Devil May Cry 4 - hands-on

It's been a long road for Devil May Cry 4 from E3 teaser blip to playable product - so long, in fact, that the series' hero, Dante, has been retired in favor of a younger-looking demon slayer named Nero. After a couple years of waiting, we finally got a chance to take Nero for a spin at the Tokyo Game Show. And while we weren't surprised - Devil May Cry 4 feels about the same as every other game in the series - we were entertained.

White-haired and wearing a big trenchcoat, Nero looks and plays like Dante Junior. He can pull off acrobatic flips and juggle enemies with barrages of slashes and bullets. He carries a single pistol (with unlimited ammo) and a big sword, and he's got a lot of the same moves. But Nero has a few advantages over the shirtless demon-slayer - he's a little faster than Dante (and gets even faster the longer he runs), and he's got an ability Dante doesn't - the "Devil Bringer" power, which lets him yank over enemies and slam them around. We're sure it'll be an ability you can upgrade and unlock new moves for, but in our short time with it, we found it worked best as a deadly finisher to our sword combos.

Devil Bringer or no, the action was the same as it's always been; enter a room, flip around on some elevated platforms, break a few crates and kill a wave or two of monsters to move on. The single pistol (as opposed to Dante's dual guns) breaks up the staccato rhythm we'd gotten used to while peppering an enemy with bullets, but otherwise it felt pretty familiar. At least each area was beautiful, though, with dingy alleys giving way to darkened hallways, baroque rose gardens and dockyards at sunset. DMC has always been known for sweet visuals, and the PS3 makes the game look better than ever.


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