Platform Played: PS4 Pro
Completion: Story Completed
Hours Played: ~30
Review Read: ~15mins
After completing Devil May Cry 5 three times (Which is a REALLY low amount of times you’re supposed
Let’s get the story out of the way first; because most people who play Devil May Cry do not play the game solely for the storytelling. The writing in this game is offbeat (in a good way) and tremendously stylish at the same time. You’re introduced to the main characters to the series and is presented the most dire situation they have faced immediately. First mission, boom – everyone fails. The plight involves a certain demon king named “Urizen” who has taken over a certain town to use the blood of its occupants to grow a tree called the Qliphoth. This tree will bear a singular fruit to give Urizen power. Throughout the game, you will have to go to the roots of the Qliphoth and later, the top of the Qliphoth to defeat this nemesis. In Devil May Cry 3, you’re Dante (the main character) that is set to climb a certain tower to defeat the villain of DMC3. See the side by side reference here?
Nevertheless, the whole saga is presented in three different perspectives: The main character of Devil May Cry 4 named Nero (A young hot-headed kid with a demon arm that can grab enemies from afar and just smash and toss them around.), a mysterious addition to the story named V (Who can control three different entities called Familiars in the form of a shapeshifting panther, a griffon that shoots out electricity, and a hulking golem.), and Dante (The main character to the whole series known as a son to a legendary demon.).
Story wise, Devil May Cry 5 addresses a lot of issues presented by the immediate addition to the saga. I felt that although Nero was the main character in Devil May Cry 4, Dante still stole the limelight for storytelling because Nero was just too serious to the events that took place in 4. There were no main developments to make Nero this compelling character to believe in while Dante, although simple in his role in 4, made for someone who was a more captivating character due to how he had reacted to the events in 4 and how he knows how to lighten up the mood of the general atmosphere of the whole plot making fun of himself. Devil May Cry 5’s plot really placed Nero at the centre of the story – he is the character that had the most heavy revelations (and also for players and fans alike), physical and emotional development, and gameplay development while Dante feels like a character that is more on the side-lines.
V also has an interesting plot to his intentions toward the whole plight in DMC5. Although I felt that his appearance and performance was slightly underwhelming in comparison to the other characters. On top of that, characters that are familiar to most like Lady and Trish feels underused and even like fodder. Nevertheless, story is not why people would approach the DMC series in the first place, it is in fact gameplay that fans would be compelled to play through for a long time.
“Addictive” is an understated word for the gameplay of DMC5. You would finish the game in about 12 to 15 hours or so, but would spend so much more hours to go back in for high scores. The premise of the gameplay is as such: Scores are determined by how “stylish” you fight your adversities. At first hit, you will have a multiplier and rank that you will need to keep up in order to have a higher score. This multiplier goes in the form of letters for ascending rankings: D – Dismal, C – Crazy, B – Badass, A – Apocalyptic, S – Savage!, SS – Sick Skills!!, SSS – Smokin’ Sexy Style!!. The more you change up in your combos and the more you juggle your enemies, the more the style rankings increase and keep your score high, granting you more currencies to improve your character. It’s a system that screams and begs you to play every level over and over again until you get the highest rank for every mission.
That being said, all three playable characters are special in how you achieve your high scores. In the most stripped down fashion of explanation, you will spend most of your time with Nero – where although limited in just a gun that shoots two bullets at once and a sword with a motorcycle handle that intensifies your attacks, have an array of mechanical arms called Devil Breakers. You will have arms that can stop time, act like a homing punching missile, and even one that is like some form of area-of-effect whip. If you get attacked, your equipped Devil Breaker would be destroyed and the next Devil Breaker in your arsenal becomes the one you can use. Each Devil Breaker is unique in its own way and helps through various situations to keep you as stylish as possible when it comes to combat.
The next character is V, who uses three different entities to fight for him, only that these entities cannot kill for him – only V himself can finish off enemies. V is a character that is considered the most easy to use. For easier difficulties, you can literally just mash buttons on enemies and you’ll get a high rank pretty easily. That being said, V is a good addition to the DMC formula.
Finally we have Dante. Surprisingly on first play, Dante seemed to be the hardest to control although many of the players would’ve already been familiar with controlling such a character. He is more a character that feels better and just gets better the more you play. Unlike V and Nero, he has in his arsenal various Devil Arms that he can change anytime during combat. Devil Arms are basically melee weapons that he uses to give demons a beating. You can also change to various fighting styles in combat – Swordmaster grants you special attacks with your melee weapons, Gunslinger gives you the same with the range weapons, Royal Guard is good for countering and guarding at precise moment, and Trickster is good for avoiding attacks and heightened traversal.
To have missions that you can choose who you can use to play through is an excellent idea to the already slick, stylish and smooth gameplay of Devil May Cry.
I also really loved the graphics for this game. Capcom used the RE Engine to render the graphics in this game’s development. Although I have not played through the remake of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 7, DMC5 is one of their installations that proved to be one of the most beautiful games I have ever laid my eyes on screen. Each character looks almost a notch below Uncharted 4 in terms of their expressions – not as much borderlining uncanny valley. In short, the game looks good.
One more thing I would like to commend for the game is how the writing ties-in once non-canon mediums of the Devil May Cry series to canon chronologies in the whole picture. The game not only pays homage to the anime and short visual novels of almost 10 years ago, but recognises the events that took place there as canon to the story. Characters in the anime and novel are either introduced or mentioned. The game also pays tribute to memorable moments in DMC3 and 4 too. This game is filled with so much fan service (not in a woman-objective way, but in a way where it pleases fans familiar to the jokes made and action-packed scenes in previous instalments) that it would leave players smiling to the beats of previous games from beginning to end of the storytelling.
Devil May Cry 5 is a successful game because it follows beat for beat the successful installation of Devil May Cry 3. The smooth gameplay and fun story of Dante and his friends is one that works. It’s a game that is a good springboard for future sequels to come.
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