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Yes, Capcom is back. We liked Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter World, and the remake of Resident Evil 2, and this Devil May Cry 5 (Check on Amazon.com) has seemed promising since its announcement during E3 2018. When I got to try it, the new chapter of the adventures of Dante convinced me, leaving me with the desire to get my hands on the full version of the game. Fast forward to today, and after about thirty hours of gameplay with the full version of Devil May Cry 5, I have a lot to tell.
If you have never heard of the Devil May Cry series, I will try to explain briefly what it is. Released on PlayStation 2 in 2001, the first Devil May Cry introduced the concept of Stylish Action, a third-person action game in which it was important not only to mow down enemies, but also to do it with style, elegance, and spectacularity. In every fight, in fact, the player is “judged” by the game, in real-time, for his work. The final grade assigned for each fight can vary from D to SSS and get the best scores there are several factors to consider, such as execution speed, pace, variety of combat techniques and evade.
Add to this one of the most exaggerated, cool, and funny protagonists of the entire history of video games, namely the demon hunter Dante. Devil May Cry has thus become one of the most popular series in the last two decades. This fifth episode relies firmly on the fundamentals: the spectacular action combined with a high-quality combat system and offers a convincing adaptation in today’s standards.
I really liked the graphic look of this Devil May Cry 5. You will surely appreciate the character models, the settings, and the fact that everything runs smoothly at 60fps. Technically, the game is a delight.
Speaking of the actual game, one of the most important novelties of this episode is the fact that you alternate between the three protagonists during the course of the adventure. Nero, already seen in Devil May Cry 4, Dante, who has always been the main character, and the new entry V. The differences between this three characters are in some ways incredible, and although Nero and Dante at first glance may seem similar, V is altogether a different kind of animal. V doesn’t have a sword and/or pistols, but a simple cane, with which he inflicts the coup de grâce on dying enemies. But who brings these enemies close to death? His familiars, that’s who!
Yes, the peculiarity of the new entry is precisely this: he is a summoner. His minions are a Griffon, a bird shooting from the distance, and Shadow, a big cat that instead uses melee attacks. The third one is Nightmare, a huge golem that can be summoned only when at least three notches of the Devil Trigger bar are full. While he controls his minions, V stands on the sidelines trying not to be hit by the enemies. Kind of like a Necromancer in Diablo.
Playing with V was a very pleasant surprise. The character’s gameplay is fresh, fun, spectacular, intriguing and perfectly in line with the atmosphere of the game. The important thing here is that I liked playing with all three characters, and I really enjoyed the possibility of using all three, and most importantly, they are so different from each other.
In short (because I don’t want to spoiler you anything), the three characters are in their own way spectacular and deserve a thorough study. Sadly Dante, Nero, and V are not selectable at will. In most cases, it will be the game’s plot that will determine which character will be used on each mission, with some (few) exceptions in which the player will choose. This means that, out of 20 missions, 7 (plus the prologue) must be played with Nero, 4 with V and 7 with Dante. There is also one where you can choose between Nero and V, and one between all three. This worked great for me during the first run, but I would have expected, once the game was over, to have the chance to replay every single mission with any character I like. That’s not the case. And it’s a shame. It is also a shame not to have the opportunity to face certain bosses with all three characters.
Speaking of content I would have liked a little bit more. At the beginning, you can choose between two difficulty levels: Human and Demon Hunter. The first is dedicated to those who have never played any DMC in their life, but I do not recommend it even for novice players of the series since Demon Hunter has a much more balanced level of difficulty for any kind of player. After you complete Demon Hunter, you will unlock the Son of Sparda difficulty level, which will be very interesting to the most passionate players.
Once you finish Son of Sparda (which at the moment I’m still playing), you will unlock the classic Dante Must Die (even more difficult), Paradise and Hell (everyone dies with one shot) and Hell and Hell (only the player dies with one shot).
The Bloody Palace mode, already seen in almost all previous episodes of the series, in which you can seamlessly face enemies and bosses alike will be released in the coming months via free DLC.
A criticism that I have about the game concerns the sharp decline in style, both in level design and mission aesthetic, especially during the second half of the adventure. From a certain point forward, the scenarios can become a bit repetitive and quite poorly inspired, compared to some beautiful ideas seen in the first part of the game.
Something similar had already happened with Devil May Cry 4, an episode that was characterized by excessive backtracking. For most players, this was not and will not be a problem since what matters most is the gameplay and that is superb.
Devil May Cry 5 (Check on Amazon.com) is an excellent chapter in the series and of the Stylish Action genre. Graphically very nice, it offers very tasty gameplay which is fully in line with what the fans want. In addition, it offers three playable characters and three different interpretations of a fun, spectacular and deep combat system. It also has some flaws, such as a slight drop in style in the second part of the adventure and the inability to play the entire campaign with each of the three characters. Some extra content, once the game is finished, wouldn’t be bad either. Nevertheless, it is so addictive that fans will hardly stop playing it. Another hit from a particularly active Capcom over the past two years.