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Joystiq hands-on: Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)

Don't let the new coat of polish fool you, just go by the title. Devil May Cry 4 is the fourth title in the relatively young series and, as a result, feels neither new nor exciting. You perform your combos, kill the baddies, collect some orbs, and repeat. The good news is that it's playable here at TGS, as opposed to the real time footage we feared.

While the environments are nicely detailed and the architecture appropriately atmospheric, the characters leave something to be desired. Dante Nero felt particularly clumsy in this build, going from a standstill to a full sprint with almost no transitional animation, a far cry form the series trademark fluidity. The enemies were also repetitive and uninspired and, perhaps due to the controller's lack of rumble, pounding on them lacked the visceral oomph the series is known for. The experience felt particularly detached.

The game did look good but, interestingly, after a brief system crash (hey, this is beta software after all), the Sony television display (the same one with the "Full 1080" sticker on the front) revealed this particular PS3 demo was running at a not-true and not-full 720p. Regardless of its technical pedigree, Devil May Cry 4 does illustrate that even pre-release PS3 games are graphically impressive, with none of those load times we've been worried about. Expect DMC4 to look even better when it gets released this Spring. As for the gameplay, if you've played the first three, we imagine you'll know exactly what you're getting into.

Apologies for the notably poor image ... Sony was not allowing any photographs of the games played at their booth, but we managed to snap this blurry mess before getting our pasty mitts slapped. Fortunately, they allowed Game Videos to get some video, which we've embedded after the break.

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