Back at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018 there was a surprise announcement during the Microsoft conference with the reveal of Devil May Cry 5. The long-awaited next entry in the mainline series is set to release next year and with it the 11-year wait will come to an end, discounting DMC which ironically we once covered in this very series long ago. Though the series has yet to feature any virtual reality (VR) content, the reveal of Devil May Cry 5 provides a base that could make for a brilliant immersive experience.
The series is known for its fast-paced, action-packed hack and slash gameplay that not only gives players the thrill of fighting endless demons but also has some of the most iconic characters in the whole of gaming. When the trailer dropped for Devil May Cry 5 the cheers of excitement could be heard through the internet around the world. Seeing Nero fighting demons with his Red Queen sword and Blue Rose double-barrelled revolver was fantastic and being able to enjoy this third-person action when it releases will be a day to remember. That said, what if we could take the title and make it a VR experience, moving the camera into a first-person perspective? Could a title like Devil May Cry 5 work like this? Yes, it could.
So, first off we have the core gameplay loop that players would be able to immersive themselves in: Killing endless amounts of demons. Swords and guns work rather well in VR and for a title that has both the foundation is already looking rather promising. Being able to slash through enemies with one hand while pulling out the Blue Rose to take some shots at others would be amazing. When you remember that the Red Queen can be revved like a motorbike engine to preform powerful attacks, you have a unique gameplay feature that rewards players for twisting their controls. This means that motion controls and hand tracking technology could both be leveraged to offer a truly immersive experience where each movement, rotation and even flick offer a completely different action.
Of course, by moving into the first-person perspective we lose the freedom and action that comes from third-person view that the series is known for. Standing around in a small area to slash and shoot enemies as they come to you is all well and good, but for Devil May Cry 5 there is a way to have action-packed movement within VR. Enter the Devil Breaker arm, Nero’s new robotic arm that replaces the one that was ripped off during the trailer. This arm not only allows him to perform some rather impressive attacks but is also a means of locomotion. Players could use the controls to walk around in the virtual demon infested locations sure, but by looking around and using their arm they could reach, grab, and pull themselves to a new location. Think of the Devil Breaker locomotion as a step up from standard teleportation systems seen in many VR titles today.
The fun doesn’t have to stop there though as players could also use the arm to pull enemies and objects to them and utilizes it in combat as well. Want to launch an enemy into the air with the Red Queen to then look up and pull yourself to them in mid-air to unleash a wave of slashes until they exploded in front you? Go right ahead. What if while you are up there you slow your fall by firing some shots at enemies as well before finishing the combo with a ground smash that sends a shock wave out around you. This, in a concept, would be how to bring the series loved action over to VR and keep the player at the heart of it all.
It is hard to say how successful a VR version of Devil May Cry 5 could be, but given the style and attitude of the title it would be a fun one to immersive yourself in. With the Red Queen, Blue Rose and the Devil Breaker all part of Nero’s base weaponry, anything extra added on top would just be further enjoyment for players. Of course, in the trailer we know that Dante will be making a return and that there is a third, yet announced, character showing up as well. But if we are going to do this why not bring some of the other characters back to offer different gameplay. For example, Lady could be a playable character for those looking for more gun action and Virgil could be for more skilled sword gameplay. Anything is possible in VR so why not go all out and make the series’ first entry in the immersive space a system seller of a title.
For now though it is nothing more than a wish, a dream if you will. Unless Capcom surprise us with an announcement of Devil May Cry 5 VR before the title releases sometime next year we’ll have to just keep dreaming. Still, should that ever happen you know that VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest.