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Capcom can be credited as a company that have created and established genres in gaming since the company's inception. Street Fighter and Resident Evil are notorious examples and although no less important, Devil May Cry 4 (hereafter DMC4) is the latest installment in the long established franchise that was the originator of another genre; that of combo-based flashy action adventure (or something along those lines).
DMC4 has you start out as fresh-faced Nero, the new protagonist of the series that through the game's intro is shown to be the bodyguard of the main priestess of the covenant, Kirie. Long-term DMC fans need not be disappointed though as Dante soon turns up and begins to slay members of the covenant as well as the head priest (much to Nero's dismay) resulting in said two characters dueling it out in the opening's locale of the church. The resulting fight and cut scene that follows set the tone for what is to come in the game and fans will be happy to know that DMC4 retains many of the good qualities of the 1st and 3rd titles in the series whilst adding many of its own original elements. However, before I go any further into this let me discuss a little about the graphics of DMC4.

When it comes to high-quality titles Capcom are on the ball and DMC4 is no exception. Everything from the characters to the environments look great and are well designed with a constantly solid frame rate that never falters even in the most enemy-laden situations. The movement of Nero is fluid as are the creatures he fights and are as enjoyable to sit back and watch as they are to see fall and tumble. The environments are in abundance and great to look at too, from gothic cities to icy mountains, tropical jungles to epic castles, all stylised to fit into the DMC world. The effects on weapon strikes are great too with plenty of breakable scenery to destroy and interact with as well as the artists using the full colour palette to realise their ideas in the game.

Looking at how the game plays, DMC4 will fit smoothly into the hands of anyone familiar with the previous entries in the series (although beginners will be provided with a tutorial to take them through the basics of how the game works.) Playing as new protagonist Nero, you have your hand cannon, a sword and a demon arm at your disposal.

The demon arm acts as a grapple that will pull enemies in, pull you towards them and/or allow you to throw them into other enemies as well, meaning that you'll not only be using it a lot but be getting a lot of pleasure courtesy of it as well. The hand cannon serves to keep your enemy at bay by allowing you to rapid fire on enemies from afar or get them with a charge shot. Finally, Nero's sword is your main close rang weapon that allows you to slice, gouge and whip your enemies up into the air, allowing you to create some interesting combos with a mixture of the three weapons at your disposal and to be stylish whilst giving the beat down on your enemies.

You can also charge the sword up to deal heavier strikes on your opponent (and if skillful enough you can sometimes get a complete charge after striking the enemy if you are quick enough on the joypad.) It adds an extra level of skill and challenge to the game as you continually try to get the quick charge on your sword to do the more powerful strikes and get the better level gradings. Add to this the epic boss battles you have that will have you utilise Nero's demon arm to get the best from his brawls and you have a game that is as challenging as it is entertaining. The story the game tells is not too bad either but will not win any literary awards as it mainly serves to tie the stages together.

Speaking of extras, the game gives you a survival mode where you continue to go through floors of enemies until you can't fight anymore (or get bored.) There is also a gallery mode that lets you view character and background art as well as the cut scenes from the game (many of which are certainly rewatchable.) That you get to play as two characters in the game adds a much needed freshness to the proceedings without losing the prior game's appeal and charm.

Together with solid graphics, challenging gameplay, great bosses and cut scenes, DMC is a game catering more for the gamer who is willing to put the time in to get something back but will entertain folks who know their way around a PS3 pad. Comes recommended if you like quality action games with pizazz and thought Devil May Cry 2 was a missed opportunity (remember that one?)

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