Rewarding combat system and a campy storyline. Replay is huge!
I started the game on medium because I consider myself to be a competent action game player. The difficulty was perfect for me at that stage. The combat system is smooth and expansive. Their are just so many different moves you can do. The story is weak and this is further hindered by the annoying characters. Nero the lead character is wimpy like Tom Cruise, he tries to be mad and tough but just comes off as a pest. I should give credit to Dante though the secondary character. Dante jests at the evil characters with witty remarks throughout the game. Another character I should mention is an "evil" character named Agnus. Agnus is a studdering loser that tries to be tough, like he actually studders and cries like a baby through the game, its highly annoying but its fun to whoop his ass! So the weak characters coupled with a ho hum story make the feel of the game suffer a little. Just a little though, the combat and the graphics are superb.
The game starts off at a church, then you have to go to a castle up in the snowy mountains, through a forest, and finally a bigger castle at the end of the forest. Each part of the game has a lot of detail, I was pleasantly surprised at the range of scenery packed in this game.
The combat system has a combo meter that builds when you use diverse attacks in concession without getting hit your combo meter grows. You get graded by this starting at D and moving up to A, finally if your really kickin butt you get an S and if your in the zone bigtime you can get up to SSS. Each grade has a word attached to it so its like Deadly, Critical, Blazing, Amazing, Super, Stylish, Smoking. It's a little campy but I like it. The combos don't do anything but add points and make you look good.
Throughout the game their are these hidden missions. You find hidden missions in the form of a written script posted to a wall, a tree, whatever. The hidden missions can be incredibly hard, the first one I had difficulty with was one where I had to consecutively hit enemies 5 times without touching the ground. I remember taking a few shots at it then just looking at my screen pondering how exactly to do this. I guess that's why I consider myself competant at action games, things like that take some learning. Anyway I got it eventually and looking back I could do it again no sweat. It's little tasks like this that make a game interesting.
In order to get new attacks and power ups you have to purchase them from these shrines. Your currency is proud souls that you get from fallen enemies and red orbs obtained from basically anything that can break. The proud souls buy you moves for your body and your weapons and the red orbs buy you items like Holy Water. Holy water is awesome buy it often, it does major damage to all enemies on screen.
When I finished the game I had only unlocked a few new moves. The coolest thing is that you play with all your new power ups when you play through again. I ended up finishing the game 3 times...so far. The last time I finished it was on a mode called Dark Knight. In this mode their are about 3 times more enemies! It's so cool to use a special move and build your combo like crazy because your hitting so many enemies. By far the most enduring element of the game is the combat, when you learn to be smooth with your attacks and diversify them you'll have a blast.
The game could have a better story line a stronger characters. The visuals and the combat system are outstanding. I recommend this to anyone that like a good action/fighting game.