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Games We Love: Devil May Cry 4

"We Shall Never Surrender"

Back in 2008, the fourth installment in the Devil May Cry series released. I remember Devil May Cry 4 being one of the first PlayStation 3 games I owned at the time. Back then, I remember sitting on my couch itching to get into it, only to watch and wait as the game installed a 4 GB update. Then I was finally in and I didn’t stop for quite some time. Seven years later, a “Special Edition” was re-released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, including new playable characters, difficulties, and tweaks. And just like that, I was a demon hunter once again.

The original Devil May Cry 4 was a pretty fun game, but it wasn’t without its issues. New protagonist, Nero, was a hit and miss for longtime fans. He definitely wasn’t Dante, but I admire what he brought to the demon hunting table. His most notable ability was his unique demonic arm; the Devil Bringer. This is used for grappling enemies closer to you and giving Nero unique grabs for each enemy and boss. The Devil Bringer was fun to use and gave Nero a creative new fighting style. His sword and gun were also special, allowing for powerful charged attacks that could rip through foes. His playstyle is super fun and I hope it returns in some future installment.

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Make way! New protagonist coming through!

But enough about Nero, let’s talk about the game itself. Devil May Cry 4 is a third person hack and slash hellish adventure filled with enough action and cheese to keep people coming back for more. Players will hack and slash, foe after foe, building up their style meter, creating unique combos on the fly. This fun gameplay was some of the best in the hack and slash genre, something I haven’t enjoyed until Bayonetta years after. Crazy action is the centerpiece of the series and DMC4 is no different. I could fight enemies for hours on end and enjoy it just the same.

Replaying this, I forgot how ridiculious some of this game is. Devil May Cry 4 starts with Dante assassinating Nero’s leader, requiring Nero to capture him for his crime. This adventure takes Nero to farthest edge of Fortuna, where the plot slowly unravels, revealing more sinister plans behind the scenes. During the half point, the narrative shifts to Dante’s perspective and the player must backtrack down the same path they took. This is where the game truly shines, where players can see the sheer ridiculousness of the series as they adventure with Dante, cleaning up Nero’s mess along the way.

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Dante takes absolutely nothing seriously. The world is literally ending around him and he’s laughing and having a good time the whole way through. Watching Dante interact with obstacles that Nero took so seriously is fun because of his childish personality. You can truly see this when Dante encounters Nero’s earlier bosses. Dante shares an opera stage with one boss, loaded with cheesy dialogue, lightning, and tons of confetti. Every moment with Dante is over the top and puts a huge smile on my face.

This contrast of heroes makes every moment fantastic and I feel like the gaming industry has shied away from this. Although the game is serious at times, it isn’t afraid to laugh and be silly. In this game about cutting down demons with huge swords, there is a charm and genuine humor behind it all. It seems like every character is having a grand time. To me, I enjoy games that know when to tease a lot more than any mindless action game.

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Now the “Special Edition” only brings more and more to this already great game. Vergil returns with his own campaign and story content, taking place before Devil May Cry 3. There isn’t much to it, but it’s great to play as Vergil through the whole game. His playstyle is easy to learn and can make for some of the most stylish moves in the game.

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Lady and Trish also get their own duo story, where Lady taking Nero’s missions and Trish taking Dante’s. Lady’s use of heavy weaponry is surprisingly entertaining. Her guns can deal massive damage and her Kalina Ann is no joke. Just trust me when I say that everyone who has the “Special Edition” should give Lady a shot. Trish combines her lightning spells and Sparda sword to create a fun melee based character. While Trish doesn’t have a lot of new moves, she’s fun to play, having tons of new melee moves.

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Outside of new characters, the “Special Edition” also includes a new “Legendary Dark Knight” mode. It’s a harder mode where the difficulty lies in rooms containing massive amounts of enemies. A basic room originally containing five enemies will have around 20 plus in “Legendary Dark Knight”. Not interested in the new mode? The Bloody Palace is still there, and with the new slew of characters, there’s no end to the madness.

Devil May Cry 4 is a fantastic game filled with distinct characters, crazy action, and good laughs. I’m glad the “Special Edition” released so I could have a chance to rekindle my love of Devil May Cry. If anyone is looking for a challenging game loaded with demon killing, goofy dialogue, and crazy fun, give Devil May Cry 4 a shot. And for $25, you can’t go wrong.

In the end…you’ll be satisfied.

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