Two devils for the price of one
May 9, 2007 – A couple of months ago, we reported the latest news about the fourth installment in the Devil May Cry series and, to some, it might have been devastating news. With the replacement of the fan favorite devil hunter with attitude for a fresh new face that in all honesty does not look all that different from Dante to begin with, some fans are outraged, and fear that the series may be venturing down a path that cannot be redeemed. Of course, they said the same thing after Devil May Cry 2. At the recent Capcom Gamer’s Day, new light has been cast on the devils involved in Devil May Cry 4, and the new info should be enough to douse the flames of angry fans.
In the 25 minute demo that was displayed, there was a lot more about Nero, the new game protagonist. At first glance, Nero appears to be nothing more than a Dante rip-off and, to some degree, this might be true. With a few exceptions. Where Dante had the demon blood that allowed him to transform into an all-powerful devil, Nero seems to have his devil side locked into one arm, but what a devastating arm it is. The demo showed the use of Nero’s weapons of choice: his sword, the Red Queen, and his double-barreled pistol, the Blue Rose. They are used in the same fashion as previous installments, relying heavily on the combo chain that rewards you with red orbs. The higher the combo chain the more red orbs you receive. The Red Queen, which has a motorcycle type handle, was shown to have a “rev” feature, where you can charge your attacks for more devastating damage. However, the display of the Devil Bringer, Nero’s arm, was more impressive than previously thought, and I could not be happier.
The Devil Bringer, when first revealed, seemed like more of a gimmick than a plausible aspect of the game. All of this has changed since learning a few of the moves that can be performed. For instance, one such move eloquently called Snatch shows only one of the cool possibilities of the Devil Bringer. The move has an energy encased phantom arm extending from Nero’s arm and grabs enemies to throw them around. This can be coupled with either the Red Queen or the Blue Rose to perform combos that are even more devastating. While I am sure that there will be other impressive offensive capabilities for the Devil Bringer, it will not be just for trashing your enemies. In another instance in the demo, after you obtain the magical skull known as Evil Legacy, Nero will be able to perform Hellbound. This move will allow him to grab items through bars and other barriers that he would normally not be able to reach. The Evil Legacy skull also gives Nero the ability to travel through highlighted portals or even propel across the landscapes, in a move called the Grim Grip. This, however, is a much more important aspect to the game than one might think. At several points in the game, we will have to make a choice, to either jump in head first to battle or to find a different alternative route. This aspect already highlights that this installment is much larger than earlier titles and it also displays, somewhat, the replayability of the game.
While the news concerning Nero might be fine and good for some, the fact that Dante is not a playable character still has many fans wondering – why bother? Well, there is no longer a reason to fret over the lack of being Dante. While there isn’t a full disclosure of how much, Dante has at least been confirmed as a playable character in the game. Other little tidbits have been revealed as well, although nothing extremely elaborate. For example, a few of the styles from Devil May Cry 3 will be carrying over for Dante into the fourth installment. The two most notable styles are the Swordmaster and Gunslinger styles. Another tidbit revealed concerning the styles is that you will be able to switch between them with just the push of a button, opening more possible combo capabilities. There were also a few hints dropped that Dante might appear to be an adversary to the game’s new hero, Nero.
New information on a game is always nice to hear about, especially when there is so much of it. The new information on Nero helps shape him into a potential cool character without making it painful to play as him. Of course, whetting the appetite of fans with the inclusion of Dante as a playable character doesn’t hurt either. There is bound to be more info to spring forth as we get closer to the release date of the game, and as more becomes available, we will keep you posted.
Dante Fans May Cry
by Matthew Walker
March 8, 2007 – When Devil May Cry first graced us with its hotshot protagonist, Dante, in 2001, no one anticipated its explosive popularity. After all, the game was short, the graphics were nothing to boast about, and the story felt a little typical. These things were not what fans saw however; the dynamic combo system with style meter sparked everyone’s interest. This little thing of being able to find out how cool you were as you defeated hordes of marionettes and various creatures.
Cool combat, however, was not the only thing that aided the soon to be franchise. The attitude of the character drew fans closer than other titles had in recent years especially in other survival horror games. Then again, it only made sense that the dominating force behind the extremely successful Resident Evil series brought about the loud-mouthed devil hunter. Now, after two sequels, comes the fourth title much to fans feverish, salivating tongues. With the first sequel making hardly any advancements to the series and then the second being a prequel of great annoyance, why should we be waiting with baited thumbs to play the fourth so eagerly?
Well, for starters, this will mark the debut of the franchise on the PS3, an improvement right out of the box for fans of the powerhouse console. Pleasing to the ears of the fans is that the basic gameplay will be the same, meaning that it will still rely on the style combat system that has made the series great and memorable. Unfortunately, this is where fans might turn away in disgust. Devil May Cry 4 will not continue the story of Dante, but it will not be a sequel to the prequel either, thankfully. Quite the contrary, we will control a completely new character named Nero, but here is the kicker: he looks strikingly like Dante. The white hair, the same familiar gunplay, and even a sword swashbuckling style that resembles the snide Dante, but, as most fans will agree, I am sure, this kid is not the character we want to play. Details for Nero remain sketchy, so we should at least give him a chance right now.
The story revolves around the mythology of the previous games, where long ago the Dark Knight Sparda rebelled against the dark emperor and waged a one-man war to save humanity. Thousands of years later, a religious organization worships this renowned savior and has taken it upon themselves to rid the world of all evil. Residing in Fortuna, this organization is known as the “Order of the Sword,” and is made up of an elite group of “Holy Knights.” One day, a young knight named Nero witnesses Sparda’s legendary son Dante slaughter his fellow warriors. I know what some of you might think, this is going to suck so badly, but what better way to view our hero than as a possible villain. This is very exciting considering the diehard good guy view we have had in the past few games, but other than that, what if it is not Dante that did the slaughter but Virgil instead. Hey, it could happen, this is, after all, the video games.
Nero himself brings a new aspect to the combat of Devil May Cry series and that is the Devil Bringer. It has been labeled as the main reason for the jump from the PS2 to the PS3. Nero’s weapons shown in the trailer and gameplay videos are his sword, the Red Queen; is revolver, the Blue Rose; as well as the powers of his “Devil Bringer” arm.
Red Queen is based on the sword used by the Order of the Sword, which Nero has upgraded to make it incredibly stronger. When Nero twists the motorcycle-like handgrip, a propellant is released which adds to the force of the sword’s impact. Blue Rose’s over-and-under double barrels allow it to fire two shots at once and is strong enough to penetrate armor. The Order normally looks down on guns as dishonorable and only Nero uses one. His arm’s “Devil Bringer” power adds a third element to the gameplay, allowing Nero to grab distant enemies, pull them in to be attacked, push them away, or slam them into the ground. The videos of the Devil Bringer in action look amazing and very enticing.
It has been ensured that controlling characters will be less difficult and accessible to all players. Equal to that pleasing news, the game will have a more forgiving learning curve than Devil May Cry 3, but will eventually ramp up to that game’s level, and you won’t be able to go back. It has also been revealed that Devil May Cry 4 will feature more weapons, maneuvers, enemies, locations, music, and cutscenes than all the previous releases combined. There are also talks of a multiplayer mode being investigated by Capcom. DMC4 looks to continue the series’ tradition of huge bosses, as the trailer features a battle between Nero and a gigantic fire monster called Variel, which shares its name with an angel mentioned in the Sefer Raziel HaMalakh (“Book of Raziel the Angel”).
The amount of detail that every character has is unbelievable. Even the Marionettes have standout textures. You can actually see the stitching on each part of their bodies and they look much more manufactured than before. Instead of looking like a being that was designed as a whole, they actually look like someone grabbed random pieces and threw them together, a welcomed eerie detail. Parts of the trailer showed the lighting effects have been sharpened, several scenes that seem to take place on a harbor, with the sun slowly setting. In several scenes that seem to take place on a harbor while the sun slowly sets, dusky light reflecting off the ocean creates an incredible visual effect.
One of the biggest complaints about the series as a whole has always been the lack of controllable camera, in addition to the short gameplay. In DMC4, you will now have a configurable camera for a good chunk of the game. In most of the combat areas, you can rotate the camera as you like, but at certain moments, you can’t, such as platforming sequences, for example.
Admittedly, with the replacement of Dante in the lead role DMC 4 didn’t seem like something I’d be interested in. Knowing that the new lead role will probably not subject fans to the Raiden complex, and in case you don’t know what that is, ask any fan of Metal Gear Solid what they liked least about MGS 2 and you’ll understand. Knowing this easily allows the hardcore fan to build the anticipation for the PS3 exclusive. Due sometime in the fall, we can expect a few more details to pour out of the Capcom house and as soon as we get our hands on the info. We will pass the Kleenex box along so you can cry with the devil.