Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition Preview

Devils and details.

In this past console generation, Capcom has become known to rely on remastering and remaking its extensive catalogue of games, be they Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, Ducktales, Okami, and numerous others. The Devil May Cry series is no stranger to the trend either with Devil May Cry HD Collection released in March 2012 and DmC: Devil May Cry Definition Edition released last month.

A portion of Capcom's fanbase understandably wish that the developer would concentrate more on new IPs and fuller entries in their main franchises, a sentiment I share. But if they're going to focus on remasters and the like, they might as well do them properly, and Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition looks well on its way in reintroducing the original 2008 release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with enhanced 1080p graphics at 60fps.

In my private hands-on session with the Special Edition, I had the chance to experience the major addition to the original game: the three new playable characters Vergil, Lady, and Trish. For the main campaign, Lady and Trish will take the place of Nero and Dante in their respective chapters, while Vergil will take over for both Nero and Dante (because Vergil is just that badass). While the cutscenes will largely remain unchanged, there will be new bookend cinematics for both Lady/Trish and Vergil.

Vergil, as he is based on his moveset from Devil May Cry 3, has a combat stance that's the antithesis of Dante's chaotic style. Instead of wildly slashing and gunning down enemies, Vergil builds attack strength through concentration, which builds as a separate meter whenever he's near an enemy but doesn't attack. Sure, you're free to dash around the stage, fling projectile swords (in lieu of guns), and cancel attacks to juggle enemies in the air, but true mastery of the character will rely on deliberate movement. If his concentration meter is at peak strength, Vergil can wipe the floor with any foe and can activate an unbelievably powerful burst using his Devil Trigger.

Lady, on the other hand, is a gunslinger through and through. Where she lacks in melee strength (though she does have a slow but powerful melee attack just in case), she more than makes up for it with her nigh-ridiculous arsenal of long-ranged weaponry. Besides her pistols and her trusty shotgun, which she can switch between at any time, her main weapon is a rocket launcher with an attached grappling hook for aerial juggles. The rocket launcher's charging time is fairly slow, but it can turn enemies into bloody spurts in a flash and, if she's ever surrounded, she can fire the rocket launcher downward and hopscotch away with a forceful explosion. Either that, or use her special/bailout attack which sends out grenades in the surrounding area for a quick escape. 

Trish also makes a comeback, borrowing the power of the Sparda Sword. While she doesn't have any other weapons in her arsenal, the Sparda Sword and her own series of powerful kicks will suffice, to say the least. Not only can she hurl the sword for a sustained tornado of hits that stuns most enemies for at least six seconds, but she can perform the equivalent of Chun-Li's spinning bird kick for additional damage. Even without her sword, Trish can leave trails of electric lines all around the stage that stuns foes in their tracks.

Beyond that, by way of the new-gen consoles, the Special Edition comes with Legendary Dark Knight mode (more enemy spawns) and Turbo mode (20% faster) which were both available in the PC version of the original game. New costumes have been added, with each character getting at least one extra, which are compatible with in-game cutscenes. For minor enhancements, there have been gameplay improvements like tweaks to the auto-save and not needing to wind up as long for characters to sprint. The PS4 version will also have Trophies, as the original game on PS3 was released so early on the console that it did not have any at the time.

Though no price point has been announced, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition will release in Summer 2015 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.