I've played Devil May Cry IV through top to bottom, and the best way I can describe it is this: it's a decent anime movie, with bits of gameplay in between.
Don't get me wrong - the gameplay isn't that bad, and there's a certain thrill that comes with launching a demon into the air and then blowing it back to hell with a shotgun. But that's not why you'll be playing Devil May Cry IV.
No, the "normal" gameplay sections are largely forgetable, with repetition and tedium being the norm. But you'll push through them all the same because two things stand out here: the aforementioned cutscenes, and the boss-fights.
Now the cutscenes are generally excellent (especially after Dante finally makes his appearance - the "Lucifer Flamenco" scene stands out), and the voice-acting and sound effect are equally above standard, and there's a lot of them too, so if you're a fan of the series you generally won't be disappointed.
There are three main gripes though that I feel have to be mentioned:
The first is the music that plays during the action-gameplay sequences between the cutscenes and the boss fights: there are only two "songs" that play during the fights - one for Nero, and one for Dante. You WILL get tired of hearing "The time has come and so have I..." over and over again (mostly because some fights are so short that the music will fire up and then fade out again).
The second is that Capcom have a strange love affair with fixed camera angles. Some parts of the level design let you adjust the camera how you like it... but some are fixed at a certain angle, which makes for some annoyances at times.
It also suffers from the old "perspective flip" in places where you'll be pushing "up" to run forward, only for the camera angle to change and make "up" the direction of going back the way you came.
Finally, without spoiling things too much, while there are twenty levels here, that's sort of misleading: you'll find that once the story changes from Nero to Dante, you'll have the pleasure of going back over the *same* levels in reverse *with* Dante, including repeating the Boss Fights.
Very lazy on Capcom's part... but you're playing as Dante by that point, so it does at least give it a twist.
Considering it's a console port, the graphics are pretty crisp and somewhat impressive, while the engine itself runs at a fair clip, with Frames Per Second usually in the high numbers in most places.
The downside there, of course, is that the levels are very linear, which I suppose is where the FPS is coming from. One world of advice, though: leave vSynch off.
There have been reports of stuttering and extra load times when it's turned on, and this was the case with my experience.
Also, make no mistake: this is a difficult game. Devil May Cry has always taken great pleasure in beating you down, and - while slightly more forgiving this time around - this is once again the case here.
You'll progress up to the first boss (a VERY impressive demon) with relative ease, only to get pretty badly beaten. But this may be a case where the game isn't difficult because it's difficult, but because a lot of the times there's a certain "gimmick" involve beyond "hack and slash to victory".
Is it worth £17.99? Absolutely. I would not suggest it for those who don't want a challenge, though, because as much as it is a case of "This movie is great! They let me use a gamepad!" in parts, you'll have to work for those cutscenes.
And a gamepad *is* required if you want an enjoyable experience. I wouldn't suggest trying to play DMC4 on a keyboard. :)