Demons. We all got ‘em, we all hate ‘em, and we all admire the people who have big swords and guns to obliterate them. Is it any wonder, then, that Devil May Cry captured the hearts of millions around the world, including myself? No, of course it’s not, because if I could take a giant sword to my ex, Sandra el Diabolos, I would. The closest thing to watching her emotionless husk be sent to the deepest pits of Dante’s Inferno was playing DMC V here at PAX, and boy, it worked wonders for my soul.
The demo revolved around Nero, the Raiden of the DMC universe. Having lost his arm, Nero seems dissatisfied with giving people personal space and uses a replacement arm as a substitute devil breaker. At first, you might think, “Nero’s arm was interesting in DMC4, but after a whole game of it, surely it’s a bit old.” Don’t worry, Capcom’s waaaaay ahead of you. Instead of having a single moveset, you can switch between various types of arms to utilise different abilities. Nero’s new arms range from punch-bombs to missile-surfboards, and each variant feels like a sub-style in of itself. They’re a great addition to the game, which takes the best part of the previous games and adds cheesier dialogue.
The same frenetic combat previous DMC’s are known for is back, and it’s rad as ever. The combat system encourages variety in your moves, and I was switching out arms every ten seconds to match pace. Nothing felt clunky or obtuse, though it did feel a smidgen slower, like driving a Ferrari instead of a Bugatti. On top of that, the demo ended with a huge boss fight, the kind you’d expect from a game about a demon with a prosthetic rocket arm and a revolver. Think big demon gorilla with an energy-spewing MODOK for a belly and an uncomfortable number of eyes above his bear-trap mouth. Rad. Not perfect, though.
Perhaps the only real gripe I had in the 15 minutes the demo lasted was the camera. Regardless of whether I was in a tight corridor or large room, the camera tended to get annoyingly close to Nero. In the fleeting moments where combat lulled, the tightness of the camera got to the point where I couldn’t see where I was going at all. Give me space, let me witness the unfolding carnage in all its glory, stop fixating on Nero’s coat seams and show me demon slaying! Apart from that, holy hell biscuits, this game is shaping up to be a wild ride.
The most exciting thing about the demo was the return of that classic DMC charm. That ridiculous contrast of terrifying demonic presence against sarcastic quip slinging is bound to please those who were put off by the recent reboot. The delightfully excessive amount of style is back in full swing, and it’s hard not to smile when as Nero nonchalantly berates demons. There’s an atmosphere of ludicrous fun that’s the cherry on the cake, and I’m hungry.
To put it simply, I want more. The new devil breaker mechanics complement the already fantastic stylish combat system, but I want to see what else is in store. The boss fight was fun in every way, and I want to beat down on more goliath apes with irate beer guts. I didn’t even get to try Dante or V, and you already know I want to see them in action. It’s left me more hype than when I entered, and if that’s not the sign of a good demon purge, the absence of Sandra should be.