameTrailers rated it an 8.6/10, and praised the voice acting while criticizing the corny dialogue. IGN gave it an 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." 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 " something fresh to the franchise" and being "as diverse as DMC3 SE's Vergil"; 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". 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".
The series' original creator, Hideki Kamiya, said he used this game as a research when developing Bayonetta, an action game that would use a similar style from the Devil May Cry series that borrowed elements from the Devil May Cry series. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
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