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360 Devil May Cry 4 Demo Impressions

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Devil May Cry 4 (XB360) Demo Impressions

Upon starting up the demo proper, you are greeted with two ‘missions’, each of which are essentially a taste of the game at two different stages. Firstly, you have Extermination which is a ten minute timed mission which takes in near enough a whole level from the game and then you have Execution, which seemingly takes place later on in the game and thrusts you straight into a boss battle with a huge fire creature.

Starting off, I took a crack at the Extermination mission which allowed me to see pretty much how the fundamentals of the game would hold up. To all previous Devil May Cry players, the format remains assuredly similar. The character that you play here, Nero, plays and feels just like Dante from the previous games in that pretty much all the stylishly OTT moves you could do in the previous games you can do here.

With Nero’s arsenal you can knock enemies up in the air with your blade, charge up your gun (just one this time), rev up your sword for increased damage, juggle your enemies in mid-air, throw enemies around and so on and so forth. Nero also has a taunt that he can perform, though its usefulness escapes me as it’s not used to improve your ranking score any and simply gets you punished. Speaking of which, like previous games, points and ranking are awarded based on how well you chain together different moves whilst keeping your enemies in a world of hurt. The better rank you achieve, the more red orbs you receive to upgrade your arsenal of weaponry and demonic powers.

In this demo however, the upgrade system didn’t appear to be in place which makes sense in one respect due to the fact that Nero already appears to be suitably powered up to begin with.

The much talked about ‘Demon Arm’ that would appear to form the basis of Nero’s character actually offers very little in terms of gameplay from what we see in the demo. The arm purely exists as an augmentation to Nero’s set of abilities with its current usefulness limited to simply throwing enemies or doubling up as a grappling hook to swing from one location to another.

While the Extermination mission didn’t put up much of a fight, the Execution mission with the boss battle did however, with the series’ trademark difficulty level making a reappearance and punishing you for not making split-second evasions and making the most out of every combo.

Graphically the game is a splendour, particularly in the Extermination mission which takes in old castle architecture, an old town and a group of shipping docks. In particular, the level of artistic detail prevalent in the architecture of the buildings unashamedly betrays the artists Western European inspirations and shows some of the most beautiful environments yet witnessed on the XBOX 360.

In further regard to the aesthetics of the game, textures are very clean with no discernable break up with dynamic shadowing, complex lighting and a rock solid 60 Frames Per Second being the order of the day here. Truly if you want to show off Devil May Cry 4 to your friends on your shiny HD set, the Extermination mission is the one to show as it is by far the most graphically appealing of the two missions, with the Execution boss battle mission being set in a rather dull snowy tundra with a burnt out village being the only real deviation in terms of setting. That said, the boss looks quite impressive in terms of movement and graphical trickery (check out the fire on him) but all in all he provides a mild highlight for what stands as a mediocre looking level.

All in all, I was impressed by the demo but not overly awed by it. I knew what to expect – that being a more shiny, polished Devil May Cry experience and that’s exactly what I got – so no complaints there, however I hope that the gulf in quality between the two parts of the demo, aren’t in any way indicative of the level of consistency for the rest of the game.

Oh and yes, Nero, is an arrogant git, just like Dante, so get ready for more silly surfer dude come backs if you didn’t already get your fill from Devil May Cry 3.

Reply with your impressions people.

Written by bitsnark

January 24, 2008 at 12:31 pm

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