With the current generation of new consoles gasping for credible time worthy content, the trend towards dusting down old classics and giving them a fresh coat of paint seems likely to continue for some time. With this thought in mind it seemed only a matter of time before Capcom’s highly stylised hack and slash brawler, Devil May Cry was given a new leash of life.
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition comes seven years after the franchise’s introduction in 2008. Since then gaming franchises have risen and fallen, one console and then another has dominated the market. In some cases only to slide back to near obscurity. And since 2008 the games industry has risen to become the dominant form of home entertainment on the planet. Amidst all of these changes Devil May Cry has remained one of the industry’s most popular gaming franchises. With a loyal fan base spanning every continent on the globe, the series has seen many itinerations since 2008. But it goes without saying that Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition could outrank them all. Staying faithful to the original’s frenetic and visceral gameplay, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is crammed with enough original features to make this seem like a whole new gaming experience.
From the outset gamers can now choose to play the game as either Nero, a knight who serves in the mysterious Order of the Sword, or as one of three new characters Trish, Lady and Virgil. For many who have already battled their way through previous DMC games, both Nero and Dante have pretty identical playing styles. But the addition of Trish, Lady and Virgil takes the franchise in three whole new directions., Whereas Trish’s abilities are fast and fluid, Lady is slower and more powerful. Virgil’s character, with his stunningly fast and veracious attacks, embodies a little bit of both.
The story behind Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is a complicated one that sees Dante, the previous DMC hero, apparently murder the leader of the Order of the Sword. It’s up to new kid on the block Nero to avenge the killing during a frenetic 4 – 7 hour campaign that also sees you taking control of the Dante character.
Visually Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is one of the best looking games on the Xbox One bar none. In the past the highly stylized DMC artwork has always been recognized as setting high production standards. But the port to the new gen consoles has elevated Devil May Cry to a whole new level. The game looks fantastic rendered on 1080p and each screen could be printed out and hung on your wall. It really is that good to look at.
As far as longevity goes, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition offers an ultra challenging Legendary Dark Knight mode. Honestly we laughed and cried – often at the same time – while playing this option. The Legendary Dark Knight mode is tougher than a bear armed with a flick knife. Think Dark Souls ramped up to level 10. To say it could take you the best part of a month to master this mode is no exaggeration.
The only minor niggle we had with the game, if you can call it a niggle, was the way characters often made jarring entries into each others stories. This was possibly done as a way of weaving their individual tales together. However the overall effect was sometimes disjointed and did little to move the story along. Apart from this minor complaint, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is a fantastic re-boot for the franchise. It offers enough for franchise veterans and is a great introduction to anyone new to the DMC universe.
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