Devil May Cry 5 Review: A Three-Headed Monster

Real Talk By: KJ

The latest mainline Devil May Cry is here over a decade later.  Part 5 continues Dante’s adventures, but mainly Nero’s if we’re being honest.  Capcom has invested a lot in this character, as he’s been upgraded even more from the previous game.  Every Hero needs a Villain.  Blocking our path to victory is Evil Demon Urizen, who seems to be the ultimate baddie.  Can anyone stop this menace?

All Three playable characters have something unique to offer, each controlling differently.  Nero’s mysterious loss of his right arm actually opens up the gameplay.  His business partner Nico constructs Devil Breaker arms which he then equips.  Every breaker provides unique elements.  The Overture can electroshock enemies.  Hold down the button then release for rewarding results.  Another allows Nero to hitch-a-ride on a rocket he shoots, Steering left and right aiming for the desired target.  A pre-order bonus using Mega Man’s Buster Cannon is another combat option.  Many to get familiar with.  Arms can be broken by enemies, so attempting charge moves will put you at risk.  However, The reward pays off.  Nico is also a fun addition to the cast as she’s always giving Nero a verbal thrashing.  She brings a dose of comedy in a game that seems to juggle light and dark on a regular basis.

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The Wizard V is pretty weak on his own, but makes up for it with his strong magic.  He summons a Bird-like creature (Griffon), who uses lighting based power.  Another familiar is a shape shifting creature, one that regularly maintains the appearance of a Panther.  Like Griffon, Shadow can level up with Red orbs.  Both defend V simultaneously.  Each Familiar is mapped to a different face button.  Combine both attack buttons while directing V with the left analog stick.  Remembering that V needs to be protected, at the same time fighting-off demons makes for a fresh experience.

Dante remains fully equipped with everything he needs.  His Ebony and Ivory pistols, sawed off shotgun, Gauntlet.  Four Changeable fighting styles return.  More surprises await.  Charge attacks and evasion moves.  He’s awesome.  The other two characters, while fun, are not Dante.  As in part 4, you’ll have to put in hours of playtime before he becomes available.

Mixing-in extensive combos. Good times.  Maintaining a high score remains key, along with overall performance ratings for each level.  Action packed cinematics, absurd dialogue,  Old school menu selection sounds.  Yep it’s a DMC game.

The silliness may go a bit overboard here.  Some jokes fall flat, but given the strong delivery of lines, the misses are more excusable.  Despite the odd script, I really did enjoy the voice acting performances all around.  No surprise, Dante (wonderfully voiced by Reuben Christopher Langdon) stands out among the rest.  At times the story feels as if it’s held hostage by the goofiness.  The failure to fully commit to a tone, while linking multiple stories together comes off a bit messy.  Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 did an excellent job of juggling three character stories into one cohesive plot.  In Devil May Cry 5 the main story arc is simply bland, and viewing it from three different perspectives doesn’t change that fact.

The soundtrack provides a nice mixture of tunes, accompanying every situation perfectly.  In standard battles each character has their own distinct jam.  Many arrangements reminded me of Mick Gordon’s work in Doom (2017) and Killer Instinct (2013).

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A winning part of DMC 5’s presentation is in its Graphics.  Best of 2019 quality.  Ravaged environments have never looked so good.  Dark realms, and thought out locations all built for exciting battles.  Admittedly it’s harder to really appreciate at times due to all the action happening.  One thing is clear, Capcom’s RE Engine impresses.  Monster Transformations, and particle effects deliver.  This is one dazzling presentation through and through (especially in 4K).  Seeing classic and new moves incorporated into a title that looks this good, produces grand results.

Now for Coop.  This should not have been touted as a feature.  It feels tacked on.  Play key levels the same time as someone online, and rate their performance when the level is finished.  Receiving enough “Stylish” ratings from others will net you Gold orbs.  Gold orbs fully restore vitality and allow a player to continue on.  You may see someone fighting in a different area, (it’s been dubbed “cameo coop”) while A handful of levels let you fight alongside others briefly (Mission 7 and 13).  This feels like an underutilized feature on Capcom’s part.  Buy this with a Single Player Mindset.

Red Orbs are needed to unlock more moves for every character, and necessary when replenishing arms for Nero.  To get ahead quicker, players could open their wallets.  Thankfully, orbs are easy to obtain from just playing the game and doing a bit of exploring.  DMC 5’s Micro-transactions are present, but won’t affect the game in a major way.  Players can succeed without dropping an extra dime.

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Devil May Cry 5 should take the average player 10 hours to complete.  Replay value is strong, and many will want to jump back in.  Spending more time with later-received weapons, honing those perfect combos.  The process is worthwhile, not to mention a harder difficulty unlocks upon story completion.  It’s unfortunate Replaying any level with anyone is not available, considering we again have less playing time as Dante.  However, in survival mode Bloody Palace you can control any of the three.  This classic mode remains a true test of endurance as the difficulty continues to rise with each wave.

DMC 5 is a hack and slash that honors previous entries, while introducing its own risky concepts.  Most of it hits the mark.  Fans of pure action games should pull the Devil Trigger, and give this one a shot.

Devil May Cry 5 Gets

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4 out of 5

What’s Legit?

+Outstanding Visuals

+Thrilling Action Combat

+Replay Value

+Soundtrack

What’s Perpetrating?

-Pacing Issues

-Microtransaction Orbs

-Lazy Multiplayer

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