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Devil May Cry 5 preview - the devil’s in the details

“How do you do a launcher?” I ask the Capcom representative during my DMC 5 hands-on. “How do you get lunch?” they reply. “No, a launcher,” I reiterate. They look at me like I just shat my pants.

This is my curse. You mix up one white-haired lad with his uncle *one time* and everyone thinks you’re stupid. I just want to send a demon into the air with my sword, keep them there with my pistol, and bask in nostalgic hyper-violence.

I still remember the thrill of doing this the first time in DMC - it won’t get you the highest skill rating, but by god it looks and feels cool as shit.

DMC 5 goes back to the feel of the original games (not you, DMC 2), and makes combat all about juggling, plate-spinning combos. Thrust one demon into the air, keep them there with bullets as you strafe backwards, turn your sword on their friend, launch them, follow them into the air and deliver a flurry, then pull their friend over with your robot arm to finish them off without even touching the floor.

A 20 minute demo really isn’t long enough to get a grasp on the depth of combat options. First off, there’s your Devil Breaker - Nero’s new robot arm - which allows you to perform those mid-air grabs, energy blasts, and more. For some reason, these are scattered around the environment as pickups, but the different variations grant you various abilities.

Then there’s Nero’s sword, the Red Queen, which allows you to rev the handle for increased power, so long as you time it right before you take a swing. Towards the end of the short demo, I’m still playing around with the timing while a massive demon pounds me in the face until I die. Another loss for games journalism.

When you do have a good run with the combat, though - wow. It feels slick and responsive, and the music ramps up as your combo meter edges towards the higher tiers. When you’re in the zone, it feels like a dance - a savage salsa.

It looks amazing, too. One of the best things about Ninja Theory’s DmC was the atmosphere, the environments, and the weird dreamscapes the developer created. Here Capcom is going for hyper-realism.

Fighting the boss towards the end of the demo, I’m blasted through a wall and into an outside area. There’s a spectacle here that I haven’t seen since I cut a Metal Gear in half in Revengeance, but these big moments are rendered much more realistically in DMC 5, right on down to the dust and debris in the aftermath.

DMC 5 could be something very special indeed, but it’s a game I want to sit down and master before I form a full opinion on it. Now, how exactly do you get lunch?

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