What I’d like to see out of DMC5

If we ever get a Devil May Cry 5, what improvements to the series would you like to see?

More than anything I’d like to see better enemies. The current stock of enemies doesn’t seem to really play around Dante or Nero’s abilities. They seem to be alright combo fodder in terms of hit-reactions, but they don’t have a moveset that really plays with or responds to the movesets of the main characters. A more diverse set of physical combo properties for enemies would be cool too, like different combo weights, similar to how God Hand does things. A bunch of enemies seem designed in ways that seem counter-fun, like the fausts and mephistos that have the no hitstun cloak that you need to get rid of, then just pound on them when they have no ability to fight back. Or the Blitzes that make it so you can’t fight them with the majority of your moveset and are only remotely fun to fight as Dante who can parry them and who actually has an array of projectile moves. Or the Chimeras that fuck everything up at regular intervals and you basically just stop attacking them during that time. Or the Cutlass that you can’t very easily attack with melee and which disappear underground. Or all the different enemies across the series who can go through walls, leaving you unable to attack them. Or the enemies with shields that need to be broken through. These things don’t create a dynamic. They never ask the player to make tricky evaluations, they’re all about procedure, which is boring. They don’t allow the player to get varying levels of advantage or disadvantage in the fight. Some cues from Nioh enemies might be cool, but it’s hard to tell how much would really carry over. Obviously Bayonetta is the go-to example as most similar to DMC. Maybe MGR and Ninja Gaiden too, just no incendiary shurikens.

Spacing is also a thing that could be played with more relative to enemies. Like, having enemies that have attacks of different danger levels depending on your proximity to them, like being more threatening up close, at mid-range, or far away. Easy way to do that is just startup times relative to the range of the move, like fast for close, mid for mid, long for long, so with mid, you’d want to either be out of range to avoid it or in their face to interrupt it, with long you’d want to be in their face to interrupt it, and close you’d want to be out of their face to avoid it. Or pull a dark souls on mid-range attacks and have them miss if you’re too close. Since there’s multiple enemies in any given encounter, effective crowd control would also mean trying to line yourself up with each enemy’s least effective range as they’re moving around. It would also make sense to have common enemy types switch between grounded and aerial attacking every so often, or to jump in on you, to give anti-air and air-to-air attacks more of a role outside combos. Enemies could also have area of effect attacks and setup attacks aimed to limit your movement across different areas of the battlefield. It would also make sense to have attacks that are specifically anti-ground or anti-air, so the player needs to be on the ground or in the air to avoid them. Lady Friede from the Dark Souls 3 DLC could be a good point of inspiration in terms of how to control space and have multiple enemies work together. Slave Knight Gael’s 2nd and 3rd Phase also makes sense for this, having a variety of space controlling attacks, like discs of light that boomerang back, a repeating crossbow, and sending out a ton of wisps that land on the ground and mark the spot for a lightning strike. The Demon in Pain also makes sense here, with the assisting demon setting up an attack that takes effect later on, and having closer range attacks that are similarly effective at controlling space while you deal with a close range threat from the other demon. The way they switch movesets periodically is also interesting. There’s a massive room for experimentation here and DMC3&4 enemies are frankly just not the right designs for a game like DMC.

I’d like to see the more puzzley elements minimized in the future, and a God of War style camera would probably help out a lot (smooth panning across arenas rather than abrupt cuts). In general if they could cook up a wide angle camera that framed all the characters and enemies onscreen at the same time without needing much assistance from the player and avoiding the weird angle cuts, that would be spectacular. The input frequency in DMC demands having the thumb on the face buttons, so less needing to babysit the camera would be ideal. The actual level structures would probably benefit from being a bit more like Bayonetta, I can’t see them pulling off a Metal Gear Rising thing with DMC (which would require a good free camera). If they went with a free cam, one like Nier Automata would be great. It let you customize a lot about it and I had very few issues with it during play (the most notable being that it tended to position itself a bit low by default, presumably so shooting at ground level was easier). Though dodging was also really easy/spammable in Nier Automata, so that probably lessened a lot of the frustrating offscreen business.

Frankly, just deliver a finished game. Something solid. Doesn’t have to be crazy or shake up the formula incredibly. Just polish, iterate, and deliver.

How would you expand on each character’s moveset from DMCSE?

I’d probably start by restoring the way Vergil was in DMC3, and making it so his Air Trick can only cancel grounded moves at specific points in them, like canceling rapid dash at its ending.

As for the other characters, I wasn’t really sure, so I asked Tabs in the cuhrayzee games discord and he okayed me to publish this. Here’s his youtube by the way: https://www.youtube.com/user/hiimtab

Evilagram:
Yo, tabs, you play lady a lot, what moves would you give her to make her feel more complete? Some dude asked me, “How would you expand on each character’s moveset from DMCSE?” And honestly I haven’t played Trish but she seems fine, Vergil seems fine, Nero’s always needed something but I did that question a forever ago, and I got nothing in mind for Lady, but she seems a bit more lacking than the others

Tabs:
Trish isn’t fine at all. Lady needs air gunslinger moves and a movement option. Her concept is clearly built around being like ‘gunslinger: the character’, but she doesn’t have enough tools to make it super compelling. I think maybe her back+pistol move is a bit redundant when mashed out, not really sure. One of her pistol style moves feels redundant. Hmm, what else… idk, overall I think there’s this kinda ‘stilted’ feel to her moveset. Straight up I’d replace her pistols with the smg from DMC3 just because it’d theoretically open up more interesting potential moves, but first and foremost lady/trish need movement options because that’s like the key factor in dynamic play imo. That reminds me though I dont really have enough lady exp for live play either. I’m gonna do some LDK GMD and go nuts. But like, the big thing i think of is specifically that move in dmc3 she does all the time with the spiderman grapple into the void and the smg spray. If you could implement that as an air move that generated inertia or something. Honestly i think I’d remove the shotgun in her arsenal. idk, right now it just feels like I’m not really sure how to make shotgun interesting with her and i don’t feel like it fits her character either? With Dante the implementation of shotgun being interesting ties heavily into the ability to sky star and trick. Like, almost all cool shotgun stuff from dmc3 is about that and the way I’d envision her mobility to work idk if it’s really work with shotgun? idk
something just feels ‘off’ about it to me.

Zack Zefitni:
Just turn Lady into spiderman with guns.

Tabs:
That’s more or less what I’m saying lol, spiderman with guns. Spiderman movement and gunslinger style moves. Swinging, zips, shit like that. They don’t have to be movement options by themselves but rather built into moves. Like, swinging smg/pistol spray kinda deal or whatnot. Her air arsenal is totally open because right now it has nothing. I have like a trillion fuckin ideas for Trish that are a lot more specific tho based on how much re-use is possible or, necessary just bc I’ve played that char Too Much. Trish in terms of itsuno/dmc team concept is like, literally ‘budget dante’, ‘dante for beginners’. So you have 2 ways of expanding this: make it so she’s like a non-weapon switch dante with ++++++++ options or make her a throwback style char who has old moves/weapons. I think the latter is way too much fuckin effort and doesnt tie in with their intentions for her basis in design for a team to put in on a side char, production effort-wise. So the question is, if you don’t have to ever switch weapons then how can you simplify dante’s core gameplay between different styles onto one scheme? The answer lies in the unused buttons. Modern action game design all relies on one button dodge, and as a ‘beginner’ style char having trickster actions literally on a trigger to mimic that is super obvious + clever, because it allows for basic style switching stuff to mimic dante+rebellion+e&i with button presses and jump cancels, instead of having to use dpad. So then the question is what you do with the other trigger and thats Literally Anything. Trish specific moves, sparda moves, whatever. The very first thing i’d do is remove inazuma and make round trip a charge on circle instead of a motion.

Evilagram:
The lightning kick?

Tabs:
Inazuma is divekick with the lightning trail, yeah. The lightning is mega lazy and visually cluttering. I actually loathe that move.

Evilagram:
shrug, I thought it was a reasonably good/unique idea

Tabs:
I think you can implement similar ideas in a less ‘blunt force’ way. Like, have you seen/played her mvc3 incarnation before? The traps there are basically better ways to do it.

Evilagram:
Actually, not really, but I own MVC3

Tabs:
One of them holds the enemy in place for a short bit, and the other fires a projectile from the ground when the enemy goes above it. You can do them both air/ground. They’re traps so the enemy has to fall into them/in range to trigger them and they’re pretty fast to come out. That allows for way more dynamic play+ combos than ‘heres a big lightning thing that comes every time you divekick’. ‘Basically just keep doing this because its free damage’. ‘always be cluttering the screen with stupid garbage’. In those traps you can also implement stupid silly little things with them, like having a trish version of table hopper. Have a more lenient version of table hopper that if held/pressed again spawns a trap or instantly traps the enemy at their position. I’m not really sure how to go about implementing e&i/gunslinger stuff with her though honestly. Obviously give her charge shot. Like… maybe instead of charge shot in the same way dante has it’s something more in line with what lady currently has with her moveset? idk. Pistols, I mean. I’m pretty stumped there but on the concept of just making a ‘simpler’ version of dante who is still super unique you definitely need representation there. Anyhow, besides that also add dt air raid and vortex and high/max voltage instead of pandora laser throwback shit + increases options and whatnot. Make max/high voltage have the same jc property as pandora laser but have it be on purpose, and just have the glyph stay out there shooting the projectile instead of it being invisible. Oh lmao I forgot to mention because I trailed off into wonderland, in terms of fulfilling the basic concept of ‘simple dante++++++’ the reason why i want round trip on charge is to free up forward + sparda for stinger/million stab. lol. V-divider I’m not sure about b/c it’s kind of super stupid and defeats any semblance of challenge vs regular enemies but also right now it’s the center of my play with her because of how you can easily manipulate enemy positions with it and that combined with movement stuff + traps would be pretty wild. Yeah I guess that’s about it.

UPDATE: Tabs did a longer version of this on Neogaf located here.

What kind of weapons would you want to see in DMC5?

I think I’d like to see more setup oriented weapons, like Lucifer, and of course more weapons that play with spacing in various ways. Inspirations for that could be like Bridget’s Yoyo in Guilty Gear or Zato’s Shadow. Playing with negative edge could be cool as well, having actions triggered on releasing buttons. Plus having a second “character” that moves with the same stick inputs as you, but has a faster walk speed, like Zato’s shadow would be interesting in DMC, especially because lock-on already decreases your walk speed, which would make this more effective.

An obvious candidate for playing with space would be a weapon that has attacks that only work at specific ranges. If you attack too close, it’ll miss. Think Cerebella’s 214 + LP + LK in skullgirls. I think it would make sense to have weapons that emphasize jump canceling a little less, or only punctually. Most air attacks are very close range, so you really just want to stay on top of the enemy as much as possible and jump cancel every attack. Imagine having a whip that juggles better if you hit with the tip of it, and maybe also extends your air time, so you need to move away from the enemy in the air to combo them effectively, and then in at them every so often to refresh your air options. Or maybe on the ground the whip could pop enemies up if they’re at a range, and there was another anti-air whip attack that could drop them to the ground with good spacing, similar to Zero Suit Samus’s side B and up B. These could be bound to forward + weapon and back + weapon.

Another candidate for playing with space would be a stinger-type attack that has two hits, but they’ll only both connect at a specific spacing, similar to Ky’s stun dipper. Ky’s split ciel is also a good inspiration for a setup type of move, place an object down that amplifies ranged attack going through it for a certain time, so you need to line it up between the enemy and yourself.

Back on spacing, maybe a sword similar to Marth’s sword that deals more damage and knockback if you hit with the tip, so you need to carefully maintain the correct spacing relative to them. The standard air attack could be like Marth’s fair, popping them up and slightly forward. Back + weapon in the air could be dair with long recovery and weak launch on sourspot, strong spike and maybe groundbounce on tipper, and forward + weapon in the air could be up air, sending them straight up. On the ground you could have forward + weapon be marth’s dash attack, moving forward a bit and only launching on tipper, and back + weapon be Fsmash for a strong forward launch.

While I’m ripping off smash bros, why not a weapon with a shine like fox or falco? Lets you cancel out of it with a jump. Maybe even waveshine if you cancel the pre-jump with forward + weapon, though that would only make sense if the shine worked like fox’s. You could also multi-shine the same way and it could be rigged to be really effective at breaking enemy guards. A falco shine + dair would also make a lot of sense.

More unique cancels would also be nice. Like the obvious direction to go is on-hit cancels like in fighting games. Maybe holding the button could let you enter a stance which cancels whatever you’re doing, and that stance could be canceled by jumping, similar to Johnny’s Mist-Finer from Guilty Gear, and of course releasing the button could be a powerful attack as you’d expect. Alternatively, maybe holding the button for a certain duration then releasing it could be an empty cancel for anything grounded. I don’t think we should see anything like the TAP punch in DMC though. Holding a button down to build up power just doesn’t compliment DMC’s playstyle very well. It’s also inconvenient on a controller. (Sorry Nero and Lady).

Sin in Guilty Gear Xrd is basically Dante with on-hit cancels for all his special moves. Having a meter governing your cancel potential and occasionally needing to refill the meter could be a cool mechanism.

I dislike chain combos in the various beat em up games that have them, but Ramlethal in Guilty Gear Xrd has probably the best implementation of chain combos I’ve ever seen. Basically, she needs to launch enemies with a specific launcher special, then she can do her 3 hit chains, which relaunch, and follow up by dashing after them and doing the next chain. Also her teleport swords are a good model for how a good setup weapon could work in guilty gear. Imagine a weapon that had teleport swords on forward + weapon and back + weapon, then launcher on back to forward + weapon, and had a decent range of different chains that need to be connected by using the back to forward launcher between them.

Sol’s Xrd Grand Viper seems like a good stinger type attack for a weapon, having a natural weakness if blocked or dodged, but naturally setting up for jump cancels on hit.

Dudley’s Short Swing Blow seems like an obvious inspiration for an attack, but Nero already has that with his Shuffle attack (even has a cancel point like Faust’s Dandy Step FRC). Alternatively, you could have a weapon inspired by dudley’s machinegun blow that has a stinger that doesn’t deal any damage on the way there, but will punch the enemy a lot, extending a low juggle if the enemy is launched, but not launching if they’re already grounded.

Could copy Robo-Ky’s concept of a weapon that overheats for more damaging attacks, but needs to be periodically vented to avoid overheating. Or Robo-fortune’s concept of a long range laser type weapon that only hits a very specific region, like imagine it doesn’t track vertically, so you need to jump to the correct heights to catch enemies high and low with it, and you get a diagonal version in the air to catch enemies on the ground with.

At least one weapon could use a ground bounce, similar to the one from Legacy of Kain Defiance. Would be more interesting if it slightly displaced the enemy in the process instead of them coming straight back up, so you’d need to jump cancel the ground bounce in order to track them to keep the combo up.

A stinger style attack with super armor would probably be cool. Including a pre-hit cancel point might also be interesting. Like imagine it’s forward + weapon, and it doesn’t do the attack until the weapon button was released, or it moves dante a certain distance at which point the attack is done automatically, and pressing any other button would cancel the dash. Super Armor kind of doesn’t fit DMC though, the point is kind of to not take damage and making the dash portion fully invincible would make it a much stronger defensive mechanic than royal guarding or normal dodges.

Maybe a weapon with left and right attack commands that also had lateral movement around the enemy in the process?

A move like Crimson Flurry from Nioh might be cool. Kusarigama technique that has you flail it wildly for a lot of DPS, but you aren’t mobile during it, so you push enemies outwards until you can’t hit them anymore. Very effective on cornered enemies, which is another spatial consideration. Speaking of that, why not a one inch punch type of move that wallsplats or wallbounces the enemy? Maybe the grounded verson does a wallsplat and the air version does a wallbounce, similar to Sol’s Sidewinder in Guilty Gear AC+R? Also copying the Random Slice skill from the dual katanas in Nioh might be cool. It’s like Crimson Flurry, but you run as you do it, and it pushes enemies along as you go, but can also push them out of your way, so you need to line it up right. Adding a bit of startup time so enemies can walk out of your way while you initiate it would make it slightly more tactical in DMC’s system. For that matter, copying the fire magic power Yunica has from Ys Origin would also be cool, it pushes enemies along and multi-hits them with good positioning, though in DMC’s lock-on system manual aiming isn’t as emphasized, so it wouldn’t be quite as interesting. The lightning hammer might however, it hits an area of effect and has a high vertical range, making it a good anti-air.

A spirit bomb type of attack that hits an area of effect a distance away from dante? A ranged weapon based on setting up satelites and having them release delayed charge shots (May Guilty Gear)? Ranged weapon that releases a projectile that lags behind you for a bit, then locks down your target for a while, but the projectile is destroyed if you’re hit? Something like Millia’s Tandem Top that locks down an area after a little while, but is destroyed if you’re hit and takes a little while to set up, then gives you a little time to move around freely before it takes effect? Maybe a weapon that lets you continuously block when you hold back + weapon, and you can do counter attacks with forward + release weapon, and you take chip damage unless you do this correctly? Maybe a ranged weapon where you manually aim crosshairs and press the button for big damage + juggles versus grounded opponents only? How about a thrown ranged weapon that bounces off enemies on hit, and then comes down on them again a little later, inspired by smash bros peach? Or a ranged missile attack with a decent amount of startup and recovery, but you can cancel the recovery by landing as you fire it off, inspired by Samus from Smash Bros? How about a flamethrower ranged weapon, continuous fire damage, maybe light knockback up close? Maybe one weapon could alter your double jump, so it dips down before rising up, and attacking during the dip would send you downwards, like double jump canceling from smash bros? (not much utility in DMC though) Ranged weapon that lets you stick enemies and remote detonate them like Snake? Something like Project M Zelda’s Din’s Fire, including letting you move just right to have it orbit you? Short range charge attack that stuns an enemy in place relative to how long you charged, like ZSS down Smash, slow moving charge projectile that does the same? A boomerang ranged weapon? Charge attack that is stored for later, charged by holding the button down and charging in a stance for a while, released with back to forward + weapon? A 4 move combo sequence that has 3 jabs, the third of which is a launcher, but the 4th is a rapidjab sequence that cancels the launch, so you need to cancel the combo at the 3rd hit with some tricky input (Falcon’s Gentleman)? Ranged weapon that has a charge shot, the charging animation for which can cancel other attacks and be canceled into jump, except when the charge is full, where it will instead fire the shot (PM Lucario)? An anti-air jumping grab (Alex & Hugo 3rd Strike)? Basketball Toss that takes some time to reach the enemy, so you can act while it’s in the air (Sean 3rd Strike)? Close range high power standing charge move that stuns the opponent for a long period of time, even allowing a combo into a weaker version of the same charge move (Hugo’s clap 3rd strike)? Maybe a weapon that sucks all the nearby enemies in close to you, stunning them as they’re drawn in, but not dealing any damage, however allowing combos from faster weapons (Seth SF4)?

There’s like, a billion possible ideas I could probably come up with or harvest from fighting games. There is so much left unexplored. We’ve really only scratched the surface on what’s possible with games.

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