Devil May Cry is my favorite series of all time and as such, my opinions may be skewed. Please keep that in mind as you read my review.
“Devil May Cry 5” is the latest entry in the eighteen-year-old franchise in which fans have been waiting a long eleven years for.
However, I personally have not waited as long as some fans have since I came into the series much later than many others.
Nevertheless, I have a deep respect for the DMC series given its history in the creation and evolution of the Stylish Action subgenre and how quality and iconic so many of Capcom’s games have been.
The question, however, is does DMC5 live up to the legacy of its predecessors?
In my opinion, I believe that DMC5 has exceeded all expectations. Universally it is thought by most of the DMC fanbase that, at least prior to DMC4 in some respects, DMC3 was the pinnacle of the series.
Why? Because of DMC3’s well-written characters, it’s fun stylish action, and its tragic end that can even make devils cry makes it memorable.
So DMC3 is with no doubt a game that will stand the test of time. With all this in mind, any game that came after would have pretty big boots to fill.
Well, those boots were filled to the point of tearing because in just about every respect, DMC5 is a better game than even DMC3, my original favorite game in the series.
In the music department, there’s so much to love to be had. Based solely on the trailers, one may make the mistake of thinking that there are very few tracks because the three we know, “Devil Trigger”, “Subhuman”, and “Crimson Cloud”, were used in just about every trailer.
Well, I’m happy to say that there are so many more awesome tracks to be had than just those track. You see, with each boss battle, with there being just about one boss for every mission, getting their own extremely hype track (my favorite being the Cavaliere Angelo theme).
As a matter of fact, every single DMC5 track is memorable and distinguishable. So much so thatif the DMC5 OST ever comes out, then I’m first in line to pick it up.
The visuals are phenomenal as well. With “Devil May Cry 5” using the RE Engine (used for the ever-popular “Resident Evil 7” and “Resident Evil 2” Remake). Simply put, DMC5 looks fantastic.
I was a little apprehensive about the look when I saw the first trailer, thinking it would lead to things looking particularly odd for a Devil May Cry game, but those worries were for nothing, as the game makes the look work for it with brute force.
Furthermore, of course, it helps that the game plays on 4K for Pro and One X and 1080 for base model PS4 and Xbox One. Eh, but looks are only skin deep, what about the gameplay?
Well, DMC5’s gameplay is easily my favorite of the franchise so far, which is quite the feat. I mean, considering the fact that the game has to balance three different characters with different playstyles, there is a lot that could have gone wrong.
First up in the game, we have Nero. Nero is a returning protagonist of “Devil May Cry 4” with a few new tricks.
Having lost his Devil Bringer to a mysterious man, Nero now has to make due with a few mechanical arms, each with their own tricks. The way the game makes the arms work is to have you think about the way you want to approach any particular mission.
Yes, you do get to decide which arms will work the best in each situation, and knowing when to pop their Break Age moves and when to avoid damage with Break Away.
So considering that Nero has eight different arms given throughout the game (twelve if you have the Deluxe Edition), it would have been easy to make the mistake to have the arms be slightly unbalanced or make it so that the arms that you start off with will be outclassed by later arms.
However, the arms are balanced so that Overture and Gerbera are just as useful in the endgame as they are in the beginning.
Each arm has its use and playstyle, and none of the arms (even the ones in the Deluxe Edition) feel like they are too strong or too weak. There are arms for every playstyle, so have at it.
Next up is the Mysterious V. Well, V is a bit of an oddball in the franchise. V doesn’t directly get involved with his enemies, but rather uses three summons.
Shadow and Griffon are controlled directly by V with Griffon being on the gun button and Shadow being on the melee button.
Nightmare, on the other hand, is used by his Devil Trigger gauge and isn’t normally controlled by V, though he can be with the right upgrades.
While it is easy to sit back and try to button mash, enemies may not make it that simple as many, especially on higher difficulties, will gun it for V.
There is also the fact that Griffon and Shadow are not invincible, as they are easily dispatched by the foes and V must revive them himself.
Not to mention that in order to use his better moves, you must make use of his Devil Trigger gauge, which is easily filled by getting close to the enemies and read without getting hit.
V seems a little simple at first glance, but people are finding more techniques with him every day.
At first, I was afraid that V would be just an edgelord character there to satisfy those who preferred the much edgier reboot, but I can safely say that V is just as fun and enjoyable as the other two and can be a goofball just like the two predecessors.
Finally, we have the man himself, Dante. Dante comes equipped with a large armory of melee weapons and guns and of course the Style system returns.
Using Dante’s four Styles: Gunslinger, Royalguard, Swordmaster, and Trickster allow for a massive variety of gameplay and so many options for the player to experiment with.
The main issue I take with “Devil May Cry 4” is that it felt like his styles were missing a lot, but DMC5 remedies that by giving us more style options than I rightly know what to do with.
And of course, there are Dante’s weapons. Each weapon feels distinctly unique from his starting weapon, Rebellion, to the three-pronged nunchaku King Cerberus. The guns also have more variety than they ever had before, with one being my personal favorite, Dr. Faust.
DMC5’s story is also by far the best in the series. When I heard this was the last game in the Sons of Sparda saga, I hoped for something that could wrap everything up without leaving any loose ends.
This succeeds by far and does everything that DMC4 tried to do and does it with style. The final segment of the game was both heartwarming and heartbreaking and leaves so many possibilities for future DMC games.
When it comes to replayability, “Devil May Cry” games have it in spades. As these games consistently want you to improve your style, it gives you a ton of difficulty opens, ranging from “Human” difficulty to the “Dante Must Die” mode.
And if are an absolute madman, there’s always the “Hell and Hell” mode where your player dies in one hit and every enemy has Son of Sparda (the series’ equivalent of Hard mode) health.
Also considering the fact that you can never do well enough in the series to collect all the moves in the game on the first run, it gives more reason to do the other difficulties as they give more red orbs so that you can complete the skill list.
Lastly, let’s talk controls. The controls in “Devil May Cry” games have always been top-notch, and if you’ve played a “Devil May Cry” game, then it will feel very familiar.
The controls are always tight and responsive. So everything from attacking to dodging to combo-ing is on point.
That’s just the half of it though. Because the best part is, if you want to change-up the control scheme, then you are free to do so (as I do since there are some moves I’d prefer to charge while I attack and dodge simultaneously).
So, before I end this DMC5 review of mine, I know there’s going to be someone waiting for me to address the microtransactions in the game. Well, just like in DMC4SE you can choose to purchase a set amount of orbs for a price. So is this a problem in the main game?
My answer is a hard no. Red orbs are everywhere in-game and take no time to collect, especially given the number that you get for clearing a mission with an A or an S rank, which are pretty common on Human and Devil Hunter difficulty.
Defeating enemies in DMC5 also carry over one important mechanic from its predecessors: enemies now drop more red orbs the higher your Style Meter.
In other words. The better you are at the game, the more red orbs you get and the more red orbs you get, the more moves you can buy and the more moves you can buy, the more you can combo for higher style points.
Even so, I never felt underpowered throughout the game and was able to get the moves that interested me with each character, which is exactly how these games normally play.
Furthermore, not at any time does DMC5 ever prompt you to buy microtransactions, nor did the game ever feel difficult enough that I thought I ever needed them. You can completely forget that they exist given how little they matter.
Plus if you do find yourself struggling somehow, the game has Dr. Faust, a gun weapon that drastically increases red orb drops at the cost of losing red orbs if you get hit, so if you somehow are struggling, there’s a check for that.
So, to summarize. “Devil May Cry 5” is a great action game on all levels, and it’s with no doubt one of the best DMC titles ever made.
So if you’re a fan of the DMC series (or action games in general), then DMC5 is a must play for sure.
+ Fast paced, very consistent action
+ Playable characters are very unique and have different playstyles from one another
+ Music is some of the best in the franchise
+ Game looks great, never had so much as a texture pop.
+ Controls are great and very much customizable
– Very much a game for the fans. New players may not find this as a good place to start.
— The lack of inertia (old glitch/gameplay mechanic) may be seen as a major downside to more hardcore fans. Others may not notice
Replay Value: 5/5
Yes, I know I’m biased. Yes, it is my favorite series of all time, but there’s a reason that it is my favorite. The games are absolutely legendary. It’s clear that Itsuno and the rest of the crew put a lot of thought and heart into this game and it shows.
This is only the second ever perfect score I’ve ever given to a game and that should at least mean something. It goes to show what a motivated director can achieve when given enough time and money to make the game he wants can do and I hope that this will be reflective of the industry going forward because a game this good is a breath of fresh air.
Everything about this game is top-notch and there’s very little that can change my mind. So, yes, DMC5 is an absolute must play for DMC fans with no doubt.
Title: Devil May Cry 5
Format: PS4/Xbox One/PC (format reviewed: PS4)
Genre: Stylish Action/Character Action
Resolution: 1080 on PS4/Xbox One, 4K on PS4 Pro/Xbox One X/PC
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Difficulty: Devil Hunter (Normal)
Spent time: 12 hours (first playthrough)
Average grade internationally: 87.06%
ESRB Rating: M
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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