Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition review for Xbox One, PS4, PC

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Access Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards

While we?ve certainly been inundated with HD remasters between this generation and last, it?s still worth taking note of the ports/remasters that manage to surprise and entertain, despite the gap in time between the original release and the reimagined version. In this instance, with Devil May Cry 4 SE, it?s been roughly 7 years since the original graced home consoles on Xbox 360 and PS3. We?ve had one reboot in the series in the meantime, developed by Ninja Theory, that managed to surprise just about every naysayer out there. So why take a step back and revisit Devil May Cry 4?

Because it?s a pretty damn good game, that?s why.

Vergil_03And being a somewhat early release on the previous consoles, two to three years into their respective cycles, the thought that this game could use a new coat of paint isn?t entirely ludicrous. Now having played it, that new coat of paint will be the first thing that jumps out at you. It looks gorgeous rendered at 1080p, with some serious work being put into characters, enemies, and the environments. Devil May Cry 4 never shied away from scale, and it certainly had solid art direction on its original release. Both of these things only help to benefit this remaster, aided now by hardware that can actually support the intended scope of this world, and the demons that inhabit it. It also runs smoothly, devoid of any serious technical issues on the platform I primarily played, Xbox One.

But outside of the new facelift, what else is worth noting here? I?d say the biggest game changer is the addition of Vergil, Trish, and Lady as playable characters. At the onset of the game you can opt to play the standard DMC 4 experience with Nero/Dante, or you can opt to do a Vergil campaign, or a Trish/Lady campaign. All three of the new playable characters have a very unique style in comparison to the Nero/Dante stuff, outside of some abilities being shoehorned in to replicate Nero?s Devil Bringer ability, integral to some of the platforming sections featured in the game.

Lady_01I actually really, really enjoyed playing as Lady, a character that makes use of a large arsenal of ranged weapons that feels quite powerful, but can be difficult to score great combos with. Vergil seems similar to his DMC 3 counterpart, and Trish is basically a combo beast, with lots of powerful multi-hit abilities that raise your SSS rank quickly in large crowds. All three are a lot of fun to play as, and well worth checking out. As an added bonus, you get unique opening and closing cutscenes for these characters too. It would have been nice to see a few more story focused bits in between, as they just kind of drop into the Nero/Dante scenarios with no real rhyme or reason, but that?s a pretty minor complaint.

Other additions include a new Turbo Mode, which ramps up the overall speed of the game, and a new difficulty called Legendary Dark Knight mode, available from the start. Of course, there?s your standard assortment of unlockable, traditional difficulty modes and Bloody Palace, which can add hours and hours of time on to a package that?s already brimming with content.

Dante_01All in all, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is a remaster worth getting. If you have any love for the original title, there?s enough new content here with the three additional characters that playing through it again will feel like a fresh experience. If you skipped out on the original release in 2008, or have only been exposed to the series from Ninja Theory?s DmC, then I think this release is doubly worth seeking out. It?s a challenging title, but not frustratingly so, and it?s a great showpiece for what character action games can be. It remains one of my favorite DMC titles, and all the added bells and whistles just managed to deepen my appreciation for it more.

Grade: A