Capcom has been on a roll recently as both Resident Evil and Mega Man have seen successful resurgences, so naturally it was only a matter of time before Devil May Cry saw a comeback. A short demo, roughly around 10 to 15 minutes long, was recently released for the hotly anticipated title and the results are pretty mixed.
You’ll control Nero for the duration of the demo and one of the newest additions to his character comes in the form of his prosthetic arms. Dubbed “Devil Breakers”, each arm comes equipped with their own unique abilities. One can be fired like a rocket and will knock an enemy down and continuous hit them while you work on other enemies. Another can be utilized to air dash forward, this creates a shockwave that knocks enemies in the air. The last Devil Breaker fires out electricity in the form of a hand and this is best utilized for crowd control.
With Nero’s Devil Breakers, you’ll be able to grab enemies from afar to combo them and if you so choose, they can be detonated to cause heavy damage. The primary weapons used in the demo are his sword and pistol, which can be used in combination to elongate combos. As in all other entries in the series, you’ll want to be as flashy as possible to earn the highest rating. Mixing primary attacks with the Devil Breakers abilities is fun, but the action in the demo differs from previous titles as it feels slow and deliberate.
A lot of the action that takes place during the demo will feel familiar for series fans. Killing enemies will drop different orbs, red represents experience and green is health. While the enemies all look menacing, the visual fidelity is great, they’re really non-threatening. They move fairly slowly and even in confined spaces, you can dispatch them with ease. I’m sure the enemy AI will be more challenging in the full release, but here it was a bit too easy.
Near the end of the demo you will get a glimpse of the in-game shop, which is ran by Nero’s engineer Nico. Here you can spend red orbs on new Devil Breakers and also new abilities. You’re also able to set the order of the Devil Breakers, which adds a bit of strategy when it comes to conflict within the game. You won’t be able to unlock many abilities through the demo, but you can test them out like in previous titles.
The best part of the demo is the boss fight. Devil May Cry has some of the most tense and thrilling boss fights in gaming and this battle was a nice way to cap off the demo. You fight a towering demon in two phases, one in a confined space and the other in an open area. This fight emphasizes both power and movement, so switching between Devil Breakers is key. If you get hit by the boss, it can do serious damage and break your current Breaker, but don’t fret as others are littered throughout the battlefield.
One of the first things that you’ll notice about Devil May Cry 5 is just how stunning the visuals are. The framerate is smooth and the creature design is excellent. Textures and colors pop off the screen and if this is just a taste of the visual variety found in the game, then DMCV will be one of the best looking titles of this generation. Capcom has been killing it in the production department, see the Resident Evil 2 remake for proof.
While the playthrough with Nero was a bit uneven, it wasn’t exciting until the end, the fact remains that he is one of three playable characters. It would’ve been nice to play as Dante or newcomer V, but this may have revealed too much in the way of plot details. I fully expect the full release of Devil May Cry 5 to feature challenging enemies, diverse combat, and over-the-top cutscenes that the series is known for. Concerns aside, the final part of the demo should be more than enough to get everyone intrigued when it releases March 8.