Ghastly Gaming: DEVIL MAY CRY 5 Demo Will Sell You On It

When Devil May Cry 5 was officially unveiled at the Xbox E3 2018 press conference, I had a range of mixed feelings. For some reason or another, despite the kick ass action that these games present and the overall feeling of euphoria I have when I play them, I’ve never been able to truly master the Devil May Cry series, which is developed and published by Capcom. Ever since I played the original Devil May Cry on PS2 as a Japanese import (I was THAT stoked to play it), I fell completely in love with heavy gothic overtones and atmosphere, the bonkers action involving demons of all shapes and sizes. Most of all, I enjoyed playing as the main protagonist, slayer-for-hire Dante. The original DMC, directed by Hideki Kamiya of Resident Evil 2 fame and produced by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, was originally being developed as the next entry in the RE series, which at the time was Resident Evil 4. However, as development went on, the team decided that this wasn’t going to work within the RE canon and play style and broke it off to forge its own path. The subsequent sequels were released to varying degrees of success, whether it be worthy successors to the original (Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, Devil May Cry 4), a reboot that greatly divided gamers (DMC: Devil May Cry from developer Ninja Theory) or a truly horrendous sequel that almost killed the franchise (Devil May Cry 2).

Getting back to my initial statement…I have something to confess. I’ve only beaten the original Devil May Cry in the entire franchise. I found DMC2 to be too horrendous to even see through, DMC3 was an excellent game (probably the best in the series) but the difficulty was turned up to 11 and my gaming skills back in 2005 were NOT up to snuff, and DMC4 was a great game that had us playing as new character Nero and was a fun ride for a few hours…until it made me backtrack through the entire game, this time playing as Dante, fighting the same enemies and bosses, which totally killed my interest in finishing it. For some reason, I never laid my hands on the DMC reboot from Ninja Theory for one reason or another, but that certainly doesn’t reflect the quality of the product, just an oversight on my part.

Recently Capcom has been on a blazing streak of greatness with the release of Resident Evil 7 in 2017, Monster Hunter World in 2018 and the recent Resident Evil 2 Remake on Jan. 25th, and I knew that Devil May Cry 5 was just around the corner on March 8th, so I was feeling the Capcom love. In addition, the company decided to drop a demo for us to try out DMC5 on February 7th. I immediately downloaded the demo and made my way through the roughly 15-20 minutes of gameplay. Now the question begs, does the next entry in this beloved series bring up those great feelings I had when I first played the original DMC, or will it once again be too much for my gaming skills to handle?

First off, let me just say that Devil May Cry 5 is a beautiful game. The series has always been known for stylish graphics, with the recent DMC4 even running at a slick 60FPS, all while still being a bad ass shooter. DMC5 continues that trend, but I believe it is the best looking in the series so far. The demo, which has you playing as Nero from DMC4 (the final game will include three playable characters – Nero Dante and newcomer V), has a play through that includes some basic run-ins with a variety of enemies you will encounter in the main game, and it all concludes with a massive boss battle that feels right at home within the DMC universe. The demo takes place within a detailed metropolis environment, more so than any of the previous entries, and is loaded with incredible details, especially in terms of presentation and aesthetics of the city itself.

The RE engine is also put on full display here, showing that it can aptly handle a more methodical and slow horror/action game like Resident Evil or a blistering fast maniacal action entry such as Devil May Cry. You also get a good introduction to the multiple arm enhancements that Nero will be wielding in this adventure, called Devil Triggers. Each arm has two uses, one that is a basic attack by tapping the corresponding button, or if the button is held down, unleashes a more devastating attack. These attacks vary in form, whether it be electrical charges, a massive power beam, a bomb attachment and even converting one arm into a rocket-propelled skateboard to ride around on, smacking demons back to hell. The boss battle is the greatest reason to play this demo, and the deciding factor for me to go ahead and reserve my copy. Devil May Cry has always been known for its epic boss encounters, large demons or creatures that cover intense amounts of landscape, making victory seem daunting. The boss you encounter here, Goliath, who is a large horned beast that can ingest vehicles and other matter through the large gaping flaming mouth located where its belly should be, will test your reflexes and skills, all in order to put him down for the count. Jumping around constantly, slicing at him in mid-air or from ground, shooting your massive firearm, or dispensing every devil trigger arm you got, anything that you can do will need to be utilized to defeat this denizen from the depths of hell. After you finally take him down, the demo concludes and implores you to pre-order the full game before its release.

I have always loved the Devil May Cry series, despite not being terribly effective at actually finishing up each entry. I was kind of lukewarm on DMC4 due to the game forcing you to play the same enemies and bosses over again a second time, but overall thought it was a well-made entry. After playing a small snippet of Devil May Cry 5, I am convinced that this might be the first one since the original that I will see through until the very end. On top of that, it has one hell of a theme song!