Alicia Ashby: There are a few games that sell themselves at the demo, and Devil May Cry 4 is one. Playing it for a while is another breathtaking reminder that Devil May Cry is the 3D Castlevania that Konami inexplicably can't make. The story still stands on its own, though it's mostly character-driven pulpy fluff. Still, I want to get to know the new guy, Nero, and I'm looking forward to this game's new difficulty balance. Instead of DMC2's lower difficulty level or DMC3's hardcore-only difficulty, DMC4 is opting for a middling path where skillful players can take advantage of lots of invincibility frames. This allows for a lot of freedom without necessarily alienating a huge chunk of the gamer population, and suggests a game with good and deep design sensibilities all around. Of course, there will also be flashy bosses and huge chunks of a creepy castle to explore, and using Nero's devil arm to solve movement puzzles. It sounds like a nice, long demon-bashing romp, and I'm looking forward to it.
Reggie Carolipio: Capcom has never let a little thing like a poor sequel keep them from trying something new, and Devil May Cry 3 proved that they still know what they're doing and that fans really wanted to see their favorite devil hunter, Dante. DMC3 was a harsh experience, brutally difficult but just as rewarding, providing PS2 players with a taste of what Xbox owners had enjoyed with Ninja Gaiden, and it redeemed a series that many had written off with DMC2. Interviews and previews have hinted at some of the more exciting changes to the gameplay, allowing players to execute even more of the wilder moves for which the series is known, along with some of the craziest monsters to drag themselves across the screen. If the story is anything like DMC3's, I'm expecting it to get even stranger before it begins to drop any hints of what's going on. Capcom's reputation as one of the best boss designers around should create some of the most memorable battles on the 360; DMC4 should be ready to rock your face. In style.
Anthony Chambers: The former Sony exclusive that has now jumped ship to the Xbox 360 promises to be one of the top games of Q1 2008. The DMC franchise has always been known for its intense fast-paced action gameplay, but with DMC2 being a disappointment, and DMC3 being a slight improvement, a lot is riding on the shoulders of DMC4. With the introduction of a new character (Nero) and the return of the original badass (Dante), there is a positive outlook on this game, and the more recently released screenshots and videos have been very impressive. DMC4 has all of the intangibles to make it, not only as one of the best action games, but one of the best games of 2008.
James King: The Devil May Cry series has firmly established itself among the ranks of hardcore action gamers for delivering fast-paced action, responsive controls and intense challenging battles. This all comes with flashy attack animations and one of the most charismatic, stylish characters ever to star in a video game. The series turned off some fans with the second game, but the third game redeemed everything and brought to the table one of the most punishing and brutal action titles ever. DMC4 seems to be falling in line with the third in terms of gameplay, and there are some interesting new additions, too. Nero is an entirely new character who wields a six-shooter, a sword he can rev up, and a Devil Bringer arm that can grab and throw enemies. Dante has gained on-the-fly style switching, and his four main styles return from DMC3. Devil May Cry 4 should deliver an experience that's very satisfying for the hardcore action gamer, but with lots of the style and flash that has made the series famous.
Chris Lawton: With a phenomonal first game, mediocre second game and pretty good third game, the Devil May Cry series has been a bit of a roller coaster. I'm hoping for Capcom to pull out all the stops and knock this one out of the park. Featuring stylized characters and killer level design, the Devil May Cry series shows how horror/action games should be done. I'm a major Castlevania fanboy, and it depresses me because DMC is everything that I want to see in a 3D Castlevania game.
Sanford May: The Devil May Cry series has always aspired to stunning visuals relative to its contemporaries' standards, starting with richly detailed but pre-rendered backgrounds, eventually graduating, later in PS2's life cycle, to real-time 3D graphics in the franchise's return to glory, Devil May Cry 3. I've always favored Capcom's popular game series for being the same, yet different. Should you disassemble any Devil May Cry game into its component parts, there is nothing substantially unique in plot, gameplay, control, sound or visuals, but taken in aggregate, the franchise overall reached a level of excellence many similar titles cannot attain. Devil May Cry 4 represents the first quite distinctively PlayStation franchise set for simultaneous release on both consoles, each version the same as the other, not appended or stripped to suit the divided audiences. I'd like to see how 360 owners will judge a franchise typifying PlayStation.
Ramin Ostad: Players have been chomping at the bit for Devil May Cry, one of Capcom's most beloved franchises, to make the leap to next-gen consoles. After DMC3's fabulous return to form, it would be interesting to see where the franchise would go next. The introduction of Nero is a bit of a bait-and-switch, similar to Metal Gear Solid 2, but I think taking the focus away from Dante is a smart move; while popular, Dante's not exactly new. However, playing as Nero, along with his "Devil Bringer" ability, allows for a whole new combat system, forcing players to learn some new tricks, as well as relearn old ones. Devil May Cry 4 is also graphically stunning, with environments that aren't as bland and dark as previous games. Amazing visual effects and dynamic action make for a potentially exciting combination.
Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen: Dante's adventures have created a red-hot series for Capcom, in spite of the abject weakness of Devil May Cry 2. The original game took the Resident Evil style of survival horror, made the controls smooth, and made the main character a badass, and the result worked beautifully. After exploring his past in Devil May Cry 3, Dante's going to be exploring his future in DMC4. Half of the game will be playable from the point of view of an original character, with Dante returning to finish things as the game progresses. The game's switch from a PS3 exclusive to a PS3/360 release has proven mildly controversial, but it's only made things hotter, resulting in one of the most anticipated games this year for action fans.
Daniel Whitfield: Many people have been turned off the Devil May Cry series in the past because of its punishing difficulty. True fans of the franchise, however, are frantically awaiting the signature gameplay's first steps into the current generation of powerful console hardware; they can't wait to have a taste of the same breakneck combat and stylish maneuvering, with an extra generous helping of graphical polish. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but Devil May Cry 4 is sure to win new fans to Capcom's flagship third-person action series and keep the already faithful followers of Dante and Company slicing, dicing and shooting well into 2008. As long as the game is nice and hard, anyway.
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