Devil May Cry 4
|Devil May Cry 4|
|Series||Devil May Cry|
|Engine||MT Framework v1.3|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
Devil May Cry 4 is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed and published 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.
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 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 was positive, with praise aimed towards its challenging difficulty and the characters' special moves. However, it was also criticized for its backtracking and a troublesome camera. The game sold over 3 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.
A remastered version of the game was released in June 2015 as Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, which adds both English and Japanese voice tracks, improved visual effects and textures, in-game re-balancing, additional costumes, and 3 bonus playable characters: Vergil, returning from Devil May Cry 3, Trish, playable for the first time since Devil May Cry 2, and Lady, who makes her playable debut.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
The Special Edition introduces a new gameplay for each new characters like Vergil, Lady and Trish. Lady and Trish, like Dante and Nero, also only playable on a certain mission routes.
The player plays Lady will have a same mission route as Nero. She has a similar gameplay as Nero, such as the grappling move mechanism. However, Her combat style relies heavily on using her firearms.
The player plays Trish will have a same mission route as Dante. She has a similar gameplay as Dante. According to Hideaki Itsuno, the director of Devil May Cry 3 & 4, states that "...she does away her weapon switching and instead use of the Sparda Sword in the variety of ways that require the use of relatively few buttons." He also stated that her style is "...distinctly different you've seen anything in the game until now.
The player plays Vergil through all game's missions. He retain his moves from the Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3, including the close ranged weapon switches, but also added with elements from the reboot of the franchise DmC: Devil May Cry. It is known that his moves are also fully upgradable. And a feature was added for his choice of stylized fighting, which is known as the "Concentration" mechanic. While in action, Vergil's abilities and moves will grow stronger and faster the more calmly and flawlessly he fights. The Concentration mechanic is signaled by a blue gauge in the upper left corner of the screen which is Vergil's Concentration Gauge. It has three levels. The higher the level, the more powerful attacks he will be able to perform. To increase the gauge, Vergil can land attacks on enemies and dodge their attacks, but if he is hit by an enemy or if he runs, these cause the gauge to deplete. Missing attacks also depletes the gauge, so the player must be efficient with their attacks during battle.
In an extra Special Edition story for Vergil, set before the events of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Vergil has been traveling the world, looking for information about his father Sparda. Arriving in Fortuna, Vergil sets out to investigate the Order of the Sword and their intentions. In Vergil's closing cutscene, he leaves Fortuna, presumably having gained the knowledge he was looking for, and notes that while he can't exactly call them [The Order] misguided, "...one day they will all know the true power of a son of Sparda."
In the Main Story, Nero is a young man who lives in the castle-town of Fortuna on a mysterious island, isolated from the rest of the world. Fortuna is home to The Order of the Sword, a sect of holy knights who worship the demon Sparda as their God. Their leader, is the High Priest Sanctus, who leads the congregation as a benevolent spiritual leader, despite Nero's clear lack of faith. With the white hair and attitude not unlike a descendant of Sparda, his true parentage remains a mystery. Discovered on the island as a baby, Nero was sent to live with Credo, The Captain of the Holy Knights, who raised Nero to fight demons alongside his peaceful younger sister Kyrie, whom Nero eventually develops feelings for. Though Nero does not believe in The Order’s worship of Sparda, and openly subverts convention by using firearms, and customizing his own sword with a motorcycle handle that shoots flames, he truly believes in protecting the innocent.
At the beginning of the game’s events, Sanctus is giving a sermon to the packed Opera House during the Festival of the Sword celebration, when suddenly, Dante himself crashes through the skylight above, and murders Sanctus in full view of the congregation, plunging the Opera House into chaos. As Nero fights Dante, Credo leads Kyrie and the others to safety, whereupon Nero is shocked to discover a latent demonic power in himself, which transforms his entire arm. From there on, Dante recognizes that Nero is "different from the others," and begins to influence Nero’s journey.
Initially presented as the primary antagonist who he must capture, Nero’s encounters with Dante over the course of the game reveal that the Order of the Sword is in fact responsible for a number of atrocities. Chief among them, is the Order's High-Ranking Scientist Agnus, who has succeeded in transforming himself, Credo, and a very-much-alive Sanctus into Demons with incredible power by siphoning demonic energy from Yamato, the long lost Devil Arm of Dante's twin brother Vergil. Furthermore, Sanctus has used Agnus' research to summon an army of demons to attack Fortuna, while simultaneously awakening a long dormant weapon called The Savior (a giant colossus made in Sparda's image) to destroy the threat; posing as the second coming of Sparda in order to eliminate non-believers, and strengthen his congregation’s worship.
Initially contracted by fellow demon hunter Lady, Dante has come to stop Sanctus’ plan. And with his longtime partner Trish undercover in the Order as the mysterious Gloria, they help lead Nero to discover the truth himself, whereupon he forges a mysterious connection to Yamato, which chooses to aid him in battle. Following a final confrontation against Dante, Dante ultimately decides that Nero's intentions are good, and he allows Nero to keep Yamato for the time being; finally sealing their alliance. Using his newfound power in the wake of Credo’s betrayal, Nero is able to help Credo turn against The Order after Sanctus successfully captures himself and Kyrie to use as leverage. Though Credo eventually gives his life in a vain attempt to set things right, Dante and Trish promise him that they will save Kyrie and Nero.
Wasting no time, Trish evacuates the innocents of Fortuna, while Dante stays busy destroying the false Hell Gates which brought the demon army, reclaiming Yamato after defeating Agnus, and finally going head-to-head with The Savior in an epic sky battle above Fortuna, as Sanctus controls it from within. With Nero still captured inside The Savior, Dante is able to drive Yamato through The Savior’s chest, freeing Nero, who reclaims it inside. In a final battle inside The Savior, Nero destroys Sanctus and saves Kyrie. Though still coming to terms with his as-of-yet unclear ties to the Sparda bloodline, Nero is finally able to make peace with it, after acknowledging the power it has given him to protect those he cares about.
Before departing Fortuna, Dante surprises Nero by deciding to entrust him with Yamato indefinitely; thus recognizing him as a part of his family. The two part as equals. In a way, this also symbolizes Dante letting go of the past, and allowing himself to move on from his brother Vergil's death. Left in the ruins of Fortuna, Nero easily fights off the last remaining demons, before finally sharing his first kiss with Kyrie. In the extra Special Edition story for Trish and Lady, both appear (somewhat non-canonically for Lady) and witness the kiss from afar with Dante, only for Trish to lament that "at least someone knows how to get the girl."
In the Main Story Epilogue, Lady returns to the Devil May Cry Office to settle up. Claiming that Dante and Trish only escalated the situation by unwittingly providing the Devil Arms that were key to Sanctus’ plan, she gladly pays them next to nothing. But as Trish answers a call for a new job, Dante gets Lady back for it by allowing her to tag along without getting paid. It’s clear that none of them are in it for the money anyway, as all three charge into the night guns blazing.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. He also claimed that the contents would be identical, except that "the feel of the controller" may cause a slight difference.
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. Kobayashi stated that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would be identical, although he did not comment on the PC version. Kobayashi confirmed that the PC version "would be great, because the same team is working on both". 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.
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. 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. 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". 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.
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. 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. 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.
The soundtrack for Devil May Cry 4 was composed by Tetsuya Shibata, Shusaku Uchiyama, Kento Hasegawa, Akihiko Narita, Kota Suzuki, Rei Kondoh, Masayoshi "Chamy" Ishi, Masami Ueda and Shinichiro Sato.
Two exclusive features are Turbo Mode (previously featured only in Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition) giving the game a 20% speed boost and a new difficulty mode called Legendary Dark Knight Mode which can display over 100 enemies in some missions at once. Both features return in the Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition release.
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. It assumes a Gamepad is present and only uses the mouse in the menus, providing the same interface as the Xbox 360 version.
An iOS version called Devil May Cry 4: Refrain was announced January 11, 2011. It was released on February 3, 2011.
Marketing and release
The first teaser trailer was shown at E3 2005, depicting Dante traveling through a snow-covered environment. 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. 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.
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. 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. With the team focused in completing the game, a new demo was not produced in time for the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit.
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, while the European and Australian versions include a signed artbook instead, named "Art of the Devil". 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 was 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.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
On December 15, 2014, Capcom revealed that an updated version of the game would be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game was released on June 18, 2015 for the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and June 24, 2015 for the PC version in Japan, and on June 23, 2015 for all announced platforms in other regions. It was released physically and digitally in Japan and only digitally in other regions. The Special Edition features Vergil, Trish, and Lady as bonus playable characters, each with new opening and ending movies. Bonus costumes for Trish and Lady were included in the first-print run of the physical version and as a pre-order bonus for the digital versions. Included in the game were bonus costumes and EX-colors for Nero, Dante, Vergil, Lady and Trish. The game contains the Legendary Dark Knight mode, an additional difficulty mode featuring a vastly increased enemy count, and a Turbo setting, which increases game speed by 20%, both previously exclusive to the PC version of the original release. The in-game economy was re-tuned for quicker acquisition of Red Orbs and Proud Souls, both used for leveling up skills and purchasing items. The remaster also has uncompressed textures and some improved visual effects. Completely new to the Special Edition is a Japanese language voice track.
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." 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."
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". GameTrailers rated it an 8.6/10, and praised the voice acting while criticizing the corny dialogue. 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." 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"; 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". 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".
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 and which borrowed elements from the Devil May Cry series. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
Capcom expected Devil May Cry 4 to ship 1.8 Million Units by the end of its respected fiscal year. 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 selling title in the series. By the end of the title's launch year, it had sold 2.32 Million Copies and would eventually reach the milestone of 3 Million units sold by December 31, 2014. Capcom's Christian Svensson noted the PC retail version's sales in the US did not meet his wishes, while a digital download version was only available in the form of piracy as Capcom Japan did not allow the game to be sold online. (A PC digital distribution release was made available over a year later).
In July 2015, Capcom announced the Special Edition sold well, with the majority of units sold digitally. They further cited that the digital sales of the "Special Edition" were a key contributor to their overall growth for the fiscal quarter.
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. 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 (strongly hinted to be Dante's brother Vergil) 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 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 were not due to some production reasons.
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Nero: You aren't human, are you / Dante: We're the same... you and... I... and them... Though I suspect you carry something different from the others. / Nero: What are you talking about? / Dante: You will come to learn the meaning soon enough. But... business beckons.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Nero: Guy just came from Hell, he's gotta hit up a couple tourist sites. / Credo: You jest so lightly in a time of crisis? You must capture him. / Nero: Trust me, I'll get it done.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Agnus: Ahhh, but His Holiness has been reborn. As an angel! / Nero: An angel...? / Agnus: And soon, soon, so shall I. See what just a small fraction of my research has yielded? Look! How beautiful this white armor stands! You have no idea the hardship to make just one armor come to life. I had to capture and control countless demons to harness their souls. Summoning them alone was almost an insurmountable task! / Nero: Summoning...? So it was you... who made the gate!? / Agnus: Yes, yes, the Hellgate! I created it merely as a reference in substitution for the real Gate, but after utilizing an extremely powerful Devil's Arm, it proved sufficient...
- 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.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Dante: That sword... was used to separate our world from the demons. I can't have something of that kinda power floating around now can I? It's got to stay in the family. / Nero: I need this... / Dante: Then keep it. Now that you're calm and cool... Get going.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Sanctus: Held back by love. Such a shame. Still, I must salute a man who carries the blood of Sparda. While not in Dante's league, you still presented a harder fight than I had anticipated. / Nero: Dante...? / Sanctus: I had originally intended to absorb him into our Savior, but circumstances presenting, I'd rather choose the option at hand.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Credo: Please... honor my one last request... Save them... Kyrie... and... Nero... / Dante: I'll do it. I wouldn't want to deny anyone their dying request.
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Dante: Time to wake up kid, you're missing out on all the fun. Nero! It's up to you from here, kid! An opportunity to save the world doesn't happen every day you know! Savor it. / Nero: This I will savor... Let's clean up this mess!
- 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?
- Capcom. Devil May Cry 4. Capcom.
Kyrie: The city's a wreck. / Nero: Yeah. / Kyrie: I... I am still alive, right? / Nero: Yeah. We both are. Kyrie... If I'm a demon, and not a human anymore... is this what you want? / Kyrie: Nero, you're you. And it's you I want to be with... I don't know anyone who is as human as you are.
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