Devil May Cry (DMC) is one of my favourite games ever released on the PlayStation 2. The game was crowned the King of the action hack and slash genre when it was released in 2001, and I was an immediate fan. DMC follows the story of Devil Hunter Dante in an ongoing battle with demons from Hell. DMC has never really been known for it’s stories, but that was never the main attraction. Everyone came for the gameplay and stayed because it made you feel like an absolute badass. Years have passed, and we are now on the 5th installment in the main franchise. Does it deliver an “SSS Rating”? Or is this a Rebellion sword through the heart?
DMC has never been known for it’s storylines, however I was still concerned as this was the continuation of DMC 4 which is the second weakest game in the entire series. My biggest issue with DMC4 is the fact that it forced you to play half the game as the whiny new character named Nero, who seemed to be a carbon copy of Dante without the personality. What was worse is that the story really didnt make much sense and didnt add anything new or interesting to Dante’s overall story. The DMC 5 story picks up 5 years after the events of DMC 4. A mysterious character named V has suddenly appeared and hires Dante and Nero to destroy a new nemesis referred to as the Demon King Urizen. As you progress through the story you slowly learn more about the V and his connection to the Demon King. The story is fun and adds more depth to all of the protagonists. The biggest and most pleasant surprise was the fact that I really started to enjoy Nero as a character. Nero was no longer a whiny secondary character, but a powerful ally to the amazing Dante, and I was rooting for the duo throughout the 8 hour campaign. I don’t normally say this about the DMC storylines, but I cannot wait to see where it goes next.
DMC 5 looks fantastic on the PS4 and XBOX One. It retains all what made the franchise great from its Gothic artstyle to its intense rock battle tracks. The character animations are fluid, and the models are a big step up from the previous installments. From a technical standpoint, the game never experienced any slowdown during battles with many enemies on screen and retained a smooth 60 frames per second.
The original Devil May Cry was the best action game I had ever played when released in 2001. It solidified my love for the action hash and slash genre by giving me the freedom to do what I wanted in battle. Yes you could simply button mash and beat the level, but when you used combos, juggled enemies in the air, switched between multiple weapons, and received high style ratings, it made you feel like a badass. The sequels tried to improve on this gameplay (with DMC 3 as arguably the best in the series), however there was nothing that really changed in the formula. DMC 5 let’s you play as 3 characters (Dante, Nero, and V) in different missions throughout the game.
Dante once again returns with his 4 different battle styles ( Royal Guard, Gunslinger, Swordmaster, and Trickster) which can be switched on the go and adds depth and variation to your combat style. If that wasn’t enough the game also introduces Dante’s motorcycle which acts like dual chainsaws when you really wanna get crazy. I found myself switching between all the styles throughout battle which made each encounter different and as exhilarating as the last.
Nero uses his sword and gun in battle, but things get chaotic when he introduces his Devil Arm into the mix. This “Devil Bringer” ability allows Nero to switch between multiple arms in battle each with their own special abilities. Choosing which arm to bring also adds a bit of depth as they can also be destroyed during battle so choosing wisely is extremely important.
V introduces the biggest change to battles as he slowly walks around and controls the battlefield by sending in familiar minions to destroy his enemies. This new battle style takes a second to get used to, but it does force you to change your approach to each battle and felt like a fresh addition.
Devil May Cry revolutionized the action game genre when it was released in 2001 with its over the top battle system and the ability to do what you want when you wanted to. Since the original release, many games have come out and unfortunately it was eventually dethroned. As a long time fan I am happy to report that DMC is back in a huge way with DMC 5 and it has regained its throne as the King of action games. The gameplay is perfect and the story actually adds character development that was sorely lacking in the previous installments. Grab your swords and guns, it’s time to go devil hunting!