Devil May Cry 5 is a kind of homecoming for the series. After being reworked by UK developer Ninja Theory on the excellent DmC: Devil May Cry, Capcom's sword-swinging, monster-jugging action game returns to its Japanese developer. The fifth part of the series, developed by an in-house Capcom team, feels like it's as familiar as it is fresh.
This intention is carried home from the beginning. Seconds after I was busy with the GamesCom demo, I noticed sound effects coming straight from the first game. If that does not immediately recall the nostalgia of the PS2 era for the series, the new and improved Nero would definitely have. Although he returns from Devil May Cry 4, he has dumped the fear and replaced it with a witty attitude and self-assured pride. He may look like a freshly cut Nero, but he definitely behaves like the old Dante. Given that director Hideaki Itsuno of Devil May Cry 3 is leading the project, it is not surprising to find striking similarities between the new Nero and the young Dante.
Capcom leans heavily on his legacy in Devil May Cry 5 at a small turn, and that is most evident in the combat mechanics. At first glance, it feels as if little has changed: they attack with a sword and weapons, use evasive roles and jumps to escape difficult situations, and draw a unique mechanic to synergy between all these individual components produce. However, the biggest gameplay shake-up is the unique mechanics: Devil Breaker. In Devil May Cry 4, Nero's arm ̵
Devil Breaker is not only a strange, demonic arm that is permeated by supernatural power, but also an arm of the prosthesis and for some reason can also be found in the various environments of the game, waiting for Nero to get them off the ground takes off and attached to his stump. Fel Breakers have unique features, some restore DMC4's grabbing ability, others give Nero the opportunity to trigger an explosion of electricity that is deadly close up. They also get into crazy and crazy territory, with some devil-breakers capable of unleashing a flood of laser beams or launching a rocket in their excited states.
The crucial thing is that Fel Breakers are finite, and you will not always have one. They each have a limited mileage and once they reach the finish, Nero can continue fighting with just one arm. Felbreakers can also be exploded manually, creating additional damage and combination possibilities. For fans of the series and veterans of the genre, the opportunities offered by this system will undoubtedly be exciting. Capcom has not uncovered all kinds of Fel Breakers that will be in the game, which means their unique features remain a mystery. If my time with only two of them is a clue, this system will open the door to deep, rewarding, probably very complicated battles – although there is a simplified scheme of control for those who want to make cool things happen quickly.
But my biggest asset to Devil Breaker was that it added a new strategic layer to the experience. Traditionally, Devil May Cry Games has been about strengthening the player by giving them more weapons, swords, and other outrageous weapons as they progress. It was about creating options instead of removing them. Turning Devil-Breaker into a finite, fragile resource creates a greater sense of excitement with each encounter. This one, uncertain variable means that from one battle to the next, important strategic considerations must always be made. You can not just take muscle memory, as in most character-action games of this kind.
Along with this new dynamic combat system, Capcom has improved the game's appearance. Devil May Cry 5 immediately feels like a movie experience than its predecessors, with its camera approaching the action and a more realistic visual style for a slightly earthed look. And even if that seems to work, Devil May Cry 5 does not shy away from the more outrageous, cheesy moments in the series. In one scene, an ambulance falls on Nero, but he is perfectly positioned to thread through one of the open doors. It stumbles across the floor and hits a wall; a few seconds later, Nero opens a door and walks casually as if nothing had happened. It's the kind of absolutely ridiculous, exaggerated cinematic moment that's just as critical for an authentic Devil May Cry experience as it is for a smooth fight.
Early signs are promising for Devil May Cry 5. The little we've played has been the punishment line between new ideas and catering to bring nostalgia. While we've just learned a bit about it, it's easy to see the building blocks of a truly interesting and diverse combat system. However, it will be interesting to see how the game tackles storytelling and characterization, both of which have traditionally been the most inconsistent elements of the franchise.
Watch the video above for 20 minutes of Devil May 5 gameplay. Capcom has confirmed the release date of Devil May Cry 5 as March 8, 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Capcom has also released a trailer that shows more of Dante, who can now turn a motorcycle into a weapon with two weapons.