Devil May Cry 4 Hands-On Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3
Devil May Cry 4 box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Capcom 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Capcom 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 5, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
It's Getting Hot in Here!

by Tom Kelly

January 25, 2008 - As I recently completed Devil May Cry 3 (DMC) thoughts raced through my mind: Man, that game was insanely difficult (note: this was the second time I have beaten said game); boy, do my thumbs hurt; and I can not wait until Devil May Cry 4. Well, that day is virtually upon us. Doomsday, as I call it or February 5th to be exact, is rapidly approaching. Thus, there is no better time to shake out the cobwebs and suit up for battle. In preparation for such a momentous occasion, I took the DMC 4 demo for a little test drive. What did I discover? Let's just take a look at the fury hell is set to unleash.

Devil May Cry 4 screenshot

The demo starts with a simple choice; do I take the level entitled 'Exterminator' or 'Executioner?' Both sound equally capable of satisfying my blood lust, so I'll just enter door number one: 'Exterminator.' Right from the start, you know that all your slashing will be for naught as the level caps you with a 10 minute time limit. Best not to cry over spilled milk; it's time to cut up some demented looking enemies. This level basically serves as an introductory tool to the game, flashing move commands across the screen in each new area. A refresher course if you will.

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It should be noted that the majority of Nero's moves mirror Dante's to a tee, so players will be immediately familiar with all the mechanics. The one new item you will encounter is the Devil Bringer, a blue orb with a skull on it, which allows Nero to access previously unattainable areas. This tool also gives Nero the power to grab enemies out of the air or off the ground and pull them within his grasp. The weapon works to nice effect, and it allows you to string together combos quite nicely. As stated above, the 10 minute cap really restricts players from getting too deep into the level, though on the first play through I did make my way around a variety of areas: a chapel, a courtyard, an abandoned warehouse, and a central street. Along the way, players will encounter many tasks from the previous games. Whether it is striking a stone statue to open a new area or simply battling enemies to access a blocked door, the developers are dancing with what brought them to this point. 'Exterminator' definitely serves its purpose to help players shake off the rust, but it hardly satisfies my insatiable appetite.

Devil May Cry 4 screenshot

Next we have 'Executioner,' a slightly more difficult romp than the prior excursion. Although the second mission contains less baddies to introduce to your trusty blade, you will encounter a boss. The mission begins in a snowy area, with flurries falling heavily, as you move slightly down the road, you will discover quite a large castle. It is here where you wage war with a few ice beasts. They are not too challenging, and serve as merely a precursor of the battle to come. Berial is his name, and apparently he is the 'Conqueror of the Fire Hell.' There was really no proof to back up his claim, but since he was a giant flaming centaur I did not feel inclined to argue. Thus we get our first taste of what lies ahead. Unfortunately, it is short lived and leaves us with little to go on as far as overall difficulty. Berial is not the most demanding of bosses, and will easily be dispatched on the first or second try. Yes, I know I am also sad the demo has ended, and there is still well over a week till the game's release. Despite that, there are lessons to be learned from our short tutorial.

Devil May Cry 4 screenshot

This game will, in fact, rock! It keeps all of the high-octane action so classic to the series in tact while delivering a true next gen upgrade to the franchise. By utilizing all the gameplay elements from prior versions, DMC 4 will feel all too familiar, but also completely new due to the leap in technology. The graphics are crisp, clean, and highly detailed. More importantly, the game runs extremely smoothly. There were no hitches even in the demo's gameplay. Although the two sample levels were not quite as frustrating as most of DMC3, my guess is that will not be the trend throughout. I do hope that DMC4 is a little more accessible than the previous version, but from what I experienced here I will not be disappointed no matter the final product.

By Tom Kelly
CCC Freelance Writer


Game Features:

  • From the producer of the original Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 4.
  • High-definition visuals moving at 60 frames per second.
  • Blend of familiar and new: newcomer Nero clashes with veteran Dante.
  • New characters and environments.
  • Signature blend of guns and swordplay.
  • Deep combo system rewards stylish dispatching of enemies.
  • Unique "Devil Bringer" arm opens up a range of combo options.
  • Distinct set of weaponry and moves for Nero and Dante.
  • Exceed System allows Nero to charge up his sword with a throttle effect, revving up to three levels with powerful attack options.
  • New active style change system for Dante allows him to switch styles and weapons on the fly, producing crazy combo possibilities.


  • Screenshots / Images
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