Devil May Cry has always been a series close to my heart. The witty dialogue, high action, style and finger straining combos have brought me to a place where I can feel as hardcore as Dante… But only while playing, definitely not in real life. Today, a brand new demo for Devil May Cry 5, the fifth installment in the main series (sixth if you count DmC, the semi off brand spin-off by Ninja Theory…) was released for PS4 and XBone. Notably, this is the first time that Devil May Cry 5 has been playable on the PS4, as the XBone has previously had a demo on their store, but it has since been removed, but now, everyone can enjoy this hack and slash teaser- but does it have the same feel as the old Devil May Cry’s or is it better to skip this one?
Before I delve into the demo, I just wanted to preface my analysis by saying that I have gone through the whole series, DmC and all, playing on harder than normal difficulties. If there are any issues with the gameplay of this demo, I will know straight away. Okay, let’s do this. As soon as I booted up the demo, I was greeted with the classic ‘selection gunshots’ and smooth ‘Devil May Cry’ voice over that I’ve grown nostalgic for. It impacted me in a way that made me step back and take a breath before going into it completely, but once I did, I felt like I was greeting an old friend. In this demo, you play an older version of Nero, the protagonist from Devil May Cry 4, still rocking The Red Queen, his sword of choice along with new upgrades for his Devil Arm that cause shockwaves and explosions to deal extra damage to enemies. Nero’s Devil Arm works as it always did, allowing you to pull enemies towards to, helping you combo them with ease.
While playing through the demo, the only issue I had with control is the limited move set Nero has and the ongoing issue of ‘X‘ (on PS4) being used for both JUMP and EXAMINE, making me jump crazily in front of the few spots you need to pick up or use items in the overworld. Standing still for a few seconds fixes this problem, but the DMC Speedrunner in me always wants to blast forward. However… The issue of Nero’s limited move set was slightly fixed by finding Nico later on in the demo. Nico’s Van, which seems to be the transportable ‘Devil May Cry’ Headquarters, now seem to replace Divinity Statues. I was pleased to see old favorites like ‘Air Hike’ and an upgrade to The Red Rose’s ‘Exceed Meter’ (letting you charge the sword up, unleashing a flaming swing on your next melee attack, dealing significantly more damage) in the van’s store, which really helped me unlock Nero’s full battle potential, or at least as much as the game would allow me to.
The action and style combos were on key, the demon designs are beautifully done, the gameplay feels solid and it has me ready to dive into the full game once it comes out… The one issue I thought I might have is Nero being whiny, like he was in DM4, however, to my shocked delight, this older Nero now has the same sass as Dante did in all previous games, taunting demons before the fight and showing that cocky ‘better than you’ attitude we all love about Dante. This was the cherry on the cake and I can confidently say that I will be picking up the full retail release once it comes out on the 8th of March, 2019. During my time with the demo, I played through it four times for this overview (with more to come in the future) and unlocked all of the extra upgrades. …If only you could D.T. (enter Devil Trigger, a powered up demon form) in this demo, then I would be over the moon.
If you would like to try out this demo, you can pick it up for free on both the PS4 and Xbox One Digital Stores. Just keep in mind that the more you upgrade, the more fun you’ll have! (It also helps is you don’t mind the high energy metal music that plays throughout all the games. It really does keep your blood pumping during intense fights.) I highly recommend this release, or any game in the Devil May Cry series- Yes, even DmC. Although we have yet to see much of the new playable character simply named ‘V.‘, I have faith in Capcom to make the right choices and can’t wait to delve back into the demon fighting, high-style action alongside Nero, Dante and V. in the near future.