Devil May Cry 5: Hell yes

If+this+image+doesn%27t+have+you+sold%2C+you%27ll+never+be+sold.
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Devil May Cry 5: Hell yes

If this image doesn't have you sold, you'll never be sold.

If this image doesn't have you sold, you'll never be sold.

If this image doesn't have you sold, you'll never be sold.

If this image doesn't have you sold, you'll never be sold.

By Jeremy Brown, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Devil May Cry 5 ignores Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry reboot and goes back to the more self-aware, cheeky timeline of the original series. While the gameplay has barely evolved from Devil May Cry 4, it doesn’t matter when the game is so freaking fun.

The game picks up some time after Devil May Cry 4. Younger demon hunter Nero has gotten a haircut and a demon arm cut off by a shady figure, Urizen, who uses Nero’s arm to become an all-powerful villain with no sense of humor.

He unleashes hordes of insect-styled demons to suck blood from humans to fuel his power, and Nero, series protagonist Dante and edgy newcomer V need to put him down.

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The story doesn’t have that much going on—most of it builds up to one satisfying bombshell for fans. It’s presented with multiple time jumps and flashbacks that make the plot feel more complicated than it actually is.

The extremely impressive graphical fidelity sells the drama—characters look so realistic you can see the difference between the dry side of someone’s lower lip versus the wet side when they purse their lips. Demons are so detailed you’ll miss nuances in their design until you examine them up close in the model viewer.

Everyone’s performances are also excellent, assuming you can deal with V’s constant edgy poetry readings and breathy amine delivery.

The combat is much crazier than the plot, surprisingly enough. Nero’s demon arm is replaced with a plethora of robot arms. They’re cool in concept, but there’s no way to switch between them on the fly and cost too much at the shop to feel expendable. Other than this, he uses his engine sword with most of the same moves as Devil May Cry 4, which leads to little surprises.

Dante still has the multiple styles of fighting from previous games, but none of it feels as fresh as his new motorcycle, which he splits in half to use the wheels as sawblades. Seriously, it’s so cool to time your moves with the revs of the engine since it also increases your damage with each following attack.

V is the easiest character to play, but the least precise. He summons a demonic bird, panther and “Nightmare” golem to do the fighting for him with creative shape-shifting. The catch is, V has to make the final blows himself. It’s a smart way to keep you in the action, but the warp you do to move in for those kills doesn’t work 100 percent of the time.

Additionally, V’s moves are all for his demons, but even with lock on they don’t always move in for the kill when needed, causing unneeded frustration. Even with all of this, since V rarely gets close to being hit, you’ll hit the high bar SSS rank for most fights.

While moment-to-moment fights are great, the boss fights are where Devil May Cry 5 shines. Unique enemies that live up to their titles on harder difficulties, bosses come at just a good enough pace to break up the monotony.

But other than this, the main content of the game doesn’t evolve beyond new enemy types repeated. Some secret side areas have interesting mechanics, like grapple challenges or riding rockets up steep hills. These would’ve been a great way to make each level feel more original if they were included on the critical path.

There’s been worries about whether the grind for red orbs would be ruined by the addition of microtransactions, but the pace of unlocking new moves to buy with said orbs is just as balanced as the older titles. If you’re tempted to spend them for the expensive special taunts for each character, you should wait for the Bloody Palace mode coming later this month to grind for red orbs.

Devil May Cry 5 still has the spectacular and gonzo style that makes it stand out from the rest of the modern gaming market. If you aren’t sold already from the trailers and gameplay, don’t buy it— the marketing doesn’t lie about what Devil May Cry 5 is, and it’s awesome.

Arts & Entertainment editor Jeremy Brown can be reached at [email protected]

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