When Hideki Itsuno took the stage this year at E3 2018 and revealed that Devil May Cry was back I honestly was skeptical. Devil May Cry 4 was not my favorite of the series and while DmC was better than most fans gave it credit for, it wasnt Devil May Cry that hardcore fans wanted.
The trailer tonally hit the marks, but the demo build I played at PAX West almost immediately convinced me that this is right. Devil May Cry is back. The demo was light on story beats but you play through what feels like a mish-mash of the opening of the game just as Nero running through city streets ending with a climactic battle with a Goliath demon.
Anyone familiar with previous entries can pick up the controls relatively quick. Swift sword slashes leading into a launcher with air juggles, gunshots continuing to juggle your opponent, repeat. However the new Devil Breakers system just in the demo added so much variety in the combat and there’s only going to be more in the final game. Devil Breakers are robotic arms Nero can swap in and out during battles at any time. I was able to hold a maximum of four in the demo and they were sprawled all over the map to find so swapping them out seems like the intention. You can actually blow up the breaker arm anytime by holding down a button, which serves as a get of jail free card if you’re about to get caught in a big powerful attack or to make some space in a group of enemies.
And that’s just that part of the devil breakers mechanics as there’s multiple types of arms to find all with different abilities. I found one that gave me a psycho crusher looking move that served as an air dodge and a launcher into an air combo. Another had a shotgun burst of electricity, and all have them have ‘Supers,’ powerful moves that come at the cost of the arm being broken. One shot a mass of lasers that bounced around the room which i did manage to conveniently pull it off when I was in a closed space during the Goliath boss battle, which was very satisfying.
Again, there wasn’t much in the story department but before the boss battle there was a cutscene with Nero throwing disses at the boss and it was very on brand and what you’d expect. Devil May Cry 5 is extremely promising this vertical slice was everything I wanted even as a more casual fan of the series. The game releases March 8th on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The demo I played was the Xbox One version it was on a devkit so it’s hard to say if it was X Enhanced but it ran great and was highly detailed. I feel confident saying I’m just as excited as any hardcore fan to play it next year.