Devil May Cry 5 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 20.03.2019

Review for Devil May Cry 5 on PlayStation 4

After the contemptible DmC: Devil May Cry which nearly buried the franchise, the pizza-loving half-demon everyone fell in love with in Devil May Cry 3, and again in Devil May Cry 4, was seemingly going to be relegated to just appearing in Capcom fighting games. Thanks to the eight generation of consoles having an inclination for remasters and upgraded ports, fans remembered what it was they loved so much about this action series with the Special Edition of the fourth entry. Added features like turbo mode, extra playable characters, and the outrageous Legendary Dark Knight mode, helped in reigniting the spark inside gamers, leaving them wanting more. After more than a decade of waiting after Devil May Cry 4, Capcom has gone above and beyond to deliver on all expectations, with Devil May Cry 5.

Since Bayonetta has made her home on Nintendo consoles, Ninja Gaiden has all but vanished, and the craft of making these highly technical action games is such a delicate art, there really has not been too many options on PlayStation 4. Outside of Nier Automata or God of War, the genre has not been well represented in a while. Leave it to Capcom, one of the original developers to reinvigorate and show everyone how it is done, by finally making a follow-up to Devil May Cry 4.

The possibilities for combos are seemingly endless with all three playable characters. Nero feels like he did at the end of Devil May Cry 4, yet Itsuno and his team still found some new ways to make his moveset even more expressive and diverse than ever, thanks to the Devil Breaker arms. New moves involve never-before-seen inputs that are tightly implemented and high responsive, letting Nero dive-bomb enemies from a distance to juggle multiple foes. Even taunting has been given lot of attention where it is even possible to mock mooks in mid-air. Itsuno's experience in developing fighting games truly shows off in the technicalities of the combat mechanics.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 5 on PlayStation 4

Then there is the enigmatic V, who reads poetry that sounds like a Hannibal Buress rap. Unfortunately, V is the least fun among the team, since his combat focuses on playing keep-away with threats, while controlling his summon monster from a distance like in Chaos Legion, while only getting close for the killing blow. This in itself is a very novel style in Devil May Cry 5, but the problems arise in the logistics of the animation priority and button mapping. V's range or "gun" attacks are his Griffon that has a variety of unique inputs, and his "sword" attacks are his panther, which also has an equivalent move-set. Trouble comes when the two summons end up fighting two other targets and then pulling off some of the techniques becomes a bit of a crap-shoot. This can eventually be mastered, as it requires galactic thinking, but one thing that won't be overcome so easily is that the summons are not responsive, since there is a bit of a positioning animation which makes V's combat feel very delayed and unresponsive. When he works, he can get SSS ranks easily, but he is just not reliable in battle.

Everyone who wants to play Devil May Cry 5 is not going to play it for Nero or V... nah - people want Dante. Thought he was preposterously intricate in Devil May Cry 4? Devil May Cry 5 kicks things up many notches with his new weapons, which are so interesting and incredibly original, it is best to be seen - jaws will smash through the floor upon witnessing some of the new tricks Dante brings to the table what even Bayonetta herself wouldn't believe her eyes. Capcom really is intent on one-upping Platinum Games, while also throwing a lot of shade at Ninja Theory. Dante is undoubtedly the headliner thanks to his extremely high skill ceiling. Mastering his intricacies will be crucial in the post-game difficulties, especially getting good at his Royal Guard style which is still as tricky as it has ever been but with more wrinkles to it. A special mention must be given to Rueben Langdon, the voice actor and motion capture performer who is utterly electric in the role of Dante.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 5 on PlayStation 4

The RE Engine is the most impressive game engine this generation. Famously used for the Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 7, Capcom is now three for three with this amazing technology that melts eyes with its shocking detail and life-like animation. The imagery is unusually realistic, yet has an undeniable style that screams 'Devil May Cry.' It is almost CG movie levels of fidelity that eclipses everything that has been done this generation. Highly detailed games like Detroit: Become Human that push the graphics over everything else is still going to pale in comparison to the unbelievable art direction, while still hitting 60fps. The otherworldly and bizarre monsters take on a very physical presence with weighty and ferocious animation that feel like they connect naturally. Everything has a "realness" to it, and seeing it all happen in what is essentially an over the top action game that defies laws of physics creates this indescribable sensation that fits in the spectrum of awe.

Like always, players will do levels in a "mission" structure which amounts to exploring linear levels with some minor platforming to mix up the action. Often there are hidden things like health upgrade orbs, secret missions or hidden weapons to find for those who care about getting immersed. Previously in Devil May Cry 4, the team had very few bosses that got shared between the two protagonists. This time, there is a boss for most of the stages, which is always hinted at by a telephone call to Nico's van. Level design-wise it is fairly standard for this series, with the only thing making it stand out is the beautiful graphics. The only real flaws with Devil May Cry 5 is just how frequent the loading screens appear.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 5 on PlayStation 4

It is surprising how often the game needs to load for a simple menu or between chapters. This is one area where Bayonetta and its sequel wins out, since it turns its loading into a practice area... something Devil May Cry 5 could have done since it actually does have a void where users can practice. While the inventory screen is gone, Gold orbs which function like continues have been made more plentiful. In fact they are so easy to acquire, people will earn them just by logging in when the game boots up. This kind of cheapening of a mechanic is disappointing but only ever so slightly in what is essentially the best 3D action game ever made by anyone this generation.

Devil May Cry 5 is a gift that keeps on giving, though. Even after completing the story, it feels like something that has just begun, and the path to mastery has only been hinted at. While the RE Engine may not be able to pull off the ocean of enemies on screen as seen in the Legendary Dark Knight mode on current gen hardware, the mainstays are all here. Dante Must Die, Son of Sparda, Heaven or Hell and Hell and Hell modes are all here and accounted for; all with their bespoke quirks that to this day makes them enthralling diversions to this indelible series. Step aside Bayonetta, Capcom has made the new gold standard, and Dante is back.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 5 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

While it is annoying that Bloody Palace mode is not available day one, it is coming as a free update on April 1st. Capcom has proved this gen that they are truly the best at 3D action games. They took some bold risks with the style and realistic flavour, and it pays off by taking on this new look that has never been seen before in any videogame. Even spectators are going to be extremely entertained by the spectacle that is Devil May Cry 5. Everything feels so fresh, and the advancements in the controls and fluidity in animation makes playing this refined masterpiece so hard to put down.






Action Adventure



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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