The fifth game of the Devil May Cry franchise is a reboot. The Definitive Edition was released for PS4 and Xbox One with all the DLC content and the ability to run at 1080p/60fps. The game comes fresh along with new costumes and game features, like manual targeting. The reboot doesn’t simply follow the original plot of the first game. Rather it is set in an alternate reality from the previous games. With the reboot came a new appearance for Dante. This major change was a cause for a lot of apprehension for this title. Coming into this game as my first Devil May Cry game I feel made me a little less biased to having the new design for Dante’s appearance. If you are nostalgic for the old, then there are DLC skins to have the original appearance.
The story introduces Dante as a foul-mouthed playboy with knowledge of his abilities but not his history. He’ll learn that he is half-angel and half-demon, referred to as a Nephilim. Then with Virgil, his brother, and Kat, a female medium, he takes on the Demon King.
A point I really enjoyed with these characters was the growth, or rather the reveal, of there being more to them. Dante starts as being cocky and foul-mouthed, but over time he shows more heart and passion that gives more depth to his initial impression. Kat might actually be my favorite of the game. She is helpful and the support of the team to get things done. I was always interested in hearing more about her, and so was Dante.
The game play of this series was described to me as being similar to the Bayonetta series. After playing one for myself, the comparison is not wrong. The big difference to me is it is more combo focused. Needing to have the right move and know the right combination of buttons to defeat enemies more easily or get through an area seemed necessary. There are no quick-time events, just the need to be ready for the next button to press when moving through a platform area. Dante has a mixed variety of weapons that can be used: 3 different guns, 2 demon weapons, 2 angel weapons and his standard iconic weapon, Rebellion. The weapon artillery will grow as you progress through the missions. The demon and angel weapons are needed when unlocking pathways.
The areas of the game offer a decent variety. Each boss that you focus on is connected to the areas before it. Within each mission, there are blocked off sections that can only be unlocked after the demon or angel weapon required is obtained. This made going back to older levels more interesting because I could actually go and find something new rather than just run through the same place again. Even though I knew what there was to find, each mission will obtain different amounts of the collectibles to find. Dante can find keys, doors, and lost souls. The trick with the lost souls is listening for their moans to know when it is nearby. As for the keys and doors, they are not exclusive to that level. Finding a key in one mission can be used on doors in any mission. These collectibles only need to be obtained once.
Besides the collecting aspect of the levels, there is another factor of replayability. There is a grading to the battles and levels. Using more combos yields better scores. Not only reaching it, but maintaining it throughout the horde of enemies is key. Then there is the challenge of playing on different modes of difficulty that can be used to challenge oneself. On top of that, there are mode settings that have been added: Turbo Mode, which increases the game speed, and Must Style, where enemies only take damage at S rank and above.
An area where the game really disappointing was the boss battles. After the first few, they all finished out easily. I enjoyed the look and the arenas, but difficultly was not there. Especially for the Demon King boss fight that took a similar structure and pattern from a previous boss in the game. Rather than being grand, having multiple stages and more attack variety, it fizzled out, making the victory seem hollow, as there was no struggle nor challenge.
The visuals of this game had me at odds. For most of the game, the character models seemed perfect, only showing minor issues briefly. The environment was less so. During the battles and the actual game-play, it looked great. But when in cut-scenes, the surroundings around the characters did not always match in their quality. The visuals did have a lot of fun moments of manipulating space that I heavily enjoyed. It made things more interesting in the areas where that occurred.
Overall for the main game, it was an enjoyable experience. The character interactions helped in making up for the faults in the boss battles. The script of the game may have relied too much on cursing, but there are still genuine moments. The weapon variety is fun to play with and can be switched through during battle, not just setting what you want prior to a fight. The combat was fast-paced and smooth, and it heavily set up for replayability.
This the DLC story that is included in the Definitive Edition. The story of which focuses on Vergil after the end of the main game. To avoid spoilers, I will not get into the story much. I will say it was a little confusing at first. But clarity will come toward the end of what is really happening.
Cut-scene visuals are now done in a flat 2-D animation. It has stark contrasts using darker and cool colors of purple, blue, and black against white. There were a few times that they used the 3-D models. One of the character models made me cringe; her hair clipped through her body a lot, and she looked half-bald at a time. This is proof that the level of detail of the main game was not completely transferred over to the DLC.
There are only 6 missions to the DLC compared to 20 of the main game. The areas had more platforming than battles it felt like. The fact that the level of the DLC is less than half of the main game might be a factor in this. The boss battles are not any more impressive to those of the main game. Vergil himself has less weapon variety using his sword Yamato and phantom swords along with his angelic and demonic boosts. It provides an interesting story set up were they ever to decide to further the reboot of the series.