Rated M for Manchild
When I think about Devil May Cry 5, I’ve come to expect heavy metal, stylish demon-slaying, and an assortment of guns and swords. A game much more about style than story, the original spawned out of ill-fated attempts on how to create a new Resident Evil 4. Instead of scrapping their more action-heavy idea while drafting RE4, Capcom went on to create an entirely new series instead. One that redefined the action-adventure hack and slash genre and even inspired later games such as God of War.
Developed and published by Capcom, Devil May Cry 5 had originally released in March of 2019. The Special Edition, which comes with new features and a longstanding fan-favorite character, Dante’s brother Vergil, released on November 10th for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. A fun take on the divine comedy featuring party boys, sex appeal, and skimpy cosplay outfits, I’ve been a longtime fan of the series and was excited to cover the new edition.
This Is What It Sounds Like When Devils May Cry
The beginning of Devil May Cry 5 sees Nero kicking some serious butt while revving his Red Queen sword like a motorcycle, all while the sexy newcomer Nicoletta Goldstein preps him with some new Devil Breaker Arms. They’re an assorted lot of mechanical arms for Nero to utilize in combat. Stylish and fun, albeit lacking in character depth, Devil May Cry isn’t really a series to be psychologically explored as much as it is just a game where you kill demons while looking good. Something which Devil May Cry 5 does better than any of its predecessors.
In this one, Nero (and the mysterious V) are on a path to help Dante, who left with his girlfriends Trish and Lady to battle the demon king Urizon. Yet another monster who has raised a hellish structure with the intention of ending the world… again (we’ve seen this so many times in this series). Along the way, you get to play as Nero, V (who is basically just Adam Driver with a raven), and even Dante, all for a plot that is pretty ridiculous. That Nicoletta can drive a Van throughout the various depths of hell or the fact that Trish and Lady have nothing to actually do in this one outside of striking a pose and occasionally getting nude because of thirsty fanservice, none of this sequel makes for a whole lot of sense. But fans of the series, including myself, don’t really care.
The characters and stories in the series still feel stuck in 2004, but so long as we’re killing demons and everyone’s looking good (and they are), the game is enjoyable overall. The rest of the plot be damned. But to be fair to the story, there is a compelling twist in this one that’s a rather obvious plot point in hindsight (hint: the game is marked roman numeral V for a reason) which is almost compelling though far from the game’s best stories like in Devil May Cry 3. Still, because the gameplay is loads of fun and the replay value is excellent when compared to all the other games, Devil May Cry 5 still makes for a compelling experience that players will want to play more than once.
What’s There To See In Devil May Cry 5?
So what you’re buying with this special edition is an overall upgrade in quality. There’s a reason this game is rated one of the best PS5 games upon the platform’s debut, as the Ray tracing really pops out some of the textures, and the game’s Legendary Dark Knight difficulty and Turbo mode make this a must-buy for fans of the series who’ve yet to play DMC 5. Atop of this, the game’s music is amazing and fits the game’s emotional tone really well. Featuring what might be the best soundtrack Devil May Cry has ever produced, one that makes me miss the days of rock being played on the air on the regular.
In DMC 5, much of the game’s core remains the same as the original series. You travel from point A to B while battling demons, unlocking secret missions, and even playing with others online, whose performances you can view and rate as they do for you. The atmosphere of the game is still a chilly European gothic. The game is also no cantos of hell like in DMC 3 though it thankfully does lack the confusing institutions of DMC 4.
Probably the biggest and most noticeable difference in this game is the combat, which is better than ever before. Unfortunately, the enemies in this one are more forgettable than ever and hold little meaning, unlike in the old games, minus a few callbacks here and there on things such as Cerberus, and if you’re thirsty, the occasionally naked Trish or Lady. Whereas in DMC 3, bosses’ design is really cool and challenging, this game’s monsters, along with big battles, seem to be little more than punching bags for combos and crazy demon powers. Fun to go crazy on but oftentimes somewhat forgettable as challenges.
It’s Okay To Cry, Nero. It Does Make You a Bitch, Though
Though the game’s story is shallow, it’s not necessarily bad. It’s just forgettable, outside of the fun character moments in dialogue and charisma. The game excels most in doubling down in its combat, which again was so lauded in its day it inspired God of War. Honestly, you play Devil May Cry to kill demons and laugh with Dante and Nero. Because the abilities in these games, like a motorcycle that somehow turns into a dual chainsaw or a gun arm that’s actually the Megabuster from Megaman, is exactly the kind of awesome you get in this game. Atop of this, I think there are more combos in this hack and slash than any game I’ve ever played. And though it’s all about rhythm and weapon switching, it’s hard to get bored of battling in this one because it’s a lot of excitement and fun trying all the combat combinations for style points.
Nero Fists It!
As Nero, you get to be more strength and power-based, utilizing mighty swings and an oddly destructible yet interchangeable Devil Arm. When you finally get to unlock all of Nero’s abilities, he’s actually pretty badass. A major upgrade from the previous games is his versatility, which comes down to how you use his Devil Breaker arms, like the powerful Megaman Megabuster, or better yet, the soft healing dildo hand, the Sweet Surrender (created to help Nero relieve Kyrie’s stress apparently).
V Pokes That Monster!
As V, players get a different type of ranged and distance style combat. He uses animal familiars to fight from a distance, including a raven named Griffin, a panther named Shadow, and a golem named Nightmare. V’s fighting uses basic commands to attack and combo while balancing his devil trigger abilities. However, the animals can’t actually finish off enemies, requiring V to move in and slay demons once they’re weakened with his cane.
As Dante, combat is actually the same as the originals, which is a lot of fun for old-time fans like myself. The switching between styles is amazing and now happens in real-time (with each unlocking special combos!), and Dante’s weapon arsenal is better than ever before. Atop of him being the most Dante ever (he even gets a very meta-Dante sword), we even see him taunt, dance, and flaunt even more recklessly, and are blessed with not just the old Ebony and Ivory guns, but a Double Kalina Ann as well!
Vergil Waits To Strike and Then Slashes With Pinpoint Accuracy, Killing Everything in Sight
Finally, there’s Vergil, Dante’s samurai sword-wielding brother. While Dante is more aggressive and fiery, Vergil is very much more about keeping cool and stacking up combos. His approach is very precision-based, depending on counters and precision strikes. He also has swords you can summon for range, a clone and devil form, and a concentration system that plays off conducting accurate slices. Vergil alone is the real point of the Special Edition since he wasn’t playable in the original game. And though it’s small, playing as him is a treat as he’s devilishly sinister in skillfully slaying everything in sight.
Overall, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is a lot of fun gameplay set with beautiful graphics. While light in the storytelling department, there’s enough here to keep fans happy and more than enough stylish demon slaying to keep this series engaging.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PlayStation 5 (Reviewed); Developer: Capcom; Players: 1; Released: November 12th, 2020; ESRB: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Nudity
Sexual Content; MSRP: 39.99
Editor’s note: Author Purchased A Copy