Devil May Cry 5 – The Trial From the Heavens Above

Unless you have lived in some alternate universe until today, surely you did not miss Devil May Cry 5‘s announcement. At Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference, no less. Talk about an ambush. But finally, the legendary demon hunters are back, 10 years after the last canonical episode of the series.

We saw an emotional Hideaki Itsuno – the director behind the franchise since Devil May Cry 2 – who could finally tell the world that we can get ready to “kick some demon ass”. This time, not only the devils may cry: the fans, too, can leave some tears. And sometimes for bad reasons.

What a trailer, damn it.

No one actually knew what was going on while watching the trailer being revealed live to the world, until you suddenly heard the word “demon”. You raised an eyebrow. Then, the words “Red Grave”. At this point, either you’re a Resident Evil fan and you might think it is a new game, or you’re a die-hard Devil May Cry fan and you start screaming, because this is an Easter egg to Dante’s original nickname “Tony Redgrave”. To be honest, I wasn’t even ready to believe it so I was thinking of Resident Evil.

Then, you saw some white hair. And then, the van. Next, the “Devil May Cry” neon with a small “5”. This was when I began screaming and laughing from joy, as I saw Red Queen, Nero’s trusted sword, triggered by his wielder. With one hell of a music, making you scream “Bang, Bang, Bang, Pull my Devil Trigger!“. Not everyone might like it (I love it). But such a type of music is fitting for an high-adrenaline game series like Devil May Cry, dropping the “wild” metal from DmC or the more classic one from Devil May Cry 3. Noteworthy, the song is Nero’s battle theme, which means we could see different type of sounds for all of the main characters, as well as this is not indicative of the overall game’s music genre.

The first time we see him shooting some demons with his Blue Rose gun, one feeling cannot go away: this is definitely the same kind of choreography that we were used to see ten years ago. Yuji Shimomura, who was in charge of cut-scenes in Devil May Cry 4, is indeed back to work.

Nero has his sword burning bright red

The voices still run in my head. Definitely not Vergil’s, but rather those of people who despised (at first) the looks of the returning Nero, who was introduced in Devil May Cry 4. The reason? His hair has been cut. Pretty much as if the whole community didn’t grow ever since Ninja Theory stepped in with the controversial DmC: Devil May Cry. You would expect them to just forget it and leave it as a choice, as Itsuno-san confirmed this was to make it look closer to Vergil. But no, this is just to piss the fans off and make Nero look like DmC Dante. Even when you put visual renders of Vergil in the third and fourth episode, it is clear that this was not a mere excuse. People getting traumatized over short hair is quite funny to watch though.

The trailer says it all, but Nero no longer possesses his iconic “Devil Bringer”, his demonic right arm. Cut away by some mysterious guy with a single bare-handed throw, the son of Vergil now wears a prosthesis – the “Devil Breaker”. This not only brings (pun intended) changes in how the arm functions, but also in how Nero will be played onward.

While details are yet to be cleared out, we know so far that Devil Breaker works with cartdriges, and you seemingly wear up to 4 of them. Those may break as you use them, but they also wear a cooldown system. Itsuno-san noted that skilled players can extend the time you use them, for example by dodging attacks. By extent, it means that getting hit means decreasing your Devil Breaker durability. The fact we can simultaneously wear four different “arms” means they could be switched in real-time, akin to Dante’s Style Switching in Devil May Cry 4.

Devil May Cry 5
Feeling Devil May Cry 3 vibes, anyone ?

This might mean Capcom gives up on giving Nero new weapons, a fatal flaw of his Devil May Cry 4 incarnation, but instead expands his iconic arm’s abilities – like shooting an insane amount of lasers throughout the battlefield, throwing your arm like a rocket, or even skating. This might be intended to keep Nero’s uniqueness and avoid redundancy compared to his uncle Dante.

Plot becomes thiccccc

One point that always felt lacking in Devil May Cry was the story (not that’s what you want when you play the series). And while this is only a debut trailer with little gameplay, the communication surrounding the game and some details already tell us a lot of things. Starting from the geographical context itself (let alone the fact we are going to slay demons in Red Grave city), this is the first time ever we are set in a real modern city right in the middle of an apocalypse with living humans around. Such a background was not set since Devil May Cry 2, the human presence wasn’t existent even then.

Speaking of which: DEVIL MAY CRY 5 IS NOT SET AFTER DEVIL MAY CRY 2. Just saying. I have read this countless times, and people seem awfully ignorant of the fact that Itsuno-san, games’ director since 2, said the game is a “direct sequel” to Devil May Cry 5 during the Xbox E3 2018 Interview. (Yes, I got really pissed hearing this theory over the past two weeks.)

Back on the atmosphere: we feel an aura that is definitely similar to the first two games, with all of those destroyed buildings and scary demons. It gives a very serious and sometimes frightening sensation but yet lets his place to punchlines. Good part: we will not be evolving in some deserted area for 20 missions like we always used to do.

You can even see some familiar faces around if you take a look. For example, the Prides, basic demons you would encounter during Devil May Cry 3; and one of the bosses has a pink multi-laser attack, which could be reminiscent of the Artemis weapon you unlock throughout the same game. Demons aside, Morrison does his very first appearance on a video game. For those who don’t know, he is a support character giving Dante his missions in Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, even though he made a reverse Michael Jackson for his skin.

Devil May Cry 5
The good ol’ Prides, getting old yet again.

There are obviously new characters in the whole picture, but they are seemingly linked to the lore. First of them is Nico, full name is Nicoletta Goldstein. She is, by pure coincidence, the granddaughter of Nell Goldstein. If it doesn’t tell you much, that’s okay; she is the one who built Ebony & Ivory, Dante’s handguns, according to the very first Devil May Cry light novel. What’s more, she’s also the daughter of a “mad scientist”.

There is also this curious character who bare-handedly ripped Nero’s arm off at the end of the trailer out of a single throw, leaving him in pain. I wonder who he is? Jokes aside, there is a very high chance for this guy being Vergil. Dude’s aiming at Best Dad of 2019 title it seems. If you look at the scene frame per frame, you can distinguish some similar features, starting by the clothes under the cape and also his face. While he never had his face in scenario, his sick face comes from the “Corrupt Vergil” costume you unlock throughout the Special Editions of Devil May Cry 3 & 4 after his corruption by Mundus as Nelo Angelo.

One extra thing the Capcom development team added is “V”, a mysterious and seemingly powerful character. While no one can guess his or her identity yet (being Vergil is impossible due to physical factors and clothes), the team left a clue about the new character in Devil Trigger‘s official music video from Ali Edwards. They confirmed later on that the big clue was an hidden “I have no name”. But at the same time, they highlighted the fact, guessing anything was impossible.

The best for last, the big guy you see ruling over the Demon Tree (yes, this is a tree, Dark Yggdrasil level of edgy) is not Mundus. The official Japanese Devil May Cry Twitter account confirmed that this is not the Devil May Cry 1 bad boy, but rather a new Demon Emperor, who is “much stronger” than the one Dante faced years ago.

The return of a legendary gameplay.

Since DmC: Devil May Cry happened, most of the players lacked faith in Capcom being able to produce (or help producing) a top-notch gameplay worthy of a Devil May Cry title. While DmC retained a certain amount of depth, it never matched what Devil May Cry 4 could produce. With the return of most of the “old” developers, veteran players know they can expect something around the level of the fourth episode, which is still played today by numerous players across the world.

Dante clip by your dear author

While the title is only at 75% of its development, sharp eyes can notice returning features from the best of the reboot AND Devil May Cry 4, and even expect improvement over physics. And again, most of the old crew is back to ensure the game lives up to its predecessors. While we have not seen enough gameplay footage for now to attest of such potential depth, one should definitely trust Itsuno-san when it comes down to superhuman combos.

But it comes down to this: Devil May Cry is back. Itsuno-san’s unusual self-confidence, as he is known for being humble, is certainly proof that Capcom’s claim to make this game the best action game ever created is made on a solid basis. According to him, they are just getting started. A very difficult task against the upcoming Bayonetta 3 by Hideki Kamiya… No less than Devil May Cry’s original creator. That in mind, Capcom promised to show way more surprises with a playable demo at Gamescom 2018, which takes place from August 21st to 25th. Devil May Cry 5 is scheduled before the end of March 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.