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June 2019

Devil May Cry 5

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: March 8, 2019


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Devil May Cry 5'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Feb. 8, 2019 @ 3:26 a.m. PST

Several years have passed in Devil May Cry 5, and although Dante is missing, the threat of demonic power has returned. A demon tree has taken root in Red Grave City. This attracts the attention of young demon hunter Nero, who lost his demonic arm, which was the source of his power.

Pre-order Devil May Cry 5

When DmC: Devil May Cry came out in 2013, fans worried it might mean the end of the "traditional" Devil May Cry games. Fortunately, Devil May Cry 5's surprise announcement put those particular fears to rest. Picking up not long after Devil May Cry 4, it puts players back in the shoes of ridiculously excessive demon hunters Dante and Nero, as well as newcomer and Kylo Ren look-alike, V. The trio must band together to once again stylishly kick evil's rear end across every dimension.

The demo puts players in control of Nero, half of the protagonist squad in DMC4, and players will find him very familiar. In DMC5, Nero plays almost exactly like his DMC4 version but with a few interesting bits of polish. His charge gun now charges up multiple shots at once, rather than a single shot. This makes it a lot less tedious to keep his gun charged up, and it means you don't have to hold down a button the entire time. His Red Queen sword still has the Exceed mechanic, but it feels easier to charge up — although that may just be years of DMC4 experience talking.

The biggest change to Nero's play style from DMC4 is the Devil Breaker system. In the original game, Nero had a magical demon arm that could be used for special attacks. He lost that arm to a mysterious cloaked figure, but he replaced it with an awesome-looking robot arm called the Devil Breaker — or a series of Devil Breakers, each with its own distinct abilities.

You find Devil Breakers throughout the environment, and once you have one, it's equipped or stocked automatically. Pressing the Circle button activates the Devil Breaker's special move. There are a handful (pun intended) of Devil Breakers in the demo. The Overture fires an electric blast directly in front of Nero, the Punchline separates his arm to attack an enemy independently (like Round Trip from earlier games), and the Gerbera fires shockwaves that can knock back enemies or let Nero dash around in mid-air.

Devil Breakers are human-made, not demon weapons, so they're not invincible. If you're injured while using a Devil Breaker, it can be damaged or even broken. This means it's critical to think about where to use Breakers because button-mashing can lead to their destruction.

There is another aspect to breaking a Breaker, though. Nero can choose to charge up and overload the Devil Breaker to perform an incredibly powerful special attack. For example, the Gerbera fires a giant laser that inflicts a massive amount of damage on the enemy, but you can choose to detonate the arm to inflict some damage and break Nero out of grabs that would otherwise drain his health.

The "consumable" aspect of Devil Breakers is interesting. At first blush, the idea of destructible weapons in a DMC game might sound utterly terrible, but in execution, it's well implemented and a lot of fun. The weapons are plentiful and can be found in the environment, so destroying them is a valid choice, and it's also a punishment for sloppy play. Even if all your Devil Breakers are broken, you have the rest of Nero's powerful skill set, which is basically identical to his DMC4 incarnation.

DMC5 looks amazing. The animations flow together far better than they did in previous games, and it really gives the entire experience a sense of physicality and flow that makes it a delight to watch in action. The demo ran smoothly, but I did notice a touch of slowdown during the demo's building-wrecking boss fight. DMC5 is easily shaping up to be the best-looking Devil May Cry title to date.

Based on the demo, Devil May Cry 5 feels like a very natural extension of Devil May Cry 4. The gameplay mechanics are familiar in a good way, and the sheer stylishness and excitement of the combat is exactly what Devil May Cry should be. Fans of the franchise have been waiting a long time for the follow-up to Dante and Nero's wild ride, and DMC5 is shaping up to deliver everything they asked for when it releases next month for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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