Capcom have always been well known for fantastically executed games, games that easily develop a cult following and fans that have followed them since the very beginning. Devil May Cry is one such franchise, and Devil May Cry 5 by Capcom is the latest instalment to grace the shelves of fanatics around the world.
Taking place 5 years after the events of Devil May Cry 4, our main protagonist, Nero, has set up his own demon hunting agency. Teaming up with Kyrie and his Engineer, Nico, they work out of a modified van sporting a neon “Devil May Cry” sign gifted to him by Dante, before parting ways. After being contracted by a man going by the name of “V”, Nero encounters a dying demon who swiftly proceeds to rip off his demonic right arm. Fast forward a couple of weeks and the team find themselves in Red Grave City hunting the Demon Urizen. It is here that they find themselves reunited with Dante, Lady and Trish once more.
This is where the player comes in. Given control of Nero, you’ll be presented with a small, in game tutorial showing you the basics of the game. The controls seem simple enough; left stick to move, right stick for camera; and since I was playing on Xbox; “Y” to swing your sword, “X” to fire your pistol and “A” to jump. Shortly after this little prologue, you’ll also be given access to your new arm. Yup. Your new arm. Nico has created a robotic arm called the “Devil Breaker” to replace the one that demon ripped off. Depending which one you have equipped, pressing or holding “B” will have different effects, but the stock standard is powerful swipe of your open palm wreathed in an electrical field; just don’t take damage or over-use it, as you will quickly find yourself one handed again.
Unfortunately, this is where the simplicity stops. You’re encouraged to perform combo moves to earn more points; points which you can use to upgrade your own abilities or buy additional arms. Given I haven’t actually played a single Devil May Cry game up until this one crossed my path, the button combinations required to pull off some of these moves were quite daunting. But when you do, you’ll be treated to an impressively acrobatic display; something the franchise is very well known for.
Devil May Cry 5 is a cinematic masterpiece
Once you’ve played for about 5 minutes, you’ll be treated to a cut scene. And what a cut scene it is! The animations; the attention to detail; the action; choreography; voice acting; music… All of it is incredible! Something you would expect to see in any film originating from a Japanese background. Unfortunately, the cut scenes seems to happen every 5 minutes of game play – or at least that was my experience. While absolutely spectacular to watch and really help to drive the story home, I felt they interrupted my game play too much. I felt like I was watching one of those “Choose your own path” movies that tried to gain some traction back in the early 2000’s.
The music also became overwhelming very quickly. Unless you’re in a battle scene, you generally just hear a mash-up of orchestral music with hints of arcade music. The same goes for fighting scenes. Each playable character has a single track that plays while you fight. While all these musical scores are absolutely incredible in their own rights, hearing them on repeat was too much and I ended up turning the music volume down completely.
As far as I am concerned, Devil May Cry 5 is a cinematic masterpiece. It would be right at home sitting proudly next to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within or Advent Children. Unfortunately, it is let down by a lack of continuous game play and a control system so complicated that you almost need an extra thumb on each hand to pull off the more impressive, combination moves. I didn’t think it possible that a game have “too much” story, but Devil May Cry 5 has proven me wrong. The sad reality is that there is too much story to be told, and this has greatly impacted how much I was able to enjoy the game.
- Incredible Story
- Beautiful Cut scenes
- Lack of game play due to loading screens and cut scenes
- Music gets repetitive
- Complicated controls lead to just mashing buttons and hoping for the best