Devil May Cry 4 Hands-On Preview

Capcom flew the developers of Devil May Cry 4 to London to show off the latest build of the game.

Devil May Cry 4 looks amazing. Whether it's running on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, Capcom's fourth entry in the eclectic series is easily one of the best-looking games on either console. Even better, it runs at a solid 60 frames per second, throwing around its beautifully animated characters, gloriously detailed backgrounds, and incredibly bombastic effects seemingly with ease.

Frame rates and gorgeous visuals aside, we learned plenty of hard facts, as well as heard some juicy new hints from Devil May Cry 4's developers at the company's recent London Gamers Day event. It was confirmed that Dante, the star of the three previous games, will be playable from halfway through the game right through to the end. It was also dropped in that the PlayStation 3 version of the game will have "a little something" for Sixaxis controllers and that the team is definitely hoping to release a demo for the game at some point in future.

Our session started at the beginning of the game, with the PlayStation 3 version running in 720p on a flat-screen TV. The game will open with a tutorial level where new playable character Nero is squaring off against Dante. During the intro, Nero is seen covering his arms to hide the obvious signs of his "devil bringer" powers. After throwing Dante a few times, Dante strikes back at Nero with his trademark sword, revealing Nero's arms. The battle continues with the two characters engaging in a sword fight and some stylish close-ups of the two crossing weapons.

The new character of Nero introduces devil bringer powers to the series.

In the final game, there will then be a tutorial to introduce players to the game and allow them to grasp the intricate combat system. In our demo, the developers jumped a few levels to mission three, where Nero was exploring an underground labyrinth. The main combat engine will be familiar to anyone who's played the previous games, although there is a new emphasis on charge shots, airborne battles, and Nero's devil bringer moves.

The sword attacks now have three levels of strength, with the level determined by the length of time the attack button is held down. In addition to ground-based swordplay, Nero has an airborne dash move that allows him to plunge his sword into enemies in midair. We saw the devil bringer powers at this stage too, and they are not only used to pick up enemies and slam them on the ground, but they also allow Nero to scale great heights by grabbing onto mysterious blue orbs around the level. The powers allow Nero to conjure up ghostlike allies to help double his attacking power as well. When Nero swings his sword, a spirit appears behind him to perform a follow-up attack, while gun attacks are complemented by blue stars that take the same path.

Jumping through the air upside down while firing at enemies below--this is Devil May Cry alright.

After seeing all these moves in action in the underground setting, the level opened up above ground and onto a snow-topped mountain. The snow-storm setting reminded us visually of Capcom's other recent action game, Lost Planet, but we unfortunately didn't get to see too much of it before another cutscene began. As Nero approaches a bridge leading up to a castle, the new character Gloria is revealed, launching herself down from the top of the castle above. She then proceeds to use a number of athletic moves to slay the enemies you didn't get a chance to slay while dodging their attacks, which gives Capcom an opportunity to show off what can only be described as the character's breast physics.

The final Nero level that we saw during our time in London was a jungle boss battle. The level starts with Nero riding a huge snakelike creature that's controlled by a female humanoid hiding within the head. Nero holds on as the creature weaves through the branches, but eventually he's forced to fight on foot against the huge monster. Occasionally, the woman at the head of the creature is exposed for you to fire bullets at, but the idea is to attack the creature's exposed underbelly when it goes into a spiderlike form. Once the underbelly is visible, Nero can go in and unleash his devil bringer to perform multiple attacks, as well as really inflict some damage to the creature.

The snow-capped mountain that leads up to the castle is spectacularly atmospheric.

As we previously mentioned, Dante will be playable halfway through the game, and we got to see one level featuring the series' stalwart. Series veterans will be pleased to hear that Dante remains pretty much unchanged in terms of control from previous games and lacks the new devil bringer powers that Nero uses. The character still uses four different attack styles: trickster, royal guard, gunslinger, and sword master. Also, he's still just as athletic as before. However, he will also have a couple of new tricks up his sleeve, including an uppercut that was described by the developers as a "shoryuken" or dragon punch move.

In addition to the conventional combat options, Dante has access to the coolest weapon in the game: Pandora's Box. Featuring a number of different attack modes, the weapon sums up the game's over-the-top style in seconds. Housed in a suitcase, Pandora's Box can transform into a huge airborne tank that rains down rockets on your enemies and open up into a superpowerful chaingun that will tear through anyone stupid enough to be in the vicinity. Finally, you can lay the suitcase on the ground and enemies will be consumed by its immense power.

Devil May Cry 4 is looking fantastic. There are some minor disappointments, particularly the fact that developers have completely ruled out a co-op two-player mode, but otherwise the game is shaping up to take the series to a whole new level of action. The game isn't slated for release until next year, so keep an eye out for more information on the game as we get it.

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221 comments
quahk2003
quahk2003

I WANT THIS GAME!!!! PLS MAKE THE DEMO FOR PC!!! LOL

flametiger32
flametiger32

I can't wait!!!! i can't wait!!!! omg i can't wait!!!!!!!!! it looks so awesome!!

DesignatedJerk
DesignatedJerk

kratos_karmakar why did you play three DMC games in a row if you hate Dante? You're an idiot. You wouldn't have played all the games if you hated the main guy. You're full of crap

Redhairboy491
Redhairboy491

Did it sound like Neros voice was a bit cartoonish(in the videos) to anyone else? Otherwise, looks great.

Danthegamingman
Danthegamingman

I really enjoyed DMC and DMC3 on PS2. Although I have both a PS3 and X360, I have decided to get it for X360, the controller just feels more comfortable in my hands than PS3's. Also, I love playing a game then going after achievements missed after the first play thru. Whether achievements seem like a gimmick or not to some gamers, it does add replay value and can cause you to play in different ways then you normally might. DMC4 well keep me satisfaction in check for this genre until my most anticipated games this year......NG2 and to a lesser extent Too Human. Glad to see X360 gamers get some DMC love and those unfamiliar with the series are in for a treat.

MortorVos
MortorVos

whats wrong with it being on 360? lol

rossboss25
rossboss25

i still dont like the fact that its on xbox 360 but the game looks preety sweet

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

im sick of dante. he sux. there. i said it. thank god they brought in a new character to keep it fresh. if i were capcom i wud hav made vergil the main protaganist for dmc 4 just for kix.

brollyandvegeta
brollyandvegeta

Vergil where are you !??don't tell me He is't there !?

AlexLJ
AlexLJ

i will buy this game. I really hope they explain why Nero looks like Dante. It better not be just some coincidence. Either way, this game will get played until my hands hurt and my eyes bleed.

mingfu
mingfu

best dmc!!!!!!!!!!

mingfu
mingfu

best dmc!!!!!!!!!!

gamefreak_4ever
gamefreak_4ever

question... what is a DMC game that doesn't have Dante as the main character? Souds veerrry dissapointing...

NND1
NND1

This is the game I have been waiting for.... Totally rediculously awesome graphics..

SoulSlayer_
SoulSlayer_

Got to play this game today and beat Berial! Awesome game! Kinda weird playing it with a 360 controller, though... But it seemed easier than the PS3 version. Played it for about an hour. The same level over and over again, since it's probably gonna be a looong time before I'll be able to play it again (don't have anything to play it on, y'see).

sman40012
sman40012

I cant wait...What to get it on? 360 or PS3? So hard to choose. From what the previews say this is gonna be great. Two character, that are completely different...Thats good. The devil bringer sounds cool.

miksalud
miksalud

Devil May Cry 4 is going to be awsome. Its greatest feature, part from the gorgeous looking grafix and the combat, its going to be its story and music I personally enjoyed playing the Special Edition on my PC (even bought a game pad for it) so its really cool that Capcom made it possible for PC gamers to be able to play this game.

graavigala
graavigala

ok cause Dante isnt the main character in this game, but he is still playable on about half way of the game, im just wondering if he has the devil form? the devil form in second game was cool looking and also on the 3rd one the forms were cool looking so im just wondering will this also have it, and will nero has one also or is his hand the only demon in him

KohlscheeN
KohlscheeN

Yeah, the second Dmc where a disappointment. But the first and third one rocked and sooo cool characters. Devil may cry owns. And i can't wait for the fourth to come out!

Schmitty722
Schmitty722

dante or nero should be in final fantasy movie or game but not the main characters

skee_uk
skee_uk

run shoot run shoot run shoot wait 2 seconds monsters respawn start again run shoot run shoot run shoot wait 2 seconds monsters respawn il give this a miss i tried dmc2 when it came out and thought it was repetitive - not my kind of game, it does look great though on both systems

Beareroflight
Beareroflight

Has anyone noticed that in the gameplay videos/screenshots there is no blood spilled from slashes, etc? I hope this doesn't represent the final product as we all know how much the lack of blood during gameplay affected the disappointing "Devil May Cry 2"

Jedi_Lord77
Jedi_Lord77

.................................. .................................. Too awesome for words.

Masterbeat2
Masterbeat2

must..buy...but..have..to..wait... :(

chimera1984
chimera1984

Its about time, DMC 3 simply didnt fill my hunger. Plus it looks great which is always a bonus.

Tylerdurdn71
Tylerdurdn71

cant wait for this game, loved the whole series

Bavoke
Bavoke

this game looks so awesome and i'm gonna be able to play it on Gamepower Expo Belgium this weekend XD Bavoke 8)

Eo1spy
Eo1spy

Breast physics eh? =P

FaiThFul066
FaiThFul066

Aside from no co-op this game is gonna rock!

dorohala
dorohala

It looks petty good, I might aswell get it as soon as it comes out.

never-named
never-named

Aside from the obvious announcement, I don't think I've seen any coverage of the PC version of DMC4 from Gamespot, or in-fact any other game related sites.

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

obviously is dante bcause of the clothes

Digadonk_Man
Digadonk_Man

Why do they have the first picture comment talking about Nero if its Dante with his Iffret Gauntlets?

graavigala
graavigala

dante is only avaible on half-way the game.... thats bull **** DMC is and has always been about Dante and now we get some new pretty boy... i may cry!

shifty_saint
shifty_saint

Trailer is good, ive always been a fan of DMC, im hopeful they get this game as good as others, and improve!

Duo75
Duo75

kpayne89...maybe because this takes place after dmc 1, in which virgil dies.

kpayne89
kpayne89

how come they didn't make Vergil a playable caharcter?

kotaro
kotaro

yeah that first pic deff isnt nero, but i dont think thats beowolf either. its something new but similar to beowolf in all of its awesome-tastic-ness

Gotharr
Gotharr

I love devil may cry....But with dante to kick others ass not with a dante copy.there's little diffrence between dante and nero and i dont like it.

psp41
psp41

I can't wait i am so getting this game for X360 when i get the system.

ki_badguy
ki_badguy

It's lookin' awesome, as expected. Glad to see that there's a hand-to-hand devil arm, Gilgamesh, just like in the better two of the previous games. Though I wonder if after completion of the game, Dante will be fully playable.

deadfamous
deadfamous

why did they make Nero to look like Dante???...