E3 07: Devil May Cry 4 Hands-On - The Return of Dante

Capcom shows off an updated version of DMC and sheds some new light on its hero--and his allies.

Ever since we got our first glimpse of Devil May Cry 4 on the PlayStation 3, we've wondered what's become of longtime franchise hero Dante. Although newcomer Nero looks similar and plays quite closely to the franchise's white-coiffed poster boy, he doesn't have Dante's baggage. But longtime fans of the series that have grown attached to everyone's favorite demon killer shouldn't despair, as the series' original fancy hero is back and playable in DMC4. Following an update on the game and a showcase of Nero-centric gameplay at a recent Capcom press event, a trailer closed out the presentation and showed off Dante in action. Thankfully, Capcom had an updated version of the game for the PlayStation 3 on hand for us to try out, which let us see how the latest entry in the series is coming along.

The demo was an update of what we played at the Tokyo Game Show last year, and it also included a brief sampling of an area that had only been seen in a trailer and a boss fight. The TGS area had us guiding Nero through a city overrun with demons and onto a dock area. The game's performance has tightened up and was more consistent. Combat was still basically the same, but the demo did include new moves for Nero's mystically powered arm. These included the ability to grab distant enemies and jerk them in close for a beating, a context-sensitive throw attack, and the ability to power up your sword by revving it up with the shoulder button, all of which afforded some cool new combo options.

The two new areas were a snowy castle and an intense boss fight. The castle and the snowy path leading to it were seen briefly in the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo trailer but hadn't since been playable. This level let us run up to a massive castle in the distance and face off against icy enemies, who were best dealt with using the context-sensitive throw. In this case, the throw let us snag them and windmill them for a bit, which made it possible to throw them into each other. This was key to taking them out, because they were self-replicating menaces. Breakable pillars scattered around the area yielded life-restoring green orbs, which helped make up for the times when we weren't able to dodge out of harm's way.

You didn't think Nero could get the job done alone, did you?

The boss fight was one painful can of worms to open. The battle began with Nero innocently walking into a seemingly deserted town and meeting up with Berial, a foul-tempered demon not unlike The Lord of the Rings' balrog. One testosterone-infused verbal exchange later, and Nero was mixing it up with the massive demon. The battle required us to figure out how to extinguish the creature's protective afro of fire, leaving him vulnerable to Nero's context-sensitive attack. As we've seen in the previous games, DMC's boss demons are generally ill tempered and not what you'd describe as pushovers. Berial will uphold that tradition with a painful and varied array of fire attacks ranging from a flaming sword and explosive volleys of flame to a massive screen-filling explosion. Though Berial's run to kill Nero trashed the houses in the town (which at least yielded green orbs), you'll still have to put a lot of effort into not getting stomped. However, once you get his pattern down, the fight is challenging but doable. We also have to emphasize the incredible sense of satisfaction that's derived from Nero's context-sensitive butt kicking. The visceral pleasure of beating the snot out of a towering demon is great, although we have to say it made us miss rumble a little.

Beyond the playable demo, the presentation and closing trailer showed off Dante in action. Though details were somewhat scarce, it was revealed that he'll return with the fighting styles seen in DMC3 and its special edition. This time out, players won't have to stick to a set style, as you'll be able to switch between them all on the fly, which should make combat pretty interesting. As for when Dante will be playable, it sounds as though players will gain control over the veteran demon killer as the story progresses. Capcom is still keeping plot details mostly under wraps, but we know that Nero is part of an order of demon hunters who's been dispatched to take care of some problems--and that he'll cross paths with Dante. How that meeting goes is going to be interesting. We expect, at the very least, for Dante to ask about Nero's familiar sense of style--possibly before trying to beat him up...time will tell. We do know the game is set after the events in the original DMC but before DMC2, at least.

The fight against the massive demon Berial gives a good sense of DMC4's scale.

As we mentioned, Devil May Cry 4's visuals are coming together nicely. The TGS areas were more polished and the new locales had a nice, refined look to them already. Nero's fight against Berial was likely the most impressive thing we saw, due mainly to the sheer size of the demon. We were pleased by the game's performance overall, which stayed steady. The camera worked fairly well, although it got awkward in a few spots, most notably when Berial had us cornered. Still, for an incomplete game, the camera system managed to keep the focus where we needed it. Audio is shaping up equally well, with the now-familiar silence-and-rock formula we've come to expect from the DMC games in full effect. The sound effects, most notably Nero's gun and the death cries of demons, are all satisfying and suit the action well. The voice acting we heard was on par with the previous games, offering a mix of good and cheesy.

Based on our time with the work-in-progress version of the game, Devil May Cry 4 is shaping up to be a solid follow-up to the previous games. The expansion of the game's scope is a good fit, although we'll admit to hoping for a bit more interactivity this time out, and the gameplay is comfortably tight. The new gameplay elements are cool and fit well into the game's style. Fans of the series will definitely want to keep an eye out for the game when it hits the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 in the hopefully near future.

Discussion

465 comments
djubacsik
djubacsik

at last :D it's released !!!good gamin' to everyone...enjoy the game

Spidey878
Spidey878

It doesn´t really care wich the best console for this game and in mine opinion it's the 360 and one thing i sure know its that this game is gonna rock so much demon balls :D Ladies and Gentlemen let's the slaughter begin ;)

newgamer2006
newgamer2006

i watch the anmie and i agree with u cat fight all over again CANT WAIT

JPaulC
JPaulC

ps3 the best for this game

Boffsir2
Boffsir2

If this one can live up to the hype, and the series reputation, I'll buy it. The gameplay of DMC3 was a lot better than DMC1, and Trish plus Lady equals mass destruction, anybody who watches the anime will agree with me there.

Mr357Magnum
Mr357Magnum

I like the fact that this game looks similar to the original DMC and it plays just like DMC3. I just hope this game still kept its crazy acrobatic wall running action and that cool mid-air shooting blur that DMC 1 had. It's good to see Trish and Lady on next-gen looking hotter than ever. This game will OWN 2008!

Duckhead111
Duckhead111

did you see the new video dante gets his butt kick all over the place finnally a rivel for dante beside vergil

fanos3600
fanos3600

this game is surely in my list

cesarblue
cesarblue

this looks good but isnt this just castlevania, ha it's over for the ps3, they have no exclusive, for a 600 dollar console- neo-geo would be proud

m_esla
m_esla

nero gameplay and abilitys looks like zeig's in chaos legion

brotherscampos
brotherscampos

PS3 or Xbox 360 version I prefer DMC on PS because was the console where tehy born

wars45
wars45

roll on roll on ps3 wooooooooo dmc 4 will be ace

OatmealKing
OatmealKing

Wowzer were do i beggin.......first i would love to know when this "demo" will be available for the public. I must say, i thought DMC was an exclusive for the Playstation, since this is no longer a fact....i think it is only fair to the PS3 fanz to make exclusive content only found on the PS3 title of the game. DMC was one of my favorite game titles for the PS2, i played the second one before i got my hands on the first. Most say the first was better but i strongly disagree, the 2nd was alot more intense and far "funner" to play ( final boss was incredible not like in the first ). Anyways....I really would like to see this game offered in full HD 1080p. Atleast give me something to talk about now....i really wont like it if this game doesnt take FULL ADVANTAGE of the BD's capabilites. Capcom...with this said, your job is clear now get to it and make me proud.

Itachi11432
Itachi11432

when are they gonna have a demo on the playstation network.

X-Zer0-X001
X-Zer0-X001

I just wana know when this games comin out already jesus ya tellin me its comin to my 360 then make me wait forever at this rate Ninja Gaiden 2 will be out before this game hits :(

reeco411
reeco411

i know the game will be ridiculous just like DMC 3 now they will let u change styles on the fly. wow now i should be able to do combos i only dreamed about in DMC 3. go capcom. Nero looks pretty fun to play with his arm and all.

knicknut17
knicknut17

This is great! Add another yet stellar action/adventure game for my PS3. First God of War 2, then Ninja Gaiden Sigma, then Heavenly Sword, and finally Devil May Cry 4? WOW!

fizzyfunk
fizzyfunk

I'd imagine there will be some kind of bizzare twist in the story that will give us more info as to why this new guy looks almost exactly like dante... well, let's hope so lol

mixhawkeye
mixhawkeye

Why does Nero have to look exactly like dante?!?! If they wanted to push Dante aside that sucks, but it's okay if they want to go in a new direction with the series, but WHY MAKE NERO LOOK LIKE DANTE THEN!?!?! WTF WAS THAT ABOUT?!?! If you're making a new character in a series that everyone knows for Dante, don't make the new character look exactly like the old one....JUST MAKE A NEW CHARACTER! Is sony just not realizing the retardedness of this?

Devilhunter_415
Devilhunter_415

No offense, devil may cry is all about Dante and how he kicks demon ass. Nero looks neat and all, but why did they have to make him look so much like Dante. From the looks of it, the only thing that's different about Nero is his name, gun, and demotic right arm. Including a new character in DMC is a good idea, but don't push Dante aside for that character.

NND1
NND1

DMC ON 360!! AWESOME!!!

mingfu
mingfu

I will get this awesome game!!!!

Sony_FreaK
Sony_FreaK

Neva play Devil May Cry lol but i am gunna play asap i'll borrow it i don't care but I'll play all three then buy this 1

macabre190788
macabre190788

DMC3 is one of my absolute favorite games, needless to say I'm confident that this game won't let us down.

Jman9375783
Jman9375783

What are you talking about, TEX-MEX? Didn't you read the article, so far the article said you only play as the new character, Nero and Dante. They didn't say anything about playing Virgil--anyways this takes place after DMC1 and in DMC1, you kill Virgil. Also, the cursed arm belongs to Nero. Will, you should just the read the article...

amareen18
amareen18

its a good thing that they made it on the pc because i personally think its going to be pretty good on the pc but thats my opinion and the new character thing i think its o.k but still Dante who started the game a Dante who finishes it

TEX-MEX
TEX-MEX

After much anticipation, the next installment of Devil May Cry is upon us. Set just before Devil May Cry 2, Dante of course makes his appearance as well as his brother Virgil, who wanted revenge in Devil May Cry 3. Dante looks a bit like his DMC2 self, and the new power avaliable makes it possible to make his face more full of emotion and just make him look that little more special. However, Dante isn't the main character. It's Virgil. That doesn't mean to say that Dante's completely out of the picture and we'll only see him in one or two cutscenes. He is playable. It's just like Devil May 3, except the brothers switched around and it's on next-gen. This will give us an insight on Virgil, his thoughts and his feelings. The battle system looks similar to previous games but Dante's new cursed arm will add to the flavour. And knowing what could be achieved in DMC3, there will no doubt be more unique and crazy combos. However, some questions are still left unanswered. Who is the strange priestess in the Temple? How is she connected? Sparda's statue was also shown in the trailer, so will we see more of him as well? And what does this cursed arm do? Because it all looks so good, there is no question about it that it will have a fluent storyline, and it has been improved on every scale. This will leave a mark on us all.

maawal
maawal

Somebody are saying that PC will rock, it will be better than the console version blah blah blah......First, you should thank to CAPCOM that they'll release it on PC......PC version always sucks....because of the lousy ports and countless bugs....But I have no choice, I own a PC and I'll have to play it on PC.

mazniq
mazniq

On PC, huh? Well I fairly appreciated DMC3 SE on PC. But still, the port sucked. I kinda don't trust Capcom in porting games to the PC. Just look at Resident Evil 4, good god..

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

this nero character looks like a dante twin

TEX-MEX
TEX-MEX

Well, let's see... Devil May Cry...A new game in the series... Need I say more? Personally, I think DMC meant a lot to the gaming-community. Try naming 5 games with gameplay, equal or greater then playing with Dante. Looking at the trailer, they changed the demons with camera-men, but that's not so bad. Maybe fun even... I hope this time maybe we get to play on more, destinquished places or bigger environments. Some new characters to spice up the story, or Lady/Mary back for a bit of new gameplay. Over-all DMC is one of the best series out there.

edhc44
edhc44

I hope the 360 version turns out to be as good as the PS3's seem to be...

Dompimpin389
Dompimpin389

i will flip out if this game sucks. but capcom learned after DMC2 wut not to do

DredWulf
DredWulf

it's gonna be good on all systems if Capcom does a good port for the pc and the 360 I hate fanboyism.

DanteBlade-XIII
DanteBlade-XIII

Whenever they try and introduce new characters is when the game goes downhill. The perfect example comes from this very series, with the sequel where a female character is playable. It was in Devil May Cry 2. The majority of the second disc, we were forced to play with someone that was not the title character. Sure this Nero guy sounds cool with his demonic arm and all, but damn man this game was created by Dante. If it wasn't for him, his stylish moves, his awesome dialogue, and the comments he makes to the villain's and creatures he faces (John Mclane in Die Hard), the game would definitely not be the same. Putting in this Nero guy, is like making another Indiana Jones movie, without Indiana Jones, but with some new guy wearing the Indiana Jones attire. I sure hope Capcom rethinks their strategy here.

Oni_of_the_Ash
Oni_of_the_Ash

i would'nt mind getting this game on pc but the problem is that it might require windows vista

BL-kun
BL-kun

Geez again with the console fanboys coming to the PC section GET A LIFE! You know it's going to look good on PC and you hate it. Deal with it. It's only going to get worse for you as more tech comes out. Just wait till the 80 core chip comes out from Intel you'll really be **** then. If PC was such a bad system you wouldn't waste your time coming over here to bash it. PC is here to stay and we're only going to get more games over time so get used to it.

emmanuel123
emmanuel123

Now all I have to do is buy PS3 controler and an universal converter for USB. PC is the universal equipment!!! Gaming, School & at Work tool!!! PC Rocks!!!

Captain_Orgasm
Captain_Orgasm

This game will definatley be awesome, but I don't know about Nero. With no attachtment to the character, the player won't be as immersed as in previous installments. Lets hope Capcom change their minds and put in Dante as a fully playable character all the way through. Cool arm thing though.

darkprince99
darkprince99

what is this who the hell is nero MAAN i wanna play the whole game with dante not some parts thet nero dude and others dante i hope u can choose who u wanna play with it will be more interesting that way !!

p00phead
p00phead

it is gonna be sucky on pc but not on xbox 360 and ps3

GameLordX
GameLordX

when this game releases in Q1 of 2008 the rumble will already be in the PS3 together with the motion senser..thats so hott PS# rules

zeke2040
zeke2040

this game will suck on PC, but on PS3 heck no... this game is going to rock!