The first new entry in the series in 11 years, Devil May Cry 5 continues the story of Nero and Dante (as well as introducing newcomers Nico and V, and returning appearances from Lady and Trish). Five years after Devil May Cry 4’s story, Nero acts as a demon hunter under the name “Devil May Cry” (which also includes new character Nico as the engineer (she makes fake arms for him, seemingly a trend in modern games: DMC 5, Sekiro, MGS 5)).
A dying demon has ripped off Nero’s Devil Bringer arm, and uses the Devil Arm Yamato to open a portal in which he escapes. A man named V soon comes to the Devil May Cry office to hire Dante, Lady, and Trish to kill a demon. Arriving in Red Grave City, they find a demonic tree called Qliphoth has overtaken the city and is killing people for their blood. Behind it all is a demon named Urizen (sounds suspiciously like “Your reason”?). The group ends up attacking Urizen, but are defeated. Luckily, Nero and V escape, but Lady and Trish are not so lucky. Dante goes into a month long coma, but is eventually snapped out of it by the mysterious V.
We soon find out that Urizen is actually Vergil and that Vergil used Yamato’s power to separate his demon and human halves (Vergil hates his human side). V is the human side, and Urizen is the demonic side (and he is using the Qliphoth to gain power). Dante and Urizen have a showdown, but V re-combines with Urizen, and Vergil is re-born. Vergil also reveals that Nero is his son (this has basically been accepted among fans since DMC 4, but its nice to get a confirmation from the devs).
Dante and Vergil undergo an epic showdown, which ends with Nero intervening. The player then fights Vergil as Nero in the games penultimate showdown. Nero defeats Vergil, and Vergil and Dante decide to go into the Underworld to cut down the roots of the Qliphoth and to seal the portal before Red Grave City is obliterated. The game ends with Vergil and Dante dueling endlessly in the Underworld, as their power is equal.
STORY AND CHARACTER IMPRESSIONS
I have long thought that Nero, Dante and Vergil are some of the coolest characters in gaming. While I think that the graphics style doesn’t quite suit them this time around (more on that later), I think that the characters themselves are as good as ever. While the story isn’t quite as personal and epic feeling as Devil May Cry 3, I feel like the story here is still incredibly focused and meaningful. Also, Nero is way less whiny this time around (which was my only complaint about him in DMC 4).
Lady and Trish aren’t quite as important as I would have liked them to be but it is still nice to see them in here. However, Nico is a hell of a brilliant character. She adds a lot to the group dynamic and I love all of the scenes that have her in it. Also, I am fairly certain that Agnus from DMC 4 is her father, which is a nice little touch.
Devil May Cry has become known for its cheesy, metal soundtracks. While they are cheesy, they certainly fit the over-the-top tone of the game. Furthermore, they work brilliantly to elevate the intensity of the combat, and I think the implementation of the music here was as fantastic as ever.
On top of that, I think that the actual sound design is quite good too. The voice acting sounds clear and high quality. The sound effects of the various weapons and attacks and enemies are also top notch, adding to the spectacular atmosphere found in the game.
I played on a 144hz, 1440p monitor with FreeSync enabled. The game ran incredibly smoothly and I can’t remember a single time that I experienced a frame-rate drop due to un-optimized graphics. While I did notice a blur throughout a lot of my playtime, I am thankful that it did not interrupt the smooth frame-rate. However, the blurriness was sometimes distracting and I would have preferred a less realistic look. This is for 2 reasons: (1) it would have prevented the need to blur objects, and (2) I don’t really like the aesthetic of the game.
I think that the goal for hyper-realistic visuals was one of the more major downfalls of this game. I think that the old games managed to look good while retaining a unique visual style. While there is certainly an atmosphere in the world design and the colours used, I feel like the realistic visuals detract a little too much from it. More anime-style visuals like in the previous games would have gave the game a more “game-y” feel.
Despite my complaints, the visuals are indeed quite impressive and the game runs incredibly well.
It’s Devil May Cry, what do you expect? The gameplay feels as good and as tight as ever. The player is given control of V, Dante, and Nero (all of which contain their own fighting styles). While V is a decent addition, I feel like he is less fun and less deep than Dante and Nero. In my opinion, Nero is one of the greatest noob characters in action game history. He is INCREDIBLY easy to understand and do well with, but there is still enough depth that great players (such as Donguri) can use him exceedingly well. And Dante is still the deepest character in action game history (I suck at him very badly).
Incredibly responsive, fluid, and fun. Experimenting, learning, and pulling off new combos in this game is almost as fun as video games can get. It rewards player experimentation and encourages off-the-wall insanity (Dante uses a goddamn motorcycle to slice up demons (he also dances like Michael Jackson in once scene and its incredible and reminds me of the end dance scene from Bayonetta)).
The enemies are diverse and offer unique challenges to the player (which is hard to find in games like these where enemies are often just test dummies for the player). The boss fights are also all unique from one another and challenge different aspects of the players abilities as well as their understanding of the game’s core mechanics.
The combat system is probably the best combat system in an action game since Bayonetta 2, which came out 5 years ago. Just absolutely brilliant.
If you didn’t know already, the original DMC actually started as a Resident Evil iteration. And playing the original DMC, you can tell. The game retained a lot of RE elements over the first 3 games, but DMC 4 started to reel them in a bit. I have always felt like they were unnecessary and out of place (although not as much as some of Bayonetta’s levels). While I think it is important to split up the combat sections, the old DMC games went a bit too far with this. For me, DMC 5 does it PERFECTLY.
DMC 5 understands that its biggest strength is it’s combat. While the levels do contain a bit more than just simple, straight-forward linearity, it never detracts from the experience (although the one level where you move the statue by making blood pour down the drains almost got to that point). While I have seen many people criticize the straight-forwardness of this game, I absolutely commend it.
Personally, I am quite sick of the open-world game trend. I think that open-worlds are often bland and empty. And the games that are typically open-world often do not have the gameplay to make up for their boring world. On the other hand, DMC 5 gives you a straight-forward experience so you spend less time mucking around, and more time kicking demon ass. A big plus from me.
Since I pre-ordered the deluxe edition, I got access to a bunch of different Devil Breakers such as the Mega Buster and Pasta Breaker. Capcom actually put quite a bit of effort into the extra Devil Breakers, as they even have some of their own animations (most notably the Mega Buster, which makes Nero dodge and die like Mega Man).
I also received a bunch of alternate colours for all the characters, which is nice to switch up their look every once and awhile but doesn’t change how the game plays at all. Another non-game changing addition is the battle track packs from the previous DMC games, that you can set for use in DMC 5.
The biggest inclusion though, for me, from the deluxe edition are the live-action cutscenes which replace a majority of the cutscenes with live actors and cheap props. I switched the cutscenes to the live-action cutscenes on my second playthrough, and I must say that whoever came up with the idea of including this was a genius. The game is so cheesy and fun to begin with that these cutscenes don’t feel out of place at all. They are probably up on YouTube somewhere, go watch them.
Lastly, the addition of the Bloody Palace mode on April 1st. Bloody Palace was first introduced in Devil May Cry 2 as a sort of horde-survival mode. Since then, it has been polished and improved and I think that DMC 5 contains one of the best Bloody Palaces yet, thanks to the brilliant enemy design (although some enemies are pretty annoying to face, especially in combination with other specific enemies).
Devil May Cry 5 is a brilliant exercise in rewarding game-play, offering some of the greatest combat mechanics found in gaming. There is diversity in the characters to play (in Nero, Dante, and V) as well as in the available weapons and moves, which open a ridiculous amount of possibilities in how the player approaches each enemy. Great missions, great enemies, great bosses, great combat, great fun. One of the best games in years and should be experienced by anyone that loves action games.
9/10 – Smokin’ Sexy Style!!