From the PAX AUS 18 Showroom Floor – Devil May Cry V
Devil May Cry, as a franchise has taken some strange twists and turns. The first three games followed the expected franchise path, all featuring the same character. But with the fourth entry things took some strange turns. In number four, Dante, the star of the series up until this point was relegated to a secondary role in favour of demon slaying newcomer Nero. Nero was a different sort of challenge and some players didn’t take to him as they had with Dante. Then things took another strange turn into prequel territory in the Ninja Theory created DmC. This game, with its new look and different spin on Dante, split fans right down the middle, with some loving it and others abhorring it. Now with the imminent release of Devil May Cry V, the game is back with the original developers and it is set as a true sequel to the fourth game. Will it win back lost fans while still keeping those that fell in love with DmC happy?
I sat down with a demo of the game at the Xbox booth on the PAX floor. Playing it on a One X, the game shone with a super amount of detail and stunning environments. Enemy design was wonderful and appears to be a suitable upgrade from the older games, invoking the feeling of previous titles while still looking sufficiently fresh, well as fresh as an undead demon can be I suppose. Clearly, this is a game that is going to benefit greatly from 4K and the higher-end systems because all those fancy looks and effects didn’t slow down the game in the slightest.
Which is good news for DMC fans, because this game is all about mentally fast fisticuffs. Playing as Nero (who now has a range of robotic arms instead of the demon arm from the previous title) I hacked, slashed, shot and bombed my way through the enemies with reckless abandon. Being a demo, I felt like some of the attacks, especially the gun, felt underpowered when compared to previous games, but that seems to me like scope for in-game upgrading and not any sort of weapon nerf. Nero’s robotic arms all have special powers which can be charged through attacks. Unleashing these powers results in a spectacular move that is as fun as it is devastating. My personal favourite was the arm that allowed me to ride it like a hoverboard from Back to the Future, slashing and hacking at the baddies as I flew quickly past. It seems like a nice addition to the combat that doesn’t fell over-powered or disruptive to gameplay.
If I have to be honest the gameplay felt a lot more like DmC than Devil May Cry 4. Now that could be my hazy memory messing up my recollections, but I think that people whose only experience with Dante and co is with DmC will be well served here (assuming that they can catch up with the bonkers story) whether this will put off those who didn’t like DmC I can’t say, but I am feeling pretty positive about the title so I hope they at least give it a chance.
In all this sort of game has been long missing from our consoles. Bayonetta 2 is the only recent title that scratches the same itch and with that being exclusive to Nintendo systems it means a lot of people aren’t getting their fix. With Devil May Cry 5 I feel like the developers are trying to strike a happy middle point between the fourth game and DmC and if they succeed they will manage to keep everyone happy, possibly even making new fans along the way. Only time will tell of course but for now, I am very interested in how Nero and Dante’s journey turns out.