Frankenreview: Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360)

Remember the Devil May Cry series? It came on the scene as an almost slap in the face to the survival horror genre, offering a silver-haired character Dante that scoffed at the occasional monster and any bullet count under infinity.

But it's been 7 years since the first game's incarnation, and Dante has been subverted by a remarkably similar looking chap sporting a glowy blue arm. So how series hold up? Hit the jump for our Frankenreview of Devil May Cry 4—because the suspense is killing you.

As for presentation, it's simply jaw-dropping. The visuals are absolutely spectacular throughout Devil May Cry 4, bursting with exquisite details. Whether you're storming the rooftop of an ice castle, fighting your way through underground caverns or slashing your way through a tropical jungle, they really come alive better than any current-gen Capcom effort we've seen. Occasionally, there is some slight flicker and slowdown, but this never dwindles the quality of the graphics.tn_565_3.jpg

Nero offers a remarkably different style of play thanks to the Devil Bringer, his demonically enhanced right arm. Its various uses include tossing foes around, pulling off unique finishing moves, and grappling across ...Devil May Cry has always rewarded pinpoint timing, and the Red Queen reconfirms that commitment with its brilliant "Instant Rev" mechanic that dishes out maximum damage by perfectly timing a button press during a combo. It's a seemingly insubstantial, purely optional gameplay addition that deepens combat immeasurably.tn_565_26.jpg

Getting to a boss or a mini-boss demon and seeing what happens when you grapple them is what keeps Nero's combat interesting through the first play through. We won't spoil anything for you, but Nero brutally pummels one of the bosses during a mission about half way through the game in an attack that ends with a super-slow motion punch to the face that'll have you wincing every time you see it. This is what the DMC games are all about - over-the-top, brutal, Japanese-style violence. And we love it.tn_565_12.jpg

Xbox World
While the mechanics of the game aren't problematic in the least, a lot of gamers may have an issue with camera placement. Capcom has kept the same detached camera system in use for many of its staple franchises - for dramatic effect. Inexplicably, however, it also sought to break the 180º rule at every turn, literally, which means that with every cut to a new camera angle, you will find your running direction reversed, causing unnecessary frustration.tn_565_5.jpg

There are other areas where the gameplay feels old - like the way you're penned into a predetermined area to fight demons, which respawn upon your return but with no requirement to fight them other than as a means to harvest more of the game's currency. Elsewhere, the accessibility doesn't extend to keeping you informed as to what to do or where to go next, so you're left to wander around until you find an arbitrary object...When it does things like this, it just feels like a high-def re-skin of a 2001 game design.tn_565_1.jpgI really wasn't a fan when I tried it out at TGS. The whole thing just felt like more of the same, but evidently that's what people want.


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