Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition Review – Old School Dante (PS4)

Devil May Cry 4 released all the way back in 2008 on the PlayStation 3. Both this and the last generation of consoles have seen a number of re-releases of classic games. The venerable series hasn’t seen a release in a couple of years, so the time felt right. But is this a re-release worth your time, or should the game best be left in the past?

Dante for a New Generation

The PlayStation 4 is a powerhouse of a computer, especially compared to the hardware that was current when the game originally released. As such, DmC 4 Special Edition doesn’t cause the PS4 much stress. Yet, the fans in the system can spin up pretty fast when the game is running for a while, which may indicate some unoptimized code. It doesn’t appear to affect the game’s performance, however.

Speaking of the PS4, the speed of the console results in load times that have practically vanished. The time spent between rooms is hardly as long as the transition effects that are shown on screen, and jumping in and out of sub-missions is almost instantaneous. It’s a wonderful sight to behold, and makes you grateful that the PS4 is so much faster than the original platform.


Old Controls, New Players

It should be said that the age of the game is definitely showing itself with DmC 4‘s control scheme. Using X to jump, and triangle as your main attack with your sword feels so weird now. The same goes with using circle for the Devil Bringer, for example, but with the game’s tutorial you quickly get used to the control scheme and rip up demons in no time. In Normal and Easy difficulty settings, the combo system is pretty generous and you feel pretty stylish as you throw enemies up, slash down and generally bring the pain in many ways. There’s something to be said for simple control schemes, and combat still flows pretty well all these years later.

New to the game is the ability to play as Vergil, Lady and Trish, who each bring their own weapons to the table. There is also the new Legendary Dark Knight mode, which dishes out the toughest enemies and the most punishing hits your direction. Playing on Normal mode is recommended if you haven’t played DmC 4 in a while, or easy mode if you’ve never played a Devil May Cry game before, period. Personally, I found the easy mode was a little too forgiving, but it does let you simply progress through the game and enjoy the story, with little hindering your path.

Aging Like Hell

Graphically, Devil May Cry 4 may have been considered impressive back when it was released. Today, however, the game is showing its age. It doesn’t appear that the developer, Access Games, spent much time revamping the game’s aesthetics. Not to say the game looks bad, and when you have a game as old as DmC 4, you really can’t expect it to look much better. It just would have been nice to see the PS4 put some more oomph in its rendering.

If you remember Devil May Cry 4’s soundtrack, then you’ll likely remember its energetic rock/metal mix, which may not have appealed to everyone’s sensibilities. Well, it’s back here in full glory, though as usual does mostly play in the background. Whenever you hear the music start to ramp up, or indeed to even play, that’s your cue to get ready for a fight as their are enemies nearby.

If you liked the original Devil May Cry 4, then you’ll enjoy this re-release. If you haven’t tried the series before, then this is a good entry point. It still has the occasional poorly-placed camera, and the graphics have not aged too well, but overall it’s a high-octane mix of platforming and combat interspersed with the occasional puzzle. Pick it up if you want your action fix.

Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.

8.0Silver Trohpy
  • Liquid-smooth action
  • New playable characters
  • Extra hard mode for the masochists
  • Same camera issues as before
  • Game is looking pretty dated