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Video game review: ‘Devil May Cry 5’ returns to form with amazing action and gameplay

“Devil May Cry 5” is the latest hack-and-slash game from Capcom studios. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Introduction

“Devil May Cry 5” is a visually stunning hack-and-slash, single-player game developed and published by Capcom. DMC5 returns the series to its roots as a true successor to “Devil May Cry 4” after an ill-fated attempt to reboot the series with “DmC: Devil May Cry,” which was developed by Ninja Theory and released in 2013.

In returning to its roots, the series is back, bigger and better than ever, while retaining everything else that fans have come to love about the “Devil May Cry” games.

Gameplay

“Devil May Cry 5” runs on the same engine as “Resident Evil 2,” called the RE engine. DMC5 utilizes the full power of the recently launched RE Engine, which made its debut in 2017 as the engine behind “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,” through its beautifully rendered environment, characters and enemies.

There are two levels of difficulty when you start the game: Human mode, which is just way too easy, and Demon Hunter mode, which is the mode I recommend if you’re new to the series.

From the beginning, the game is nothing but fast-paced action and one of the biggest changes from previous games in the franchise is that instead of just playing as one or two main characters, you get to play as three.

The first character you assume is Nero, a character who became the de facto series protagonist in “Devil May Cry 4.” Nero is a character to use until you run out of Devil breakers — mechanical arms with varying special abilities that he can equip to take down enemies with style.

For example, one arm called “Overturn” fires a giant electric hand to push back enemies while also harming them. Another arm is called the “Gerbera,” which is a shockwave that does the same thing as the “Overturn,” but also allows Nero to triple jump.  

But my personal favorite is the “mega buster.” When you start a mission, you enter the level Mega Man-style, with jumping abilities similar to the Capcom hero. You can shoot out little pellets and even a charge shot. There are many other “arms” throughout the game that I encourage you to test out if you play.

The next character is V, who plays more as a defensive character, also known as a puppet character. He summons a variety of shadows to help him fight, as the mysterious man is too physically weak to fight himself.

For close combat he summons Shadow, a demon who typically takes the shape of a panther for close combat, with clawing and biting abilities, but can also transform into other forms, such as a giant bear trap-esque saw blade, to add style to your combos.

V also brings along Griffin, a bird he summons from the shadows for ranged attacks, who never seems happy to engage in combat and likes to chime in on V’s adventures with dry, snarky quips.

Lastly, V has the ability to summon Nightmare, which can best be described as a giant ogre. Upon summoning Nightmare, it plummets into the battlefield from above or rips through the Earth from below before dealing massive damage in a short time and disappearing.

And then there’s Dante, the most fun and complex character of the three options. He has a bunch of weapons, such as his classic sword and dual-wielding pistols, and also boxing gloves that create a Shoryuken, a sword that turns into a scythe, and a motorcycle that transforms into dual-wielding chainsaws. Dante also has four different fighting styles: Swordmaster gives you more moves for your weapons, Trickster helps with dodging enemies’ attacks, Royal Guard helps you deflect enemy attacks and Gunslinger gives you more moves with your guns.

Combining Dante’s four styles with his six-plus weapon choices provides this character with by far the most combo possibilities as switching between styles and weapons can keep an enemy in the air seemingly forever as the combo meter skyrockets.

Story

The first three games in the “Devil May Cry” series never really focus on a typical story mode, favoring the environment and gameplay, but with cheesy jokes between the characters and over-the-top action.

But “Devil May Cry 5,”  gets a proper campaign. It’s an average story, but it keeps the charm that all games in the series have. There are also some plot twists that longtime fans may see coming, but newcomers to the game will enjoy as well.

The game includes a “History of DMC” video option in the beginning that chronicles the entire series’ timeline as a way to catch up on the series. If you buy the $15 downloadable content or the deluxe edition of the game, you get these behind-the-scenes shorts, which are very funny to watch, but also show the dedication and hard work the developers put into the game.

Conclusion

“Devil May Cry 5” is a fantastic game for fans and newcomers who enjoy the hack-and-slash genre. The game looks and feels amazing and has a lot of replay value, and is definitely a game-of-the-year contender for me. Capcom is back better than ever with their recent “Resident Evil” and “Devil May Cry” games, and I can’t wait to play what they make next.

Rating: 4.7/5

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