One thing is for sure, Devil May Cry 5 definitely exceeded the expectations. It has a perfect balance of fun & challenging gameplay and for DMC veterans it is a pretty easy game to get into. However, a seasoned player or not, there are a few things that you might have missed on your first playthrough.
Before we begin, a serious warning. Some of the stuff you’ll read now is spoiler heavy and written in mind that you have completed the game (at least) once. If that’s not the case, consider opening this article after finishing the game. With all that said, let us begin.
#1 Take control
As I mentioned in my review for PC, the first difficulty (human) and auto-assist are more than enough to get you through the game. However, I strongly advise turning auto assist off since the feature is a bit inconsistent with deciding what combos to use. Sometimes a good strategy is to launch a enemy and keep pummeling him up there and be safe from enemy attacks on the ground. And that’s pretty much impossible to accomplish with an auto-assist on since the game can’t reall ready our mind. Use the Void option in the main menu (it’s pretty much a training mode) and practive all the moves until you feel confident using them for real. Having more control in your combo input also mean better combos and better ranking which results in more extra orbs after each level.
#2 Don’t be afraid to be a chicken
Our second playable character V is kind of a wuss. He doesn’t have any attacks except poking enemies with a cane and dodge left & right. What he does have are two demonic pets on his side (Griffon and Shadow) that do all the fighting for him. Now here is where it gets interesting. Almost always enemies will focus on his pets (that you obviously control) and will only turn their attention to V once he is near them. So don’t be near them! Keep your distance and alternate between attacking with Griffon and Shadow til the enemies are weakened so you can finish them with a cane. If any of those two get into “stalemate” mode (being knocked out) summoning Nightmare will revive them instantly with full health. The strategy might not seem all that brave but sure is smart!
#3 Explore, explore, explore
Compared to previous titles, Devil May Cry 5 is pretty laid back when it comes to collecting red orbs. This time there’s no need for obscene grind and repeating levels. You definitely won’t be able to buy everything in the first playthrough, but you should have more than enough to get a bunch of new moves and weapon upgrades. Beside secret missions, blue orb fragment are also hidden throughout the levels so make sure to explore every nook and cranny. When playing with V, try to summon Nightmare in every new area since there are a few locations (like in the screenshot below) where he can appear busting through a wall revealing a secret area or a shortcut. And lastly, don’t be afraid to stock up on gold orbs. You can either buy them before the mission for red orbs or find them hidden in levels. A pretty useful item in tough boss fights since it revives you with full health and devil trigger.
#4 Take your time
If you see an item or a location that you can’t quite reach, well…maybe it just isn’t meant to be. At least not for the first time. You don’t have a double jump ability right away and you need to buy it separately for all characters. After doing so, consider revisiting those previous levels for that hidden gold orb or a blue orb fragment. Some of the most useful things you only get after completing the game, such as a special taunt that can restore your health a bit (once per level) and Nero even get a new friend – his right hand. Not a figure of speech, he literally gets his right hand back. You can still use devil breakers with it but now he can initiate a special takedown move on enemies and bosses when they’re staggered. If it doesn’t kill them right away, it is sure to take a large chunk of their health.
#5 Less is more
Devil May Cry 5 offers a decent selection of weapons for Nero and Dante but not all of them are useful all the time. Sure, wielding Cavaliere might look cool and there is something satisfying about doing wheelies and ramming it into enemies but it is not a recommended weapon to use when there is more than one enemy on the screen. On the other hand, Balrog tends to have a pretty short range and it is a risk to use it on enemies that are not easily staggered. My rule of thumb is “they can’t hit what they can’t see”. Pick something fast like a sword (King Cerberus is fine too) and a gun with fast reload (upgraded Ebony & Ivory works wonders).
And lastly, if your selected difficulty gets too overwhelming, it’s never a bad idea to go back and collect some more red orbs in completed levels. Try to do every secret mission that you discover since the reward is a blue orb fragment for each completed. Four blue orb fragment equals one full blue orb which means one extra bar on your health gauge. CAPCOM is also generous this time around so each day you get a free gold orb simply by logging into the game.