Nero and the legendary half-demon Dante are finally back to save the world from demonic invaders yet again! Devil May Cry V is a hack and slash adventure game developed and published by Capcom. Since it’s equal part Gothic-European world and Japanese story, Devil May Cry V is a fun hybrid of genres. Over the years, the series has been rather inconsistent when it comes to gameplay difficulty and accessibility. Completing fairly straightforward puzzles and killing waves of endless demons, Devil May Cry could be challenging depending on which game you played in the past. Thankfully, Devil May Cry V takes from all the good parts of its mainline series of games. Thus bringing excellent gaming mechanics and making this game the most accessible game in the franchise.
Devil May Cry V’s gameplay is basically the same as it has always been and that’s not a bad thing. You have to fight off loads and loads of demons using a multitude of magical weapons and abilities. Over-the-top action galore. This time around, you play as three different characters: Nero, Dante, and a new character named V. Nero is a well-balanced character who shoots enemies with his revolver, but also grapples with monsters using his Devil Arm. Dante is a powerful swordsman who mostly does melee attacks up close and personal. Finally, there is V who summons three mythical creatures to fight alongside him. His gameplay style is unique because it often relies on ranged magic, similar to a mage. Although Devil May Cry V encourages you to experiment with intricate combos, you can get by just fine by pressing one of the action buttons during combat. Boy you have a lot of combat options to choose from though!
As a disabled gamer with fine motor skill impairments, I was extremely pleased with the way Devil May Cry V handled its control options. You press the symbol buttons to jump, to do melee attacks, and to shoot your gun. Although you can press the trigger buttons to lock-on to enemies and enhance your demonic abilities, those features are rarely important. The characters do a good job of locking onto the nearest enemy on their own. It’s just refreshing to play an action game that doesn’t force you to press every single button on the controller. Controls in the game are fully customizable. You can even remap the directional pad, which is super helpful and rare to see for console accessibility. Many gamers with fine motor skill impairments have different limitations. Some can only use one control stick or some can only use the directional pad. So it’s great for them to offer us more choices.
Speaking of choices, Devil May Cry V offers not just one but two new different accessibility options that revolve around the camera. You can choose to have the camera focus on important items in a dungeon (Attention Camera) or make the camera automatically swing behind your character (Camera Tracking). The latter is an extremely useful feature for disabled gamers like me, because it lowers the need to use the right control stick for camera controls. Best of all, there’s something called “Auto Assist” which you can turn on to perform complicated combos (and get that stylish combo haha) by just doing simple button commands. In some instances, certain skills will be done automatically. There are two difficulties in Devil May Cry V: Human and Devil Hunter (and others after you beat the game). They are essentially easy and normal mode. Easy mode was seriously fun and a breeze to get through. Something about the way the AI responded in this game was a lot more manageable than previous entries in the series. Combine this with the helpfulness of the “Auto Assist” and I actually gave normal mode a shot, just to give myself a bigger challenge. Just having those options for accessibility enriched my gaming experience and really made me feel like I could play the game my own way. I did not feel hindered by physical limitations.
Visually speaking, Devil May Cry V is pretty dark even in daytime scenes. However, for gamers with visual impairments you can change the light and dark tones in the options menu. I didn’t see any colorblind options available, but distinguishing color was not important to solve puzzles or complete a level. For the hearing impaired, you can raise and lower individual sound levels for the sound effects, music, and dialogue in the game. There’s even an option to change the sound levels depending on your real world environment (although I don’t know how well that works in practice). There are subtitles available, but you will need to turn them on in the options menu. They are not automatically present on screen (just a heads up for deaf players).
Devil May Cry V is a return to form. The same amazingly over-the-top demon slaying action and zany storytelling that fans should be very pleased with in this game. Even better, the developers added more useful options for disabled gamers. The new “Auto Assist” feature definitely helps lower combat fatigue for disabled gamers with fine motor skill impairments, while the environmental sound awareness option helps disabled gamers with hearing impairments. Capcom often puts nice accessibility options in their games, but this one was surprising because of how much the game lets you tailor your experience as a disabled gamer. Devil May Cry V is a game I seriously recommend to any disabled gamer who loves hack and slash games, but also wants to be able to play without the concern of physical limitations.
Overall Rating: Barrier Free
Visual Rating: Barrier Free
Fine-Motor Rating: Barrier Free
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
Released For: PS4, Xbox One
ESRB Rating: M