Devil May Cry 5 is out now, and Capcom are on a roll as of late with the Resident Evil remasters (especially Resident Evil 2) and not forgetting the awesome Resident Evil 7. On top of those you have Monster Hunter World and Mega Man 11 to name but a few releases over the past few months. I have not been so enthralled with Capcom since the days of Black Tiger, Strider, Bionic Commandos and L.E.D. Storm in the arcades (and home conversions) back in the day!
For the past week or so, I have been playing this game which follows on from the fourth installment, and the ongoing storyline from the very first game in the series. Hideaki Itsuno has helmed this new title, which is great, given he was behind all those others. Needless to say, this omits Ninja Theory’s excellent and under appreciated DMC reboot which I thoroughly enjoyed start to finish, and for which I’d love to see a sequel one day. Either way, original Dante is back, as is Nero and a new playable character named V. You have a demon who has been devastating a city that is very reminiscent and obviously styled on London and it’s various landmarks, and it’s up to Nero and the gang to take it out. It is never that easy though, as during the heat of the opening battle, a huge fire demon (give you one guess who that is) appears and joins in, and Nero gets spewed out back onto the streets with V in tow to regroup and sort out a plan of action.
The first half the game you play as V and Nero, with the second half introducing Dante. V is a mystery till a bit later on in the game, so don’t go looking at the Wiki, as you need to play to find out who he is and it keeps the story going (clue is in his name though). Nero has lost his blue demonic arm to someone with a Japanese sword to try and avoid spoilers! On one hand (no pun intended!!), his demonic arm kind of made his play style feel a lot more like Dante. In his current situation, he gets bolt-on robotic arms made by his sidekick engineer Nico. It turns out Nico’s grandmother was the one who made Dante’s Ebony & Ivory pistols, so that is how she ties in with the story. Nico is a decent enough character, but the Southern accent can, at times, grate on you a bit! Back to Nero’s new arm, as it can really mix up gameplay, and there are many different types of arm available.
Between missions, you can replenish stocks of the different arms you have unlocked and select the load-out as each arm does different things which can be pretty cool. As an example, one I activated I was zipping around the screen on a rocket-powered skateboard, hitting enemies in the face with it, and another, a large blue hand appears and shoves enemies away, which is especially handy if there are environmental traps. The only downside to the arms you have is that you cannot select a specific one, as you are stuck using them in order. If you want to change the arm you are using you have to destroy it, which is essentially a heavy attack and it is the same when finding one in the environment if all your slots are full.
The gameplay is very much in line with the previous games in the series as levels/missions are a linear set path that you work through, with a few twists and turns and slight deviations to explore along the way. Whilst working your way through the level, barriers appear to keep you in an area and enemies either drop in from above or up through the ground. You cannot go any further until all enemies have been taken out, which then removes the barriers. Once you get through the level, you will come across an old-style British red phone box, or the statue with timer in the case of Dante which allows you to purchase new offensive skills or blue orbs etc. before heading into the boss fight.
The boss fights are a really enjoyable and a great crescendo to the level you have worked through. These hulking enemies have various attacks, and are like nothing you will have encountered, previously. So far, there has only been one boss that annoyed, that I found quite cheap, and that was on Mission 3 where you have a boss which can fly about, but the character you have is ground-based.
I really hate it when devs do stuff like this as at times, as it can be frustrating when you are attacking, and then the boss zips off to the other side of the arena, so you end up trying to get close again, and it will use Area of Effect and strong attacks so you cannot get close to it whilst obliterating your health bar. You do encounter this same boss later in the game with V, and it was much easier when using your two summoned creatures to fight for you.
Talking about creatures in general, Devil May Cry 5 has a vast arsenal of enemy critters hell-bent on your destruction, ranging from bug-like critters which spill various orbs, right up to nasties who can zip around with lightning speed, or curl up into a disc and come spinning towards you using their spines as blades. Most cases, you will get a selection of different creatures coming at you at once, so crowd control and dodging finesse is a must to get through some tricky encounters!
Like I mentioned previously, you don’t actually play as Dante until halfway through the game. This gives you enough time to get to grips with both Nero and V. V is a really interesting new addition, as physically he is pretty weak in comparison to both Nero and Dante, given he needs a cane to help him get about. His play-style, though, is completely different to the two Devil Hunters, as V barely raises a hand in battle except to finish of enemies that go violet in colour once they have took enough damage.
To attack enemies, V summons a bird-like demon or a jaguar which do a fair bit of damage with ground and air-based assault. Once V’s Devil Trigger is full, you can summon in a huge brute called Nightmare – who looks like a hulking stone golem – to deal out high amounts of damage. Out of the 3 playable characters I have found, V is the easiest one to use and to rack up the higher S-ranked combos for style, as button mashing works a treat, unlike Dante and Nero!
There is a little bit of an online component, with some of the missions where you will select the character you wish to play. Whilst going through the level with your selected character, you will see other players using the other characters in different sections of the level. These characters will either be ghost data or a player – there and then – playing through the level. Once you finish the level, you can rate them with ‘Super Sexy’ or not. I like this feature, since whilst playing as V, I saw Nero taking out a room-full of the enemies with cleavers and scythes.
You get a lot of game for your money, as the story spans across 20 missions which are a good length, including a few you can select a different character to replay through them. I have read the Bloody Palace mode is launching in April free of charge, so I am hoping maybe for a bit of Co-op play in that, or even through the levels themselves. Additionally to the Bloody Palace, I have read that there is going to be a separate game or DLC which is focused on the ladies of the series Trish, Lady & Nico which will be awesome.
Devil May Cry 5 is a welcome return to the awesome series which started back in 2001 on the Playstation 2. It is easy to pick up but hard to master, given you unlock more skills with the red orbs you collect, adding to your numerous attacks with timed button presses. Capcom have certainly been on a roll as of late, and DMC 5 keeps the momentum going.
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Players: Single-player only
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!