Despite his frailty and the unusual complexity of his combat systems, V is the easiest character to play as. The trade-off between auto and manual attacks means that if you’re not getting to grips with his unique approach then you’re still not going to struggle, but for those who want to delve in a bit more there’s plenty to get your hands on.
This approach extends throughout every area of the game; there are multiple difficulty settings, with the easiest being extremely easy. This means players of any skill level can jump in and enjoy, but there is no compromise to the complexity and difficulty the game has to offer for higher tier players. V’s combat design mirrors this most effectively, showcasing the thought that has been applied to each aspect of Devil May Cry 5’s design.
Then of course there’s Dante himself. While Nero and V have their own depth and are great fun to play as, Dante is on another level, with his combat options able to fill multiple games alone. On your first playthrough you’ll be unlocking new facets to Dante’s arsenal on almost every level. And when you think you have seen everything he has to offer, a new set of systems are added that offer an entire playthrough’s worth of experimentation.
Dante wields Ebony and Ivory, his twin guns, and Rebellion, his sword. But he also has a shotgun and Balrog – a set of gauntlets that turn him into a kung fu master. Balrog offers two unique combat styles, letting Dante focus either on punches or kicks. Just getting to grips with Balrog and its various upgrades could last you for the whole game if you wanted it to.
But then you start unlocking other weapons, each one offering an entire moveset and combat style that in many other games would be the full focus. And while this may sound like an overwhelming and intimidating amount of things to learn, it’s entirely in your hands. If you want to play Dante purely using pistols/sword then you can.
Capcom’s intent is to hand you loads of toys, and loads of systems go with them, and giving you this demon-slaying sandbox to hone your own style and approach. Dante has four styles in total; Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger and Royalguard. Evasion, melee, ranged and defensive. Each of these styles add new movesets to each weapon and you can switch them on the fly. At times it feels like a Combat Choreography Simulator, as you’re chaining together weapons, moves and styles on the fly, creating a bloody and balletic setpiece.