Devil May Cry 5 pulls my devil trigger (Review)

The developer Capcom has been seeing significant success lately. The Resident Evil 2 remake was a great update of a landmark game and Monster Hunter World gave fans a new experience that they could relish. So, naturally it was only a matter of time before the classic over the top, demon killing extravaganza, Devil May Cry received a sequel

The story starts with Nero and Dante, protagonists of Devil May Cry 4, confronting the demon Urizen, who stole Nero’s demonic arm. They are also joined by the mysterious character, V, whose identity is kept secret at first, but is exactly who you think it is if you’re familiar with the series.

Nero and V are thrown from Urizen’s tower while Dante stays to keep Urizen busy. V mentions that they are too weak to fight Urizen and need to build their powers. Cut to one month later and Nero has been making ends meet as a demon hunter with Nico, a developer of technology used to fight demons, while V has been searching for the legendary sword, Sparda, in hopes of defeating Urizen once and for all.

Now, I know that plot summary made the game sound like a 13-year-old’s edgey self-insert fanfiction, however it is anything but. Similar to most games in the series, the tone is wholly irreverent, and no character in the story takes things too seriously. Nero and Dante especially can not stop mouthing off to the demonic foes they face and all the other characters are just as silly.

In every early mission when one calls Nico to purchase items and upgrades, such as health upgrades and sword techniques, her van crashes through walls, burrows up through the ground and tends to find its way to the players location in the most over the top way possible.

This mixture of silliness and style extends to the gameplay as well.

As with previous titles, Devil May Cry 5 emphasizes looking as stylish as possible by creating combos with guns, swords and techniques. The game rates your combat style with a letter ranging from D to SSS. The better one’s rating is the more they are rewarded with red orbs, used to upgrade each of the characters.

Nero and Dante play rather similarly to their Devil May Cry 4 versions. Nero’s variety of equipable arms that produce different effects are also fun to experiment with. Dante’s variety of swords and guns as well as his stances create this joy of experimenting as well. One of his weapons is also a motorcycle that unfolds into twin buzz saws, and frankly, what more do you need in a game.

Both of these characters show Devil May Cry 5 at its best, but can be somewhat challenging to get the hang of, especially with Dante’s variety of weapons and stances which may be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the series.

But of course there is a third playable character in the form of the Adam Driver look-alike, V. Unlike Nero and Dante, V is a ranged combatant relying on his demons to attack. His demons, Griffon and Shadow, will attack foes, and when enemies are significantly weakened, V can finish them off with his cane. The problem is that Griffon and Shadow are always being attacked and can only be healed when V is close to them. If they are incapacitated they take even longer to come back.

This system is rather slow, and especially during boss fights, it can be a monotonous grind as bosses can take out Griffon and Shadow frequently with one hit.

This can be somewhat circumvented by summoning Nightmare, another of V’s demons, which will restore Griffon and Shadow to full health. Nightmare, however, can only be summoned when V’s magic meter is full enough and that can take a while to restore.

V’s style of gameplay can still be satisfying, especially when Nightmare pulls off those big attacks, but he is my least favorite character to play as.

Presentation–wise the game is gorgeous. It uses Capcom’s own RE Engine, which was used in the last two Resident Evil games, and makes the world of Devil May Cry look like a horrifying feast for the eyes. Despite some repetition in the themes of level, they literally drip with detail. Occasionally, the lighting can be a little off. I noticed it most with Dante’s levels as the placement of certain shadows can make it look like he has black voids in place of eyes.

The game’s soundtrack maintains the high level of quality found in the gameplay. The largely metal inspired music returns, but now there are elements of techno and pop thrown in to keep things from feeling repetitive.

Devil May Cry 5 is a fantastic return to form for the series. A rocking soundtrack and smooth graphics enhance the skillful and satisfying gameplay, leading to one of the most memorable action–adventure games in recent history.

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