Devil May Cry 5 is the latest installment in the acclaimed franchise and continues the story of characters like Dante and Trish. This time around, the cast is joined by Nero, Nico, and a mysterious individual named V. After V hires Dante to rid himself of a demon king, the botched mission results in a quest for redemption. You take control of a number of characters — each with distinctive playstyles — as you hack and slash your way through the crazy 15 hour-long campaign.
As with previous entries in the series, Devil May Cry 5 is also quite linear, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to do. There are secrets hidden around every corner, and you can even unlock additional missions by finding hidden pictograms. As expected, gameplay mostly revolves around going from one arena to the next, and fighting a variety of demons. Surprisingly, there's also some puzzle-solving thrown in there to change the pace, and plenty of stylish, action-packed cutscenes to go with it.
Thrilling apocalyptic adventure
Devil May Cry 5
Bottom line: Devil May Cry 5 is a fun game, but Capcom could've done much more to evolve the format.
- Stupendous visuals.
- Tight combat mechanics.
- Exemplary Xbox One X support.
- Short campaign.
- Linear environments.
- Questionable voice acting.
Design and visuals
The most striking aspect of Devil May Cry 5 has to be its unbelievable visuals. The game not only runs at native 4K resolution on Xbox One X but also manages to hit a consistent 60 frames per second (FPS). The textures are incredibly detailed, and the animations are natural despite the fact that the combat is otherworldly. Due to its clarity, it's easily among the best-looking games on the console at the moment, even challenging the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2. The new RE Engine is quite powerful, already showcasing its power with experiences like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil 2, both of which manage to achieve 4K 60 FPS gameplay. While Devil May Cry 5's image quality is pristine, it's unclear if it's using a reconstruction technique to hit native 4K.
Devil May Cry 5 runs at 4K 60 FPS on Xbox One X
The creature design in Devil May Cry 5 is also unique and terrifying. Even until the very end, you're presented with new threats that require different strategies. Everything from a simple fly-like demon to a gargantuan lizard is exceptionally detailed. The meticulous attention to detail the developers placed here represents the best of the medium.
Music plays an integral part in Devil May Cry 5, too, because the better you do, the more audible and intense it becomes. For example, if you consistently attain a rank of "C" or "D," you're going to miss out on the thundering metal soundtrack. However, if you're constantly getting an A or above, the gameplay will feel even more rewarding. I was only able to achieve a "SSS" rank a few times, and when I did, the synched tracks made my achievement even sweeter.
Gameplay and storytelling
Devil May Cry 5 offers a few difficulty modes, but if you're new to the series, you should choose "Human." It allows the player to execute moves and string together deadly strikes effortlessly. The way to attain a better rank is to chain together a variety of moves using different weapons. After you've familiarized yourself with how that works, you can try "Devil Hunter" and go from there. This makes the game much more accessible and should increase its appeal to a wider audience. The Devil May Cry series is known for its challenging gameplay, so long-time fans will be happy that that hasn't changed.
While the Devil May Cry franchise isn't known for its stellar storytelling, Devil May Cry 5 offers a compelling narrative with a lot of twists and turns. It starts off in a rather confusing manner, but through a series of flashbacks, the plot is slowly revealed. To its credit, fact that the game makes the effort to represent disabilities as strengths is also commendable.
While the voice acting is a little spotty, as the hours go by, the plot intrigue gets better and better, and by the end, you'll be clamoring to see the climax.
Whenever I thought of a criticism — aside from the linear corridor-like levels — the next few moments of the game addressed it. For example, if I grew a little tired of fighting in the same corridor, the map would open up a little. If I wanted to see an even more challenging boss fight, the game threw a building-sized fiend at me. It feels as though Devil May Cry 5 expertly knows when its necessary to change up the action.
Without giving too much away, the final boss fight is lengthy and is the only one to capture the impossible acrobatics typical of action anime. Have you ever wanted to perform a scene from Bleach or One Punch Man? Oddly enough, Devil May Cry 5 gives you that chance. While the characters change throughout, the intensity remains the same. The clashes are choreographed in such a way that you think it's a battle between gods. I have never witnessed anything like it before, especially when you take into account some of the more wacky weaponry, like Nero's Pasta Breaker. Many titles have come close, but Devil May Cry 5 raises the bar of what's possible in a hack and slash action game.
Each playable character — Dante, Nero, and V — have their own set of skills that you can upgrade. There are dozens to choose from, and many have different levels, making them stronger and more versatile. During the campaign, you have to collect Red Orbs which act as currency. While it's quite easy to come across them, Devil May Cry 5 still offers the ability to purchase them with microtransactions. In my opinion, this isn't necessary because you don't need to upgrade all of the skills to do well even in Devil Hunter mode, and you earn so many Red Orbs during every mission that it almost becomes trivial what you choose. If you want to skip to the most powerful abilities at the outset, you can simply by your way there, though.
Devil May Cry 5's endless upgrades add new moves
Aside from the slightly convoluted story and very linear environments, my only other criticism would be that Devil May Cry 5 has abrupt transitions from gameplay to cutscenes. They could've been much smoother. For example, imagine if Nero jumps into a sinkhole and the camera fades to black. The cutscene isn't going to start from the bottom of the sinkhole, but will instead go back and repeat some of the previous motions. On many occasions, the game repeated exactly what I just did a few seconds ago. The editing here could've been much tighter and would've helped with pacing.
Lastly, Devil May Cry 5 features questionably exaggerated English voice acting which it could've done without. Luckily, this resolves itself as you approach the end of the campaign, as the plot becomes much more serious. While this is somewhat of a nuisance, it gives Devil May Cry that B-movie feel the series is practically known for.
The lowdown on Devil May Cry 5
Ever since Capcom launched Resident Evil 7, the company has maintained a stellar track record. Monster Hunter: World was exceptional, and everyone loved the company's new take on Resident Evil 2. Devil May Cry 5 may not be on the same level due to its restrictive environments and inability to break free of the franchise's rigid format, but it's absolutely mind-blowing when it comes to gameplay.
Overall, Devil May Cry 5 is a fun game — one that is utterly spectacular — but Capcom could've done more to evolve the franchise's format.
Asher reviewed Devil May Cry 5 on an Xbox One X console using a copy provided by Capcom.
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