I finished this on Devil Hunter mode a couple of weekends ago. I’m not sure what difficulty Devil Hunter is meant to represent but it wasn’t too hard so it’s probably somewhere between Normal and Hard mode in normal game turns. I haven’t tried Human difficulty and I’m on Mission 11 of Son of Sparda difficulty (which I class as Hard mode), so my impressions will be based on playing through on Devil Hunter difficulty (with a little mention of Son of Sparda difficulty).
As you know you had to install around 5GB of data before you could even play DMC4, which took around 20mins for me.
If you want comparisons of load times between the PS3 and 360 version then you’re going to have to look elsewhere. I don’t own a 360 and if I did, I wouldn’t of bought 2 copies of DMC4 and nor would I have wasted any time doing a time wasting comparison test of load times.
All I will say is the load times that I experienced were very short and if you’re asking me if the 5GB install was a waste of time, then I don’t know because I can’t tell you exactly how much time was saved by doing the install. It would’ve been nice if the install was optional though, but only Capcom can explain why they forced PS3 owners to install it.
NERO: THE NEW RAIDEN
On to the game. Devil May Cry 4 has a lot of similarities to Devil May Cry, which is a good thing for me as DMC is one of THE greatest games ever and still the best in the series. You start off as Nero who irritated the hell out of me for a large part of the game. He just lacks a lot of charisma and personality that Dante has in abundance.
His Devil Bringer techniques are what sets him apart from Dante. Using Buster to grab enemies and bosses is pretty cool but it’s too easy to rely on it against the more difficult opponents and it doesn’t require a lot of skill to use. His gun is too slow to make much of an impact and it’s not really that effective until you’ve purchased the 3rd charge shot.
His sword combos using Red Queen are fairly similar to Dante’s but different enough to make playing as Nero feel fresh. Nero can’t switch styles like Dante and he can’t use different swords or guns (he does acquire Vergil’s Yamato sword which allows him to activate his Devil Trigger but he can’t use it instead of Red Queen when in Human form) but he does have the Devil Bringer which is what he’s all about.
You can also use the Exceed attack to power up your sword by pressing and holding L2 but I never used it once. Seems like a pointless addition to me.
NERO V DANTE
I found it really hard to like Nero. His combat techniques are a lot of fun but as a character he just irritates me. I’ve mentioned above he lacks any sort of a personality but I suppose they couldn’t have made him too similar to Dante.
What makes it worse is you don’t get to play as Dante until Mission 12 (past the halfway mark) and when you do, you’re so used to using the Devil Bringer that it takes you a mission or two before you get back into using Dante’s superb array of moves. The good news is that you get to use all the experience you’ve earned with Nero to power up Dante straight away.
DANTE: A BRUCE LEE FAN
You have access to Dante’s four styles that featured in DMC3 straight away. Trickster is still my favourite, Dante is almost untouchable if used right, Swordmaster is great for dealing some major sword damage but Royal Guard and Gunslinger were never used. That’s just my personal preference though.
Dante also acquires some new weapons which are a mixed bag to say the least. Gilgamesh allows Dante to unleash the Bruce Lee inside of him. It’s not unlike the Ifrit weapon Dante got in Devil May Cry only without the fire!
Anybody else notice the two tributes to Bruce Lee just before he gets Gilgamesh?
Lucifer is very useful when fighting Mephisto and Fausts (the ghost type enemies). With Nero you can grab them repeatedly until they reveal their true form but as Dante doesn’t have the Devil Bringer, I found Lucifer very useful against these guys. You can basically place a number of swords around any enemy and when they go off, they usually deal quite a bit of damage.
Pandora’s Box is 3 weapons in one and all deal heavy damage. It’s a little slow in firing but it is quite powerful. I didn’t use it because I prefer to move around at a fast pace.
Dark Slayer (Vergil’s moves from DMC3 SE) can be used by pressing the D pad in the same direction as the current style you’re using. I tried it a couple of times but I can’t really comment on it’s effectiveness just yet.
I found it easier to get S ranks with Dante the first time of asking (I got 3 in a row with Dante at one point) but I did get an S rank on my very first mission with Nero on my first play through. It’s too easy to rely on Nero’s Buster move when you’re in trouble. It probably takes a bit more skill to get the best out of Dante, make of that what you will.
The game really came alive once you got to play as Dante. His combos and moves are a lot more spectacular than Nero’s. The game was clearly built around Nero and his Devil Bringer techniques and it did take me a mission or two to get back to my best using Dante, but once I did the game was so much more enjoyable.
Most of Dante’s cut scenes are hilarious especially before and after he fights the various bosses. A lot has been made about Capcom forcing Dante to re-fight the same bosses that Nero already has, not to mention having to backtrack through the same areas but this is no different to previous DMC games.
I didn’t find this a problem at all but I suppose new players to the series will find it a chore. The board game ‘puzzle’ was a bit tepid (Mission 19 was the worst mission in the game by far) but the game was a highly enjoyable experience.
The bosses add a bit of personality to the proceedings but are not quite up to DMC standards, whilst being a bit more imaginative than DMC3′s bosses.
The game is also quite linear, which means you shouldn’t get stuck or lost but some people obviously don’t like linear games. It works great for Devil May Cry and it’s style of combat. It would be as enjoyable if the game world was more open.
The camera is partly fixed and fully movable depending on where you are in the game. It’s not a major problem for me but I can see some people getting annoyed with it. The camera in Ninja Gaiden Sigma was a lot worse in my opinion. I died more times from the camera in NGS than the actual enemies.
My major gripe with DMC4 (apart from not playing as Dante more) is the rubbish Secret Missions. They are so bland and unimaginative that I never bothered going for them after the first 3 or 4. Definitely nowhere near as good as the Secret Missions on DMC and to a lesser extent DMC3.
The graphics look great and there was no slowdown or screen tearing at all. Very impressive when the combat is in full flow.
I really enjoyed Devil May Cry 4, especially as Dante and if I had to give it a score I’d give it 9/10.
I just hope Capcom do not decide to make Nero the star of future DMC games and bin Dante completely. Dante is DMC and if they did decide to lessen his role even further in future games then I won’t buy anymore DMC games.
Written by: Gary
- News Contributor