I doubt anyone noticed that I’d taken a break from reviews.
I was starting to get fed up with all the hype and marketing for new releases. Too many times I got excited for a new title, only for the game to fall on its ass once released. So, when I was asked to write a Devil May Cry 5 review, well I was hesitant.
Colour me impressed though, what a great experience.
Devil May Cry 5 Review
It’s been a while since I last played a Devil May Cry game. It’s a series I’ve really enjoyed. The fighting mechanics were always so much fun and so damn challenging, while the story has always been completely bonkers.
But that’s just part of its charm.
Though there was the reboot (cough cough) which WAS fun, all I ever wanted was MY Dante back. Devil May Cry 5 brings the all-important nostalgia back, all the while telling a new tale to close off another chapter.
If you have never played Devil May Cry then let me try and break down what it’s like. The plot has all the trappings of a great Greek tragedy, coupled that with the over the top action of an anime, a weight of the world threat and well…demons.
In turn, if you’ve played and enjoyed Devil May Cry before, stop reading this and go out and buy it, you will not be disappointed.
I usually hold my personal opinions until the end of the review but to HELL with that.
Devil May Cry 5 has been one of my favourite gaming experiences in long while. I struggled to find any real negatives about it at all. There is really only one reason you won’t have the same experience I had; if you did not play or research the previous games in the series.
Even still, I think this game could hold up on its own regardless.
The story takes place sometime after Devil May Cry 4. A mysterious figure named V arrives and gathers the gang together. The game kicks you straight into dealing with the threat. A gigantic tree known as the Qliphoth appears in Red Grave City.
Dante is hired by V to deal with the new demon threat.
A self-appointed demon king known only as Urizen is responsible for the sprouting of the Qliphoth. You get thrown right in the middle of it as Nero, who has decided he wants in on the action. You will at this point face a couple of enemy demons along the path to get feel for combat. But realistically you are almost thrown into the boss fight confrontation immediately; more on this later.
The resultant battle leaving Nero bailing due to the sheer power of Urizen. Thus the tale begins and you must get stronger to beat the big bad guy.
This may seem shallow but I cannot mention anything else without potentially spoiling it. Take my word for it, there is a HELL of a lot more going on than that.
Now it’s time for me to get into what makes this game such a great experience. Devil May Cry 5 brings back a few familiar heroes to the fray including the playable characters;
- Nero returning – not quite whole
- Dante the series main protagonist
- V, a mysterious newcomer
There are also some familiar faces with Trish and Lady still hanging around. And my personal favourite new entry to the series; Nico. Nico is there to build and create new weaponry for the three would-be heroes. She does so with a hilarious southern accent and an attitude to match.
What most impressed me was the character modelling. My god, the character modelling. All of the cut scenes in Devil May Cry 5 are all using the in-game engine. What you see in a cut scene is the same visuals as in the game.
I must admit I was blown away.
Whoever worked on the character modelling at Capcom needs a god damn award. These are some of the best, most detailed and most realistic characters I’ve ever seen. Not to mention that even the enemies are so fantastically detailed if you pay close attention.
Hell is Other People
The level design has really been taken up a notch as well. Devil May Cry always follows a very linear path with a touch of the hidden here or there. This time around it’s still linear but the visual detail makes the levels feel much more open.
There are a lot of hidden secrets within the levels and finding them is not as easy as it used to be. Mostly because it looks like you can explore a much wider area than normal. So the hidden paths or pickups blend into the environment very well. It really does add to the challenge of finding them all.
For series fans and even the newcomers, I’m sure you want to know how the combat compares or even works. Well let me tell you, it’s easily the real highlight of Devil May Cry 5. As well it should be.
The aim of the combat is, of course, to slay the enemies that are sent to stop you. But the real key is to do it as stylishly as demonly possible. The familiar ranking system is back with D though to S ratings. These rank from Dismal, Crushing, Badass, Apocalyptic through Stylish. At first, I was disappointed as it seemed like the SS and SSS had been left out. But eventually, I pulled off a ridiculous combo resulting in ’Smokin Sexy Style’ and all was as it should be.
To get into a little more detail, the combat has really been improved and fleshed out. Capcom has truly made use of the three playable characters.
Each one is very unique in their fighting style; especially the newcomer V.
V’s combat style isn’t just unique to Devil May Cry 5, it’s unique to the series as a whole. Hell, it might even be unique for video games. V has the ability to summon his own demons named Griffon, Shadow and Golem to fight for him. Griffon is an eagle-like demon who equates to a ranged attack and Shadow is a black panther demon acting as the melee attack.
Golem is V’s Devil Trigger and is summoned down to smash anything in his way.
The part that makes V’s combat so unique is that he himself is rather weak. You must use the three demons to fight all while trying to keep V out of harm’s way. Which can be difficult as the demons cannot kill enemies, they can only stun them. Once the enemies are stunned you must finish them off with V himself.
When facing a large number of enemies you really have to plan out your strategy if you want to hit that SSS rank.
Yeah the Boys
Nero and Dante’s fighting styles have not been changed much but have certainly been improved.
Nero now has the Devil Breaker arm replacing his Devil Bringer from DMC 4. The Devil Breakers vary in type and need to constantly replaced by Nico. Mostly due to Nero being a jerk and constantly breaking them, but it’s to save the world, so it’s fine.
I won’t go into too much detail as half the fun is discovering what each Devil Breaker does. But the new addition has opened up and really diversified his play style. Nero’s combat is mostly focused around bringing enemies closer and pounding away on his terms. The Devil Breakers mean that this is not always the case.
Dante’s combat feels better than ever, especially with some of his new toys.
They have also cleaned up the fluidity of combat for him with the inclusion of fighting styles. This allows you to freely alternate between his weapons, defensive, offensive and mobility skills with simple button presses.
Hell Hath No Fury
The overall combat is a beautiful combination of simple input combined with technical insanity. For new players, it is very easy to pick up and learn as you go. Devil May Cry 5 also has a tutorial that can be turned on or off to help as well. This is also great for the casual player who wants to just breeze through on easy for the story.
What really impressed was how it still keeps true to that fans of the series. If you want to get into super technical combos and hit those high ranks it can get very in depth. Lots of juggling, launching and streak combos can be pulled off if you have the skill. It all feels like an interactive anime at times and how can that not be a fun thing.
Another great part of Devil May Cry 5 is the content and replayability. My first playthrough took about 15 hours to complete. I was pleasantly surprised at how much content either unlocks or can be expanded on in the second playthrough.
It had me wanting to keep playing and unlocking all the moves and weapons. There are also some great features and extras sitting there waiting to be explored. Trust me when I say you want to explore the gallery option and go to tab three, you will not be disappointed.
The final verdict, if any fans of the series read this far I’ll repeat, this is a must get.
For anyone interested I’d recommend some research on the story to help you keep up. But as far as gameplay I can’t see many people not enjoying this. This has been one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had since God of War.
Well done Capcom, I take my hat off to you.
Devil May Cry 5 was reviewed on Xbox One using a digital code provided by Capcom.
Game Title: Devil May Cry V
Game Description: Hack, slash, combo and smash all the demons.