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Devil May Cry 4 - updated hands-on

Dec 7, 2007

In the years since Devil May Cry 4 was first revealed, we've seen a lot of Nero, the game's wet-behind-the-ears new hero, and a little of Dante, the series' old standby. We've even seen the two cross swords and trade gunfire in a battle that appears to take place right at the beginning of the game, with Dante as the clear (but strangely silent) aggressor. Recently, we got our best look yet at exactly what sets these two eerily similar heroes apart.

You'll play as Nero for about 60 percent of the game, and he still handles more or less like a younger, hipper version of Dante; with one gun and a sword that - using a system called Exceed - he can throttle up like a motorcycle to unleash more powerful attacks. The biggest difference between the two is still Nero's Devil Bringer, a huge, spectral arm that can lash out at foes and slam them around.

What happens when you grab an enemy apparently differs depending on what kind of monster it is; when we watched Nero tussle with giant ice demons, for example, he was able to keep one hovering in front of him as a "human" shield, or whip it around like a horrifying pair of nunchaku, smashing it into any other demons dumb enough to glide close. What's especially cool about it, however, is that Nero can use it, Bionic Commando-style, to latch on to certain objects and yank himself around.

We also got a look at Nero's demon form for the first time; while Dante's transformation has always turned him into a winged horror, Nero's appearance doesn't change in the slightest. Instead, activating his demon power overlays a huge, ghostly blue demon ont his body - apparently a projection of the Devil Bringer - which can then hurl blades or slash at baddies with enormous spectral swords. As cool as all this stuff is, though, Nero's abilities - or at least the ones we've seen so far - are pretty underwhelming compared to what Dante's packing this time around.

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