Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Following the release of DmC: Devil May Cry for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Capcom decided to prep another release in the series, the more traditional Devil May Cry 4, with the Special Edition treatment. It's a neat idea, at first, considering that some people prefer the classic style to the new treatment that Ninja Theory provided. That said, there's also that sense of skepticism, as if the game didn't really need to make its way to new consoles.
That's not to say DMC 4 isn't a worthy game, as it is. There's plenty of action to go around, through robust levels that involve occasional puzzle solving and combo-building action against enemies big and small. However, it came out in 2008, and since that time, we've seen an evolution is how action games are supposed to click. Compared to the likes of Bayonetta 2 (or, for that matter, Ninja Theory's DmC), it feels a little bit like a relic.
The Devil's In the Details
Capcom did give the game fair treatment when it came to its next-gen port. The game runs at a mostly fluid 60 frames per second, even when enemies are running rampant all over the place. The animations are quite stylish as well, especially when it comes to what Trish and Lady bring to the picture (more on that in a second). There's also something to be said about the large levels, which may take a while to explore, but can be worth it when it comes to finding elements to solve puzzles or, better yet, orbs that can really open up your abilities.
However, with the plusses come the minuses. Although the game looks good, some of the textures definitely look old-school, especially compared to Capcom's previously released DmC. Furthermore, the camera continues to be a pain in the neck with its odd placement at times. What seems like just going up on a staircase suddenly turns into down, if only because the camera decides to become your worst enemy. It's a tiresome problem that could've easily been solved with a tweak or two.
Other than that, the presentation is about as you'd expect. The combos look ridiculous, the voicework is notably cheesy, and the music (particularly the rockin' "Shall Never Surrender") is satisfactory. Fans will be pleased.
Some New Content…But Is It Enough?
There is some new content included with Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition primed to give fans their money's worth. Along with being able to play as Nero (and/or Dante in certain spots), there are three new characters added to the fold: Trish, Vergil and Lady.
Trish and Vergil are about the same with quick attacks, but Lady adds some interesting techniques, moving much slower but packing a little more punch as a result. They all bring something pretty cool to the game, especially to completionists who want to finish off the main mode with them. The only downside is that they awkwardly fit in with the story events, instead of getting some new events of their own. It's like trying to cram Han Solo into the events that happened in Raiders of the Lost Ark – it's not entirely a smooth fit.
In addition, there are two extra modes added to the mix. The first is Turbo Mode, which speed things up significantly when it comes to chaining together combos. The problem, though, is that the platforming is so scattershot, you'll often miss your jumps.
The next mode, Legendary Dark Knight Mode, is even better, but only for those who are considered true DMC veterans. That's because the enemies are more ruthless in this mode, to the point that you will die if you don't know exactly what you're doing. Yep, it's that brutal.
For a $25 release, there's a pretty decent amount of content here, but it seems to cater more to people that were genuine fans of the game, instead of newbies. This is an opposite strategy in terms of how DmC: Devil May Cry worked a couple of months ago, and as a result, the release feels slightly unnecessary. Obviously fans will eat it up, but everyone else…well, they're likely to find another actioner to suit their demon-killing needs. Sorry, Dante, but for a seven-year old adventure, more could've been done with this treatment.