Capcom has been in a weird place for quite a long time now, as the company once hailed for releasing some of the greatest since the 8-bit era hasn’t really done anything with so many of its beloved IPS in its catalog. Series like Ghosts N’ Goblins, Strider, Darkstalkers, Final Fight, and Rival Schools haven’t seen a new game in a long time, which has left core fans feeling neglected. A popular series like Mega Man saw two titles canceled and was regulated to nothing more than being regulated to HD re-releases on almost every platform since the PS2. As Capcom tried to draw in new fans, it made the mistake of ignoring so many of the loyal fans who had been with the company for decades and luckily, in recent years, it seems like the company has finally been listening to what its fans really want. This lead to the releases of great titles like Resident Evil 7, Mega Man 11 and now you can add Devil May Cry 5 to that list.
Devil May Cry was a title that just blew me away on when I first played it on the PlayStation 2 back in 2001. Everything about the game drew me in from the crazy combos you could create with various weapons, the non-stop action, and most importantly an awesome protagonist in Dante, who would keep evolving into a character you can’t help but love. Devil May Cry 3 and 4 only served to improve the formula of the series, introducing new characters and elements that kept the game fun and exciting. While each entry had an issue or two, you could easily look past them and just prove how awesome you were as you proceeded to style through the game. In 2013, DmC: Devil May Cry was released as a way for Capcom to try and reboot the series. The game was enjoyable, but it wasn’t what I wanted as a fan. I wanted more from Reuben Langdon’s Dante, Dan Southworth’s Vergil, and Johnny Yong Bosch’s Nero, because there was still so much we could get from the characters. That’s exactly what was delivered in the fifth installment.
Devil May Cry 5 is set a few years after the events of Devil May Cry 4. Once again, hell has broken loose and a new threat has been unleashed. Nero, Dante and newcomer V must take down a powerful new enemy. At the start of the game, Nero has his Devil Bringer Arm stolen by a mysterious person, including the Yamato Sword. To fight, he equips a mechanical arm known as a Devil Breaker -created by his engineer Nico- allowing him to use various skills based on which Devil Breaker he equips. At the start of the game, Nero makes his way to the powerful enemy known as Urizen, finding Lady, Trish and Dante severely weakened by this powerful being. Dante tells V to take Nero and run, calling Nero “dead weight.”
As you progress through the game, you play as one of three characters: Nero, Dante or V. Each character has their own unique style of play, and Nero plays nearly identical to DMC4 with his biggest change being the Devil Breaker. Nero unlocks new Devil Breakers as you progress through the game with each one offering different skills based on the one you have equipped. As powerful as they are, Devil Breakers can break if you take damage while using its ability. You can also manually destroy your equipped Breaker, which will equip the next one you have in your inventory. This can be very useful in certain fights. Dante is back and is still a major badass. He can switch between various weapons and sidearms on the fly, giving him access to nearly unlimited combos as well as switch between different fighting styles. Being able to take advantage of each style can give you a great advantage in battle, with my two favorites being Royal Guard that lets you negate an opponents attacks taking no damage if timed right and Sword Master which gives you access to a few special attacks with the weapon you have equipped.
V is quite an interesting character and plays quite differently compared to Dante or Nero. Instead of attacking directly, V summons familiars to fight for him that you control separately by using one of the two attack buttons. Like V, each familiar has its own life bar and if they take enough damage, they enter a mode where they can not fight for a short while. V’s familiars also can’t defeat enemies. Instead, V must land the finishing blow with his cane to defeat an enemy once they are weakened. V can also enter a Devil Trigger-like mode where he summons Nightmare, a powerful being that can deal massive damage.
Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t stray at all from its roots. The main gameplay is all about style and action as you challenge yourself to create some sick and amazing combos with everything you have. Style is key, and the more style points you acquire, the higher your score increasing your Rank from D (Devilish) all the way to SSS (Smokin’ Sick Style) and at the end of each stage, you are given a grade based on how well you did, including your score, damage taken, and how many red orbs you collected. All this creates a fun way of challenging yourself and getting an S rank on all stages if you dare.
Red Orbs have always been a staple of the series. It is a form of currency that lets you unlock and power up various skills or even purchase items to increase your health or Devil Trigger gauge. You gain a lot of Red Orbs in missions, which is important since many of the skills you can unlock are pretty expensive costing up to 50,000 red orbs. Since you need to power up three characters, you might find yourself playing completed stages a few times before taking on the higher difficulty modes, but for your first playthrough, it won’t be too much of a problem. Gold Orbs also appear frequently letting you continue if you get a game over (you can also pay in red orbs). Over a course of my playthrough, I came across somewhere around 10 and ended up using maybe 4 or 5 towards the end of the game.
Hideaki Itsuno and his team did a great job on Devil May Cry 5. Each entry into the series gets infinitely better and aside from a few gripes I have over the character models, the game looks fantastic. The visuals are absolutely stunning, with great details going into everything from the backgrounds to the enemies. The action is so smooth that you can’t help but just enjoy the havoc you perform as you just tear through your opponents. The music in Devil May Cry 5 is perfect, each characters battle theme is something you don’t get tired of, especially Nero’s Devil Trigger. The better you do in battle, the more intense the music gets, which is exciting and makes you want to just SSS every single time.
The story was a mixed bag. There are a ton of great moments and then…some pretty mediocre ones. The story does get a bit predictable, but that doesn’t take away from the game whatsoever. My only really big issue was right before the final battle which left me a bit confused.
Devil May Cry 5 is just another title that shows that Capcom is back in full force. In the last few months we’ve seen Mega Man 11, Onimusha, and Resident Evil 2 which are all must play games. Devil May Cry 5 is easily the best entry in the DMC series and is everything I’ve wanted from the series in a long time. The game is soo much fun and is filled with silly humor that I can’t help but want to keep playing over and over on the harder difficulties and find all the secrets. It makes me excited to see what Capcom has in store next for their fans and I look forward to seeing what’s coming in 2019 and 2020…. Let’s Rock Baby!