If there is one thing that brings a smile to my face regarding video games, it’s the hype before the release. For the past few days, I’ve been lurking the subreddit of r/DevilMayCry, observing the memes & theories of Devil May Cry 5. There is something adorable watching a community from all sides of the world coming together and predicting everything about the game. Well, the joke is on them since I don’t need to do any of that! I got my review copy a long time ago, played it to hell and back (currently on my third playthrough) so gather around the campfire and I might give you an answer to the eternal question of: is it any good?
A long time ago, the human world was invaded by Mundus, the prince of darkness. One demon named Sparda decided to rebel against him. He defeated Mundus and sealed the gate connecting the human and demon worlds. For a short while, the human world enjoyed peace and Sparda even married a woman called Eva, who gave birth to two sons – Dante and Vergil. They both possessed human and demonic traits (notably powers) but upon learning this, Mundus ordered his legion to murder Eva. The tragedy separated two brothers, who went to forge their own paths. Dante was more about revenge and hunting demons (it paid well, after all) while Vergil was on his quest for more and more power. Over the years, the brother crossed paths many times and fought each other. Dante also challenged Mundus, sealing him away once more and encountering new characters along the way. Expert weapon crafter Nico, gorgeous demoness Trish, a gun expert simply called Lady and a young knight Nero. They all make a (re)appearance in Devil May Cry 5 since a new and powerful foe draws them together for one ultimate showdown.
There is a lot to go over regarding combat in Devil May Cry 5, but in short – it’s amazing! You have two difficulties at the start; human and devil hunter. More are unlocked as you complete the game over and over. Replay value is huge but we’ll get to that later. If you’re just interested in the story, my recommendation to you would be to select “human” difficulty and have auto assist on. You will still have to dodge, jump and attack yourself, but the assist feature will make performing combos a piece of cake. On our way to the ultimate foe, we’ll have to go through the small army of demons with an impressive arsenal at our disposal and three playable characters. You start with one-handed Nero but in this case, missing an arm is anything but a handicap. You can equip a robotic arm that you find throughout the level (or buy one or two before starting one) and easily mix it up with your sword/gun attacks. Each robotic arm has a different ultimate attack (some can stun an enemy, instantly kill them or slow down the time) or you can detonate one to destroy it when you are cornered by enemies. That gives you some breathing space. Nero is an easy character to get into and to introduce you with the basics of combat until you meet V (your second playable character). Now, this is where the fun starts. V is….well, kind of a wizard and beat tamer. He can’t fight for himself but he can command his demonic raven and black panther to fight for him (don’t worry, you control them both). His devil trigger enables him to summon a giant golem to wreak total mayhem on enemies. Oh right, the devil trigger! As it is standard, this Devil May Cry has a devil trigger mechanic too. Once you take enough damage (or damage enemies) you can enter a state of increased damage and defense while you’re being slowly healed (a nice bonus). And lastly, we have good old Dante as a third playable character. Master of combos and stylish ranks. Most missions are predetermined with who you play as, but some do offer a choice of character selection. Just like in previous games, defeating enemies grants you red orbs that you can spend on purchasing new and upgrading existing skills.
If there was a custom award I could give at the end of the review, Devil May Cry 5 would definitely take it for the most optimized game of 2019. Yep, even though we are only in March, I am that confident about it. For both of my playthroughs (on human and devil hunter difficulties) the game ran smooth as hell in constant 60 fps and without a hitch. Character models, animations and combat fluidity are beyond amazing. The game also comes with an integrated photo mode where you can pause the combat and fiddle around with a camera for that perfect screenshot. Trust me when I say it, there will be many of those. Enemy design is praiseworthy, especially some bosses.
If you’re looking for some high octane tunes to pump you up during demon slaying, you’re at the right place. Deluxe edition of the game even offers you the option of replacing battle music of Devil May Cry 5 with tunes from earlier games. If you ever felt like slashing and shooting followed by “Lock & Load” track from the first DMC, now’s your chance. This is also the first DMC game where I found voice acting anything but cringy and characters don’t act over the top. If anything, I’m in love with Nico’s strange southern girl accent.
As a cherry on top, this game has some impressive replay value. Completing the game will make Nero not so much one-handed as he will be two-handed. Yeah, I’m just saying in a needlessly complicated way that he gets his arm back. This addition gives him new combos including some unique takedown on bosses for your second playthrough. Besides that, there are plenty of secret missions, secret areas, blue orbs and S ranks to collect. Thanks to CAPCOM, this month started off great.
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