The fourth installment of Capcom's gothic action series is the first to feature a new protagonist: Nero, who enters battle with a double-barreled revolver called the "Blue Rose" and an ornate sword known as the "Red Queen." He is also a card-carrying member of the Order of the Sword, an organization systematically dismantled by former series protagonist, Dante. Nero's power is not limited to his distinctive weapons, however. Nero's right arm, a.k.a. "the devil bringer," is imbued with an ethereal glow and is a source of supernatural strength. The demonic appendage lets him perform feats of agility not possible by mere mortals, such as grabbing enemies from afar, slamming them into the ground, spinning them overhead, or initiating various other context-sensitive moves.
Players can once again freely switch between melee and projectile attacks to string together elaborate combos, with bonus points awarded for style. By varying his attacks and minimizing the damage received in each level, Nero will earn "Proud Souls" to spend on sword combos, bullets, and improved attributes. Fans of earlier versions can still collect health-enhancing orbs from defeated enemies and initiate "devil trigger" transformations for temporary boosts in speed and power. Throughout his demon-slaying journey, Nero must solve environment-based puzzles and confront towering boss creatures, with each conquest allowing him the opportunity to upgrade his powerful arm. Dante is also playable at certain points in Devil May Cry 4, which according to producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, features more content than the first three titles combined.