Devil May Cry 4

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Devil May Cry 4
DMC4COVER.jpg
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Director(s) Hideaki Itsuno
Producer(s) Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Writer(s) Bingo Morihashi
Composer(s) Tetsuya Shibata
Kento Hasegawa
Akihiko Narita
Masami Ueda
Shusaku Uchiyama
Kota Suzuki
Rei Kondoh
CHAMY.Ishi
Shinichiro Sato
Series Devil May Cry
Engine MT Framework v1.3
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
iOS
Release date(s) PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
JP 20080131January 31, 2008

NA 20080205February 5, 2008
AUS 20080207February 7, 2008
EU 20080208February 8, 2008
Microsoft Windows
NA 20080708July 8, 2008
AUS 20080710July 10, 2008
EU 20080711July 11, 2008

JP 20080724July 24, 2008
iOS
February 3, 2011
Special Edition
PlayStation 4 & Xbox One
  • WW Summer 2015
Genre(s) Action-adventure game
Hack and slash
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Blu-ray disc, DVD, download

Devil May Cry 4 is an action-adventure hack and slash video game that was published and developed by Capcom in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms. The game is the fourth installment to the Devil May Cry series. It later on generated a handheld version released on iOS, titled Devil May Cry 4: Refrain. Chronologically, the game is set between the original Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2.[1] It is the final game set in the original timeline.

The story follows Nero, a teenager possessing demonic powers who is on a mission to stop the series' main character, Dante, after he assassinates demons from the The Order of the Sword including its leader. During the game, the player controls both Nero and Dante as they fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. Devil May Cry 4 was the first entry in the series to release for multiple consoles at the same time; during its development, Capcom focused on all versions achieving the same visual quality.

Critical reception to Devil May Cry 4 has been positive with praise aimed towards its challenging difficulty and the characters' special moves. However, it has been criticized for its backtracking and a troublesome camera. The game has sold 2.9 million units worldwide, becoming the series' best-selling title. It has also been adapted into a two-volume light novel by its original writer, Bingo Morihashi. The game will be re-released in 2015 as Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, which adds dual English and Japanese-language voice tracks, as well Vergil from Devil May Cry 3 as a bonus playable character.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay in Devil May Cry 4 is similar to previous games in the series. The player must fight through levels called "missions", occasionally solving puzzles or gathering items. Performance in a mission is graded from D being the bottom grade through C, B, A, S, SS, and SSS being the highest grade. Grades are based on items used, Red Orbs gathered, time taken, and the amount of Style Points accumulated. Each Style Point grade has its own tag-word. The stylish grade shows up on the side of the screen and starts at "Deadly"(D); progresses through "Carnage"(C), "Brutal"(B), and "Atomic"(A); then, progresses through one last bar of grade containing the phrases "Smokin'"(S), "Smokin' Style"(SS), and lastly "Smokin' Sick Style"(SSS). Stylish combat is the main focus of the game, which is conveyed through unbroken combos of varied attacks while avoiding damage. The player must avoid enemy attacks to continue performing combos, often by memorizing attack patterns.[2] The Devil Trigger is a super state that enables the player to become more powerful adding a slow but steady health regeneration, with increased damage done. Devil Trigger can be activated by pressing the button to trigger it when the minimum amount on the gauge is filled.[2]

Dante performing one of his signature moves, the Stinger attack

Some changes introduced into Devil May Cry 4 are the presence of two playable characters, Dante and Nero, and a slight modification to the shop system. A new currency, Proud Souls, is used to buy new abilities while Red Orbs are used to buy items. Proud Souls are rewarded at the end of missions and the amount varies depending on how well the player performed. Cost of abilities also increase with the purchase of other abilities, though all abilities can be sold back for the original price.[2]

The player plays as Nero throughout most of the game. He is equipped with the Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver, and the powers of his Devil Bringer. The Red Queen features an Exceed Gauge that can be charged up, allowing for subsequent attacks that are more powerful than regular slashes, until the gauge empties. Nero also has the powers of his Devil Bringer, and can use it to pull himself towards enemies or vice-versa. The Devil Bringer may also be used for context-sensitive throw attacks, leading to high damage and various effects depending on the enemy. Nero's Devil Bringer also gains new abilities during the course of the game, such as being able to detect secret missions or caches of Red Orbs. Nero eventually gains the ability to use Devil Trigger after getting the katana known as Yamato, which increases his Devil Bringer's power, thus changing his Devil Bringer attacks into more powerful versions with different animations.[2]

The player plays as Dante through seven missions, taking over halfway through the game. His gameplay is similar to that of Devil May Cry 3, with him having access to multiple melee and ranged weapons which he gains after boss battles, and being able to cycle through them freely in combat, being no longer limited to equipping two weapons of each type as he was in the previous game. Dante also starts with his four styles, each of which grants him different abilities, but he may now switch them at will with buttons or pads on the controller, unlike in Devil May Cry 3.[3] He also gains the Dark Slayer style near the end of his appearance, which only has one style level. Styles do not level up through experience as in the previous game, but must instead be upgraded like other skills in the shop screen in between missions or at statues. Dante can also enter Devil Trigger; in his Devil Trigger he gains most of the benefits that Nero's Devil Trigger has, though, as he does not have the Devil Bringer, he gets animation and property changes on some of his normal attacks instead.[2]

Plot[edit]

Devil May Cry series
fictional chronology

Nero is a young man who works as a demon hunter for the The Order of the Sword that worships the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda as a god. When he goes to the Opera House to see his romantic interest Kyrie perform for The Order of the Sword's ceremony, the Order's high priest Sanctus is murdered by Dante, the son of Sparda who appears suddenly after crashing through a skylight. The Order's Holy Knights, led by Kyrie's older brother Credo, try to subdue Dante but he defeats them easily. Promising to return with help, Credo takes Kyrie to safety and leaves Nero to stall Dante. Tapping into his dormant demonic power, Nero overwhelms Dante. Impressed, Dante (before leaving) reveals that the Holy Knights members he killed were actually demons.[4] Credo gives Nero the task of stopping Dante in Fortuna Castle.[5]

In the castle, Nero discovers that Order of the Sword's Agnus has secretly been experimenting with demonic power using the demonic energy from Yamato, the long lost sword that used to belong to Dante's brother, Vergil. Agnus has created an army of demon infused warriors and several Hell Gates across Fortuna under the orders of Sanctus himself who has revived as a demon.[6] Nero fights Agnus fully unlocking his own dormant demonic power thanks to Yamato. When Agnus flees to Headquarters, Nero follows him and tries to piece together The Order's plan involving the Hell Gates.[7] He discovers that Credo is part of the conspiracy, having similarly become a demon. Credo has been tasked by Sanctus to stop Nero, while Gloria has taken up Nero's job of hunting Dante.[8][9] However, Credo stops his mission when Agnus uses Kyrie as a bait to capture Nero.[10]

Nero decides to save Kyrie from Sanctus, but encounters Dante, who tests him in fight to see if he is worthy of Yamato. Dante wins this time but lets Nero retain Yamato.[11] Nero finds Sanctus in the Headquarters with an enormous statue, which Sanctus calls "The Savior." Sanctus reveals that only Yamato and the Legendary Sparda Sword, along with Sparda's blood can awaken the Savior. Having already received the Sparda Sword from Gloria, Sanctus proceeds to absorb Nero, who has Sparda's blood. Using Kyrie as a human shield to distract Nero, he succeeds in capturing him.[12] Credo attempts to rescue Nero and Kyrie but is mortally wounded by Sanctus. Dante and his partner Trish, revealed to be Gloria, appear, unable to stop the proceedings, and promise Credo in his final moments to save Kyrie and Nero.[13]

Underneath the city, Agnus opens the true Hell Gate with Yamato, which releases countless demons. Using The Savior to defeat the oncoming demons, Sanctus plans to strengthen the people's worship by acting as their saviour. Dante succeeds in destroying all of the false gates Agnus created, and kills him. After reclaiming Yamato, Dante engages Sanctus. Dante takes Yamato and drives it through the Savior's chest, freeing Nero, who reclaims it inside The Savior.[14] He races to the Savior's Heart where Sanctus awaits, with Kyrie as his prisoner. Facing Sanctus, Nero saves Kyrie and both escape the confines of The Savior. The Savior reawakens, having absorbed Sanctus's soul. Destroying this final demon, Nero finally makes peace with his demonic heritage after acknowledging the power it has given him to save those he cares about. Dante entrusts him with Yamato before departing.[15] Nero and Kyrie then reconcile in the ruins of Fortuna.[16]

In the post credits scene, Lady makes a stop at the Devil May Cry office. She had hired Dante and Trish to investigate The Order's intentions but gives them a small reward for giving them Sparda to the Order in an attempt get to close to them. The three stop arguing after receiving a call involving a new job.

Development[edit]

Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi noted that the production team began working with the game using a PC-based engine. He said that this was the first PlayStation 3 game developed by Capcom, and that making this transition was a "hard step", particularly because no member of the producing team was familiar with the console's capabilities.[17] As the first Devil May Cry not to be released for PlayStation 2, the team wanted to introduce a new character for newcomers. This allowed them to try new play mechanics that and expand more the series' plot.[18] On September 6, 2006, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported that the past games' main character, Dante, would not be the protagonist in Devil May Cry 4. Instead, a new character named Nero, voiced and motion captured by Johnny Yong Bosch, took the lead.[19]

The game's multi-platform crossover was justified by emphasizing the Xbox 360's success in the North American and European markets, labeling the move as "natural". The final game uses Capcom's internally developed MT Framework engine.[17] In a thread questioning the move on the official Capcom message board, the company's senior director of strategic planning and research, Christian Svensson, responded by saying that they were moved by people's strong feelings about the decision, but that it was the best decision for the company and consumers.[20] He also claimed that the contents would be identical, except that "the feel of the controller" may cause a slight difference.[21]

Itsuno said in the Famitsu article that the visuals attempt to deliver a satisfying feel of being in the air, and that the actions of Nero's Devil Bringer could not be done on contemporary generation consoles, but they could be done on the new generation of consoles such as the PlayStation 3;.[19] Kobayashi stated that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would be identical, although he did not comment on the PC version.[22] Kobayashi confirmed that the PC version "would be great, because the same team is working on both".[21] The PlayStation 3 version requires the user to install 5GB of game data, taking 20 minutes, which shortens the length of the loading screens throughout the game.[23]

During production, new gameplay options were implemented in order to "keep up with fresh action games"; among these is the Devil Bringer's ability to bring enemies towards the characters.[24] Unlike Dante's progress in Devil May Cry 3, Nero was designed to become stronger by upgrading his Devil Bringer ability instead of receiving new weapons after defeating boss characters. During development, the production team noted several aspects of the game, including that Nero would be one of two main characters and that Dante was not going to be the only character from previous entries in the series to appear.[25] Producer Hiroyuki Kobashi noted prior to the release of that game that they wanted to make Dante seem significantly more powerful than Nero. This was done in order to create an evident difference between the strength of a "veteran" when compared to a "rookie".[26] Unlike Devil May Cry 3, the game's difficulty would be the same in both the Japanese and European versions as in the one released in North America.[25]

Before commencing the designs for the characters in Devil May Cry 4, character designer Tatsuya Yoshikawa consulted with several members of the staff that had worked in the series previously, in order to become familiar with previous elements. The characters were designed in order to emphasize their moves, which made the staff controlling their motions vital in the design.[26] Some of the demonic forms of the antagonists in Devil May Cry 4 resemble angels. These characters were designed to be attractive to the game's audience while providing a contrast when compared to other demons in the game.[26] Yoshikawa noted that several of the boss characters presented some difficulty when creating them, but that Nero's design was one of the biggest challenges he had experienced in his career, based on the fact that the character would have to be accepted by the public and fit in the series' universe.[26]

The soundtrack for Devil May Cry 4 was composed by Tetsuya Shibata, Shusaku Uchiyama, Kento Hasegawa, Akihiko Narita, Kota Suzuki, Rei Kondo, Chamy Ishi, Masami Ueda and Shinichiro Sato.[27]

Release[edit]

The first teaser trailer was shown at E3 2005, depicting Dante traveling through a snow-covered environment.[28] A more substantial trailer was released at that year's Tokyo Game Show, with a more rugged and older Dante in a city-like setting.[29] Both teasers show very little detail of the game itself. At the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, a more complete trailer debuted, along with a playable demo, featuring the character Nero.[30]

A fourth trailer, released on December 17, 2007, revealed more gameplay and story detail, as well as information on new songs for the game, including a new version of "Lock and Load", Dante's theme music from the first Devil May Cry, with new lyrics written and performed by Shawn "Shootie HG" McPherson, the lyricist and lead vocalist on the soundtrack of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Released with the Japanese version of the game is Japanese rock band, L'Arc-en-Ciel, and their new single, "Drink It Down", which is used as the Japanese opening for the game.[19] The company presented the game's first demo at an event titled "Capcom's Gamer's Day", where Kobayashi highlighted several of the games features.[31] With the team focused in completing the game, a new demo was not produced in time for the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit.[25]

Collector's Edition[edit]

A collector's edition of the game was released at the same time as the regular version. The North American version features a bonus disc containing the making of Devil May Cry 4, and an additional disc of the first four episodes of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series,[32] while the European and Australian versions include a signed artbook instead, named "Art of the Devil".[33][34][35] A very small number of Collector's Edition packages were signed by the game's producer, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, on the back of the metal tin on Dante's left shoulder. This number has been reported to be as low as only 100 signed copies of the Collector's Edition for each console, making for a total of 200 signed copies. Both versions were packaged in a steelbook case.[36]

Windows version[edit]

The Windows version has exclusive features, including more modes and visual customization. Turbo Mode is featured, giving the game a slightly faster speed, and a new difficulty called Legendary Dark Knight Mode is implemented. The PC version also has both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 mode. It is labeled Games for Windows and runs on XP, Vista and 7.[37] It assumes a Gamepad is present and only uses the mouse in the menus, providing the same interface as the Xbox 360 version.

iOS version[edit]

An iOS version called Devil May Cry 4: Refrain was announced January 11, 2011. It was released on February 3, 2011.

Special Edition[edit]

On December 15, 2014, Capcom revealed that an updated version of the game would be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Summer 2015. The Special Edition will feature Vergil from Devil May Cry 3 as a bonus playable character, as well as dual English and Japanese-language voice tracks.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS3) 84.13%[38]
(X360) 83.26%[39]
(PC) 80.05%[40]
(iOS) 69.37%[41]
Metacritic (PS3) 84/100[42]
(X360) 84/100[43]
(PC) 78/100[44]
(iOS) 65/100[45]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A−[46]
Edge 8/10[47]
Famitsu 35/40[48]
Game Informer 9/10[49]
GameSpot 8/10[51]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[50]
GameTrailers 8.6/10[52]
GameZone 9 of 10[53]
IGN (PS3/X360) 8.7/10[54]
(PC) 8/10[55]
Hardcore Gamer 4.25 of 5[56]

Critical reception[edit]

Devil May Cry 4 received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 84.13% and 84/100,[38][42] the Xbox 360 version 83.26% and 84/100[39][43] and the PC version 80.05% and 78/100.[40][44]

Xbox World Australia gave the game 90/100, saying "Devil May Cry 4 is everything a hack-and-slash should be and then some. Sadly it falters with repeated level design and a moderately troublesome camera; but in the grand scheme of things, these are only minor flaws."[57] PSM3 gave the game an 80 out of 100. The magazine discussed the difficulty of the game, saying, "Most games these days tend to hold your hand all the way through...Devil May Cry is not like that. It'll throw a million demons at you because it wants to, put in half a dozen arbitrary fights in a 30-foot stretch of map, force you to survive for ages on a tiny sliver of health... and then give you a D at the end of the level because you weren't doing enough combos."[58]

1UP.com graded it A-, praising the gameplay and "predictably slick" looks, but criticized the "divisive industrial hard-rock nonsense.... that sullied DMC3 [and] returns here" and the game's "overly frugal approach to level design".[46] GameTrailers rated it an 8.6/10, and praised the voice acting while criticizing the corny dialogue.[52] IGN gave it an 8.7 saying, "Whether it's on the PS3 or the 360, action fans are going to get one incredible experience with this game, and if you own either system, you'll have a great time." However, the review also noted that, contrary to Kobayashi's claim, "Dante simply doesn't have nearly as many weapons as he did in DMC3" and found that "the amount of backtracking and repetition makes the game feel somewhat half-heartedly finished in the design department."[54] GameSpy gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating that "DMC4 succeeds on many levels because it fuses fan service with entertaining gameplay", finding that "visually, DMC4 is a dynamo." The review also praised Nero for "[bringing] something fresh to the franchise" and being "as diverse as DMC3 SE's Vergil";[50] however, they also claim that "it cheapens things a little to see that the team has opted to recycle assets in lieu of showing us more of this rich world" and call out the "annoying industrial-meets-butt-rock soundtrack".[50] Hyper's Dirk Watch commends the game for "looking great, combos galore and being more fun than Devil May Cry 3". However, he criticized it for "still playing like Devil May Cry 2 as well as choppy pacing and level design".[59]

The series' original creator, Hideki Kamiya, said he used this game as a research when developing Bayonetta, an action game that would use a similar style from the Devil May Cry series that borrowed elements from the Devil May Cry series.[60] In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.[61]

Sales[edit]

Devil May Cry 4 sold well in Japan and the United States. On February 20, 2008, Capcom's president Haruhiro Tsujimoto announced in a press release that the game shipped 2 million copies in its first month, making it the fastest sequel in the series to reach this mark.[62] As of December 20, 2010, the PS3 version has sold 362,141 copies in Japan.[63][64][65] The PC version was noted to have low sales which Capcom thought was due to piracy issues.[66] Since its release the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have sold 2.9 million copies.[67]

Media[edit]

Following the game's popularity, a two-volume novel adaptation of the game named Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune was released in 2009 by Capcom.[68][69] It is a two-volume graphic novel written by Bingo Morihashi and his assistant writer Yasui Kentarou.

The novel covers the story of Devil May Cry 4, and the events that happened before it. It expands Nero's backstory as it is revealed he was abandoned in Fortuna when he was baby. An unidentified character following Sparda's footsteps also appears in the novel first in a flashback when Nero was found in Fortuna as well as in a dream before Nero wields Yamato for the first time. During the novel Nero is often compared with Dante's brother Vergil; Dante is unable to understand the connection between the two. The ending is also expanded as Nero opens his own demon hunting business after the Order of the Sword. In the afterword, Bingo wrote that these removed scenes were intended to be included in the game, but it did not due to some production reasons.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

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  7. ^ Capcom. "Devil May Cry 4". Capcom. Agnus: How... Not even I could succeed in restoring it...! Nero: From that day forth... my arm changed... and a voice echoed... "Power..." "Give me more power!" / Agnus: What...? / Nero: And if I become a demon, so be it. I will endure the exile. Anything to protect her. / Agnus: This is preposterous! Preposterous! / Nero: I should get back to Headquarters. If what Agnus said is true... Credo must've known something. 
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  9. ^ Capcom. "Devil May Cry 4". Capcom. Credo: I have been chosen to take the next step in evolution, to become something far more than just human. I am an angel! / Nero: Wrong, Credo. All that you've become is a demon. / Credo: As the Captain of the Holy Knights, you are now under arrest. It is the wish of His Holiness! 
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  15. ^ Capcom. "Devil May Cry 4". Capcom. Nero: Wait. You forgot this. / Dante: Keep it. / Nero: What...? I thought this meant a lot to you...? / Dante: That's the only kind of gift worth giving. I want to entrust it to you, and so I am. What you do from here is your call. / Nero: Hey, Dante! Will we meet again? 
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