Devil May Cry 5 Hands-On: Superfast Gameplay And A Shiny Look

At a recent Xbox FanFest event, we had the occasion to give Devil May Cry 5 an early try, as the game is being heavily featured in Xbox One press conferences such as the latest Gamescom and more. That's always something kind of unexpected if you recall that the first rumors about the game claimed it was going to be a PS4 exclusive, but that's it.

Unfortunately, the demo we played was the very same people had the opportunity to play at Gamescom, which means it's the same stuff from the last August. It was a quite short demonstrative version, but it was pretty meaty and indicative of the systems and the graphics we're going to find at the full release come March 2019.

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So, without further ado, let's dive into our Devil May Cry 5 hands on.

First of all, let's mention the gameplay side of things. The newest entry in the series is wherever you look at it from a mixture between Devil May Cry 4 and DmC, meaning that it is boasting a superfast combat experience in a sort of photorealistic fashion, which is rather appreciable we must say. 

So, it's super fast as you would expect from a Devil May Cry game. It heavily relies and focuses on its combo system, which you can trigger by launching your enemies up in the air pressing the B button, jumping with the A button and then attack them all along. It's all very quick and smooth, just like a good action hack 'n' slash title should be.

The good thing I noticed is that the game is firstly very easy to learn in its core mechanics and you won't feel like you can't play for more than around ten minutes or so. That's not to say I didn't meet proving enemies, as for some of them you were required to execute multiple and effective enough attacks before you could get rid of them.

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This is quite significant if you consider that the title leaves you with the things you do as soon as you learn them and doesn't try to fill the gaps between moves in some too stylish ways like you could see in other productions of the same genre. If you don't link moves properly, it won't do anything to make you look cooler than you are.

For what matters the moves, Devil May Cry 5 features a demon hand, the ultimate weapon of the protagonist Nero, which is something that lets you push your enemies up in the air so you can execute combos, and much more. In the demo, we weren't given the chance to upgrade it, but that's a huge part in the gameplay as it looks to be the main portion when it comes to progression and skills.

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The upgrades are something you can trigger by making a phone call in certain areas of the map – you have a classic red phone cabin from time to time -, and when you do that, you see your friend Nico come in with her van. Again, the demo didn't allow to perform such upgrades, but it'll be interesting and very relevant to learn how they impact the gameplay and, why not, the story and relationships between the characters.

At the end of the demo, we were given an early look into one of the first (if not the first) bosses in the game, the Goliath. It's a giant beast of stone which is able to fight you with its very powerful blasts of fire. Although not very difficult as a boss battle, it's worth noting that it looks rather inspired and pretty looking in terms of visuals, and with a move-set of his own.

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As we mentioned, it's not very difficult as an enemy, and it features a body made of stone which you can attack but cause little harm, and a central part around the stomach that he opens up from time to time in order to launch its ray of fire – that's the right moment to perform a terrific attack. And then, of course, watch out for direct melee attacks, too.

As you would expect from a boss battle in a Japanese game, it features multiple phases, which have you falling down from a crashing floor and finding yourself in the middle of the bigger area, we'd say outside of a church. In this segment the view was breathtaking, confirming Capcom's will to offer its usual cinematographic direction. 

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On top of the direction, which is rather inspired also for what concerns the art, we have very pretty looking and peculiar graphics. It's like two different Devil May Cry games built together, with a quite convincing result which puts the title in the middle of a cartoony and over the top action and a gothic and more serious looking adventure.

If you look closer you'll notice the usual Japanese games' things like low-resolution textures for the effects like blood and dirt coming from the elements you waste on the screen, but that's probably the only con in a product that visually has lots to say, with a very stable frame rate and the thought of doing something relatively new to the franchise.

We look forward to playing more on March 8, 2019.