Devil May Cry 4 Demo Impressions

24 01 2008

Developer: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: God of War Clone

DMC4 Logo

Let’s get one thing straight, I am by no means a fan of this series, largely due to me not being very good at these games in the slightest. I’ve only played the original DMC on the PS2, and didn’t get past level 8 or something hilariously pathetic. If you are interested in the opinions of a seasoned DMC player, I would strongly advise you to go somewhere else.

The demo is divided into two sections: “Mission: Executioner” which a straight fight against some enemies and a boss, and the totally different sounding “Mission: Exterminator” which a timed 10 minutes mode where you are searching for a thesaurus. Sorry, not that. It’s just a level that you can play for 10 minutes.

Mission Exterminator

Dante… Okay I’ll stop here. Is it Dante? I deliberately never research for these reviews, and only report on what the demo tells me, so I have no idea. It probably isn’t Dante seeing as his jacked isn’t red, but it might as well be. He’s got a gun, a sword, a jacket albeit not red, and white hair. So yeah, Dante.

Anyway, Dante seems to of found himself in a gothic castle place thing again, and he must run around killing what I will inaccurately describe as marionettes even though they aren’t (they are sort of more like sock puppets), with guns and swords. Being a Devil May Cry game, the level is laid out like a series of corridors and courtyards that you can’t really explore too much because it won’t let you go anywhere off the beaten track. This leads to situations where it looks like you can get places, but can’t just because it’s scenery rather than level stuff.

As you wander around sometimes a red wall will block you path and some enemies will spawn, so you have to kill them to get rid of it. Regarding controls, the four face button are a button for slicing, shooting, grappling and jumping which I advise you just sort of mash in some order until the enemies die. You can also lock on with the right bumper which is probably useful in some respect.

In classic Japanese tradition, the guns look cool but very ineffective, and it’s basically not worth bothering with them as the sword will kill whatever it is a precisely five trillionty times faster. Just for a test, I loaded up the game again and tried to kill the first enemy just using the gun. He took 98 bullets to kill, or 98 presses of the X button. Doesn’t anyone else see a problem with this or is it just me?

DMC4 - Guns suck
…78…79…80…

In the ten minutes I had, I ran through some courtyards, a church thing where Dante got a grappling hook hand-crystal thing like it was the most normal thing in the world. After that the sock puppet things were having a rave on some flaming busses  down in the street for some reason, so I had to use my new grapple hand to bypass them like a pussy by flying over their heads. After that was a fruit stall that I destroyed, then a docks area, then the demo ended. I spent about 3 of the 10 minutes trying to work out where to go, so there’s probably a bunch more for those who are faster than I, which is probably a lot of people.

Mission: Executioner

In this mode Dante starts in a frozen wasteland. You run through for about 2 minutes admiring the scenery, then some weird ice monsters attack. After deftly defeating them (Hint: Mash the grapple, jump and melee buttons with your thumb), you are whisked away to a desolate village area where a Balrog pops out of the ground and starts bellowing exposition at you. Dante decides to kill him before he gives too much away.

Okay, so confession time. I didn’t actually manage to kill this boss. “Only one run through of each mode” I told myself and that’s what I did. I got about two-thirds of his life down, but then I got stuck against the wall that the camera wasn’t showing me, and he wailed on me till I died.

DMC - Balrog
SILENCE MORTAL! FACE THE WRATH OF MY DEADLY CAMERA ISSUES!

As not to pointlessly drag out this article, the rest of my thoughts will be in list form.

Positive and Negatives

+ Looks fantastic. The detail on the environments is great, the enemy design is beautiful especially the Balrog.
+ Runs at about 100FPS and never dips even for a second.
+ Controls are very responsive, absolutely no delay.
+ It’s totally Devil May Cry
+ Pressing ‘Back’ makes Dante say ‘Come on!’, ‘Shall we Dance?’ or ‘Whatdya Say?’ to no-one in particular.
+ Sometimes the right stick controls the camera.

– Cramped levels design make exploring impossible or frustrating.
– Jumping around the environments feels really crappy. The jump is really supposed to be a combat move rather than an environment move, but when they put a red orb somewhere that needs some fancy jumping its just painful.
– Guns might as well be firing harsh language.
– I was killed by a bad camera angle.
– Dante doesn’t seem to have a reflection. Maybe it’s because he’s a vampire or something. Or was he a demon? I have no idea. As I said, he’s probably not even Dante, but regardless, no reflection. Bad.
– Sometimes the right stick does not control the camera.

I think I just don’t get on with Devil May Cry games at the end of the day. I can see that it’s technically impressive, and definitely succeeds in being a Devil May Cry game, it’s just I don’t necessarily want to play one. So, to fans of these games: Hooray! You’ll love it! But this demo probably isn’t going to convince anyone who doesn’t get on with them that it’s suddenly become much more accessible to any degree.

Arbitrary Rating: Who cares what I think. Based on the demo it’ll get around a 9 average in reviews, you’ll see!