Review: Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition (PS4)

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Title: Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
Format: PlayStation Network Download (20.6 GB)
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Access Games
Original MSRP: $24.99
ESRB Rating: M
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is also available on Xbox One and PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

There are five characters to play. They are Nero, Dante, Vergil, Lady, and Trish. You may adjust the control schemes for each individually. By that I mean all of the controls may be customized to your liking if you would not prefer to play with default controls.

I played in Turbo Mode because why would you play any other way? Turbo Mode is one of my favorite things. As much as raindrops on roses and eviscerated demons. If you’ve not played a Devil May Cry game on Turbo, well first, shame on you for not having played DMC on PS4 and second, it actually feels really natural. Not so sped-up that your brains melt.

It should be noted that the main menu has a link straight to the PlayStation Store where you may pay more money for:
1 Blue Orb .99
2 Blue Orbs $1.49
5 Blue Orbs $2.99
200,000 Proud Souls $2.99
300,000 Red Orbs $1.99
Unlock All Modes $1.49 (Does not unlock missions or content.)
Lady and Trish Costume Pack $3.99 (One look each from DMC3)
Super Nero/Dante/Vergil $4.99 (Constant Devil Trigger but the characters do not regain their vitality automatically.)

Basically, using my brain and no calculator, you can have all the PlayStation Store DLC for about $21.00.

Buying all that DLC will allow you to upgrade yourself to the stratosphere and basically make the game forty-six bucks.

Gameplay:
When I first started playing, I believed each character had their own missions which ran concurrently with every other character’s missions. Like a cross between Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon and Quentin Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction depending upon how you play. If somehow you haven’t seen one or either of these films you now have homework independent of the video gaming space which can only enrich your understanding of, well, everything!

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Alas, my initial expectations were from more recent trends in gaming. I should have known better. I played DMC4 when it arrived on PS3.

The reality is that one plays the game from beginning to end as each character independent of the other characters with one saving grace. When you gain Orbs for items and Proud Souls for upgrades you’ve gained them for each character and not only for the character you’re currently playing. This partly makes-up for having to start over with each character.

For instance: Play Dante for a few hours and when you start over as Kate she’ll have all of the stuff you amassed for upgrades and items while playing as Dante.

As this game is not new, I hesitate to go into great detail about what the various orbs mean and how one progresses. Suffice to say that, if this is your first Devil May Cry experience, these things are made clear as you progress. There is no ambiguity.

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When you choose Dante/Nero you get a costume choice. Not much of one, but a choice. Dante plays as he always has with his sword as his main weapon supported by his gun and his demonic claw hand.

Vergil gameplay begins with a completely Vergil-centric cutscene. Then there is a tutorial with Vergil’s abilities and weapons and from there we go into the same missions as Dante/Nero.

… they are FIERCE FOR FILTH! …
Lady/Trish cutscenes include breast physics. That would bother me more but soon after noticing, I was blown away, literally, by just how BADASS these two characters are! They are definitely hot to look at but because they have such terrific weapons and combos you get the idea that the characters dress like this because they can. Because they want to. Because it makes them feel more feminine while they bazooka and slice their way through enemies.
As Rupaul Charles would say, they use their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent together in one violent hardcore package to massacre all those who stand in their way. To use an idiom, they are FIERCE FOR FILTH! What seemed to me initially as misogyny has proven to be empowerment! You go, gurls! Dang. Now I will have to buy the DLC outfits for these two.

As with the earlier versions, sometimes you may control the camera with the right thumbstick and sometimes you mayn’t.

Stylish Rank matters. The more attacks you chain while not being interrupted or taking damage the higher the score and the more Proud Souls you’ll acquire at the end of the mission. “Do I give a fig about Proud Souls?” you may ask. Yes. You want lots of those. A Newton factory’s worth if possible! They are used as a currency to purchase abilities and ability upgrades.

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This special edition of the game comes with more than just new playable characters and Turbo. There is a very difficult mode called Legendary Dark Knight Mode. Surprising name for a mode with no Batman connection.

Legendary Dark Knight Mode is a kind of DMC horde mode where you choose the character to play, then frustratingly, whether you’ve played your character in any other modes like Human or Demon Hunter, they put you through the tutorial all over again. Then you play the game all over again with massive numbers of enemies. The second area is like being put into a blender. Not for the faint of heart.

… some of the textures look photo-realistic …
While fighting may be the true focus of the Devil May Cry series, the games all contain puzzle-solving elements as well. It is necessary to solve these conundrums to progress.

Each mission ends with a pretty spectacular boss fight. Use your targeting to help defeat the big baddies.

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There are miles of initial videos to sit through even when you log-in with CONTINUE. There are five button pushes through loading screens one must do to get to continue gameplay. This is really stupid and annoying and pointless because the actual loading time is not very long. When I hit CONTINUE I expect to CONTINUE! Clearly I do not need to see cut scenes which I have already witnessed no matter how much the devs are in love with their 1080p/60fps pre-rendered mini-movies.

As Columbia said to Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show when he infers that she hasn’t been up to Franks’s laboratory, “Ha! I’ve seen it!” and then she throws his clothes in the air. The options button is your unfortunately necessary, “Ha! I’ve seen it!” button. After a few times of this you will certainly want to throw something in the air.

This Game Has Autosave. I do not think this means what they think it means.

The game kicks you back to the beginning of the whole area, including cutscene, if you quit before finishing the mission you’re playing. So you can’t save until you complete the area you’re in. Clearly this issue is a holdover from when the game was first released. No DING on the score. Just be aware that this is old school and give yourself enough time to play. Even though the game flashes “Saving…” it doesn’t mean that when next you play you’ll be in the same location. It’s only saving your upgrade info and not your progress. To be certain you start where you left-off either finish the mission at hand or take the PS4 into Rest Mode where it will suspend the game but not quit.

… Devil May Cry games are all about the gameplay …
Visuals:
They have done a beautiful job of upgrading the graphics to 1080p/60fps. It looks sharp and gorgeous. The use of a virtual camera lens which can become dirty, in pre-rendered cut scenes in particular, is really awesome.

There are some moments, particularly in cut scenes, when some of the textures look photo-realistic. This is really an achievement for a remastered game.

As in every case, 60 frames per second is a real pleasure.

There are unfortunate camera problems left over from past gen. When the camera is unfixed and controllable by the player using the targeting button does not focus the camera on the enemies. In fact, there is rarely a time when the camera is held behind the character. Unless, as luck would have it, the enemies are behind as well. For a third-person Action/Adventure/Fighter the camera issues can be frustrating. Particularly in Legendary Dark Knight Mode.

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Audio:
The devs have made use of the DualShock 4 speaker during menus to double the sound effects. The heavy rockin’ soundtrack remains intact to help clue you in to when enemies arrive and to up the adrenaline.

Surround sound is put to good use as well for everything from atmosphere to enemy locations.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online components.

Conclusion:
The most compelling reasons for anyone who’s played this game already to replay it now are Lady and Trish. Vergil just isn’t that exciting and Dante/Nero are standard. And while the graphical improvements are great Devil May Cry games are all about the gameplay.

In the event you haven’t played this game before, and can get over some camera issues, you’re in for a treat. Once you get to the gameplay. After all the button pushing for no reason.

Final word goes to the DLC bandwagon we’re all being dragged behind now. Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is $24.99. I suggest the name should change when all the DLC has been purchased by a gamer, increasing the price to $45.99, to Devil May Cry 4 “Isn’t THAT Special?!” Edition.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Keith Dunn-Fernández

Keith Dunn-Fernández

An actor/director and more lucratively an Administrative Assistant at a small paper company in NYC, Keith loves his games. And he loves to write. And he is a bit of a sarcasmo.

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  • Trioptical

    And Trophies, since there were none on the PS3.