A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is a downloadable-only remake of the original PS3, 360, and PC game. It features up to five characters, all of whom use firearms, rockets, grenades, swords, and magical abilities to destroy demonic creatures. Blood flows freely from attacks, and points are given for performing destructive combos, although there isn't gore or viscera shown. In fact, the over-the-top nature of the scoring system speaks to the snarky antihero nature of the characters and is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Be aware, though, that successfully pulling off some of the more intricate combos and moves necessary to achieve high-scoring combos requires a lot of practice and skill, which could frustrate many players. Though there aren't explicit sexual scenes, there are scenes with close-ups on scantily clad women and some innuendo. Players also will run into some language such as "goddamn," "bastard," and "s—t" in cut scenes.
What's it about?
DEVIL MAY CRY 4 SPECIAL EDITION is a remastered version of the extremely popular 2008 action game for consoles and PC. The original game features a sarcastic young teen named Nero from the town of Arcadia. Nero's life is suddenly upended one day when the famous demon hunter Dante crashes a religious ceremony and assassinates the leader of the Order of the Sword as well as several of its members. Seeking revenge, Nero tracks Dante across a large number of environments, unaware that a larger threat could destroy both of them as well as the entire world. The Special Edition also includes Vergil, Dante's half-brother, along with series favorites (and fellow demon hunters) Trish and Lady as playable characters, each with her own special abilities and weapons. It also includes the Legendary Dark Knight mode (originally found in the PC version of the game), which significantly increases the number of enemies in each battle, as well as a bonus Japanese language track for dialogue.
Is it any good?
For players who may have missed the original release of DMC4, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is a great way to catch up on the series. This version has erased the lengthy load times that held back the original, making it faster to jump into levels and fight your way through hordes of demons that attack you. The addition of Dante's half-brother Vergil and the popular series demon hunters Trish and Lady provides a different adjustment to gameplay as well, since each has unique abilities that radically changes the way levels are played. For instance, Lady doesn't have a double-jump for access to out-of-reach objects or flying enemies, while the other four characters do (thanks to their supernatural nature); she more than makes up for this by packing a rocket launcher that easily clears entire rooms of enemies. It also boosts graphical enhancements to fully take advantage of the PS4, Xbox One, and newest PCs, which makes the in-game action and cut scenes pop off the screen. Plus, players seeking a challenge will want to dive into Legendary Dark Knight mode, which turns a standard six against one battle into a mind-numbing 30-vs.-one assault.
But while these additions are a great touch for this generation of systems, DMC4SE feels more like a minor retread than the definitive edition of the game. If you choose to play as one of the three new characters, you get an intro and outro movie that's unique to these antiheroes. Unfortunately, Capcom decided to not include any other story cut scenes from their perspective. As a result, the new characters feel shallow fighting through each mission without a plot, which will cause players to quickly lose interest in the game. On top of that, some of the camera-angle problems that plagued the original remain, making it hard to see the action during some combat sequences. If you can overlook the camera issues, and you only play the three new characters after completing the initial story mode, you'll find an enjoyable action title. It's just not the perfect, definitive edition that it should be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition. Is the impact of violence lessened because you're fighting demons and monsters, or is it still significant because of the blood splashed on-screen from each attack? Could the violence have been handled in a different way?
Discuss antiheroes. Is there a reason why this story works better with a cast of antiheroes who fight against authority and control? Would the story be fine with a more traditional, archetypal hero instead?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: June 23, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.