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Friday, 30 November 2012

Devil May Cry 4


Devil May Cry 4





Devil May Cry 4 is a hack and slash beat 'em up video game that was published and developed by Capcom in 2008 for thePlayStation 3Xbox 360 and Windows platforms. The game is the fourth installment to the Devil May Cry series.
In the game the player controls both the game's protagonist Nero and the series' main character Dante, as they fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. The characters Lady and Trish from DMC4COVER.jpgprevious games in the series make an appearance, along with new characters Nero, Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus, Gloria, and Agnus. The game is set after Devil May Cry but before Devil May Cry 2.[not verified in body]

Gameplay


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, and S 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(minimum being three full slots).[2]
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 starts and ends the game with his Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver, and the powers of his Devil Bringer (his demonic right arm). 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. The Exceed Gauge can also be filled by pressing the rev button at the peak of each slash. 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,the sword of Dante's brother, Vergil 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 (Trickster, Royal Guard, Sword Master, Gunslinger), each of which grants him different abilities, but he may now switch them at will with buttons or pads on the PlayStation 3 controller or the Xbox 360 controller, unlike inDevil May Cry 3. He also gains the Dark Slayer style near the end of his appearance, a style that is received after receiving yamato on mission 17, which only has one style level and can be accessed by pressing a style button twice. 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


Nero is a young man who lives on the city-island of Fortuna, where the island's inhabitants (The Order of the Sword) worship the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda as a god. He goes to the Opera House in time to see his romantic interest Kyrie perform for the Order of the Sword's celebration ceremony in Sparda's honor. The Order's high priest Sanctus begins a sermon, but is interrupted by Dantewho bursts from a skylight and assassinates Sanctus in front of the entire audience. The Order's Holy Knights, led by Kyrie's older brother Credo, try to subdue Dante but he defeats them easily as the audience flees the Opera House. Nero fights Dante as Credo takes Kyrie and promises to return with reinforcements. With only each other as witnesses, Dante and Nero's fight is brutal as Dante's prowess far outmatches Nero's. Their battle is stopped when Nero taps into his dormant demonic power, to the surprise of both himself and Dante, and emerges the victor. Impressed, and noticeably unfazed by Nero's pummeling, Dante reveals that the Holy Knights members he killed were actually demons. As for Nero, Dante implies that his heritage may be of a different sort, before he quickly departs.
Reinforcements arrive, and Nero keeps both his newfound power and his sudden misgivings about The Order to himself, as Credo gives Nero the task of stopping Dante and discovering his true intentions. However, the city suddenly finds itself under siege by a demonic attack, seemingly related to Dante's appearance. While Credo leads Kyrie and the townspeople to The Order of the Sword Headquarters, Nero embarks on his quest through the destroyed city to Fortuna Castle. At the castle Nero meets Gloria, a new high ranking Order of the Sword member who leaves to regroup with Credo at Headquarters. As his quest deepens, Nero uncovers the secret lab of Order of the Sword Member Agnus, who has secretly been experimenting with demonic power. Siphoning the intense demonic energy from the shards of Yamato (the long lost sword that used to belong to Vergil, Dante's brother), Agnus has secretly created an army of demon infused warriors and several Hell-Gates across Fortuna under the orders of Sanctus himself. Additionally, it is revealed that Sanctus has survived Dante's assassination by infusing himself with the soul of a powerful demon, in the aptly titled "Ascension Ceremony," which has given him and his followers the powers of a demon.
Shocked by the treachery of the Order, Nero fights Agnus but is mortally wounded by him. With the attack fully unlocking his own dormant demonic power, Nero's energy mends the broken Yamato and calls it to his hand. He destroys the lab and Agnus flees to Headquarters to inform Sanctus. Nero gives chase towards Headquarters, as he tries to piece together The Order's ultimate plan involving the Hell Gates, while also contemplating the implications of his demonic heritage. Defeating the creatures spawned from Agnus's Hell Gates, Nero discovers to his dismay that Credo is part of the conspiracy, having similarly undergone his own Acension Ceremony and become a demon. It is revealed that Credo has been tasked by Sanctus to stop Nero, and that Gloria has taken up Nero's job of hunting Dante, thus revealing The Order's intentions to eliminate all those who stand in their way. The fight between Nero and Credo is interrupted by Agnus who brings Kyrie to see Nero transform into a devil, which makes her lose her faith in Nero. Agnus then kidnaps Kyrie and departs. Credo, stunned by The Order's blatant use of his sister to stop Nero, is shaken in his own belief and apologizes to Nero, promising to return once he has investigated Sanctus's true intentions.
His quest to apprehend Dante long forgotten, Nero decides to save Kyrie from Sanctus, but ironically encounters Dante instead. Nero wishes to simply pass him, but Dante wants Nero to give him back Yamato, stating it has too much power to be trusted with anyone but himself. This in turn sparks a fight between Nero and Dante, which Nero soundly loses. After the fight, Dante reveals that he wanted to test Nero to make sure he could trust him to keep Yamato safe for the time being. Trading names, the two form a steady alliance, and Nero continues forward with Dante's approval. Suddenly, Gloria appears before Dante as Nero leaves, and it is revealed that she is actually Dante's partner Trish. Having been sent to hunt Dante, Trish's guise as Gloria has given herself and Dante the window to strike at Sanctus with the element of surprise on their side, and with Nero biting at Sanctus's heels.
Finally, Nero finds Sanctus at the heart of the Order of the Sword Headquarters with an enormous statue in Sparda's image, which Sanctus calls "The Savior." Sanctus reveals that only Yamato and the Legendary Sparda Sword, along with Sparda's blood can awaken the Savior and unleash it's incredible demonic powers. Having already received the Sparda Sword from Trish as Gloria (to buy Sanctus's trust), Sanctus needs only the blood of Sparda and Yamato. This final revelation reveals that Nero is indeed a descendant of Sparda's blood, and the key to Sanctus unleashing hell upon Fortuna. Nero rushes headfirst into battle, but Sanctus uses Kyrie as a human shield to distract Nero at the last minute, and succeeds in capturing him. Revealing that The Savior also requires a powerful demon at its core as a power source, Sanctus decides Nero will be a suitable replacement considering he had originally intended to use Dante. Suddenly, Credo returns and attacks Sanctus in an attempt to rescue Nero and Kyrie. Unfortunately, Credo is defeated by Sanctus who stabs him with Yamato, followed by Nero. With Nero's blood, The Savior awakens and Nero is absorbed into it, promising to Kyrie that he will free them as they are imprisoned within its confines. Dante and Trish appear, unable to stop the proceedings, and promise Credo in his final moments to save Kyrie and Nero.
Underneath the city, Agnus opens the true hell gate with Yamato, which releases countless demons upon the city. Using The Savior to defeat the oncoming demons, Sanctus enacts his ultimate plan: To strengthen the people's worship in Sparda by putting them through Hell, and subsequently acting as Sparda to save them. Dante, making his way through Fortuna, succeeds in destroying all of the false hell gates Agnus created, and kills Agnus after a confrontation in the Opera House. Reclaiming Yamato, Dante seals the final hell gate and sends Trish to help get the citizens as far away from his impending battle with The Savior as possible. Finally taking on The Savior, Dante skillfully engages Sanctus and weakens The Savior's power. Learning that The Savior's true power source lies from within, Dante takes Yamato and drives it through the Savior's chest, freeing Nero who reclaims it inside The Savior. With Dante fighting The Savior from the outside, and Nero from within, Nero races to the Savior's Heart where Sanctus awaits, with Kyrie as his prisoner. Facing Sanctus, Nero's love for Kyrie give him the strength he needs to gain the upper hand in the battle. Nero plunges Yamato into Sanctus's chest and frees Kyrie in process, who embraces him.
In the aftermath, Nero and Kyrie escape the confines of The Savior and Nero returns the Sparda Sword to Dante, its rightful owner. The Savior however reawakens, having absorbed Sanctus's soul, and attacks them. 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. The battle having been won, Nero goes to see Dante off. Returning Yamato to Dante, Nero comes to realize that he does not need to rely on its power anymore, having found his own inner strength. Sensing this change in Nero, Nero's offering prompts Dante instead to entrust him with Yamato, who accepts it as a token of Dante's respect. In entrusting Nero with Yamato, it is heavily implied that Nero is in fact the son of Dante's brother Vergil. This would explain Nero's connection to Sparda's bloodline, but it is never outright stated. Dante departs as Nero and Kyrie reconcile in the ruins of Fortuna. They are finally about to share a kiss when they are interrupted by scarecrow demons. Nero, finally embracing his demonic powers, readily goes to face them off.
Some time later, in the post credits scene, Lady makes a stop at the Devil May Cry office. Earlier in the story, it is revealed that Knights of the Order of the Sword had butted in on a few of her jobs, and stolen powerful Devil Arms. Sensing foul play, she had hired Dante and Trish to investigate The Order's intentions in the first place, so she could finally do her jobs in peace. Offering a laughably small reward, and citing that Trish bringing the Sparda Sword to Fortuna was the only reason things got so out of hand, the two argue over the pay as Dante tries to ignore them while reading a magazine. They bring Dante into the argument, who reluctantly accepts Lady's reward. With Lady having settled affairs to her liking, a phone call interrupts her exiting the shop. Trish answers and reveals that the caller is offering a job, which Dante ethusiastically accepts. With all forgotten in the thrill of the impending job, Lady excitedly asks to tag along, and Dante happily informs her that she won't get any of the reward money, as the three charge out into the night, guns blazing.

Development


On September 6, 2006, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported that the past games' main character, Dante, will not be the protagonist in Devil May Cry 4. Instead, a new character named Nero, voiced and motion captured by Johnny Yong Bosch, will take the lead.[3] Nero resembles both Dante and his twin brother, Vergil, and is part of the Order of the Sword, a group of warriors who worship Sparda.[4]
Nero's attire consists of blue jeans, a long blackish purple coat, and a red hoodie. He wields a revolver named Blue Rose, which has a distinctive under-and-over double barrel, and a decorated single-edged sword called the Red Queen. Nero views Dante as the antagonist, after witnessing the devil hunter first killing the Order's leader, Sanctus, and then murdering members of the Order.[5] Gameplay videos and screens reveal Dante to be an enemy boss in the game.[6]
Nero's right arm resembles a demon's arm, and glows supernaturally; it is also the source of his "Devil Bringer" power. Nero has his own "Devil Trigger" transformation, consisting of a demonic spirit hovering above him.[7] Capcom promotional videos revealed that the spirit mimics Nero's actions and that the Devil Bringer moves change depending on whether or not the Devil Trigger is active.[8]
Dante, the franchise's protagonist, is also playable, and has been updated with the core animations from his appearance in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, as well as that game's four basic fighting styles of Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger, and Swordmaster, which can be switched at will.[9] Game Informer reported that he was both an unlockable and playable character, playing an integral part of the game's storyline.[10] Capcom promotional videos revealed that, like Nero and the first Devil May Cry, the properties of his moves change if the Devil Trigger is activated.[11] Out of the 20 missions available, Dante is playable in seven of them. Returning weapons in his arsenal include the Rebellion sword, the Ebony and Ivory handguns, and the Coyote-A shotgun, but he will be able to acquire new Devil Arms after defeating enemy bosses.
In an interview, Devil May Cry 4's 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. 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.[12] 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.[13]
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. 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] With the team focused in completing the game, a new demo was not produced in time for the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit.[14]

Next-generation elements

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 PlayStation 3;[3] however, the game has since been released on the Xbox 360, and a PC version was released in July, 2008. Gameplay visuals, shown at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, demonstrate this game mechanic. Kobayashi stated in a Game Informer interview that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would be identical, although he did not comment on the PC version.[10] In a Eurogamer interview, Kobayashi confirmed that the PC version "would be great, because the same team is working on both".[17]


Cross-platform move

On March 19, 2007, Capcom announced the game would not be a PlayStation 3 exclusive; it would also be released for the Xbox 360 and the PC. 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.[18] Kobayashi stated that Devil May Cry 4 will have no major graphical differences between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.[10] He also claimed that the contents will be identical, except that "the feel of the controller" may cause a slight difference.[17] 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. A slide show is shown during the installation process, which introduces characters from previous games in the series.[19]


Release

The first teaser trailer was shown at E3 2005, depicting Dante traveling through a snow-covered environment, and quickly performing some fast, stylish moves.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]
Images from the March 2007 issue of Famitsu show Dante as a playable character. A short trailer was released later, displaying the character in gameplay. While Nero is the game's main character, Dante is the supporting character, playable during the second half of the game until the final boss.[23] A trailer shown at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show revealed the return of Lady and Trish.[24]
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.[3]

Collector's Edition

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,[25] while the European and Australian versions include a signed artbook instead, named "Art of the Devil".[26][27][28] 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.[29]


Windows version

GameSpot revealed that the Windows version would have 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 both Windows XP and Vista.[30] (also works on Windows 7). 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

It was revealed on January 11 that a version of Devil May Cry 4 titled Devil May Cry 4: Refrain was being released for iOS. It was released on February 3, 2011.


Reception


Upon its release 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 two million copies in its first month, making it the fastest sequel in the series to reach this mark.[44] As of March 31, 2012, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions combined to sell 2.6 million copies, according to Capcom.[45]As of December 20, 2010, the PS3 version has sold 362,141 copies in Japan, according to Famitsu.[46][47][48][49]
The game received generally favorable reviews, receiving an 84% overall rating from Metacritic.[32] 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."[50]
PSM3 gave the game a 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."[51]
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".[34] GameTrailers rated it an 8.6/10, and praised the voice acting while criticizing the corny dialogue.[40] IGN gave it a 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."[42]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";[not in citation given] 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".[39] 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".[52]

See also


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