Click here for a Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition screen shot gallery.
If you're just interested in what's new, skip down a few paragraphs to the Special Edition section.
For those new to the series, Devil May Cry is a fast-paced, stylish beat em up with heavy emphasis on complex combos, high scores, angst-riddled stories, and corny bad rock soundtracks. In the first three games, players control Dante, a white-haired demon hunter who's actual a demon himself. He's got a long lost brother, a famous demonic dad, and a sexy friend who looks like his dead mom. For the first two games, he's the star of a dopey video game soap opera. In the third game, he gets a sense of humor and a love of pizza, and the boring as dirt Dante of the first two games is permanently abandoned.
|Dante uses his least effective weapon to make love, not war.|
Unfortunately, Devil May Cry 4's new protagonist, Nero, takes after the Dante of the first two games. He has two emotions: Extreme anger, and doting love for his blank-slate girlfriend, Kyrie. He gets a few jokey lines, but for the most part he's an extremely boring hero, but at least he's fun to play as: While Dante's combat focused on close range melee and guns, Nero gets the addition of a magical extending arm that lets him pull enemies distant towards him, sail across pits, and quickly close the gap by flinging himself right into an enemy's face. It makes him a much more mobile character and I love his moves, even if his move set is significantly simpler than Dante's.
|Nero stares down a crab-ghost.|
|A giant, rude frog with naked jello lady angler lures.|
|Surprisingly, not the character who gets a musical scene.|
|You said it, Trish.|
|Kyrie, doing the only thing she ever does.|
The original DMC4 already looked nice, but the Special Edition bumps up texture quality, frame rate, lighting effects, and adds motion blurring that looks nice sometimes but makes taking screenshots of action a pain. It's a great looking game that looks even better now, but the music still stinks.
|There are lots of pretty places to just hang out in here.|
|Not Legendary Dark Knight Mode|
The most hyped additions to the game are three new playable characters: Trish, Lady, and Dante's evil brother, Vergil. Each of them plays quite differently, especially with Lady's huge emphasis on guns over melee and Vergil's rapid teleport techniques, but if you're expecting some truly new content, you're going to be disappointed. There's a new intro and ending if you're playing the Lady/Trish campaign or the Vergil campaign, but otherwise, you're playing the exact same game. You'll fight the same bosses in the same stages that you fought as Nero and Dante, even when it makes absolutely no sense. Vergil's story opens decades earlier... but you still fight the same training battles against Dante that Nero fights in his story, in the same rooms.
|Why write characters when you can write vague prophetic mumbling?|
As much as I liked them at the time, I've kind of grown apart from the original Devil May Cry series. I still think the Dante of the third and fourth games is great, I still think DMC4 is a lot of fun until it starts repeating, but I don't have the patience for the first three games that I once did, and I care less about high scores and ranks than I ever did before. From pacing to campiness to combat, whatever the series did well, Platinum Games has since done better by a huge margin with Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Those are my top three brawlers, with the DmC reboot coming in fourth and DMC4 following behind at a slippery number five.