Its been 11 years since we’ve touched a proper numbered entry in the Devil May Cry series, and roughly six years since Ninja Theory’s attempt at a reboot (DmC: Devil May Cry), so its no secret that Devil May Cry fans have been savoring a new entry for quite some time. Capcom has been on a roll lately with taking its time and bringing back its main franchises with entries that have defied expectation…well at least all except Street Fighter V that is, but many wondered if they still had the magic touch with Devil May Cry. I can proudly say yes that they still got it and then some.
Devil May Cry has always been about the combat, so the key thing was that no matter what was happening in the game it needed to play well, and it needed to make sense. Main character Nero and newcomer V add some varied layers to the traditional Devil May Cry gameplay of frenetic action, insane combos and juggles. At around the halfway mark of the title, Dante returns in all his stylish flair and armed with his signature moves. Nero has a Devil Breaker attachment for his now missing arm (a main plot point being that the game’s villain literally cuts it off and steals it) that can offer different moves and combinations alongside his sword that can be revved up for more damage. The Devil Breakers can’t be swapped on the fly which is a little annoying, but they’re littered all over the games missions and can be changed from the customization shop that is reached via a pay phone. V controls three types of demons that he can summon and they all represent the first games bosses. Griffon fires long range zaps, the Shadow panther has claws and tentacles for close range stuff and the third demon is Nightmare which is V’s super attack and literally destroys everything around you. V adds the newest dimension to the combat as he attacks indirectly so it makes the player learn to time the summons together to create combos and keep the Style Meter high for those S and triple S ranks.
When Dante does show up he’s armed with his signature Gunslinger, Trickster, Sword Master and Royal Guard abilities that can all be switched to one another on the fly mid-combo. His dual guns Ebony and Ivory can also switch to other weapons on the fly as well. His style will feel very familiar to long time fans of the series and his entrance into the game is a way to combine what playing as V and Nero teach you as you play as them primarily. The game balances as best it can between three main characters alongside 20 main missions, all that can be replayed for better ranks and more orbs.
Devil May Cry was known for being incredibly replayable on harder difficulty settings, and that’s still here for people to test themselves and their skills. You’ll want to replay the game though as you won’t unlock all the characters skills without repeated playthroughs unless you farm red orbs via doing the missions repeatedly. If farming isn’t your thing the game softly nudges you to purchase red orbs via microtransactions on your console system’s respective marketplace but its completely unnecessary as you can acquire the orbs through careful grinding and achieving S, Double S and Triple S ranks. It feels like Capcom threw in the fee-to-play stuff just to have it in there since all the other big companies are doing it, but it can be avoided and makes me scratch my head why its even in there to begin with.
As far as story goes, Devil May Cry 5 is pretty basic. All three characters set out to take down a demon tree that has spawned in the fictional Red Grave City, and fight its masters demonic army. This happens across 20 missions that should take about 10-12 hours to complete for the average gamer. There’s your typical Devil May Cry nonsense plot about demons and family, and Trish and Lady show up, and they’re just there to be sexy ladies, and a twist pops up, and its all pretty fluff and barely there. Devil May Cry was always a campy B-movie styled game but anyone looking for an intriguing and mysterious plot, well you kind of get one here but its not as deep as the other cinematic based games out there from other companies. During certain sections, you’ll see the other characters fighting in the background and the cool thing about that is those sections are pulled from actual player combat data, so during your play through (if you’re on PS4) my Nero or V may show up in your game fighting off a boss in the background or whatnot. Nothing changes much during these scenes but its cool nonetheless.
Unlike Devil May Cry 4, which was plagued with repetition, each character has their own missions across the 20 that are available. But as the story jumps back and forth to show you what each was doing during the other’s part of the story, it means that each character isn’t shown as much as one would like. The story isn’t going to make sense unless you’re a hardcore DMC lore expert as the game references literally everything from the previous entries to tie up all the loose ends that have been in fans minds. It’s a solid payoff marred by a suddenly abrupt ending that doesn’t really solve anything except to wrap up Nero’s true connection to the series, the secret behind new character V and what Dante has been up to all these years since the events of Devil May Cry 2 as he was last seen riding a motorcycle into Hell itself. It’s the only little sour point for me as I wanted more of a story from the game since its been eleven years since DMC4, but we got what we got which is a game focused on the action and set pieces. I also wanted Lady and Trish to do more but they’re just kind of there to be ogled at which for me is the main drawback in the game’s story: The female characters just aren’t given their due and this is all about the guys and their big…swords. The girls are there to tantalize and occasionally be naked much to the games detriment. We’ve grown up as gamers, and the hope that Devil May Cry could as well gets diminished here.
There’s not much else to be said here honestly. Capcom has essentially done it again, revitalizing a classic series and pushing the genre forward in a fresh and unique way. It looks great, it plays great and is just simply better than ever. The action and game-play are top notch, the story is a bit throwaway but its all good solid fun and in the end, you’ll have a devilishly good time with it.