TGS 2018 Recap: Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil 2 Demos Show Promise
Tokyo Game Show built a reputation for being the go-to venue for Japan’s biggest video game companies when it comes to showcasing their most exciting projects. Capcom didn’t disappoint fans in this regard, bringing in the big guns with their hottest and most-anticipated properties in last month’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS 2018). However, of the entire Capcom showcase, perhaps its biggest highlights have come in the form of Devil May 5 and the Resident Evil 2 Remake.
Here’s What’s A Geek!‘s Emile and a recap of his experience with the Capcom booth this TGS 2018.
TGS 2018 Recap: The Capcom Booth
Video game fans will notice Capcom spared no expense in making sure it utilized its massive real estate space in the venue. Aside from Megaman 11 and the Capcom Beat’Em Up Bundle, the company also gave away Blu-Ray discs with promotional materials from their recent catalog.
The Devil May Cry 5 demo happened in a jam-packed booth. Capcom organizers gave them the option to either play the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 for the demonstration. Upon choosing the PlayStation 4, an attendant dressed as Nicoletta Goldstein led me to my station. Nicoletta, or Nico, serves as the newest addition to the hit franchise, with her role being Nero’s tech support.
Meanwhile, Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 Remake booth got consistent with the theme of the franchise as well. Visitors waiting in line can pass by Resident Evil merchandise, including Raccoon City Police Department uniforms. Fans will also recognize the famous typewriter, used by the game to help players save games.
The Raccoon City Police Department serves as the frontage of the playable demo area, patrolled by two (2) zombies. One of them even got into a little tiff with a passing Leon Kennedy cosplayer. The entrance itself served as a fittingly creepy experience, as plastic-bound bodies lined the doorway. We passed by a half-shut steel door with zombies banging the door to enter. Attendants garbed in Claire Redfield’s outfit led us to an equally-dim play area.
Devil May Cry 5: New Mechanics, New Points of Contention
The public Devil May Cry 5 demonstration lasted for 15 minutes and seems to have been the same one featured last Gamescom 2018. I opted to use the Auto-Assist option, not only because everything was in Japanese, but I was also unsure how similar the game’s control scheme was compared to its predecessors.
The demo opened with Nero fighting alight from Nico’s van on a rough city road. This segued to the Control Menu, where I was acquainted with the control scheme. Nero’s Devil Breaker served as the newest and perhaps most interesting addition to the game thus far. From a plot point of view, the Devil Breaker prosthetic serves as Nero’s replacement arm. Fans of the series would know an unidentified man tore Nero’s Devil Bringer arm off at some point before the start of the installment.
Devil Breaker Adds New Gameplay Twist
Gameplay-wise, the Devil Breaker brought a game mechanic that served contentious for fans of the series. Nico developed the Devil Breaker to aid Nero in combat, and it’s heavily inspired by the Devil Bringer’s mechanics from Devil May Cry 4. In the previous game, Nero can use his demonic heritage to have the Devil Bringer do special moves. In this game, however, the Devil Breaker can only do special move sets with certain “variants.” As such, like the Devil Bringer’s abilities, certain Devil Breaker variants can grab opponents or bring Nero to them. Other unique abilities include shooting projectiles or aiding his combos.
Fans see a point of contention with the Devil Breaker with how its variants worked. Nero can only use particular variants when he finds them across the map. Each variant has limited uses, and he can only use four (4) at a time. Variations such as Overture and Punch Line have different abilities, and the limited use caveat does afford players a lot of opportunities to mix and match gameplay styles to add “thrill” to the combat.
Other fans can see this caveat as an inconvenience. However, it’s not as though this is Nero’s only available weapon. Aside from his signature sword Red Queen, he can also use other attacks. He can use Break Age attacks when players hold the Devil Breaker button, and a Break Away can “detonate” the Devil Breaker for massive damage.
A New Mechanic To A Familiar Style of Play
Monsters players face across the demo – and therefore the game – have a familiar Devil May Cry aesthetic to them. Scythe wielding skeletons, giant tentacles, and insectoid monsters all seemed to be franchise staples. Whenever the installment’s theme song Devil Trigger played, I cleared rooms of demons with blood pumping around my body.
The Devil Breaker mechanic added variety to the already-familiar gameplay loop. I engaged the enemies for as long as I could. I chained attacks while avoiding enemy retaliation. Luckily, my rusty hands proved capable of racking up Apocalyptic and Savage style ratings. Although I’m still deeply frustrated at the lack of a dedicated evade button. This forced me to rely very heavily on the default dodging mechanic and positioning.
Devil Breaker And Bosses
This all came to a head when I reached the highlight of the demo – a boss fight with Goliath, the Incandescent Colossus. Despite the Japanese subtitles, the English dub allowed me to enjoy the banter between the demon and the demon hunter. It also served as a fresh and quick break for the intense three-stage battle that happened afterward.
It’s already an inconvenience to time jumps, dodges, and attacks against a giant enemy. Much more annoying is his fire vortex that can draw you inside his body. Not having an equipped Devil Breaker means being shot out for massive damage, which meant intense boss battles need to be tackled with resource management in mind as well.
Playing the game in Japanese without knowing the language proved to be a disadvantage, though. I only learned afterward that you can actually summon Nico and her van for power-ups in exchange of Red Orbs you collect across the game.
Overall, Devil May Cry 5 kept the stylish gameplay of its predecessors while adding a fresh twist courtesy of the customization of the Devil Breakers. I finished the demo with an A ranking, with Capcom giving away a side pouch courtesy of Nico herself.
Devil May Cry 5 comes out on March 8, 2019.
Resident Evil 2 Remake Brings Out Nostalgia, Amplified Terror
The Biohazard: Resident Evil 2 Remake attracted a lot of Resident Evil fans, especially for nostalgia. Capcom announced the remake alongside Devil May Cry 5 at E3 2018, with Kazunori Kado taking the helm as director. The game took the original Raccoon City setting of the PlayStation 1 classic and “revived” it for modern consoles. The result became a combination of Resident Evil 4’s famous over-the-shoulder gameplay with enhanced graphics.
The playable build of the remake appears to be the same as the one used last Gamescom 2018. As with the Devil May Cry 5 demo, players got 15 minutes to play through either a segment of Claire Redfield or Leon Kennedy’s story. This hits major nostalgia feels to a lot of fans, given the original game also allowed you to cycle between the two characters’ stories.
Playing Claire In A New Light
Claire’s demo began with her descending into a suitably-creepy basement. The headphones on my ears made every step into abyss mind-numbingly scary. The decent volume amplified creaks of metal and drips of water in the area. I could definitely say sound design for the game was topnotch, especially with horror tropes in tow. Claire can see things running on the ceiling, and other atmospheric tools haunted me during this part of the demo.
The real horror started when I finally found Sherry Berkin. As Claire tried to get her out of her hiding space, the former gets confronted with the terrible visage of William G. Berkin – now fully mutated.
The game of cat and mouse began in earnest, and this mouse desperately tried to keep his panic at a minimum. As per the course, ammunition was very low and scattered in the basement. A ton of dead ends littered the area, making for some hair-raising escapes.
Early Boss Fight, Early Changes
In the case of the man-formerly-known-as-Berkin, Resident Evil games taught me glowing things in bosses often serve as weaknesses. Berkin had something similar – a giant yellow eye bulging from a deformed arm. While taking shots became easier with the new controls, it still felt as though enemies in this iteration got more aggressive than the original.
I’m a fan of the franchise and horror games in general, but I was never good at actually playing them. This might explain why I actively struggled with the game because of my tendency to panic and my light nerves. It didn’t help that the controls were in Japanese. My only saving grace was remembering the boss fight in the original PlayStation 1 game, which marginally helped.
I admit that I died multiple times. A lot of those times could be blamed for my being too cheeky and letting Berkin get too close. Other times had me not shaking him off my trail as I tried to find more bullets. The game makes an effort to show gamers their mistakes, too. Camera zooms into Berkin’s face if you found yourself trapped with his slimy appendages. Claire could only escape if she had a knife or a grenade in tow. It was a tense early battle and really sets the mood for the kind of trails Claire will have to overcome.
I took too long with the Monster Berkin and couldn’t see what happens after that portion. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try out Leon Kennedy’s campaign, but to my knowledge, it featured the same gameplay demo in E3 2018. I was gifted with an awesome backpack eco bag for finishing the demo.
Resident Evil 2 Remake comes out on January 25, 2019!
Capcom at ESGS 2018: A New Demo?
Gamers specifically in the Philippines might want to pay attention to the upcoming Capcom showcase this upcoming Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS 2018). Capcom already announced that Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2 Remake will have demo sessions for attendees. Whether or not these demonstrations will feature new gameplay or not has yet to be seen.
ESGS 2018 will take place in the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City this Oct. 26 to 28, 2018. This year’s Tokyo Game Show took place in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, last Sept. 20 to 23, 2018.