Devil May Cry 5 review: Hold my devil trigger
Devil May Cry is like a series of knots from gaming publisher Capcom. You as a player are busy attempting to untie your own shoe laces from whatever it is another party did to them. The timeline of sequels has been established all over the place. As of this publication, we are now five games, several novels, manga, and a cartoon, inside of a mythos featuring sequels that do not follow a linear timeline.
To make a long story short, the publication releases are linear however in the case of the in-universe explanation, the count goes DMC 3,1, (Anime), 2, 4, with 5 at the end. Literary works and manga act as tie-ins to their respective base games.
Devil May Cry 5 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for example features a tie-in novel entitled Before the Nightmare.
The original DMC is an action hack and slash adventure dating back to 2001 with a legacy of spawning an entire gaming genre. Videogames featuring a modern combat system found in God of War, Ninja Gaiden, Bayonetta, and Metal Gear Rising, all have roots found within the architecture that is the original Devil May Cry from the era of PlayStation 2. Across what seems like two decades, this series has spawned several sequels and multimedia releases, the last of which emerged in 2015’s “Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition”, a modified redistribution of this same game from 2008.
2019’s Devil May Cry 5 is celebrated as a sequel with a new plot, a culmination of past entries, as well as an ending to what is known as the “Sons of Sparda” saga.
The latest entry begins with series staple Dante having turned his prior grassroots demon hunting business into a successful mega franchise. To get up to speed, Dante is the son of a dead demon-bound father and a deceased human mother with his family lineage nearly extinct. A different devil than most, Dante is one that can shed tears for those he cares about.
This adventure holds the largest consequence to the world’s fate (and by extension the lore’s).
The game features an ensemble cast from the past alongside supporting characters never seen before. Characters which have relative ties to individuals found in past stories. In Devil May Cry 5, the player will engage control over the protagonist Dante, Nero the deuterogamist, and the mysterious tritagonist known as V. Engaging with previous games is not required but recommended.
Now a returning character, Nero uses a new mechanic involving a robot arm by the name of Devil Breakers. In the game, players can equip magazine rounds involving up to eight alternative robot limbs albeit one at a time during combat segments. Holding the devil breaker button and releasing the command in air/on the ground outputs various attacks. Some of the combat can deal devastating damage to a singular target or conduct widespread effects to several enemies.
Dante’s appearance has him retaining four different fighting styles. Trickster allows for teleportation, Gunslinger capitalizes on firearm switching, Royalguard plays up the creativity for defensive timings during combat, and Swordmaster extends the number of possible combinations that the player can activate in conjunction with a demon weapon such as a sword, gauntlets, nun chucks, a motorcycle, and a hat.
Newcomer V is an ambitious character that requires multitasking. V himself does not do the fighting but instead calls minions tied to electricity, darkness, and the Earth itself.
All characters have powerups or Devil Triggers. The level design lengths are extensive, past bosses return, the focus on story is emphasized heavily, the acting is on point during serious and humorous moments, the camera system has been redesigned for gargantuan environments, and the online microtransactions are inconsequential. As with before, you can taunt enemies on the ground and now in the air for the first time. Preorder bonuses from GameStop incorporate past music into battle tracks and grant additional weapons.
At the end of the day, Capcom is on a roll. Devil May Cry 5 is a shining gem to be added next to Megaman 11, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Resident Evil 7. In a time when gaming companies are brainstorming ways to make more money, few have understood the lesson of trying too hard to attain a reward: don’t. Make a game that sets out to bring smiles, and the rest is silence.
If you want a one-word summary of this review, just say jackpot!
Image: Devil May Cry 5 video game. Photo courtesy of GamesRadar