It’s been almost seven years since Devil May Cry 4 was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In fact, it’s the first Devil May Cry game to jump from the PS2 era and many were impressed with the improvement the game got with its visuals, and the execution of combos from Dante and Nero. Although some say it’s considered the weakest in the series. Following the successful launch of the remastered edition of DMC Devil May Cry, Capcom decided to re-release Devil May Cry 4 to current-gen platforms, packing in a lot of bonus content for newcomers and fans of the series. Gamers who missed out on Devil May Cry 4 several years ago now have the chance to play it at an affordable price.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is the same exact game as the original. Those who have played it seven years ago will remember that nothing has changed when it comes to the game’s storyline. The same base game is intact, and the only changes that many will probably notice is the way the game performs on PS4 or Xbox One. Upgraded from its original 720p resolution, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition now gets a boost of resolution to 1080p with 60fps. Yes, the smoothness of the gameplay is very noticeable and it makes the combat a lot better. To make the game’s combat even more stylish, a Turbo mode, similar to the definitive edition of DMC Devil May Cry, has been added as well.
From the many Devil May Cry games that Capcom released over the years, Devil May Cry 4 has the weakest and dullest story. Set between the events of the first two Devil May Cry games, Devil May Cry 4 follows the story of two demon hunters; Nero and Dante. With Nero being part of an order called, Order of the Sword, a group of people dedicated in worshiping Sparda, he is tasked to find Dante after the commotion that happened in an Opera house. The event starts Nero’s nightmare where his world begins to shift upside down.
Introducing Nero as the main character in Devil May Cry 4 may sound like an interesting idea, but Capcom seems to have over rushed the game, making Nero not likeable. Over the course of the game, Nero fails to make his persona something to be remembered about. His lack of personality affects the flow of the story, and the storytelling in the game is rather dull and not as interesting as past games. Gamers will find that Nero lacks the motivation in leading the role as the main character in Devil May Cry 4 and that leads to a story where it feels players are being dragged into it. However, with Dante being part of the game, it’s still worth noting that there are moments where the story shines, and that’s mostly because of Dante and not Nero.
Despite having a weak story, Devil May Cry 4 redeems itself with an amazing combat system. Even though the game is almost seven years old, Devil May Cry 4 still plays great and the execution of combos is as great as the recently released DMC Devil May Cry. The action is solid and depending who you are playing as, each has a signature combo that many will remember. With the special edition of Devil May Cry 4 having more characters to play as such as Vergil, Lady and Trish, it makes the combat far more interesting compared to the original. Each of the characters has a unique set of weapons and combos that many will have to master. An example of this is Vergil, where his trademarked Yamato makes a return and using it combat makes it very enjoyable as it’s totally different compared to Nero’s somewhat acceptable sword and demon arm moves.
With the many features of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, the three playable characters are most probably the selling point of the game. Not to mention that a Legendary Dark Knight mode is included in the game as well, and with the three playable characters in this version, it makes fighting horde of enemies a lot of fun. From the three playable characters that are available, my favorite is Vergil as using his sword skills are a lot better than Dante and Nero combined. As for Trish and Lady, they are par but not as awesome as Vergil, though Lady’s gunplay tricks are amazing. If you are among many fans who prefer using guns, Lady is something that you should play as since she focuses in using guns as her main weapon and grenades as a special skill that replaces the Devil Trigger.
With the content that the game has, the problems that plagued the game back in 2008 are still present in this re-release. The same problems found on the original game; the poor level design where you have to backtrack a lot, and fighting the same bosses all over again are among the problems that are still present in the game. It’s not really game breaking but it sure will bother a lot of gamers who have never played the game before. Not to mention that camera controls are still poor in the game, although they don’t affect as much when fighting enemies.
Visually, the game still looks the same but the performance in current-gen consoles are a lot better. If there’s one thing that still bothers me in this version, it’s the dull environments. In every new stage that is available in the game, you will feel that the level designs are not thorough. It’s guaranteed that you will feel that the level designs are dead as if there’s no life to it, especially on areas where you will see people.
For a game that is only $24.99 and not the original $39.99 for remastered games, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is a game that is not hard to recommend at all. Despite the game having a poor pace in its storyline and campaign, the action that you will experience is unimaginable. If you love the Devil May Cry series just because of its addicting combat system, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is for you. Not to mention there are three playable characters that makes the combat even a lot better. Just lower your expectation on this one as it’s a re-release of an almost seven year old game.
[Editor’s Note: Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition was reviewed on the Xbox One platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]