I love this game.
I’m not even going to beat around the bush. I’ve been excited for this game since it was first announced, and I’ve been talking about the series practically once a week in the last few months before it’s release. It’s safe to say that my hype was through the roof, and my expectations were high. But this game didn’t fail in the slightest to meet my expectations.
Currently, I’m still in a honeymoon period with this game. I absolutely loved playing it from beginning to end, and I have no doubt I’ll be playing it for a while longer as I go through the higher difficulties. However, as my thoughts on it are so fresh and ecstatic, I don’t know if I’d place this higher than the other games in the series. Currently, I’m struggling to decide whether this game has performed the seemingly insurmountable task of overtaking DMC 3 as the best in the series.
Honeymoon period or no, I can say for certain that this is one of the best games in the DMC franchise. It is certainly better than 4 and 1 in my opinion, and… well, I don’t even need to tell you how it stands up against 2. It’s easily one of my favorite hack-and-slash games of all time, and I’d highly recommend playing it, especially if you’re a fan of the previous games.
Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t have my problems with it. For one, the final boss is easily one of the least satisfying in the whole series, and the ending tied to it suffers as well (though I feel that the final two lines of dialogue are pitch fucking perfect and I wouldn’t change a damn thing about them). I won’t spoil anything major, as I still think it’s worth playing to get to that point, but I can say that it’s highly anticlimactic and lacks in any real punch. This is amplified by the fact that it’s coming off of the boss fight from the mission prior, which is easily the best boss in the whole game.
I also had my problems with the new playable character: V. Now, don’t jump the gun. I did enjoy playing as V more than I didn’t. He’s a departure from any previous playable character in the series in a really good way. Whereas Nero and Dante get up close and personal, V has to stand back and let his summoned demons do the fighting for him until he does the killing blow. As such, all of his actual attack inputs simply order his pets around. I really enjoy this, but it does get dull after a while. Plus, getting an SSS rank with V can be extremely easy, and it doesn’t feel nearly as rewarding as it does to reach that same level as it is with Nero and Dante.
The soundtrack suffers from some peaks and valleys as well. Nero’s theme, ‘Devil Trigger’, is easily my favorite DMC track of all time. However, Dante’s theme ‘Subhuman’ is downright terrible, and V’s theme ‘Crimson Cloud’ is completely forgettable. If you want to avoid these, you have to do what I did: either change the other two’s themes to ‘Devil Trigger’ or buy the Deluxe Edition and change the tracks to different ones through the Jukebox.
Still, I do feel that the strengths far outweigh this game’s failings. In terms of visuals, this is without a doubt one of the best looking games I’ve ever played! The RE Engine is a fucking beast, and it’s going full power for DMC 5! The environments and models are all extremely well detailed and gorgeous, and the whole thing runs at a buttery smooth sixty frames per second.
Playing the game is also exactly what it needs to be: stupid fun! Climbing from a D to an SSS is extremely satisfying, especially when you corner a group of enemies all at once and shoot straight past C, B and A and straight into the S levels. Each of Nero’s Devil Breakers and Dante’s Devil Arms are all insanely fun to use, and they’re all very distinct from one another. This game is simply a joy to play from beginning to end.
This is also chocked full of Devil May Cry fan service, and in a good way. There are tons of hints and nods towards the prior events of the series, and all of them are just tongue and cheek enough to put a smile on my face without being annoying. Hell, we even get brief appearances from Morrison and Patty from the DMC anime! That’s right, they’re canon now! Do you have any idea how happy that makes me?!
That’s the most important takeaway from this review. This game has brought me more joy than I could have ever expected. I was having fun from beginning to end. Even when it was hard, even when it kicked me to the curb, I was never frustrated. All I could think was “Oh yeah, motherfucker?! Well, I’m going to style on you so fucking hard when I get back up! Just you watch me!” I had a blast from beginning to end.
If you love hack and slash games, you need to buy Devil May Cry 5. If you love the DMC series, you need to buy Devil May Cry 5. If you want to play an over-the-top and goofy action game that’ll put a smile on your face, you need to buy Devil May Cry 5. This is currently sitting at the top of my ‘Top Games of 2019’ list, and it’ll be tough to overthrow it.
This game, to put it simply: hit the JACKPOT!