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Review: Devil May Cry 5 – One hell of a great sequel

Capcom hits it out of the park with the sequel no one expected much from!

devil may cry 5 review screenshot
Image: Josh Knowles / KnowTechie

I’ve been having a crisis with video games, especially sequels, simply because there have been so many games that should have been great that just under delivered. Devil May Cry has been a guilty pleasure of mine for the last 18 years. The over-the-top hack and slash action, techno-industrial soundtrack and larger than life characters are more akin to an 80s era action flick than to traditional action games. When Devil May Cry 5 was announced last year, I’d be lying if I said I was hopeful and after all these other games fell short, I actually dreaded the release.

The streak is over and Devil May Cry 5 is a SSS rank game.

It’s true, Devil May Cry 5 is awesome. Not only does the game deliver in ways we haven’t seen since the release of Devil May Cry 4 a decade ago but it also tells a coherent story that ties up nearly every loose end from the series to this point.

Remember that esoteric ending of Devil May Cry 2? Remember how thick plot armor was for Nero in Devil May Cry 4? This game delivers when it comes to answers. More importantly, the question you’ve been asking yourself for the last 10 years is answered – you know which one I’m talking about.

In Devil May Cry 5 you get to control multiple characters

devil may cry 5 review screenshot

Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

Devil May Cry 5 does something a little different this time around by ultimately having you control different protagonists throughout the story.

There’s Nero, who is the main character, he has the Devil Breaker and using the different arms efficiently help him create all sorts of chaos. V is the second character you get to use. He looks more like a Hot Topic employee than a demon hunter but utilizes 3 demons he’s forged pacts with to fight enemies. It feels incredibly hands off but is also is refreshingly unique. The final protagonist is Dante, the OG character of the series and uses his Devil Trigger and Devil Arms arsenal to create devastating combos. Each character feels completely unique from one another, no one is a simple reskin.

With the three main characters, there’s this really cool multiplayer feature that allows someone randomly online to fill the role of any of the main characters making a cameo in your current character’s mission. For example, early in the game, there’s a part where Nero is fighting on the top of submerged buildings while V is taking the higher path on the highway above. Depending on the mission you are playing, the other character is actually being controlled by another player that is experiencing that part of the story.

It’s not really direct interaction but it looks cool as hell. After the mission, you can give a stylish rating to the other player so they can get a gold orb. I panicked when I heard Devil May Cry 5 would have multiplayer, but this is a best-case scenario.

The game looks absolutely fantastic and the presentation is top-notch

devil may cry 5 review screenshot

Image: Josh Knowles / KnowTechie

On a presentation level, Devil May Cry 5 is fantastic. The game’s HDR graphics are fantastic and the line between cutscene and gameplay is very thin. In fact, I usually found myself waiting for the visual cue of the HUD appearing before I started to play. The characters look incredibly lifelike, several scenes with V made me wonder if they are splicing live action into cutscenes.

The soundtrack is an absolute banger. The battle music is energizing and driving, the more ambient parts of the soundtrack add to the scenes and nothing ever feels out of place. The sound effects are almost over the top in the best way possible. While fighting, weapons, monsters, and the environment are all making noise while your character is also adding to all the noise. Hearing Nero’s Red Queen rev up during combos or Dante’s slides on Ebony and Ivory are a treat when your smashing demons in your path.

devil may cry 5 review screenshot

Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

As I said earlier, Devil May Cry 5 absolutely delivers when it comes to the story in the game. The game plays out in a timeline that sometimes has you going back and forth in the story with other characters to fill in the gaps. While doing this, the game actually takes the time to tie up loose ends that were in other games.

Interestingly enough, there are a few moments in Devil May Cry 5 that actually caught me off guard. In fact, there are some story payoffs that go as far back as the original Devil May Cry. I don’t know if this was always the plan, but in the end, Devil May Cry 5 seems like a great finale to the story that started back in 2001. I doubt it is the end, but there’s now room for a creative new direction.

All in all, Devil May Cry 5 is what we ask for in a sequel. It doesn’t cheapen any of the original games, respects all the characters we’ve come to know and love and expands on the universe with this title. I didn’t expect much going in, but the volume is turned up to 11 at the start and doesn’t stop until the credits roll. With tons of replayability and costumes for the playable and non-payable characters, Devil May Cry 5 will deliver in spades on the $60 cost of entry. Or, in my case, the complementary weekend code from that Fallout 76 debacle from Redbox for my PS4. I plan on buying this one for PC, you should buy it too!

Devil May Cry 5 is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Editors’ Recommendations:

The Good
This is the culmination of everything good Devil May Cry has done up to this point
The story, music and graphics are next-level good
The three characters, costumes, and bonus objectives give this game incredible replayability
Microtransactions aren't obtrusive or even an afterthought
The Bad
The only complaint I have is the there's so much going on that the camera struggles to keep up, but this is common in Devil May Cry games
9.5
Overall
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