Devil May Cry 4 - updated hands-on

You'll play as the red-coated demon hunter for the last 40 percent of the game, and he comes correct with four different fighting styles, which can now be switched between on the fly (unlike in DMC3, where you had to select them before each level or at a power-up statue). With one button tap, Dante can flip between Trickster, Gunslinger, Sword Master and Royal Guard styles, each of which dramatically changes the way he plays. And while that versatility is cool, it's Dante's new weapons that really make us look forward to playing through his segments.

Dante brings three new instruments of death (that we've seen) to the party this time around, and each one is so elaborate and over-the-top that they make the guitar from DMC3 look pedestrian and uninspired. In addition to his usual sword and paired pistols, Dante will now be able to bust out acrobatic martial-arts moves (including a classic Dragon Punch) with a special armor called Gilgamesh, or hurl handfuls of blades - which can hang in midair or stick in an enemy until Dante hurls a rose to make them all explode - with a bizarre sword called Lucifer.

For the ultimate eff-you to his enemies, though, there's Pandora, a mysterious briefcase that can rapidly transform into a machinegun, rocket launcher, high-tech bow, laser cannon, deadly boomerang or an insane ring of cannons that wraps around Dante and fires in all directions. Each of the weapons look comically huge when wielded by Dante, but if you don't want to mess around with the button combos needed to bust out the big guns, Dante can simply set it on the ground and kick it open, at which point it'll emit a light that kills anything it touches.

As Dante finds them, each weapon is introduced with a ridiculously overwrought cutscene of him using it, exhibiting all his usual cockiness and humor - which was good to see, after his seeming coldness during the fight with Nero. The Lucifer introduction was especially memorable - after beating down the huge, flaming demon Berial, Dante leaps around, dramatically hurling glowing swords into a huge slab of rock while spouting off some melodramatic nonsense about his technique. And then, with a rose clenched between his teeth, he claps like a Flamenco dancer and the swords explode, carving the slab into a gigantic heart shape.