Devil May Cry 5 Preview

Devil May Cry 5 Preview: Dante and Nero are back, and they've brought a few new friends with them. After a few hours with Devil May Cry 5, what do we think of the demon-slaying adventure?

Verdict

Devil May Cry 5 has the ingredients to be the best entry in the series yet. That’s lofty praise that will have some fans cautiously shifting in their seats, but it really does feel like a triumphant return to form for Dante and company.

Key Specifications

  • Release Date: March 8, 2019
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action

Devil May Cry 5 Trailer

Devil May Cry 5 Release Date

Capcom has confirmed Devil May Cry 5 will launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on March 8, 2019

Devil May Cry 5 Preview

For something that started out as a canned pitch for Resident Evil, Devil May Cry has grown to be one of Capcom’s biggest franchises. Dante’s demon-slaying adventures have been doing the rounds for almost twenty years, spanning multiple entries and a reboot that didn’t exactly go down well with fans.

But now, the boys are back in town with an all-new adventure that brings everything we love about the series right to the forefront. Over-the-top action? Check. Cheesy one-liners? Check. Snazzy jackets? Check. Everything we’ve been waiting for is here with Devil May Cry 5, and from the few hours we’ve played, it could be a new standard for the series.

The previous demo I experienced for Devil May Cry 5 was relatively limited, giving me access to a few choice areas and a bombastic boss encounter that did an excellent job of showcasing combat. Sadly, story and style were left by the wayside. Sure, there was plenty of teasing going on in trailers, but I was desperate to actually get my hands on it.

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Devil May Cry 5 Preview

Some missions have you picking between characters and fighting alongside one another

That’s all changed, and I’m positively smitten with the familiar yet daring direction Capcom has taken with Devil May Cry 5. Taking place after the events of DMC2, Dante and Nero are recruited by a mysterious newcomer named V to take down an ancient demon causing trouble across Red Grave City. Sounds like another day at the office.

He’s a threat unlike anything the gang have faced before, beating Dante to a pulp in the opening minutes to show he’s ready and willing to take you down. It’s a brilliant setup, establishing our heroes and what they’re capable of while throwing us immediately into the action. Down but not out, the rise of the enemy is exactly where this journey begins.

Well, the real story starts a month after things have already gone to hell. Red Grave City has surrendered itself to the demon hordes, who just so happen to harbour power by feeding on human blood. Nero now operates an agency outside of a dishevelled old van with his friend Nico. She’s an absurdly handy friend with a feisty attitude and immense talent for fixing up anything you might want when it comes to upgrades.

It’s clear from the outset that Hideaki Itsuno knows what makes Devil May Cry so special, assaulting the player with stylistic bombast with a relentless intro of thrashing metal music and ridiculous action sequences that will slap a grin on even the most cynical faces. And it isn’t all about aesthetic, as Capcom is quick to prove as I’m thrown into the first of many demonic showdowns.

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Devil May Cry 5 Preview

When Dante, V and Nero are all involved in the same scrap things can get pretty wild

Devil May Cry 5 has three distinct player characters in the form of Dante, Nero and V. Two of these we’ve a lot of experience, but V’s a whole new bag of worms we’re completely bewildered by. Donning his favourite My Chemical Romance cosplay, this unassuming pretty boy is capable of summoning shadowy creatures to do his bidding.

Coming in the form of a vicious tiger and a wise-cracking bird, they serve as ample replacements for the swords and firearms you’d see with other characters. The flying creature obliterates enemies with a flurry of projectiles at the touch of a button, while my other pet rushed in and slashed away at anything that moved.

All V has to do is stand back and watch the action unfold, occasionally jumping in to perform an execution on foes sitting at death’s door. This is a creative change of pace to what I expect from the series, forcing me to stand back and give orders instead of diving into the fray. I loved it, biding my time and unleashing special attacks at just the right moment to bathe in the satisfaction.

Nero is a far more familiar beast, dealing in the mixture of sword-slashing gunplay we’ve known for almost twenty years. That isn’t to say Capcom hasn’t innovated upon the formula, since it certainly has. Nero’s demon arm, Devil Bringer, has been stolen and replaced with a mechanical alternative.

The Devil Trigger, as you might’ve heard from the theme song’s absurd lyrics, is a devastating weapon in its own right, while also leveraging many of DMC5’s new mechanics.

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Devil May Cry 5 Preview

Nico is your trusty shopkeeper when it comes to weapons, upgrades and other demon-slaying goodies

A few missions in you’ll gain access to Nico’s workstation, which essentially functions as Nero’s home for new items, upgrades and endless varieties of Devil Triggers to equip. These range from corkscrew-esque drills to deadly fists imbued with lightning, all of which are capable of downing foes in a matter of seconds. A touch of a button will result in massive damage, but also sacrifice the limited stock of triggers you can have at one time.

Swapping between them in the midst of battle is thrilling, each acting like an individual weapon players will need to know perfectly when conquering harder difficulties. Obviously, Nico’s shop isn’t all about these nifty little limbs. Like previous games, between missions you’re free to spend all your hard-earned orbs on new skills for each weapon, or ones that upgrade Nero himself.

Nero, V and Dante all have individual upgrade trees, which brings us to the oldest and most beloved part of this equation. Dante is back, and he’s definitely ripened with age. Sporting a bit of stubble and a fabulous new hairstyle, the veteran demon hunter continues to take odd jobs that coincidentally involve ridding the world of monsters.

Dante plays much like his iteration from Devil May Cry 3, and that includes four distinct styles – Swordmaster, Gunslinger, Trickster and Royalguard. Capcom harkening back to what is arguably the series’ finest hour is very welcome, especially since each style feels lovingly distinct.

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Devil May Cry 5 Preview

V’s appearance might have turned off some, but he’s an absolute delight to play

Gunslinger has Dante spinning his shotgun like a pair of nunchucks while Rebellion – his iconic sword – is utilised in another style with a flourishing spin perfect for keeping demons at bay. All of these can be upgraded with their own enhancements, offering a staggering amount of variety for repeat playthroughs. You don’t play as Dante until a few hours into Devil May Cry 5, making his anticipated appearance all the sweeter to enjoy.

One of my only major qualms with Devil May Cry 5 thus far is the muted setting of Red Grave City. Clearly a fictional representation of London, it’s awash with dull greys and underwhelming urban architecture that’s a far cry from the fourth instalment’s angelic smattering of wild, fantastical environments. I’m certain it’ll grow on me, and the story’s opening developments give Capcom opportunity to explore some truly eclectic stuff. Here’s hoping they capitalise on it.

Devil May Cry 5 also sees the introduction of the Cameo System. This feature is a little confusing at first, but essentially comes down to other players/ghost recordings taking control of Dante, V or Nero in missions that feature multiple characters. Upon a level starting you’ll be greeted with an on-screen prompt indicating that another player is duking it out in the stage. It’s not particularly involved, but a hack ‘n’ slash rendition of Forza’s drivatar system is a cool idea.

Latest Impressions

Devil May Cry 5 has the ingredients to be the best entry in the series yet. That’s lofty praise that will have some fans cautiously shifting in their seats, but it really does feel like a triumphant return to form for Dante and company.

Three playable characters, each with their own phenomenal aesthetic and slew of abilities, have given Capcom so much room to flex its mechanical muscles, ensuring each mission I’ve played delivered something fresh and exciting.