Devil May Cry 4 is the second sequel (Devil May Cry 3 being a prequel) to the Capcom action game Devil May Cry. It was announced in March 2007 that the game would be released simultaneously for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and later PC. A demo for Devil May Cry 4 was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Store on January 24, 2008. In the game, the player controls Nero, the game's protagonist, in addition to an appearance by series lead Dante, fighting demonic enemies in close combat using firearms, swords and a variety of weaponry in a horror setting. Characters Lady and Trish from previous games in the series make appearances, joined by new characters Kyrie, Credo, Gloria, and Agnus. Gameplay Gameplay in Devil May Cry 4 is similar to previous games in the series. The player must fight through levels called "missions", occasionally solving puzzles or gathering items. Performance in a mission is graded from D being the bottom grade through C, B, A, and S, SS and SSS being the higher grades past A grade. Grades are based on items used, Red Orbs gathered, time taken, and the amount of "Style Points" accumulated. Each grade has its own tag-word, for example the SSS grade shows up as "Smokin' Sick Style" on the side of the screen when achieved, and similarly, the D grade as "Deadly". Stylish combat is the focus of the game which is done through unbroken combos of varied attacks while avoiding damage. The player must avoid attacks enemies employ to keep the a style-gauge up, often through memorizing attack patterns. Devil Trigger, a super-state, enables the player to become more powerful with slow health regeneration. Devil Trigger is activated through the Devil Trigger gauge filling from the players either receiving or dealing damage during combat or through certain items. After a minimum amount is filled, the player may enter Devil Trigger at any time. Devil Trigger is first available after Mission 6. Some changes introduced into Devil May Cry 4 are the presence of two playable characters, Dante and Nero and a slight modification to the shop system. A new currency called Proud Souls is now implemented which are used to buy new abilities while Red Orbs are used to buy items. Proud Souls are rewarded at the end of missions, the amount of which varies depending on how well the player performs with S and SS ranks providing the highest amount of Proud Souls. Costs of abilities also increase with the purchase of other abilities, though they may be sold back if the player so desires. Nero is played throughout most of the game. He starts and ends the game with his Red Queen sword, Blue Rose revolver, and the powers of his Devil Bringer (his magical right arm). The Red Queen features an "Exceed" Gauge that can be charged allowing subsequent attacks are more powerful than regular slashes until the gauge empties. The exceed gauge can also be filled by pressing the rev button during combos or other moves with exact timing. Nero also has the powers of his Devil Bringer, using it to pull himself towards enemies or vice-versa. The Devil Bringer may also be used for context-sensitive throw attacks, leading to high damage and various effects depending on the enemy. Nero's Devil Bringer also gains new abilities in the course of the game, such as being able to detect secret missions or caches of Red Orbs. Nero gains the ability to use Devil Trigger, which also increases his Devil Bringer's power, even changing his throws into more powerful versions with different animations. Dante is played through seven missions, taking over about half-way through the game. His gameplay is very similar to that of Devil May Cry 3, with him having access to multiple melee and ranged weapons--which he gains after boss battles--and being able to cycle through them freely in combat, being no longer limited to equipping two weapons of each type as he was in the previous game. Dante also starts with his four styles (Trickster, Royal Guard, Sword Master, Gunslinger), each of which grants him different abilities, but may now switch them at will with the d-pad, unlike in previous game Devil May Cry 3. He also gains the Dark Slayer style near the end of his section. Styles do not level up through experience as in the previous game, but must instead be upgraded in the shop screen in between missions or at statues. Dante can also enter Devil Trigger, though this does not change his attacks to the degree that Nero's Devil Trigger does. Playable characters On September 6, 2006, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported that series star Dante will not be the protagonist in Devil May Cry 4. Instead, a new character named Nero, voiced and motion captured by Johnny Yong Bosch, will take the lead. Nero resembles both Dante and his twin brother, Vergil, and is part of the Order of the Sword, a group of warriors who worship Sparda. Nero's attire consists of blue jeans, a long blue coat, and a red vest with a hood. He wields a revolver named Blue Rose, which has a distinctive under-and-over double barrel, and a decorated single-edged sword called the Red Queen. Nero views Dante as the antagonist, after witnessing the devil hunter first killing the Order's leader, Sanctus then murdering members of the Order. Gameplay videos and screens reveal Dante to be a boss enemy in the game. Nero's right arm seems to resemble a demon's and glows supernaturally, and is the source of his "Devil Bringer" power. Nero also has his own "Devil Trigger" transformation, which consists of a demonic spirit hovering above him. Capcom promotional videos have revealed that the spirit will mimic Nero's actions and that the Devil Bringer moves will change if the Devil Trigger is active while they are used. Dante, the primary character in the franchise, will also be playable and will have updated versions of the core animations used in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, as well as that game's four basic fighting styles of Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger and Swordmaster, which can be switched at will. Game Informer reported that he will not just be an unlockable, but will be playable, as part of the storyline. Capcom promotional videos have revealed that, like Nero and the first Devil May Cry, the properties of his moves will change if the Devil Trigger is activated. Out of the 20 missions available, Dante is playable for 7 of them. Returning weapons in his arsenal include the Rebellion sword, the Ebony and Ivory handguns, and the shotgun, but he will be able to acquire new Devil Arms with the defeat of bosses.
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