Review: Devil May Cry 4

System: PlayStation 3
Score: 4/5 4 (Good)

Devil May Cry 4 introduces a new main character named Nero. This, of course, introduces fears of Raiden Syndrome. And Devil May Cry 4 falls prey to this: Nero isn't really an annoying character, but ultimately, he's Not Dante, and Devil May Cry 4 is not Devil May Cry 3.

Which isn't as bad as it could be. The gameplay matches, for the most part, Devil May Cry 3's gameplay. If you've played Devil May Cry 3 you'll have no problem picking up Nero.

Nero isn't quite the badass Dante is. He has fewer moves than Dante. While Dante gets a collection of Devil Arms, Nero has the Blue Rose, the Red Queen, and the Devil Bringer. He never gains any other weapons or any other styles.

The Devil Bringer is a little too context sensitive for my tastes. Most boss fights have specific times when you can use the Devil Bringer's Buster move to activate a special cutscene where Nero beats up the boss for a bit. These moments are generally not indicated in any way, and some of them pretty much require a guide to find. Annoyingly this includes the very end of the game, where you have to use Buster at a very specific and very brief moment to finish the game.

Nero also has the Exceed System, which I never did quite figure out. The Exceed system allows Nero to charge up some of the Red Queen's moves.

The game's biggest flaw is that Dante is simply more fun to play than Nero, and you play as Nero for the majority of the game. When you finally get to play as Dante he plays much the same as he did in Devil May Cry 3 except with the ability to switch styles at will.

I was hoping that after completing the game you'd be allowed to play through again as Dante, but you're not. Dante is still limited to his collection of seven missions out of twenty. These missions recover the same areas and bosses that Nero played through. I guess this helps pad the game length, but it also serves to demonstrate the differences between Dante and Nero.

Ultimately the game isn't bad. But Nero isn't Dante, the game is not Devil May Cry 3, and HD graphics aren't enough to change that. Devil May Cry 4 is still a good game, but it doesn't quite live up to Devil May Cry 3.