Like any good demon-slaying story, you’d expect Devil May Cry 5 to star a brave hunter capable of beating down underworld baddies with style to spare. The long-awaited return of Capcom’s over-the-top action series goes above and beyond, however, putting players behind the weapons, skills, and powers of three totally unique heroes.
As returning evil-vanquishers Dante and Nero – as well as newcomer V – fans can look forward to unleashing and mastering a trio of play-styles, each featuring enough depth, layers, and style to support their own games. Before diving into DMC5’s demon-infested deep end though, here’s a peek at how each protagonist deals with the game’s grotesque cast of clawed, horned, and fanged foes.
Nero returns with a familiar arsenal of bullets and blades, but the demon hunter – first introduced in 2008’s Devil May Cry 4 – also has plenty of new tricks tucked up his sleeve…literally. His right arm can be outfitted with Devil Breakers, powerful prosthetic devices that come in a variety of demon-demolishing flavors. An evolution of his Devil Bringer demon arm from DMC4, the appendages deliver everything from foe-frying shock waves to jet-propelled punches.
Beyond their base attacks though, the eight different Devil Breakers feature alternate moves; the propulsion-fueled arm, for example, can also be mounted by Nero and ridden like a homing rocket. The lethal limbs also sport built-in grappling devices, used to reel smaller enemies towards Nero or, conversely, zip him closer to bigger bads.
While Nero doles out plenty of damage with his Devil Breakers, they primarily serve as back up to his signature sword and pistol. Dubbed the Red Queen and Blue Rose, respectively, the former’s hilt can be revved like a motorcycle’s throttle to deliver more powerful attacks, while the latter’s dual-barrels can be supercharged to ensure hell’s hounds play dead permanently.
Making his Devil May Cry debut, V is DMC5‘s second playable – and most mysterious – protagonist. Resembling Adam Driver going through a goth phase, V forgoes the guns and swords wielded by the game’s other heroes in favor of an ancient tome and trusty cane. While such items might not sound especially menacing, they’re nicely complemented by the character’s ability to summon familiars, demon animals that do his bidding.
These manifestations include Griffon, a bird-like ally that’s commanded to deliver ranged elemental attacks, and Shadow, a big black cat capable of opening baddies from brain to belly with his meaty mitts. Like every other power, skill, and ability in DMC5, this pair can be upgraded to deliver even more devastating damage. Griffon, for example, can conjure a storm of lightning bolts, while Shadow’s able to morph into a massive bed of sprouting spikes.
V’s two demon pets certainly hold their own on the battlefield, but players can also call in a third familiar if things get dicey. The aptly named Nightmare is a hulking beast that wastes no time with subtle attacks, but rather tears through anything that dares cross his path. Take a moment to read V’s book during combat, while avoiding the demon horde, and Nightmare’s summon meter will fill even faster. In another interesting strategic touch, Nightmare – nor Griffon or Shadow – can actually finish off foes; while the demonic trio does most of the heavy lifting, their master must land the final blow with his cane.
Dante’s back with his most diverse and dynamic arsenal to date. On top of his signature sword Rebellion, the silver-haired demon hunter comes strapped with his trademark dual pistols, Ebony and Ivory. His defining weapons barely scratch the surface, however, as a number of new melee and ranged options – including a punch-packing shotgun – can also be unleashed on the sinister swarms.
Fans can also swap between four distinct play-styles while controlling Dante, allowing for an endless selection of creative kills. Strategy-focused players will love diving into the depth and nuance offered by these various styles, but those just looking to shoot-and-slice with cinematic style will also appreciate Dante’s intuitive, lightning-quick combat encounters.
When not juggling baddies into the air with Rebellion – before riddling their oozing bodies with bullets – players can adopt an even more over-the-top approach. Not to be outdone by Nero, Dante also brings some surprises to DMC5, most notably his motorcycle Cavaliere. The slick, purple ride can be plowed into enemies, but the weaponized two-wheeler is also used like a pair of swords; more specifically, it can be split down the middle to form two massive melee weapons, complete with spinning buzz-saw wheels.