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Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry makes a stylish return and looks to prove the notion that three is indeed the magic number.

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When Director Hideaki Itsuno said Devil May Cry 5 would exceed our expectations, he set the bar rather high. The Devil May Cry series is a series of incredibly good action games. To say that this latest entry in the franchise will exceed the already lofty expectations fans have for it is practically asking for people to over-hype it, but against all odds, Itsuno and his team have done it. Not only have they created a great game, but the latest entry in the series may also be the best Devil May Cry game yet.

Devil May Cry 5 is a third-person action game with a focus on stylish combos and stringing together a range of moves that you unlock over the course the game. You play as Nero, V, and Dante as they attempt to stop a powerful demon from causing further havoc in Redgrave City, and we discover more about all three of the protagonists along the way.

When it comes to the Devil May Cry series the gameplay is the most important thing, and in 5 needless to say it's amazing. The depth of the combat system and the freedom to play whichever way you want makes the whole experience fun from start to finish. The high-octane gameplay is made better by the dynamic music that plays during combat, and the way it amps up the better you're doing in fights is an addition that helps make you feel pretty badass while you're playing.

You progress through the game playing one of the three aforementioned protagonists, each with their own style when fighting demons. Nero - the returning character from Devil May Cry 4 - makes use of his sword, gun, and multiple Devil Breakers (robotic arms, each with different abilities) to cut his way through enemies. Dante remains the weapon-swapping character that fans know and love, and we're happy to say that every addition to Dante's arsenal in this game is fantastic. We especially love Dr. Faust, which has one of the best weapon introductions in any Devil May Cry game. Playing as Dante, you're given four styles: Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger, and Royalguard. Each of these can be swapped on the fly, so quickly switching between them will separate the good players from the great ones.

Devil May Cry 5

Then there's V, the new character being introduced, who has a more defensive playstyle than DMC fans are used to. You hang back and command your companions to fight for you, only coming close to finish off weakened enemies. V's playstyle isn't going to be for everyone, but it was a refreshing deviation from the series' norm and a willingness to try something new is something we like to see in a sequel. All of these characters are played differently yet provide that same kind of responsive gameplay that fans have come to love from the Devil May Cry series. The love and attention poured into all three of them make playing through this game a wonderful experience, a feeling that isn't lost on repeat playthroughs.

As for the story, it's really good, harkening back to plot points in previous Devil May Cry games in order to wrap up loose ends. All the playable characters have their own motivations and story arcs that come to a fulfilling conclusion by the final mission, while also leaving room for sequels in the future. For those who are jumping into Devil May Cry 5 as their first entry in the series, the game has a 'History of DMC' video to catch you up on the things you wouldn't know if you're playing DMC for the first time.

All in all, there are 20 missions in total, and beating the game on normal (Son of Sparda) took us around 13 hours. There are six difficulties in total, with Dante Must Die, Heaven or Hell, and Hell and Hell difficulties returning from previous titles, so if you've got a desire to test your skills, there's plenty of stuff to do. Without spoiling anything, there are certain moves and attacks you can only use during a second playthrough, so going back through the game is something you should definitely do at least once, especially since the whole thing is crammed full of secrets that reward players who venture off the beaten path.

Devil May Cry 5Devil May Cry 5

While Devil May Cry 5 does feature micro-transactions, we are a bit confused as to why anyone would buy them. Red Orbs can be bought with real-world money and is the game's all-purpose currency when buying skills and reviving yourself if you're killed. That means if you wanted to expand your skill-set or were stuck in a particularly difficult section, you could always whip out your credit card and throw money at your problems. The perplexing thing is, the game isn't tight with the red orbs it gives you. It's fairly easy to earn them, especially after a certain point later in the game, and players willing to farm red orbs are able to do so with ease. All in all, the red orb shop is quite the head-scratcher in a game that seems to emphasise multiple playthroughs and building up your characters over time.

On the other hand, there are some fantastic DLC Devil Breakers which can be grabbed if you pick up the Deluxe Edition. The Gerbera GP01, Pasta Breaker, Sweet Surrender, and the Mega Buster are all fun to use, and add some variety to the Devil Breakers available. The Mega Buster, in particular, is fantastic fun. It would have been easy to make a Mega Man reference without putting in the effort, but the team at Capcom poured so much love into it. After shooting a charge shot, the yellow bar on the side of the Mega Blaster charges up, and if you start a mission with it equipped you can warp in as you do in the classic Mega Man games. It goes to further emphasise how much work Itsuno's team has put into every aspect of this game.

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Overall, all the DLC is high quality. The DMC Battle Packs add the battle music from previous games, which is a cool treat for fans of the series, not to mention the live-action cutscenes, which show real-world actors playing out in-game cinematics, which are actually really interesting to watch during a second playthrough. It's just a shame that these goodies aren't included for everyone and are held behind an additional paywall.

Despite all the great aspects of Devil May Cry 5, the game is not without issues. In particular, V's sections can be quite a burden on your graphics card if you're playing on PC due to the scale of the animations, and we've had colleagues experience dropped frames on Xbox One. While turning down the settings can help alleviate these issues (on PC), and the game's generous checkpoint system lessens the frustration, it can still be a blow to your enjoyment. There are also sections of the game where you see other players battling in the background of missions, and this also occasionally caused the game to lag, sucking the joy out of combat for the short periods of time that the game was affected.

Devil May Cry 5

There's also the matter of the Bloody Palace mode, which has been a challenge mode where players must progress through multiple rooms filled with enemies and/or bosses to reach the top. This mode acts as the major piece of endgame content for Devil May Cry games, and it's absence from Devil May Cry 5 at launch is a real shame. With the Bloody Palace mode coming as a free update in April, fans won't have to wait long, but it's impossible to see Devil May Cry 5 as anything other than an incomplete package for its first month.

Overall, while it's not perfect, Devil May Cry 5 is one game that action aficionados shouldn't miss, whether you're a fan of the series or not. The three interesting and distinct characters and the sheer amount of replayability complement what Devil May Cry 5 does best, that being stellar combat that's leaps and bounds above what most other games can manage. It's an action-packed game that is amazing right now and that, come April, should get even better. Regardless of whether you're are a long-time fan or new to the series, this game is absolutely worth picking up.

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Devil May Cry 5Devil May Cry 5Devil May Cry 5
09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
+
Great gameplay, Tons of replayability, Three distinct and fun characters.
-
Performance issues, Cool content stuck behind paywall.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Devil May Cry 5

REVIEW. Written by Connor Makar

"Regardless of whether you're are a long-time fan or new to the series, this game is absolutely worth picking up."

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