Devil May Cry Is Back
The first gameplay footage for the highly-anticipated third-person action title Devil May Cry 5 has just released. And while many fans may have been hoping for a longer and more thorough look at classic main character Dante, what we did get gives us a fairly good look at what to expect from the title.
The demo, which starts off with a bit of (nice looking, but not too important) gameplay footage, centered around Nero, a character introduced in Devil May Cry 4.
And while we’re on the topic of Nero and the story, perhaps the most refreshing thing that has been shown of Devil May Cry 5’s story mode is what has not been shown – Nero’s love interest, Kyrie. Despite adding a few interesting pieces to his character, the writers of Devil May Cry 4 chose to have Nero focus mainly on his quest to rescue his love interest. The result was some mostly standard damsel-in-distress fare and a lackluster introduction to what seemed like an interesting character. So far, her absence from 5 suggests the story will focus on different aspects of Nero’s personality, which some hardcore fans will be very happy with.
But that’s enough of that. We’re here to talk about the gameplay. And that’s why we’re also breezing right over the topic of graphics – Game looks good, a little bit darker than the previous iteration, shiny textures, shinier reflections, 60fps, end of story.
The first image shown is a mapping of the standard control layout, which should feel right at home to those who’ve played a DMC game before: Melee attacks are bound to a single button, ranged attacks are also bound to a single button, the game has a hard-targeting lock-on system, and a jump button.
And while many more accustomed to third-person character action titles might think these designs seem a bit too simple, there’s a lot of complexity hidden within. Actions in DMC are hyper-contextual: You’ll get a different attack animation when pressing melee while standing still, versus pressing it while moving forward, versus pressing it while moving backward. If you hold the attack button down, you might charge something up, and if you hold it down in the middle of a combo, you’ll charge something else up – Devil May Cry achieves its finesse by relying mostly on the context of inputs rather than the raw inputs, and that stays true in this demo.
An aspect new to 5 is Nero’s Devil Breaker arm – a robotic limb with special abilities depending on the model its equipped with. In 4, he had a demonic arm he could use to pull himself to opponents or pull them to him. That aspect returns and its even faster than it was before, but this Devil Breaker arm has a few key differences. It gives Nero access to a host of powerful “Devil Breaker” abilities unique to the color of arm he’s got. Nero can also charge an arm to unleash a kind of “ultimate” attack that instantly destroys it, or detonates it to escape difficult situations. As soon as an arm is gone, its replaced with a new one – Nero appears to hold 4 arms at once.
In the first fight we see, Nero uses up all four by the end but picks up many more quickly after. This suggests arms will function as a kind of limited, rotating set of abilities that players shouldn’t be afraid to blow through during encounters.
There’s also a boss fight that reeks of Devil May Cry flavor: Plenty of polite conversations about how the other guy is super going to die while standing inches apart from each other – A conversation which requires Nero to stand atop a building. This boss is pretty big.
He’s also got a mouth in his stomach that hurls violent pink fireballs at the player. Overall, he seems like a solid first boss – his attacks are slow, highly choreographed and easy to evade. The player does a great job of showing off Nero’s great mobility, using the grappling arm to hook onto the boss’s head and staying behind him for most of the fight.
About 1/4th of the way through, the giant pounds into the floor and brings the entire boss arena down one level. He then rips massive stone pillars from the walls and uses them against the player. Halfway through, the boss collapses a building and leaps outside, changing the arena again. If the game keeps up with events like this, the Devil May Cry 5 bosses look to be much more dynamic than those in previous titles.
As the boss goes down, the demo wraps up (Actually it wraps up right before the boss goes down, suggesting me might not actually go down) with a style screen rating the player’s performance, and ends. Overall, it looks like a shinier, nuttier version of the standard Devil May Cry experience, this time with a lot more polish and some better-looking cutscenes. Which, while not mind-blowing, is a pretty good look for a sequel.
Featured Image Via Flickr / Instacodez