Greatest Hits Review: A different devil may cry.
When the first Devil May Cry
entered PlayStation 2 back in 2001, and was followed up by two sequels, it was an epiphany for gamers. By fusing precision controls, industrial rock, and the swagger of main character Dante, players could feel like stylish, devil hunting gods before the likes of Ninja Gaiden
and God of War
appeared. That was eight years ago. Now we have the fourth entry in the series and the one that has to prove whether or not the Devil May Cry
formula has grown tired or still reeks of the badass devil hunting swagger the original brought to the table.
Series anti-hero Dante takes the bench in this entry, but you wouldn't realize it since the character they replace him with is his spitting image, a slightly younger version named Nero. The breaking point for the two is that Nero offers up a new fighting mechanic dubbed the ?devil arm." This special arm gives Nero (and by proxy -- us) the ability to grab distanced foes and toss them around like ragdolls. It also gives us a new way to traverse the game's huge levels by utilizing the arm in grappling hook fashion because climbing ladders is so last generation. Nero also retains the practice of sword and gun play should the arm feel too new.
The important caveat here is that pulling off insane attacks, devastating combos, and the holy crap feeling that you just did that
is still very much a part of this game and no, it hasn't grown old or tired yet.
The level design, which is some of the most gorgeous the series has seen, compensates the linear progression by architecting massive areas packed with secret goodies and missions, and though it tries to hide it, the feeling that you are being lead through a maze is still there and that unfortunately, is getting tired, old, and very repetitious. It also doesn't help that once control of Dante is obtained, (yes, you get to play as Dante and yes he is even more a god than Nero can dream of being) all there is to do is retrace the same path Nero took.
Of course, how much the level design bothers you probably won't become evident until you are about halfway through the 20 level game, since I'm sure you will be too hyped up on making mince-meat of demon fodder to notice. At least there are enjoyable bosses to fight at the end of each stage which makes the progression worth it. That?s always been a strong suit for Devil May Cry
; the bosses are big, they're mean, and taking one out makes you feel like some sort of demon bashing, lead pumping, finesse-driven god.