My fellow Devil May Cry fans, we’ve waited quite a while for this, haven’t we? After all the years of asking, we’ve finally gotten the sequel that we’ve deserved and it’s every bit as glorious as I had hoped it would be. Devil May Cry 5 is here! A worthy sequel, a fabulous next-gen title and hopefully after it’s all said and done, and hopefully not the last time we’ll see the series in action.
Game Name: Devil May Cry 5
Platform(s): Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Price: $59.99 / $69.99 (Deluxe)
Taking place sometime after Devil May Cry 4, the fifth game looks to finally weave together a story that has spanned multiple titles, Answering questions such as who is Nero’s parents, is Vergil still alive or and a few others I don’t want to spoil. It’s a not exactly straightforward and I suspect many have already pieced together. It’s typical Devil May Cry storytelling, what more can I say about it?
During my time with the game, I was introduced to three main characters: Nero, V and finally Dante. Nero and Dante, we already know thanks to previous games. V, on the other hand, is a new character and one that comes with a unique playstyle. While Nero and Dante are in your face, up and close fighters, V doesn’t attack enemies directly. Instead, he uses summons that does the dirty work and they work similar to the other two playable characters. Griffin, a demonic bird that handles the ranged attacks and a panther beast called Shadow, who does the up-close fighting. His Devil Trigger summons is yet another creature called Nightmare, who happens shoot devastating lasers and pummels everything in his path. You can even climb on his back and control him for a short while. It seems weird, but it works. Just think of them as extensions of V, and it works out well. I found that playing with V was quite satisfying as he’s a risk-and-rewards type character. Fragile and not able to take much damage, you’ll need to keep him out of harm’s way, while pressing the attack with your creatures.
Playing Dante feels like being reacquainted with an old friend. Armed with some new and iconic weapons along with his stances, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. How do you not feel accomplished when you’re mowing down demons with a weapon that’s compromised of two halves of a demonic motorcycle? It’s good stuff. However, Nero is the star of the game, at least to me. I’m not just talking about who the story is ultimately about, but his play style is just so refreshing. Gone is his previous Devil Trigger ability, due to the account of losing that arm. Out with the old and in with the new hotness, Devil Breakers that let Nero continue to good fight. Each Devil Breaker has a standard attack and a powered-up attack. Some more useful than others, but all ultimately are fun while dishing out the damage. You’ll earn different ones as you progress through the game. The downside is you can’t choose which one you want to use when you’re in combat (which would have been nice)short of blowing them up to another one. It feels like a bad design model to me. That and they break if you overuse them or if you’re interrupted while activating them.
Initially, you can only carry a certain amount of Devil Breakers, which can be increased as long as you have enough red orbs. You’re also able to customize your Devil Breaker layout. So if you happen to have one or multiple favorites, you can customize your equipment to carry just those. Or if you’re feeling lucky, you can use Nico’s recommended list, which is helpful for just jumping into the mix. Granted, I felt that out of the number of Devil Breakers, only three of them were ones that I truly enjoyed. In addition to this, every character is able to level up by acquiring different skills, increasing the amount of Devil Trigger you can carry, health, and other resources. Typical Devil May Cry stuff, nothing out of the ordinary here.
Speaking of Nico, I owe her a bit of an apology. When I first saw her, I instantly thought that she’d be another Cindy from Final Fantasy XV and I was completely wrong. She’s not the single-dimensional character I first thought she’d be. She’s funny, she’s damned smart and she’s witty. Pairing her with Nero ensures there is tension-splitting laughter and there’s never a dull moment when she appears. She’s someone I wouldn’t mind hanging out with in real life. I really hope we see more of her later down the road.
The combat has me hooked. It’s like a well-composed orchestra when you’re in the groove. While it may take newcomers some time to adjust, once they get into the swing of things, the combat will be second nature, pulling off stylish combos and looking like a badass doing so. For those that don’t want to put in the work, there’s also an auto-combo mode that can be activated on the fly. Still, stringing together moves in order to keep that combo from dropping may not be for everyone. While most games actions games are about mowing down everything in your way blindly, Devil May Cry has always been about doing the same but with style. This adds some frustration if you’re trying your best but not doing well at it.
The multiplayer functionality or “Cameo System” is also rather confusing, as it’s not multiplayer or co-op in the traditional sense. There are parts in the game where you either choose or you’re paired with another character that takes a different path than you or fights alongside you. You’re then matched with someone else who choose the opposite of you, but you don’t interact with them. An example would be when you’re playing as Nero, and you see V fighting in the distance. Except V isn’t the AI, it’s another person controlling the character. They’re still playing their game and you’re playing yours, They don’t directly interact with you or vice versa and they’re only helpful to you if they’ll pulling off enough stylish combos. You also can’t turn this off, as disabling the network option only means that you’ll download someone’s ghost. Rather than then playing with the said person in real-time. At the end of the play session, you can rate them according to how well they did.
Admittingly, the game isn’t very long. My first gameplay clocked in around 16 hours and that was with some minor exploration. Still, I feel that’s actually a decent play length for an action-adventure game, especially one such as this. It’s not only story-driven, but you need to get through the fights as fast and stylishly as possible. So there’s not really much you can do to extend the playthrough short of tackling the other difficulties. There’s also plenty of secrets that you can easily miss the first time around, so I recommend running through the levels again to find them. If you do get tired of kicking demon butt, you can head on over to the gallery and check out the soundtrack, art, and various other goodies.
My time with the game was played on the Xbox One X, and I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint. For those that are wondering, yes, the game is native 4K on the Xbox One X. The game ran mostly without a hitch, though I noticed some slowdown at times moments, mainly when a massive attack occurs. It doesn’t happen often, but it is apparent. Visually, everything is super detailed and impressive, especially the character models. Capcom has really put some time getting the Resident Evil 2 Remake Engine to shine and it shows. The cut scenes are also well done, even if some of them are cheesy as heck. Capcom went all out with the visuals. I can’t recall any section of the game that looked bad. That goes double for the sound production. The soundtrack varies depending on character and style you used, while the tempo and loudness ramped up as your stylish combo score increased. It’s one of those things that you simply have to hear. The voice acting is also top-notch, even if Lady sounds like a child.
Now for the ugly: microtransactions. Imagine my horror as I tried to purchase a skill and not realizing I didn’t have enough red orbs at my disposable. Normally, the game would balk at you, telling you that you needed more orbs. Not anymore, as we’re in the age of microtransactions, so everything can be easily acquired if you have the funds. This ugly realization made me throw up a little and while I heard the reports that Capcom was thinking about adding microtransactions to the game, I had hoped they wouldn’t have. Yet here they are, and I’m not too thrilled about that. It literally serves no purpose and cheapens the experience. You want those cool upgrades, then work for them! I’m not giving Capcom a pass on this at all. I’m also rightfully upset that both Trish and Lady were treated as nothing but fan service.
C’mon Capcom, they deserved better than that.
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Game title: Devil May Cry 5
In the end, Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, it takes everything that fans of the series loved, dials it up to 11 and presents one of the best game in the series yet. Right up there with Devil May Cry 1 and 3 for me. Plenty of combat, the pacing is just right, and a nice amount of content to play through once you’ve reached the end. My only gripe is those blasted microtransactions, which I feel has no place in a game like this. A minor inconvenience in what I consider an enjoyable action game that I haven’t been able to put down. It looks like Capcom has yet another GOTY contender on their hands.
Devil May Cry 5 is every bit the game I was looking forward to and then some.
- Looks amazing on the Xbox One X
- Great audio production
- Plenty of content playthrough, as well as lots to check out during downtime
- Combat can feel dated at times
- No reason for microtransactions to be included
- Replay value is questionable