Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4
Release Date: March 8th, 2019
Reviewed On: Xbox One X
Price: $59.99 USD
After over ten years since Devil May Cry 4, it’s finally back. The classic series Devil May Cry is here in full force with Devil May Cry 5. Directed by franchise veteran Hideaki Itsuno, Devil May Cry 5 is a return to the mainline series and the original story featuring the Sons of Sparda after the franchise was rebooted with Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry.
How does this new entry fare? Let’s take a look, here’s our Devil May Cry 5 review.
This time around, we have three protagonists: Nero, ever-cocky, who has lost his Devil Bringer arm and now uses multiple disposable “Devil Trigger” robot arms; Dante, the pizza-loving, demon-slaying guy everyone knows, and finally the mysterious V, a man who walks with a cane, is fond of his books and commands three creepy familiars.
What brings these three together? Attempting to take down the Demon Urizen. Because of him, the Underworld is spreading onto Earth as the massive, demonic Qliphoth tree grows. Urizen is ludicrously powerful, which the game spells out to you in superb fashion.
Cutting right to the chase, this game is absolutely ludicrous. It’s cheesy and over-the-top and all the while it knows exactly what it is doing. Different reveals, plot twists and emotional moments are handled well, yet still fit the setting and tone of the game. I have to give credit to Johnny Young Bosh, Reuben Langdon and Brian Hanford, who turn in fantastic performances as Nero, Dante and V respectively.
The pacing across the 20 missions that make up the story is also well done, though it is worth noting it takes a while to introduce all three playable characters (you’ll be halfway through the game by the time you’d played all three).
The supporting cast includes the mechanic Nico, who is happy to manufacture Devil Bringer arms, for a fair amount of Red Orbs of course. While Lady and Trish are both here, they don’t really get to do much, which seems like a fairly big missed opportunity.
The combat is stylish and flashy, with an expansive combo system. It’s easy to learn the basics but very difficult to master. There’s several different difficulty levels, so if you find the base difficulty too easy, fear not as more strenuous challenges awaits.
All three protagonists play in a completely different fashion, which means you’ll need to figure out multiple styles of combat to have any hope of getting high ranks. Nero can use his sword, an oversized revolver and multiple different Devil Breakers. Each of these artificial arms have effects that vary from energy beams, electric blasts, briefly slowing enemies and more. Dante has access to his sword, Balrog bracers, twin chainsaw motorcycle halves (seriously, it’s awesome) varying firearms and different styles, which enhance different aspects of his movement and combat. V is the strangest, relying on his three summons to damage enemies before dealing the finishing blow himself.
All three characters can be upgraded with the Red Orbs that you collect throughout the missions. Getting different bonuses and combos will increase your score, which in turn increases your bonus Red Orbs. There’s a ton of skills and weapon upgrades to purchase, so it’ll take multiple playthroughs to max out all three characters. While there are microtransactions, as you can buy additional Red Orbs, I really didn’t find this to be an issue. If I hadn’t known they existed beforehand, I would’ve never even seen the option during my initial playthrough.
It shouldn’t be shocking, but Devil May Cry 5 looks incredible.The RE engine again delivers stunning work, with a consistent 60 frames-per-second at 4K on Xbox One X. The environments are fairly linear, though there are side passages and areas to explore, with plentiful secrets to discover.
While handfuls of Gothic locale still show up, for the most part you’ll be making your way through an overrun city with quite a bit of UK inspiration. The other main environment is within the fleshy, demonic Qliphoth tree. It looks appropriately hellish and underworldy, though I will say these areas sometimes run together.
You’re moving from branch to another but the biggest difference will be “Does this fleshy room have red or blue lighting?” Occasionally, it does shake things up with some areas that require platforming. One mission is particularly well-designed, with some differing obstacles that require some quick thinking to avoid taking damage.
The character models are insanely-high quality, which should come as no surprise after Resident Evil 2. The hair, skin, clothes, guns, it all looks extremely good.
There is an absolutely fantastic soundtrack here, with energetic music that always fits the frenetic action. Each character has their own particular theme song, including my personal favorite, the now-iconic Devil Trigger for Nero. These theme songs differentiate the three leads and give each a unique mood and rhythm for their combos.
The music actually gets louder as your combo goes up, providing great auditory feedback for your performance. The soundtrack can also be customized and you can give different songs to different characters, which is a nifty feature.
Devil May Cry 5 aims to provide over-the-top action, a cheesy story that still takes itself seriously and an experience for all different skill levels. It succeeds in spades. This is a great game to just sit back and enjoy, whether you just need to relax and play on a lower difficulty or go nuts trying to get S ranks and SSS combos on higher difficulties, there really is something for everyone. If you are looking for a new challenge, The Bloody Palace update is coming for free on April 1st, 2019.
I’ve had a ton of fun so far and I’m looking forward to trying out the more extreme modes in the near future. I do hope future DLC features Lady and Trish though.