Devil May Cry 5 is Shaping Up to Be the Most Stylish, Unsubtle, and Cinematic DMC Yet

Devil May Cry 5 is Shaping Up to Be the Most Stylish, Unsubtle, and Cinematic DMC Yet

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Richard Walker

As much as we loved Ninja Theory's DmC, the prospect of Devil May Cry 5 a whole eleven years after the last proper numbered instalment released is an unbelievably enticing one. And having fully digested a massive 11 missions over the course of about five hours or so of gameplay, we've got a real sense of how Nero, Dante, and V's demon slaying adventure is shaping up. Incredibly well, is the short answer.

Devil May Cry 5 is slick in every conceivable way, from its beautifully orchestrated cinematic cut-scenes to its signature fluid and immediate demon slaying action, minute-to-minute the game proves to be a genuine rush. Newcomer V is particularly interesting, his animal 'familiars' doing the fighting for him, as he stands back and watches, waiting to deliver the final killer blow: a 'checkmate'. Like Nero and Dante, each of V's familiars serve a ranged and close-quarters role, eagle-esque Griffon firing lightning projectiles at enemies, while shapeshifting panther beast Shadow lunges with both his teeth and swirling, whip-like tentacles.

On paper, V as a character really shouldn't work. Even his look is an odd contrast to Nero and Dante's platinum-haired, trenchcoat-sporting cool, V resembling that weird, edgy goth kid at school who kept himself to himself. The notion of letting beasts do all the hard work also seems off-kilter at first and entirely counterintuitive for a DMC game, but V's esoteric move set and style clicks remarkably quickly, providing a welcome alternative to the series' stalwarts and their combination of fast flashing blades and bullets. Then there's V's Devil Trigger that unleashes the hulking Nightmare who drops from the sky with an almighty thud (or rises up from the earth, depending on how he's feeling), wreaking complete havoc as he pounds demons into the ground.

Make no mistake, V might look unassuming with his dandy silver cane and slight frame, but he's a powerful force to be reckoned with, Griffon lifting him out of danger or to high ledges, Shadow proving a lethal protector, and Nightmare able to deliver a devastating coup de grace at the perfect moment. Despite V's role as the “catalyst” in the story, according to Director Hideaki Itsuno, Nero and Dante remain very much at the heart of Devil May Cry 5, and with the help of genius tinkerer Nico, they have an arsenal of upgrades and abilities at their fingertips. Literally that is the case for Nero, his Devil Breaker appendages replacing Devil Trigger abilities with an array of different options and loadouts to consider.

There's the brute force of the Buster at one end of the scale or the relative finesse of the Gerbera or Overture, one a blunt hammer, the other a more precise scalpel. Nero has ten of these Devil Breaker arms, running a gamut of abilities from slowing time, to firing ricocheting lasers, to unleashing lashing tendrils. Dante is not without his own extreme moves too, of course, his usual skill set complemented by a stylish fedora that enables him to bust all kinds of insane moves and a break-apart motorcycle that serves as a pair of gigantic bludgeoning buzzsaws. This alone should tell you all you need to know about DMC5. It's over-the-top, totally, unapologetically lacking in subtlety, and beautifully brash.

All four of Dante's fighting styles are also mapped to the d-pad so you can change things up on the fly, carving up enemies with his Swordmaster style one second, before blasting monsters into oblivion as Gunslinger the next. Finesse comes with the Royal Guard and Trickster styles, while swapping between guns and melee weapons is just a trigger button push away. This gives you a ludicrous number of options to experiment with, and naturally, you'll no doubt come to find your favourites over time.

From both a stylistic and gameplay perspective, Devil May Cry 5 owes a lot to Ninja Theory's reboot, and while this might not be a direct sequel to that game, it perfectly rides a line between being a spiritual successor to DmC 2 and a 'true' sequel to Devil May Cry 4. And DMC 5 has come a long way since the previous numbered series outing, with fixed camera angles out, and dynamic, fully 3D environments well and truly in.

Speaking of environments, DMC 5's London-inspired location of Red Grave City is fantastically evocative, aping the style of the UK capital and its architecture. Each area has its own sense of the macabre too, with the invading demonic denizens of big bad Urizen poking glistening tentacles and pulsating pus-filled sacs through the broken, cobbled streets. Iconography like tube signs, red buses and such are all present and correct, and anyone familiar with London will see the real-world influences coming through in almost every part of DMC 5. Except for the bits where you'll visit demonic realms, of course.

There's innovation too in the game's fairly unique take on co-op play, employing something dubbed the 'Cameo System'. Certain missions in DMC 5 will present you with a character choice, and whomever you don't choose to play as will show up in the background as an online player cherry-picked from your friends list or from a random pool of players. That means you can watch as Nero takes on demons in the distance while playing as V, for example, and even rate the performance of that player, who will then earn bonus items for their efforts. Someone might always be watching, which to paraphrase Itsuno, means you'll probably want to show off a bit (if you can). It's worth noting that the Cameo System can be toggled on and off as you like, so it's not a mandatory feature. It is a neat online wrinkle, however.

Bursting at the seams with unencumbered style and attention to detail, Devil May Cry 5 is on track to be every bit the sequel that fans wanted. Embracing what Ninja Theory's DmC brought to the table, while staying true to Dante and Nero's previous exploits, DMC 5 looks assured to be all things to all Devil May Cry devotees. We'll wager that there'll be no diabolical weeping when Devil May Cry 5 launches this March.

Comments
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  • "From both a stylistic and gameplay perspective, Devil May Cry 5 owes a lot to Ninja Theory's reboot" What? Why does it own it to DmC when almost everything are improvement from DMC4, which is superior to DmC at gameplay. The only thing influenced by DmC are the style announcer, the camera zoom after the fight, that's it, everything else are just improved, expanded version of DMC4. I'm not one of those guys that hate on DmC for no reason, i absolutely like that game, but saying this own it's gameplay to DmC is fucking stupid.
  • @1 Exactly, there's a reason DmC is the most hated instalment of the franchise, even DMC 2 is better received, which is an impressive feat, as it's the least liked of the original quadrilogy. As you said, it's all refined gameplay from DMC 4, with minor aesthetic changes influenced by DmC. Also, chronologically speaking, DMC 5 is not a sequel to DMC 4, it's the sequel to DMC 2, as the chronological order (including non-game media) is; 1. Devil May Cry Manga 2. Devil May Cry 3 3. Devil May Cry 4. Devil May Cry 4 5. Devil May Cry: The Animated Series 6. Devil May Cry 2 7. Devil May Cry 5
  • @2 now that's where you should stop and think. Out of all dmc games I'm fucking certain that dmc2 is the least dmc-like game. And everyone DmC had shit characters and a horrible story but the gameplay is solid, albeit turned down to accommodate casuls. I hated Capcom for letting NT rape DmC but the gameplay is not something no one can complain about. Besides, who plays dmc for the story?
  • @3 : I agree, DMC2 is the absolute worst in the franchise, only those in denial would say something like DmC is worse than DMC2. Although DmC gameplay is not as good as 3 and 4 but it still pretty good for a game of its genre, what it lack is the story, character and lore, also the fact that its marketing totally disrespect the Original games doesn't help. But as a game, i think DmC is totally fine, its just that it is a total disrespect to the DMC legacy.
  • @please... DMC2 was an awful, souless game bereft of character that made the original so brilliant. it was blasted by critics and fans alike. DmC was only hated by 'classic Dante' fanboys who were afraid of change. I think the social commentary, dynamic environments and improved voice acting helped ease the issue of Dante's redesign and personally consider it better than 4, which was basically the same game twice. Pleased they are incorporating DmC elements into this latest installment
  • also fed of of the term 'casual' being banded around. i'm be playing games since the 8 bit era. sorry if i don't have 400+ platinums and can beat everything on 'god mode', but i have something called a 'real life' to lead as well
  • @2 DMC2 is definitely the worst. I think DmC was a great game and I did enjoy it quite a lot. But I do wish DmC was called something else. I feel it wouldn't have gotten that much hate if it wasn't compared to the original. As #3 said, it feels a total disrespect to the DMC legacy. And this is coming from a guy who played the originals after DmC. Also, the DMC Animated Series is before DMC 4 (if it's canon). Trish and Lady met for the first time in the anime. Lady was hired to kill a 'lightning demon' aka Trish and Dante had to sort out the misunderstanding. In DMC4, they already know each other.
  • @5 Now stop right there. Don't pull the excuse that "DmC was hate because fanboy don't accept change". While i agree that DmC is a decent game, the hatred for it has its reason. You may not remember it but the marketing for that game openly mock old Dante by calling him a gay cowboy to PR their own Dante, which is a stupid idea because they piss off fan of the originals. Now to the game itself, the gameplay is good enough, although there some flaws like how you can get to SSS by spamming the same attack, no lock-on, color code enemies, but character and story are pretty stupid, DMC games are not that good with story but at least its still interesting. The enemy design suck ass too, compare Berial from 4 to Succubus in DmC in literally angel and demon. While i agree that DmC doesn't deserve such a hate but there is a reason for hate, not because of new Dante appearance, that is just a narrative that Western Game Journalist like to write up when they talking about it.
  • This game is astonishing. Just like DMC3
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