It's been 11 years since Devil May Cry 4 and we finally have a sequel aside from the fantastic Ninja Theory reboot.
I've been playing the Devil May Cry series ever since I got the demo disc for the original that came with Resident Evil - Code: Veronica X on PlayStation 2. Since then, the series has taken some delightful and some disappointing turns and here we are with a brand new installment. By the time I started playing Devil May Cry 5, I forgot about all of the somewhat complicated stories up until this point so thankfully, there's a handy recap video that you can watch via the title screen by selecting History of DmC.
Devil May Cry 5 begins with a monstrous organic tree fortress known as Qliphoth that's terrorizing a city. You'll see familiar characters such as Dante and Nero as well as meet new folks including Nero's literal right-hand woman Nico and the mysterious V who looks like a goth teen. Nero is essentially the main character and he's now missing his right arm so Nico developed a prosthetic called the Devil Breaker that he can use in battle. As the campaign progresses, you'll take turns playing as Nero, Dante, and V.
Each character plays differently yet V stands out with his ability to command a bird (Griffon) and a wolf (Shadow) to fight for him only for him to perform the final blow with his mysterious cane. Meanwhile, both Dante and Nero have their own melee and firearm weapons. Nero can equip a variety of Devil Breakers that he can use for a special move as well as shoot in a devastating blow via Break Away which destroys the Devil Breaker. Dante can equip an assortment of different melee weapons and guns that you can switch to on the fly plus an array of 4 unique stances with their own special Style Action. Needless to say, mastering how to play as these characters while unleashing the occasional Devil Trigger mode is satisfying stuff and the action-packed gameplay is spot-on for fun combat.
As you play, you'll be delighted by the flashy visuals that make battling demons feel as exciting as it should. Plus, the sound effects make slashing blades and shooting guns immediately gratifying. The music frequently changes from moody orchestral pieces to heavy metal tunes that help elevate whatever situation is being presented. Finally, the voice acting is fantastic and helps flesh out each character very well. Although I usually get bored watching cutscenes, the ones in Devil May Cry 5 are so well acted and engaging and some of them feature crazier action scenes than I've ever seen in a movie. It's truly great looking and sounding stuff.
Aside from battling a variety of demons and hulking bosses, you'll also find that exploring the elaborately designed branching stages can be quite rewarding. Uncovering orb fragments and discovering secret missions is a treat. Besides taking the time to explore (which never takes that long), I found that the gameplay lacked any substantial distraction to the constant combat. I wish there were at least a few puzzles but there are none at all. Even if they were simplistic and unchallenging, at least they would have helped break up the consistently intense action. If you never explore, Devil May Cry 5 would merely be fight after fight then it'll eventually be over.
Before wrapping this up, I have a couple of other complaints to address. First off, the environments all blend together and nothing really stands out as memorable. You basically fight through a dilapidated city then work your way through Qliphoth with its organic and demonic terrain. There are no stand-out locations such as the mansion in the first game or the city in the second game. The part that I'll remember most is the boss room where you fight the seemingly impossible demon but that's probably because you visit that room multiple times throughout the adventure. Anyway, the second issue is that some enemies are very easy to exploit. I found that a few demons would easily get knocked down then I could keep lunging towards them until they perished without ever getting up.
Devil May Cry 5 features incredible action-intense gameplay as well as gorgeous visuals, engaging cutscenes, and phenomenal audio. If it included a little more variety then it would easily be the best in the series.
- + Awesome action-packed gameplay with 3 distinct characters to play as
- + Top-notch graphics, music, and voice acting
- + Branching stages encourage exploration
- - Virtually no puzzles to break up the action
- - Environments aren't memorable or varied
- - Some enemies are easy to exploit