Remember the insane outrage from fans when Ninja Theory was developing DmC: Devil May Cry? How ridiculous was that? And all because Dante didn’t look right or something…I honestly can’t remember, but here we are with Devil May Cry 5.
Just as ridiculous, just as over-the-top, but rejoiced by fans, rather than reviled. And rejoiced it should be. Putting aside the controversies of the past and looking at Devil May Cry 5 as it stands it’s a stunning and fabulous new entry in the franchise.
Opening with a battle against the enormous and seemingly unbeatable Urizen, Devil May Cry 5 begins at a sprint and never slows down.
Devil May Cry 5 Preview
My hands-on time with Devil May Cry 5 was seemingly a portion of the final build. Beginning at the start of the game and continuing for nearly five hours, I spent time with both Nero and V. Unfortunately, my terrible skills meant I wasn’t able to play as Dante, but never fear, I’m told he’s the Dante you all remember and love. However, Nero, well he’s a little different and V, he’s a brand-new kettle of fish.
The most striking thing about Devil May Cry 5 though isn’t the playable characters, it’s the visuals. They’re absolutely stunning. By now, you’ve probably seen the videos or even played the demo, so you’ll know what I’m talking about. Hellscapes are slick, shiny and deformed. Cityscapes are detailed, crisp and crumbling. There’s always been a visual language in the Devil May Cry universe and Devil May Cry 5 speaks it fluently.
Twisted architecture is held together by threads of hell and viscera. The sky isn’t quite the right colour and enemies are creepy more than frightening. Ugly, freak show outcasts determined to pull our heroes apart.
Luckily, the combat in Devil May Cry 5 is also fluent in the language of incredible, complex violence.
Nero? He’s ‘Armless
In Devil May Cry 5, Nero has lost his powerful Devil Bringer arm and now has the prosthetic Devil Breaker. Designed by goth Velma, Nico, the Devil Breaker is key to Nero’s combat skills. Sure, he can attack with his sword and his guns, but the Devil Breaker is how he mixes things up.
The first Devil Breaker designed by Nico, the Overture, can give demons a nasty shock and stun them for a moment. The further you progress, more and better Devil Breakers are found. I forget the names now, but one is used to fire a blast of heat and another can shoot homing missiles. Best of all, the missiles return to Nero and when they do, you can jump and land on it, riding it like some ballistic Silver Surfer.
The Devil Breakers aren’t just an important part of mixing up the combat, there’s actually a lot of strategy that goes into how you use them. At the beginning of missions, you’re able to purchase Devil Breakers from Nico’s shop and put them in order of when you’ll use them. While playing, you can’t swap out Devil Breakers or change to the next one, you’re only able to overload your current one, causing massive damage to nearby enemies and then move onto the next.
Depending on which Devil Breaker you have equipped, Nero will also be able to perform a different kind of dodge. Mixing these up helps keep him away from enemies and also to stay aerial. His aerial skills are also a big part of Nero’s charms. As you level up and unlock his skills, Nero can launch enemies into the air, drag them back to him on the ground, fly up to greet them with a heart sword slash and more.
Part of the fun of playing as Nero is seeing how long you can keep him in the air juggling enemies. And by doing so you’ll inch ever closer to that sexy SSS combo score.
V is for Very, Very Emo
When I first took control of V I felt very out of my depth. He doesn’t attack enemies directly, in fact, he can’t. This young Brian Hugh Warner wannabe instead summons a demonic raven and panther to attack on his behalf.
The raven is used for ranged attacks and the panther for melee. A further twist is that these demons can’t defeat enemies themselves and require V to finish them off. So, combat with V becomes this odd dance of attacking from a distance and then dashing in to finish enemies off.
Once they’re stunned, V is able to teleport directly to them and so, while it seems impossible to imagine, you’re actually controlling three characters simultaneously. It’s some truly chaotic awesomeness. It’s really difficult to describe what playing as V is like, but it’s new and exciting even if it’s really hard to wrap your head around initially.
I did get to tackle a couple of boss fights in my playtime, but I don’t want to spoil them here. Bosses are some of the biggest and best surprises and fights in Devil May Cry and the less you know about them the better. I will say, however, that they certainly take the mechanics of the game, and those new ones you’ve just learned and flip them on their head. You’ll be doing things you didn’t think were possible and you’ll probably be laughing and loving it the entire time.
With only a few days until release, you won’t have to wait long until you get a chance to fight evil. Get ready, cause this looks like the best Devil May Cry yet.