What started out as a scrapped Resident Evil 4 game, Devil May Cry has come a long way since its launch in 2001. Since then we have had 4 mainline games. 2019 brings us Devil May Cry 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Devil May Cry has always had a fluid combo style fighting system. With this awesome combo system the player pulls off stunning attacks for higher and higher rankings and scores. Devil May Cry 5 adds in some mind-blowing graphics and bosses, and has become the pinnacle of not only the series but the genre as a whole.
So without further adieu here’s our review of DMC 5. It will be as spoiler free as possible and aimed towards casual players and not hardcore fans.
From the off set we are given something that’s missing from so many games nowadays, player urgency. Player urgency helps drive the story and keep the player engaged, add in some truly special gameplay and it’s a recipe for brilliance. The games three main protagonist’s are Nero, a demon hunter. Dante, the son of Spada, a good demon that controlled the underworld until his death, and V.
V is somewhat of an unknown but his combat style is very unique and incredible.
The game opens with a tree from the underworld standing 200 foot over London. As Nero climbs to the top, the player is introduced to the basics of combat. Combat insists of using a badass sword and gun. Each weapon has its specific use in combos though to help build your score. As you slash away at demons and juggle them in the air slashing and shooting away, your score goes up to reflect this. You start out with a D and can build all the way up to SSS. This tried and tested system is the core of all Devil May Cry games but its the skills that make Devil May Cry 5 shine. Killing enemies rewards the player with Red Orbs. You can use these orbs to learn new skills, upgrade your health bar and more. With more skills come bigger and better combos.
When Nero and V finally reach Dante at the top of the tower, we are introduced to Urizen. Urizen sits upon his chair like a badass and simply tosses Dante aside. Urizen is simply too powerful for our heroes, which leads again to player urgency. With Dante seemingly defeated, V and Nero fall back.
The start of the main game is set one month after these events and sees Nero and V Slaying their way through endless hordes of demons and some absolutely stunning bosses to try and stop Urizen. I really don’t want to spoil anything here, the story is really good and has twists and turns along the way. From now on I will be focusing on characters and combat mechanics as well as some absolutely fantastic bosses. So fear not, I won’t spoil this gem of a game.
Let’s start with Nero. Wielding his Red Queen sword and Blue Rose revolver, Nero is an absolute blast to play. Add in his new Devil Breaker and you can’t help but smile. The Devil Breaker is a prosthetic arm that has a multitude of different styles and attacks. His basic Devil Breaker uses electricity to shock enemies and adds to your combos. For those ‘oh shit’ moments you can blow up your attached Devil Breaker to knock back all the enemies surrounding you. This is a great get out of jail card but will break your attached Devil Breaker. Not to worry though as they are scattered everywhere throughout missions. You can also purchase more from the van. My favourite part of the Devil Breaker though is the ‘get over here’ mechanic. If your enemy is in range you can throw a wire from your Devil Breaker that will either pull the enemy to you or you to the enemy. The use of this in combos can land you a SSS rank and really helps makes the combat more fluid. The use of this wire is a core part of some boss fights too. The fluid FPS and stunning graphics really make his combos pop.
For those who don’t want to know about V and his fighting style skip this next paragraph.
When you first look at V you don’t really see a bad ass like Nero. He hobbles with a cane and wears sandals. There’s much more than meets the eye though. At V’s disposal is a big bird called Griffon and a cheater style creature called Shadow. Griffon acts as V’s gun, firing off lightning to hit enemies. Shadow is the typical close range weapon. V is unique though, he prefers to be far away from combat and just use his familiars to fight for him. When they have done enough damage V will teleport in and kill the demon with his cane. It’s a truly incredible combat system and it looks phenomenal. V can also summon Nightmare, a huge block gollum looking creature that can devastate enemies and bosses alike. This summon is linked to V’s Devil Gauge and can only be done when his Devil Gauge is fully charged. My favourite part about Nightmare is you can ride him after purchasing the required upgrades. V is unique and really changes the DMC formula. He is fun to play and a truly interesting character. He is a blast.
Dante is our last playable hero and the main protagonist in DMC 1, 2 & 3. Dante is the ultimate badass. The son of Spada, the legendary demon, Dante is the ultimate kickass demon hunter. Unfortunately I’ve only had the game for just over 24 hours so I haven’t finished the full story so far and not had much time to try Dante. What I can say though is he feels better than ever. His combos are fun like Nero’s and absolutely stunning to watch and pull off.
Devil May Cry consists of 20 missions. Each mission sees you slaughter demons and score combo points on your way to the boss. While the missions are fun, the bosses are on another scale. They are absolutely incredible. One of the first boss’s in the game, Goliath is very Dark Souls esq in design and combat. Also like Dark Souls he hits like a truck. This incredible fight sees you fight on the top of a church, then inside the church and even onto the streets of London. This multiple phase fight has loads of layers. With each phase Goliath has new abilities and attacks. Every boss fight keeps you on the edge with abilities ever evolving and getting more powerful as you slowly chip away at their health. Bosses range from a massive Knight on horseback that will slow down time and fire massive fireballs in your direction to flying angelic like creatures that fire beams of lights like lasers straight for you. The dynamic boss battles really make the missions.
Hack n slash is a genre that’s seen a return to form recently with titles like Bayonetta and more, but Devil May Cry’s unique combat and incredible boss battles really make the game stand out from the rest. Devil May Cry 5 is a truly special game.
Sound, Music & Voice
Devil May Cry has always been known for its music during fights, and Devil May Cry 5 has some of the series best music to date. The incredible rock style track that accompanies combat really fits the combat. Devil May Cry is built on fast paced combat and style and so is the music. It’s incredibly catchy and I found myself singing along in places. Each character has unique music too that really fits their combat style.
My favourite piece of music though comes when in the van. The van is the hub world of Devil May Cry and before each mission you can spend red orbs and more here. The music here though is incredible. It’s chilled almost country style theme is fantastic. I’ve spent a good 5 minutes just listening to this song before a mission.
Like many modern Japanese games, you can change the voices to Japanese. Though I haven’t tried this as I think the English voice acting is pretty excellent, it’s a great option. Usually in Japanese developed games the English voice acting can be hit and miss, but in Devil May Cry 5 the voice acting is great. Nero’s confidence and cockiness shine through and deliver some great one liners. V’s somber tone suit his rather mysterious character. As he mumbles away phrases from his book, it really builds the mystery surrounding him.
A game with this much combat needs great sound effects, and I’m happy to report Devil May Cry really does sound great. From the cannon sounding revolver of Nero to the parrot like bird of V, each sounds perfect when used in combat. The blend of music and sound effects really add up for an enjoyable melody while you slay demons.
As with every game I review, I always like to evaluate the fun factor, and my word Devil May Cry 5 really shines in this aspect. The incredible combat and music mash always put a smile on my face, add in me trying to score chase and get that elustoruis SSS rank, and you can’t help but smile. The stunning combos and great designed Devil Breakers add to the fluid combat, and the boss battles take it all to the next level. The story has urgency to it and keeps driving you along throughout the missions. The structure of missions can at times get a little repetitive, but the incredible combat breaks up this feeling and puts that huge grin back on your face. With six difficulties modes and everything carrying over to new playthroughs on those modes, there is also a huge amount of replayability here. I was incredibly lucky to get a review code, but the pricing is absolutely bang on again by Capcom. On the UK PSN Store Devil May Cry 5 will run you £45. A stellar price for such a great game with huge replayability.
Devil May Cry 5 is once again a smash hit by Capcom. While long time fans may find some knitpicks with story or missions, for the casual or newer audience, there is so much here that you can help but feel you got the bragin of the year. Just like Resident Evil 2 in January, Capcom have delivered another game of the year contender. Now that’s a bold claim, but the combat, music, story and bosses are absolutely incredible. I love this game so much I have created a lets play series dedicated to Devil May Cry 5 on my YouTube channel.
As I sit here and try to summarize the only downside I can think of is the mission structure being repetitive. I see the irony as I have said this a few times now, but so far it’s my only complaint, and even that’s not a huge complaint. Simply put, Devil May Cry 5 is that fantastic.
Repetitive mission structure.
As always a massive thank you to Capcom UK for the review code. Without support from publishers this site could not exist. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.