By Patrick Aguda / October 10th, 2018
At New York Comic Con 2018, Capcom had a booth near the entrance of the Exhibit Hall. At the booth they had playable demos for 3 different games, two of these being Mega Man 11 and Resident Evil 2 Remake. But I wasn’t there for those games, I was there for one game in particular, Devil May Cry 5. My first game in the series was Devil May Cry 4 and after beating it, I became a huge fan of the series. I then went on to beat the third game, first game, and most recently, the DmC reboot. Once I learned Devil May Cry 5 would be playable at NYCC, I knew I had to get there and try it for myself. After waiting in line for about an hour and a half, I finally got to sink my teeth into the newest entry of this great series. The demo was on Xbox One and you play as Nero in what I believe is the first level of the game. Unfortunately, there was no Dante demo, but I can live with that.
Before I started the demo, a Capcom attendant at the station asked if I played any game in the series before. Once I told him I had, he assured me I should be able to complete the demo just fine. He did however remind me that I only had one life in the demo. Once I died, my play time was finished, adding some pressure to what I did in the demo.
The first thing I noticed while playing the demo was how stunning Devil May Cry 5’s graphics looked. Before when I watched the E3 trailer for the game, I felt a bit iffy about the realistic approach Capcom took for the character models. I now know after playing the demo that these fears were unfounded. The character models look great and fit the world perfectly. From the environment to the way Nero’s coat moved when you ran, Capcom clearly put a lot of care and attention into making this game.
Once I got into my first fight, I noticed how similar the game’s combat was to the fourth game. Most of Nero’s combos stayed intact and you could pull enemies towards Nero with his Devil Breaker arm. The Exceed system also makes a return but I didn’t utilize it much cause I was never really good with it. I did notice that Nero’s swings were slightly slower, throwing off my timing for the combos. Shooting the Blue Rose revolver felt noticeable slower compared to when it was fired in the fourth game. You couldn’t rapid fire like before and it felt like the shots had more impact behind them. The sound when firing the Blue Rose was also much louder, it actually felt like Nero was firing a revolver now. I really appreciated these changes to Nero’s fighting style as it felt more subdued, but not so much as to throw off long time fans of the series. The camera movement was also very limited as you could only move it slightly in certain directions. This added some challenge to the gameplay and I appreciated it.
The enemies fought in the demo were pretty simple, similar to enemies seen early on in the fourth game. You had flying bee enemies and slow-moving enemies with scythe arms. It was very easy to defeat these hordes of enemies with an A or S rank. They were the perfect targets to practice with before reaching the boss. Once you defeat a horde of enemies, it slows down on your last attack and then a new path opens for you. The slow down is an element added from the DmC reboot.
The biggest addition to the combat system I saw so far was the Devil Breaker arm. This arm replaces the Devil Bringer arm Nero had in the fourth game. There are multiple types of Breaker arms and they have a limited number of uses. One arm will go away as you use it overtime, or you can charge up the arm and hit the enemy with a more powerful attack. The downside of charging the attack is that you’ll automatically use up one arm, so you have to use it wisely. You normally carry 4 or 5 of each arm and you can’t freely switch between arms. If you use all the ammo of one arm, you switch to the next arm in your arsenal. If you lose one type of arm there’s no need to worry. You can pick up more arms off the floor as you traverse the level, including types you’ve already broken before. The arms I were able to use were the default Gerbera arm and the Punch Line arm. When you use the Gerbera attack, Nero hits the enemy with a large lighting palm. This does a lot of damage to an enemy and knocks them back. The Punch Line arm hits enemies with a long-range punch. I didn’t get to use that arm much as my Gerbera arm did not break until the end of the boss fight. The Devil Breaker arm is limited in that you can’t freely switch between types, but it helps you think up of new combos depending on the arm you’re using.
I really enjoy how they implemented the music in Devil May Cry 5. As your style rank gets higher, you get to hear more of the song. So, when you get to A or S rank and higher, you can pretty much hear the entirety of the battle music, lyrics and all. If you’re constantly at D or C rank, you’ll hear very little of the theme. This gave me more incentive to get higher style ranks against hordes of enemies because I wanted to hear more of Nero’s sick battle theme. For those of you that are interested, Nero’s battle theme is called “Devil Trigger” and it is fantastic. I got to hear, lyrics and all, most of the time because I was usually at A or S rank when fighting the enemy hordes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to SS or SSS rank during the demo as I wasn’t changing my combos up enough.
The boss fight in the demo was one many fans have seen in the E3 2018 trailer and Gamescom 2018 trailer. It featured a giant monster with a stomach mouth that could eat objects and spew them at the player as projectiles. You start the fight off on top of a church and once you take away enough of its health, the monster breaks the roof of the church and you fall inside. I loved how Capcom added these seamless transitions between locations as it made the boss fight more fun and dynamic. The boss’ patterns were pretty easy to read as he always did these wide swinging motions with his arms. The move that could possibly do the most damage was when he tries to suck you in with his stomach mouth. This move can be easily avoided by using Break Away. Break Away is done by pressing the left bumper and it automatically uses up one of your Devil Breaker arms. Once used, it can blast Nero away from the monster’s stomach mouth. Break Away can also be used to quickly propel yourself towards an enemy. After you knock out more of its health, you can exit the church and enter a wide-open plaza area. This is when the boss starts to use projectiles against you, which can take away a lot of your health if you’re not careful. All-in-all, this boss fight wasn’t too difficult and you could easily beat it once you got its patterns down. I ended up getting an overall A rank for the demo which I don’t think is too bad.
Devil May Cry 5 was a joy to play and I enjoyed every second of the demo. The combat was similar to the fourth game but Capcom added enough new elements to it to make it still feel fresh and new. I believe both veterans and newcomers alike will enjoy what the game has to offer and they should definitely consider picking up the full game. If you’re not too good at these types of games, there is an auto-assist mode which makes it much easier to do complex combos.
Devil May Cry 5 is set to release on March 8, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam.
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