Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition Review

Richard Walker

How in the hell is Devil May Cry 4 already seven years old?! It seems like only yesterday that we first became acquainted with Nero, Dante's temporary stand-in and star of the fourth game in the series. Like his older, slightly wiser and just as cocky counterpart, Nero rocks a lovely line in flappy trenchcoats, oversized swords and platinum white hair, but brings a glowing demonic arm named Devil Bringer to the party, able to grab enemies and smash them into the ground or reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

It initially took us a while to warm to Nero in 2008, but playing the remastered Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition in 2015, it's clear that as a protagonist, Nero ticks the same boxes that Dante did in DMCs 1-3, being cocksure, arrogant and more than capable of handling himself in a fight against demonic hordes of reanimated marionettes, flaming beasts, armoured angels and other marauding monstrosities.

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition completes a series of Devil May Cry remasters, with 2012's Devil May Cry HD Collection remastering the previous three games, and this year's DmC: Definitive Edition. And like those previous updated entries, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is a top-notch remastering job, going beyond simply upgrading the visual fidelity by packing in a fair bit of additional content.

Chief among the new extras is the rock-hard Legendary Dark Knight mode from the PC version of the game, which sits alongside the standard Human, Devil Hunter and unlockable Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die, Heaven or Hell, and Hell and Hell difficulty modes. The returning Bloody Palace mode and added Turbo Mode flesh out the array of options on offer, but that's not where the content ends.

DMC 4: SE also packs in the option to play as Lady and Trish in the campaign, with Lady assuming the role of Nero during his missions and Trish stepping in for Dante's half of the game. More than just extra skins or characters, both Lady and Trish come complete with their own move sets, playing differently to their male counterparts. Lady, for instance, is much slower and more suited to ranged attacks with her rocket launcher, in stark contrast to the speed and fluidity of the rest of the cast.

Dante's spiky-haired brother Vergil is also playable in DMC 4: SE, wielding his trademark katana Yamato, and again, he's a different prospect to the other characters, boasting a range of moves that set him apart. Each character comes with their own alternate skins too, all of which appear in cut-scenes as they should, and encourage playing through the game's campaign multiple times.

Doing so will bag a bunch of achievements, although nabbing the full 1000G will demand heroic levels of perseverance, requiring completion of every difficulty, defeating every boss with a SSS style rank at Son of Sparda difficulty or higher, and beating Bloody Palace with every characters. There are other equally challenging achievements, but by and large, it's the repetition that starts to grate when it comes to the achievement list. It's not the best.

Benefitting from its 1080p visual upgrade at 60fps, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is a title that's well worth revisiting, not least due to the wealth of additional content and the strength of the core gameplay, the revised tempo and balance adjustments making for something that's still an enormously enjoyable demon slaying romp.

DMC 4: SE is still every bit as challenging as it was back in 2008, and busting demon heads with Nero's Devil Bringer or blasting enemies with Dante's pistols is still just as inviting. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is well worth picking up.

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Completing an HD overhaul for the entirety of the Devil May Cry series, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is a definitive package that represents decent value for money for returning players, and is pretty much essential for anyone yet to play it. Grab it with your Devil Bringer arm. It's brill.

Form widget
80%
Audio
80%

Screechy rock music that's subtle enough to ignore, decent voice acting, and nice clanky sound effects.

Visuals
80%

A damn fine remastering job that sees Devil May Cry 4 looking stellar seven years on. Capcom is pretty good at this stuff.

Playability
80%

Just as challenging yet gratifying as it was back in 2008, the tweaks to tempo and balance make for a smooth experience on Xbox One. It's great.

Delivery
80%

The PC version's Legendary Dark Knight mode joins the party alongside new characters, skins, Turbo Mode and other content. Value-wise, it's a strong package.

Achievements
40%

A lot of repetition that involves completing the campaign numerous times, the achievement list as a whole is made up of several objectives that must be completed in a variety of ways. Consequently, it's a bit bland.

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