On April 1, 2019, Capcom gave people a trick instead of a treat. That’s when the Devil May Cry 5 Bloody Palace update arrived, giving people access to a mode that has been a part of the series since Devil May Cry 2. It is a sort of challenge that drives people to be the best, with opportunities to take Dante, Nero, or V through multiple stages in a timed survival gauntlet against foes from the game. It is a proving ground, and one which lets you grow each time you attempt it.
While the Devil May Cry 5 Bloody Palace is free, you can’t immediately jump into it. Someone first needs to beat the game on either the Human or Devil Hunter difficulty. These are the two that are available right away. (If you haven’t been through it yet, going with Devil Hunter might be wise. That way, you can unlock the Bloody Palace mode and Son of Sparda difficulty level.) You then go through a version of the mode that has a lot in common with Devil May Cry 4‘s iteration. There are 101 floors, you know what is coming on each of them, bosses mostly tend to appear every 20 floors, it is all timed (you start with two minutes), and you can earn additional time for performing well and not getting hit. To compare, the original Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition Bloody Palaces each had 9,999 floors and the enemies weren’t always exactly set.
What is incredibly nice about Bloody Palace in Devil May Cry 5 is how much there is to help people prepare for runs and achieve goals. For example, Bloody Palace has a Warm Up area. If you have reached and cleared a stage, you can pop in and just replay that single stage at any time. This lets you go ahead practice that specific level. When you go to look at it in the list, you can see your best time and have an idea of incoming enemies that will appear. This is great for if you get stuck around, avoiding spoilers, the level 60 boss. You could practice the levels ahead of it, maybe between 55 and 59, to learn how to best maximize your time, then go through some runs against the boss residing on level 60. (This is especially handy if you are trying a run with Nero, since Nero doesn’t face the level 60 boss in the campaign.) It is a great training space.
But what is really great is the Devil May Cry 5 Bloody Palace save system. In Devil May Cry 4, you had to beat all 101 levels of Bloody Palace in a row. You couldn’t save and come back to it. It was this ultimate test. Here, you have the option of creating a suspend save. Some stages allow you to create a suspend save and exit. Then, the next time you head into the game and that mode, you can choose the resume option to go through again. On the main menu, you can see which character you were using and your current continue point. That way, if it has been a while, you have a reminder before you go ahead and decide if you should start over or keep going.
Devil May Cry 5‘s Bloody Palace is also considerate when it comes to Nero. Since his Devil Breakers are disposable, his run will occasionally have a Rest Area. When you reach one, you will have an array of Devil Breakers to choose from, so he can stock up before you continue. These do not replace any normal Bloody Palace stages. They just pop up at intervals where you might need them most. As an example, before you head into Stage 1, Nero is taken to a Rest Area. The timer is paused. You can see which Devil Breakers are there, and prepare yourself. After the stage 20 boss, Nero will get another Rest Area before going onto stage 21. Which is handy, since bosses are when a person would very likely make good use of Devil Breakers. It fits really well, without feeling like he is at a disadvantage or is being given special treatment.
The Devil May Cry 5 Bloody Palace is a challenging affair, one with taunt reward for each character who clears it waiting at the end. But, while it will take time and practice to master it, this installment’s version of the mode does a lot to help people along the way. Those using Nero will have chances to replenish his arsenal. Those having trouble can practice specific stages and prepare for bosses. The suspend function is also a big help, in case you are interrupted and need to take a moment to deal with real life matters. The quality of life elements can really help.
Devil May Cry 5 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.