After having played the first four Devil May Cry games, we were pretty bummed when the reboot came around. We thought it meant we’d never see the cool, sassy, silver-haired badass Dante ever again. Instead we had emo, mopey Dante with black hair and plenty of internal anguish to go with it. When Devil May Cry 5 was first announced and we learned that we’d be getting the original Dante back, we were pretty excited. When it comes to the hack n slash genre, few series do it better than Devil May Cry, and we can safely say that none come even close in terms of combat with style, save maybe Bayonetta. So how does Devil May Cry 5 fare? Pretty frkin well.
We’ll keep it simple to avoid spoilers. You’ve got a demon named Urizen who’s using a demon tree called the Qliphoth to harvest human blood. It’s a huge tree just growing in the middle of the city, you can’t miss it. It’s up to Dante, Nero and V to stop Urizen because if he’s successful we think he becomes the next demon king? That hasn’t happened for a while apparently. The writing is (thankfully) very Devil May Cry, with sassy comments, stylish cutscenes, and funny one-liners littered throughout the playthrough.
For those of you who might be picking up a DmC game for the first time, or simply want a refresher, the game helpfully provides a “History of DMC” option which will play you a short video recapping the events of the previous DmC games, except the reboot of course. It does a good enough job of getting you up to date and getting you a little familiar with the characters.
Just like Devil May Cry’s of old, you go from room to room clearing demons and usually, a final boss. Devil May Cry has always been about the combat. This remains the same in DmC5. Each encounter will give you a ranking score. It’s not only about avoiding getting hit, but killing demons with style. It’s all about nabbing that sweet SSS or ‘Smokin’ Sexy Style!’ rank. The game keeps track of your combat, noticing when you repeat combos and take hits and drops your rating accordingly. When you do get into the groove and master combat at the SSS level, combat just flows and you’ll see yourself zipping around the battlefield pulling off flashy moves and seamlessly switching weapons on the fly, blowing demons up with your guns, and ‘sploding things with your robot arm.
Of course, there’s a level of satisfaction to be had from mastering the game’s deep combat mechanics, but if you feel like it’s too much for you, the game offers an ‘auto’ mode, where you’ll will automatically perform all the fancy combos. DmC 5 is both accessible for new players, and challenging for players who want to test their skills.
Devil May Cry 5 features three playable characters, each with their own unique style of combat. You start things off with Nero, who you might remember from Devil May Cry 4 as the guy with one demon arm. He’s also got a sword and a revolver. However, he now doesn’t have the demon arm because spoilers. He does have a nifty mechanical arm(s) instead which also kicks ass. The arms can be customised and used as ammunition of sorts, with each type of arm having a different effect.
Next we have Dante, who gets access to four different melee weapons, one of which is a possessed demon bike that he wields in two hands. Yes, you read that right. Yes, it somehow works and looks very cool.
Dante also gets access to four different ranged weapons, one of which is a cowboy hat and a scarf. Yep. That’s Devil May Cry for you. Also you can throw the hat at enemies and make them wear it. Works on all enemies. Bosses too. Dante has four different combat styles, each style brings different moves and abilities to the table. Finally you have V, he’s a mysterious dude. His combat style is very different compared to Dante and Nero. Unlike those two, V kind of lingers at the edge of the combat field while his demon pets do his fighting for him. His melee attacks are dealt by his demon panther Shadow, and ranged attacks by his demon bird Griffon. When his Devil Trigger gauge is full, he can summon Nightmare, a huge demon golem that wrecks everything. The thing is, V’s demons can’t kill anything, they just put enemies into a near-death state, V needs to finish them off himself, which is pretty easy since he can just teleport to them and finish them off. The thing about V is that combat doesn’t feel as responsive as with Dante or Nero. However, this doesn’t mean it’s harder, if anything, it might actually be easier.
Throughout the game you will come across red orbs, which you use to learn new abilities, you will also come across blue orb fragments, which if you find four of, will permanently increase your vitality bar by one. Similarly, four purple orb fragments will increase your Devil Trigger gauge by one. Green orbs heal you and white orbs fill up your DT gauge. You can spend red orbs at the start of a mission, at Divinity Statues, or at the Devil May Cry van, which you can summon if you see a payphone in the game. There’s a cutscene for all the van arrivals, it’s hilarious, and so is Nico, the driver, who is also your arms dealer. Literally. Cuz arms, gettit?
Co-op, but not quite
The game is single player, but the game actually has seamless co-op, which we didn’t even notice until we were asked to rate someone who was fighting with us. We didn’t even know, we thought it was the AI! It turns out, all the levels which all three characters can play, someone else playing as one of the other characters can show up in your level and help you out. Levels that have two paths with you on one and another character on another, we thought it was an AI playing, but it was apparently another player.
The environments are beautifully detailed, however, there is a sense of repetition throughout the game as you keep coming across variations of the same environments over and over again. The demons all look amazing and there’s plenty of variation with more to come as you unlock higher difficulties and more content is added to the game, like the Bloody Palace Gauntlet mode that’s expected to drop in April. Dante and Nero don’t quite look like the versions of themselves in Dmc4, but they still feel like the same characters, so it’ll have to suffice.
Devil May Cry 5 – The verdict
Developer – Capcom
Publisher – Capcom
Platforms – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Price – Rs. 2,999
Finishing the game the first time around is like finishing a long tutorial. New Game+ is where the fun’s at, where you retain everything you’ve learned and all enemies behave differently. You can easily sink hours into Dmc 5 hacking and slashing away at demons perfecting your combat style and striving for that SSS rank. Devil May Cry 5 is easily one of the best third-person action hack n slash games out there you can play right now.
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.