For some fans, it’s been just over 11 years since their last adventure in the Devil May Cry universe, but for other fans, it’s only been 6 years. No matter which side you are on, one thing is for sure, everyone is excited to get back into the world of DMC. One question remains, was it worth the wait?
Devil May Cry 5 starts off in a rather weird order – you are thrown into what is technically the middle of the game as Nero, and soon work your way through the beginning of the story into the present time and beyond. This all happens over a few weeks’ time within the game. Facing off against the main antagonist, Urizen, right off the bat, DMC5 isn’t afraid to throw players right into the middle of battle. This menacing foe presents a challenge right from the get-go, and many will get their first taste of defeat right from the start. We are also introduced to one of the new characters, V, a mysterious and sickly man who looks like he is about to fall over and die. With V and Dante by his side, Nero fights to take down Urizen and thus the story unfolds from here. Little is known about V and Urizen but soon we discover who they are, and what their goals are – and it’s a great ride getting there.
DMC5 let’s us control 3 different characters throughout the campaign; Nero, V and Dante. Each character offers a unique experience in terms of gameplay and combat. Nero utilizes his Red Queen sword and Blue Rose gun, each with their own abilities and upgrades. Nero no longer has his Devil Bringer arm which is explained during the game – instead he makes use of Devil Breakers, mechanical arms crafted by Nico, one of the other new characters introduced in the game. Nico’s grandmother crafted the legendary Ebony and Ivory guns for Dante, so her father’s identity (not spoiled here) is quite a surprise for fans who have played the previous game in the series.
Each character offers a unique experience in terms of gameplay and combat.
Throughout the game, Nico will craft new Devil Breakers for Nero to utilize in battle, each with their own unique twist, such as Ragtime, which can create a bubble around an area that slows down everything inside it, or the Devil Breaker Tomboy, which enhances Nero’s weapons giving him additional moves and power. You can only carry a certain amount of Devil Breakers at one time, but this can also be upgraded allowing Nero to carry more. Sadly, though you cannot swap between Devil Breakers, the only way to switch to a new Devil Breaker is to destroy it. There are 3 ways that these can be destroyed; at the press of a button, which creates a small explosion knocking enemies away, a good tool if you get stuck in a tight situation; by holding down the Devil Breaker button which charges up the Devil Breaker and unleashes an super attack which ends in its destruction; and finally, they will be destroyed if you are hit by any attack while the Devil Breakers ability is in use.
V, on the other hand, offers the most unique gameplay experience of the 3 characters. He cannot attack and instead uses familiars to fight against enemies. Players will need to take note of their surroundings and enemy layout since V can only have 3 familiars out at one time, 1 of which is tied to his Devil Trigger meter and so is not a fixed summon. His 2 main attacking familiars are Griffon, who damages enemies with ranged attacks, and Shadow, who damages enemies with physical attacks. V’s final familiar is Nightmare, a hulking brute that moves very slowly but can dish out huge amounts of damage. Nightmare usually comes crashing into the battle as a meteorite when summoned and deals area damage when crashing down. Because of his slow movement, it is essential that players summon Nightmare in the proper places as he uses up Devil Trigger meter, so once this depletes, Nightmare will disappear from the battle.
Due to V not wanting to be in the centre of battle, he has the ability to restore his Devil Trigger by reading his book, which will slow your movement and make you more vulnerable to attacks, but is an additional option for players. V’s familiars can fall in battle as they all have their own health bar. Health is restored over time very slowly, but can be sped up the closer V is to his familiar. Lastly, familiars cannot kill enemies. V needs to deal the final blow. By locking onto a weakened enemy, V can teleport to the enemy and deliver the killing blow. There is a chance that enemies can regain health if you do not get to them in time, but executing this death blow is quite a stylish affair, especially if you are able to teleport to multiple enemies at once delivering death blows in succession.
Lastly, our third and final playable character, Dante, who will most likely feel the most familiar to long time fans. Dante has access to 4 of his styles seen in previous games; these can be switched on the fly, from Gunslinger, Trickster, Sword Master and Royal Guard. In addition to this, Dante has the most collectable weapons and upgrades, of which some are new to the series such as his new ranged weapon, Faust, which is a hat that, when activated, also forms a scarf around Dante and for some reason turns him into Michael Jackson. Then we have Cavaliere, a demonic motorbike that splits apart into 2 swords that can slash and attack like a chainsaw. Overall, Dante is just a blast to play – switching between styles and weapons is seamless and an absolute joy. I found it difficult to go back to the other characters because of the options available to Dante which just made him far more fun to control.
Overall, Dante is just a blast to play – switching between styles and weapons is seamless and an absolute joy.
Combat is simple at the surface, but as you delve further into the system and start to understand the freedom players have with regards to what they can do, it starts to feel like a whole new game opens up. There are also plenty of hidden items, missions and even a weapon or two scattered around the game. While progress is mainly linear there are a few hidden paths that may lead you to some interesting secrets. As you progress through the game and buy new abilities, additional ones will unlock. These will typically require red orbs to purchase which can be found scattered around the world, and collected from defeated enemies. There has been some negativity surrounding the micro-transactions that the game has, allowing players to buy red orbs to purchase abilities and items. However, I didn’t once feel like I was being cheated out of red orbs and I actually ended up finishing the game with a little over 200k red orbs available to me, as I had bought everything I wanted at that stage of the game.
I don’t see a lack of red orbs forcing people towards micro-transactions ever becoming an issue. One thing I cannot overlook is the load screens; there are plenty and it’s all within the menu’s. If a menu requires loading, then it needs to be redesigned, simple as that. It became increasingly annoying as the game progressed so hopefully this can be resolved with a future patch.
DMC5 runs, sounds and looks amazing. The amount of detail that the game has, especially during combat; swords clashing sending sparks scattering around the screen; bits and pieces of the environment breaking apart; enemies being tossed around – it all looks incredible. The music knocks it out the park and nothing gets your blood pumping like watching your style meter increase while the background music gets louder and more intense (ed – Pull my devil trigger!). Those with a 4K HDR setup are in for treat. The only downside is some of the environments look rather bland and uninspired.
Dante’s story continues as we get answers to old questions and new questions with open-ended answers. Cut-scenes are full of intense action and laugh-out-loud moments. There isn’t much character interaction and I was rather unsatisfied with Trish and Lady in the game, simply because they felt like they were forced into the plot with very little focus on either of them. Apart from some eye candy moments, they could have been left out entirely with nothing lost in the story, which is a huge disappointment as both these ladies are great characters who can hold their own with the best of them and it would have been amazing to have them playable, or even just given more screen time to make them feel relevant to the over-arching narrative.
Capcom are back on top and Devil May Cry 5 further cements their status as one of the best developers in the industry.
All in all, DMC5 is a fantastic game, one that is sure to please fans of the genre. It’s not without its issues, but the positives of the game far outweigh its negatives and is another great title from Capcom, who have been on a roll lately and have had a stellar start to 2019 with the release of Resident Evil 2 Remake, and now this. If Capcom can continue on this route, we are sure to have some amazing releases in the future. Capcom are back on top and Devil May Cry 5 further cements their status as one of the best developers in the industry.
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is visually sublime, stylish, and technically superb. Capcom are back on top as one of the best developers in the gaming industry.