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Hack-and-slash fun remains in latest 'Devil May Cry'

Marcel Thee

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, June 25, 2019  /  03:33 pm
Hack-and-slash fun remains in latest 'Devil May Cry'

Hot start: 'Devil May Cry 5' has sold over 2 million copies in its first month of release. (Courtesy of Capcom/-)

Six years after its last installment, hit gaming franchise Devil May Cry returns for its latest entry, retaining the series' strength while adding a few new elements to keep things interesting.

For the most part, Devil May Cry 5 works very well, resulting in a game that will certainly satisfy the series' ardent fan-base without feeling like a regurgitation of the same concept.

The game's main hero, the demon-hunting Dante, makes a return. He is joined by his similarly menacing nephew Nero, who first made an appearance in the series' fourth installment in 2008.

This time though, they have another partner in the form of V, a seemingly regular human who does not have as much demon-imbued power as Dante and Nero, but is able to summon three demons to fight for him – the lightning-utilizing mythical eagle Griffon; the blade-and-spikes-equipped panther Blade; and a golem named Nightmare, who helps V in handing out melee and lightning-based attacks.

Even with the addition of V, most players will still enjoy controlling Dante and Nero. The former showcases his familiar awesomeness alongside new weaponry and attacks.

Devil Arms, for example, can turn into a motorcycle called Cavaliere, and he has his trusty sword Sparda. Meanwhile, Nero is equipped with the Red Queen sword and Blue Roses double-barrel revolver as well as a pair of robotic arms called Devil Breakers, which can stop time and freeze enemies.

The fighting remains the series' strongest element – kinetic, sometimes chaotic, but never dull or incomprehensible. Melee and gun attack combos remain the core way of busting demons and getting things done.

Visual wonder: The latest 'Devil May Cry' remains fascinating as ever.Visual wonder: The latest 'Devil May Cry' remains fascinating as ever. (Courtesy of Capcom/-)

Few games can claim to be as influential as Devil May Cry when it comes to chaining attacks together, and this fifth installment does not disappoint. The weight and speed of the attacks and weapons are easily felt through responsive commands and hyper visuals.

Another thing that has not changed is that the heroes look and fight like runway fashion models. Battling enemies while donning chic-looking jackets and stylish haircuts, each chapter even ranks your fighting skills for suaveness.

The graphics have definitely gone through some improvement, presenting the trio of antiheroes as looking even more lifelike (or perhaps “model-like”) than ever.

The boss fights remain exciting with a colorful lineup of villains culled from a variety of folklore and mythology. The smaller enemies are as impressively grotesque, with an array of monstrous bats, gigantic bugs, flying mask-like forms with giant scissors and weapon-wielding skeleton creatures. It is a wonderful, eclectic bunch of demons to go through.

The scales of these monsters and fights are magnificent, creating visual wonders that make everything feel literally and figuratively huge. Some monsters will climb over buildings during fights or even destroy them.

There are some issues, however, primarily with the loading time, which is very long and kills the momentum built. The three playable characters are all fun to explore, but switching between them sometimes results in an uneven tone and difficulty.

V often feels too powerful, able to pretty much sit back while his demons fight for him, while Nero's level feels a little duller and more difficult (though to be fair, early on Nero is used as a training level).

Still, the characters grow in a way that adds depth to what is essentially a hack-and-slash game. Each character's skills and weapons get enhanced and tested through new battles, making every character feel like they have gone through organic growth.

The game starts off with the battles taking place in a decrepit-looking city, eventually drawing you into its literally hellish existence. The details and characters are amazingly lively and spritely, and look simply astonishing in 4K.

Everything begins with an already-grotesque aesthetic with signs of monstrous existence in walls and buildings, splattered and decorated with inhuman parts, then slowly morphs into something with no human feel at all – everything appears gloriously demonic.

Devil May Cry 5 remains the same game it has always been – direct, stylish and endlessly energetic. It's a propulsive experience that never lets up – both in terms of playability and resonance. It knows its strength and goes hard with it. (ste)

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