Review: Devil May Cry 4

For the first time in the history of the series a “Devil May Cry” title has topped the charts on its release weekend. Doubtlessly this is partly due to the benefit of being released on multiple platforms but also because it’s a very good game. Admittedly it’s not flawless, and its faults can really start to get to you, but they don’t detract so much as to negate the games positive aspects. Half the game is played as new character Nero but inevitably the young pretender proves unworthy to sport Dante’s moves and it’s up to the old guard to come to the rescue in the second half.

Gameplay basically revolves around stringing together impressive combos using guns, swords and a demonically possessed arm, interspersed with puzzles. Thankfully what could have become repetitive in an unwanted to homage to “Dynasty Warriors” is remarkably fresh, with each enemy type requiring much more than simple button mashing with boss battles especially requiring more varied thinking. The puzzles may put some off, but this is an action game and so they don’t prove too taxing. The graphics, ‘though occasionally bland, are generally impressive.

However, there are some problems, the main one being the lack of save points within missions. Checkpoints allow you to restart from certain intervals, but these aren’t saved and every time the console is booted up the whole level must be played through again. Also the camera can be a bit of a nightmare, and the gameplay can feel a little too familiar and distinctively last-gen.

Another issue is the learning curve which is steep and high. Each completed setting unlocks the next and, as it’s possible to run into problems on the lower few, the ‘Hell or Hell’ setting will likely cause several shouting episodes at the screen. However, the game is a good one as the actual experience of playing it is undoubtedly enjoyable; just prepare to get quite angry at its unforgiving nature a fair few times along the way.

Final verdict: 7.5/10

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