From Zero To Nero: Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition


We might have missed out on the Definitive Edition of DMC: Devil May Cry on PC but the Special Edition of 2008’s Devil May Cry 4 is coming our way. It’ll arrive on June 24th, a few days after the console release, but will include all of the same goodies. Those goodies include a new “Vergil game mode”, allowing players to control Dante’s devilish brother, as well as a mode that replaces the original game’s controllable characters (Nero and Dante) with Lady and Trish.

Demon hunter Lady has never been playable in a Devil May Cry game before and it’ll be interesting to see if her ludicrous weaponry (rocket launcher named after her mother with a combo bayonet/grappling hook) will lend itself to a unique playing style. Alternative costumes for Lady and Trish will be included, although possibly only in preorder copies. It’s unlikely they’ll be any dafter than the original costumes.

It’s been a long time since I played any of the four original Devil May Cry games, although I thoroughly enjoyed spin-off/blasphemous addition/reboot DMC. I enjoyed the first, was bored by the second, enjoyed the intensity of the third and found the fourth quite bland. That’s probably unfair and I’m actually excited to play the new version. Flicking through reviews, it appears there was criticism of backtracking and recycling of environments and that may be the cause of my dismissal all those years ago. The spectacle in spectacular brawling games often keeps me interested even when the actual combat system is beyond my abilities.

The original version of Devil May Cry 4 is available on Steam but if you’ve waited this long to play, it seems sensible to wait for a couple more months and take the special edition for a spin. And the new modes are probably pitched at experienced players – I’d be surprised if they don’t ramp up the difficulty.

If I listen to the rumour mill, I cannot help but hear bickering and squabbling beneath the grind of the gears. It seems that segments of the various camps of Devil May Cry fandom have decided that the DMC: Definitive Edition and Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition are in conflict with one another, and that Capcom will pay attention to the sales of both re-releases before deciding to commission a sequel. If I were Capcom, I’d feed that rumour and turn the sales race into an X Factor voting type situation.

But I’m not Capcom. I don’t have any control over these matters – although I am tempted to buy a few copies of the PC release in the misguided hope that strong sales might encourage Bayonetta to magically appear on PC.


  1. EhexT says:

    DMC4 is the best one in the series (or 2nd best one after DMC3, depending on how much you value gameplay vs level design), so hell yeah for more characters. The less people are subjected to the abysmal DMC reboot the better.

    • EhexT says:

      And here’s why the reboot was crap:
      The main character was a moron and the game treated him like he wasn’t (while previous DMCs are fully aware Dante is a huge dolt and enemies and allies treat him like a, depending on his age – he matures as the story progresses – annoying-to-loveable tool).

      The gameplay is shallow like a rainy puddle. Apart from the score system being hilariously simplistic, which doesn’t really matter, score being just numbers anyway, there is no depth to the combat. It’s less than half a dozen tricks stretched to the length of a WHOLE GAME. All the weapons are the same – they have heavy combo, light combo, heavy air combo, light air combo. And that’s it. They managed to make the traditional charge-attack fist-and-kick DMC weapon boring too which is a crime in the DMC series (where that weapon is usually the one that has the most depth for good players to explore).

      DMC is a great tutorial for people who’ve never played a spectacle fighter before, but it’s a 10 hour (if you’re being generous) tutorial that never progresses past basic concepts and expects you to be satisfied with that, while rebooting and taking the name of a series that has some of the most complex and interesting mechanics in the genre.

      And it’s got pretty level design I guess. But those two good parts (good intro, pretty levels) is hardly enough to make up for missing everything else that would make it a great or even good entry in the genre, much less the DMC series.

      • tobecooper says:

        Level design is probably the thing that I enjoyed the most about DmC. The platforming parts were a lot of fun in comparison to the clunky jump sections in the previous DMCs.

        But overall I agree, the combat system seriously lacks depth. I played DMC3 five times without getting bored, got four playthroughs out of Revengeance. But with DmC I couldn’t be bothered past the first playthrough. The color-coded enemies and low difficulty just kill the fun.

      • Hellraiserzlo says:

        Okay but none of the other dmc games actually let you play with everything unlocked from the start, be it weapons or combos, you could finish them on easy without going into aircombos, jump canceling or all the weapons switching stuff mid combo…so how is the reboot different?
        And they actually let you play with something like dmc3’s sword master style while having 5 melee weapons that you can use at the same time AND nero’s improved grab\pull mechanic.
        As someone who was into dmc3 I don’t get it how people that were into the gameplay can talk shit about the reboot, they gave you everything you could have wanted when it comes to more mechanics to play with.

        • EhexT says:

          It’s 5 melee weapons that are all the same and as you say – ONE of Dante’s DMC3 styles. He had what, SIX in DMC3? And he had 5 styles, all of them switchable to in the middle of combat, with all of his ranged AND melee weapons (any two of which are more unique than all the DmC weapons combined) also switchable to in combat in DMC4.

          I didn’t even go into just how bad the ranged weapons are in DmC, mostly because they are so aggressively samey, forgettable and boring I forgot there even were different ranged ones in DmC.

        • EhexT says:

          “Okay but none of the other dmc games actually let you play with everything unlocked from the start, be it weapons or combos, you could finish them on easy without going into aircombos, jump canceling or all the weapons switching stuff mid combo…so how is the reboot different?”

          The difference is the depth in the old games WAS THERE even if you didn’t need it for your first playthrough on easy. You can finish Call of Duty with just your pistol. Does that means the games wouldn’t be diminished if you removed all weapons but the pistol?
          You can beat a Street Fighter story mode playthrough on easy doing nothing but ducked roundhouse – does that mean you should remove all special moves?

        • Philomelle says:

          “Okay but none of the other dmc games actually let you play with everything unlocked from the start, be it weapons or combos, you could finish them on easy without going into aircombos, jump canceling or all the weapons switching stuff mid combo…so how is the reboot different?”

          I would say the reboot is different in that DMC slowly unlocked for you six completely different weapons, whereas DmC gradually rewarded you with five copies of the same weapon. They have some minor differences that make certain ones effective for specific moves (shurikens for AoE pull, Rebellion for lunging), but are otherwise all effectively the same.

          The same thing applies to firearms. There is absolutely no point in switching to earlier firearms once you obtained a new one because each succeeding firearm does the exact same thing as the previous one, but with more damage.

      • malkav11 says:

        Those things, plus the part where it doesn’t kick you in the balls for daring to launch the game and the story that’s much better than you’re giving it credit for, are more than enough to make it my favorite pseudo-entry in the series.

        I totally get not feeling like it fits with the other Devil May Cry games, because honestly it really doesn’t. And if that’s what you wanted, hey, I totally get being disappointed with it. That’s not the same as the game being bad.

        • welverin says:

          You stop that right now! If it’s not exactly what the fans expected it’s an abomination that will bring about the end times! Don’t you dare claim otherwise!

        • horrorgasm says:

          Neither is you liking it any proof that the game is objectively good, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and claim that this guy’s opinion consisting of a long, detailed list of specific reasons that he didn’t like the game, at least carries a lot more weight than your “I liked it so you’re wrong”.

          • malkav11 says:

            I don’t see anything in my comment making a definitive judgment as to the game’s objective quality. He certainly made one in his.

    • EhexT says:

      And here’s why DMC 4 is awesome:

      Dante is at his most likeable – he’s out grown the thrill seeking, shirtless “Iook how awesome I am” Narcissist of DMC3 and has progressed to a more serious Dante that still knows how to be awesome and have fun (by doing bad Shakespeare with a boss before the fight). Trish is basically the driving force behind trying to save the world and she’s not doing it by being a Damsel in distress either (contrast to the generic female abused victim routine in the reboot)

      The gameplay is separeted into two parts – Nero, who’s a simple character introducing all the enemy types and how they work as well as having an optional timing and positioning based mechanic for some depth. The second half of the game has Dante – and Dante is basically a love letter to all DMC fans. He’s got all the cool combat styles of DMC3 but you can switch between them at any time. He’s a teleporting, parrying, floating, gun-transforming tango dancing kung fu whirlwind with a practically endless box of incredibly awesome moves for the player to pull off. And he does rely on the player to actually pull them off. That’s what makes him the best playable DMC character in the series – endless depth that the player has to be good enough to pull off. Even a bad player will still look awesome playing Dante in DMC4, but a good player will make your jaw drop.
      Oh and just an extra gift you get Virgils style from DMC3 too at the end in addition to the other Dante styles.

      Visually it’s a mixed bag – the bad guys and characters look fantastic, and on PC with everything cranked to max will still look fantastic even now. The environments are meh. The story is mostly mediocre to bad, the level design is the same. Yes you play through the same levels and bosses in reverse after the halfway point. Yes that means boss count is low (though boss variety is fantastic – they’re all different and fun to fight) and enemy variety is low (though really it only seems that way – if you count enemy types in other spectacle fighters they usually have very few different enemies). But what counts – the combat systems, the encounter design, the controls (customizable, as they should be! are unparalleled and unbeaten.

      And speaking of PC – DMC4 also has some great PC specific goodies that makes all other spectacle fighter ports – including Reboot – look like garbage: A mode with new, remixed enemy groups that have enemy counts the consoles couldn’t handle. And it perfectly illustrates just how fantastically tuned the DMC4 combat systems are that they not only not break down when there’s 10 times as many enemies at the same time – they get even better with those enemy counts.

  2. SaintAn says:

    Might want to avoid this version and buy the old one because they censor at least once scene out of this version that was in the old release.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      That’s DmC Definitive Edition. There is one poorly written line that they removed from one early cutscene. It’s not censored because the developers chose to remove the line to make the game slightly better written.

    • gunny1993 says:




      “I have decided to change some element of a thing I made because I believe it to improve the experience ”

      The difference is about as subtle as my example of censorship

      • Jason Moyer says:

        We should definitely accept people revising their “finished” works like that (see: Star Wars SE)

        • RARARA says:

          This here is cutting bloat, whereas Lucas was all about adding it.

          I doubt you would extend your sarcasm to Blade Runner’s final cut or Kingdom of Heaven’s director’s cut.

          • Geebs says:

            The theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven must have been truly appalling, given how average the Director’s Cut was.

          • joa says:

            I am not such a fan of the Blade Runner director’s cut. I somehow doubt it’s what Ridley Scott would have turned out in the 80s had he been given final cut then.

        • Urthman says:

          Whatever you want to call the Star Wars SE, it sure isn’t censorship.

          I think what you meant to say is that the Star Wars SE shows that George Lucas should have been censored from changing his earlier work and therefore censorship can be a good thing.

    • RARARA says:

      Wrong game, and please learn the difference between censorship and editing.

  3. BLACKOUT-MK2 says:

    In reference to the backtracking I heard that was because the game suffered budget cuts and harsh time constraints. There are certain mechanics that you can find left over in the game despite being cut for the most part due to not being finished. There is also an abundance of concept art showing ideas that were never put to use, including an idea for an entire snow section that didn’t make the cut. The character select screen only giving you the choice of 2 versions of one character also shows it was rushed, since a character select screen often hints at there being more than 2 versions of one character to choose, and even then that version just has unlimited Devil Trigger. Despite that I still feel DMC 4 is the most fun game combat-wise, and it’s because of that combat that I look forward to having another 3 characters to muck around with.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      This is also what happens when fans feel dissatisfied about something they had high hopes for, they start digging a lot and discover an abundance of extra info, like the existence of concept art that didn’t make the cut.

      At that point such information becomes “proof”, and the fact that pretty much any game has a plethora of concept art that went unused goes ignored.

      • BLACKOUT-MK2 says:

        Oh yeah, a lot of it’s all speculation, but there is certain stuff, like the character select thing I pointed out, which seems like common sense. DMC 3 had quite a lot of costumes so the character select’s existance was justified, but DMC 4 had no other characters to choose from other than a separate variation of the only character you can choose for that level. Again, speculation, but does that not strike you as odd?

  4. Jason Moyer says:

    Wish we were getting the enhanced DmC instead, but I might just be blinded by my love for Ninja Theory. For that matter, I wish they would/could work something out with MS and put Kung Fu Chaos on Steam while they’re at it.

  5. Durandir says:

    That kinda sucks. None of the old DMCs have grabbed me, in fact I have disliked every minute I played of them. Granted, that was only demos and some hours playing them when visiting friends.
    The new DMC was great though, and I would play that again in a heartbeat if the Definitive Edition came out on PC.

  6. Philomelle says:

    To take away from the arguments about DMC vs. DmC for a moment, I’d like to sit down and lament that PC is still missing a release of Bayonetta and will likely forever miss it now that Nintendo was the one who funded the sequel.

    I recently started playing the first game again and it’s miles above every spectacle fighter that came before it and the vast majority that came after it. It’s still hard to believe that it was designed on a fraction of both DMC4 and DmC’s budgets.

    • EhexT says:

      Bayonetta would be great if they redesign everything about their characters. It might have great spectacle fighter mechanics but it’s ridiculously cringe-inducing. It’s the kind of game you have to apologize or explain yourself if someone catches you playing it. It’s way too japanese and sexist.

      • Philomelle says:

        Meanwhile, your use of “Japanese” as an insult is absolutely not bigoted at all, neither is your implication that a woman behaving in a suggestive manner is sexist and should be apologized for.

        Pardon me while I go and throw up into a paperbag or something.

        • EhexT says:

          Female characters have unrealistically giant tits (which in true video game fashion, jiggle like helium filled baloons). Constant suggestive poses by female characters. Camera which incessantly focuses on female characters tits and asses. Main character who gets progressively more naked the bigger the special effect.
          Yup, totally not childishly immature, japanese or sexist at all, no siree.

          And if you don’t know what Japanese means in this context you are being willfully ignorant – japanese game devs and artists have, for the most part, a very specific style that is characterized by hypersexualized females, underage females and male wish fulfillment. That’s well documented.

          Doesn’t mean it’s the case for every japanese artist, but it’s a very strong regional trend. Just like you can make the distinction between a jRPG and a western RPG, or an american game and an eastern european game. Regional outlooks and biases inform much of the content produced in those regions.

  7. davorable says:

    I wouldn’t mind DLC that added more playable characters to DmC I really enjoyed that game. I bought the DLC that let you play as Vergil and it was pretty sweet.