Devil May Cry 5 is, of course, the fifth installment in the main Devil May Cry series. The series is made by CAPCOM and they have been on a roll lately with Megaman 11 and their Resident Evil 2 remake. Does Devil May Cry 5 have the same greatness that past installments did? Let us look into this in a little more detail, starting with the story.
The Story (Relativly Spoiler Free)
Devil May Cry 5 has three main characters Nero, V, and Dante. You play as all three and we will go over each of their play-styles later. Basically, you learn from playing the early missions that Nero’s Devil arm has been cut off by some unknown man in a hood. After a few moments, you learn about a tree that sucks blood from humans in order to grow. It’s up to the three main heroes to stop it. This is difficult to discuss without spoilers but, if you have any knowledge of the Devil May Cry story arc from prior installments, it’s pretty obvious who the guy in the hood is. The developers treat this as a big surprise but it was a little too easy to figure it out. It seemed a little awkward that the characters can’t seem to figure out what the player has early into the game. Don’t get me wrong, there are twists you might not see coming but most can be figured out without too much trouble. You will get all of your plot progression through animated cutscenes.
When it comes to the cut scenes, they use too much dialogue. It seemed like an action anime straight from a Japanese comic book. You know the ones that have way too many word balloons. Video games with cut scenes are like movies, they are visual art. So it should be more show than tell. Convey the story through a characters body language, face, and actions more with less talking. Also in these cut scenes, it seems that past characters who could take on demi-gods in a fight suddenly get their butt kicked. I understand what they’re doing with this. They want to make the new bad guy look better by comparison. But honestly, if the developers planned to do this in the story then they should have made the gap in power a little more believable. It is possible to still have the new bad guy seem powerful without taking the “bite” out of past characters. With the overabundance of dialogue, you will get to hear a lot of voice acting.
The voice acting it’s actually really good. Most of the voice casts’ emotions are right on with facial expressions and moods of the moment. They are not boring to listen to, which good during those long dialogue scenes. But here is one character that steals every scene she’s in and mostly for the wrong reasons. This would be the shop keeper and she drives the van. In fact, I can’t even remember her name. She steals scenes away from the other characters by being rude and forceful. She doesn’t add anything really expect that she makes weapons from demon parts. She has a southern accent and a tomboy attitude which is all she seems to be. Sometimes it can be welcomed as comedy relief but mostly it’s distracting. I do have a theory about why she is this way but that will be later.
The gameplay of Devil May Cry 5 has remained the same since the first installment on the PlayStation 2 all those years ago. Of course, it took everything from the past titles of Devil May Cry 3 and 4. For those that are new, Devil May Cry 5 and the series is a 3-D beat ’em up series that encourages you to kill in style. When you kill enemies you get red orbs, the games experience points, and the more style you have the more orbs you get. A style rating is maintained by different combos/moves that you perform and if you get hit your style goes down two levels. Trying to get a good style rating without getting hit is one of the greatest feelings in these sorts of games.
Each of the three characters has a different fighting style and weapons to use. Nero uses one sword and gun. however, he can use his metal arm to pull enemies and also use that arm for special combos. The new arm for Nero can be traded for other arms, which can be bought or found. These different arms have various effects or attacks depending on the arm. Dante still has his four styles he can switch during gameplay just like in Devil May Cry 4. Dante also still gets the most weapons as before. However, Dante does have something new…but I won’t ruin it since its part of the story. The newest playable character, V, has the most different kind of play-style. V summons his weapons and fights from the distance. His melee weapon is a panther and his gun is a bird with a summoned golem, with his Devil Trigger. This takes getting used to but it’s still a lot of fun to play even if you’re not great as V. Combat is fun and why you would want to play this game and gameplay feels good as any character.
Another aspect of the Devil May Cry series is its exploration of levels to find health power-ups and secret missions. Devil May Cry 5 is no different except that you now also have to find Devil Trigger pieces to increase your DT gauge. Just like with the health upgrades, you need four in total to increase your maxim DT gauge or health. Health increase items are called Blue Orb fragments and DT increases are called Purple Orb fragments. A secret mission is a challenge room that gives you a Blue Orb fragments. The challenges could encompass anything from bet up these demons under a time limit or don’t touch the floor. You are able to try these challenges again whenever you want through the main menu once found. It’s good to stop and look around and explore, this offers a good change of pace to give you a break from combat. These secret missions can be frustrating sometimes but they are optional so if you don’t want to do it you don’t have to.
Graphics | Menu
With this coming out from CAPCOM with the RE Engine I expected the game to look fantastic. But, does it? Yes, most of the time. Character models look great and the mouth flaps are good. The character graphics are not the problem it’s the lack of vibrant colors. I don’t know if it’s the engine used with the new game or what but the colors seemed grayed out. They use a lot of purples that are bright whenever in the tree parts but those are even grayed out and these areas look the same. The only stand out color is red blood and lava which is not hard to do. Something cool about the visuals during combat is when enemies take damage. They show damage on the demons when you strike them but it does not stay for long. Still, it’s a neat little detail during all the carnage of fighting. Like I said before, there are areas within a giant tree but there are also destroyed city levels. These seem to be the most diverse locations but they are mostly gray, the one thing good about the grayish graphics is it’s easy to spot items in the level. Cut scene graphics look the best and show off the RE Engine the most, but there is something I noticed. Sometimes it seems to smooth for the tone of this rough game. People seem to be too clean when they kill demons in these scenes but this never happened in the old games that much so it’s not too distracting.
It does not take much time to find what you need in the main menu or upgrade menu. The upgrade menu is what I have to mention the most when it comes to talking about interfaces of this game. When you get enough red orbs you can buy upgrades for abilities, combos, or items. Abilities are for only those characters you play as on the current mission, combos are the same and only for the current character. Items are shared across all characters; however, there are no vital stars or devil stars. When you hover on something you want to buy with your red orbs it will show what it does in the small window to the side. If you want to be sure it is something you want to try it out at first, which is a nice feature. Still, there was a thing that makes this sort of bad; you can pay for red orbs with real money. Whenever you don’t have enough red orbs and you confirm to try to upgrade something it will prompt you to go to the store to buy red orbs. The game gives you plenty of red orbs already, buying red orbs is not necessary. It lingers in my mind whenever I buy upgrades that there’s a store in the background. The menu for the upgrades does remind me of a mobile game menu.
Sound Effects | Music
The sound effects of Devil May Cry 5 are very good with it taking sounds from old games with some new additions. The weapons and the sounds in combat are really good and you are able to use the sound effects for information about certain attacks in battle. This also gives responsive feedback so you know when your attacks land in battle. Each character you play has different sound effects for all their attacks and allows you to know if your attacks actually go off when executed.
The music of Devil May Cry always had hard rebellious rock tunes for most situations. With this in mind, it was kind of off-putting when the first real song you hear is a pop song of sorts. However this ends up being Nero’s battle theme and then after a few levels or missions, I realized that each playable character has their own battle theme music. If you don’t like a certain battle theme, no worries because later on, you will play as another character with their own themes. V has a slow heavy metal sound to his theme as Dante still has a classic rock theme.
Devil May Cry 5 is a fun beat ’em up with a good combat system but falters with its story and some characters. It also feels weird to have a store to buy red orbs with real money, it never left my mind when I was looking at buying upgrades. If I gave this game a score out of a 10 ratio it would be a 6/10 for me. Try to give it a rent to see if you would like it and if you’re new to the DMC universe it’s a good jumping on point. You can check out a playthrough video below from my YouTube channel to see the game in action. Feel free to comment below and follow me on Twitter.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you like the game,
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