I think it is about time to finally get this post done. More people are doing their big videos on this game and most of the fans know what happens in this title. I know I still did not do a post on the reboot game, but to be honest… that will still be a work in progress. Also, why do I want to talk about the bummer title when we got the actual Devil May Cry 5! The reason why I did these posts was to celebrate the series and I even had to cover the second game and try to bring light and a different point of view to most of its glaring problems. There is a lot to love about Devil May Cry and now this fifth entry is probably a huge collection of why fans and its creators have loved it for so long.
I will not lie, this game feels like a finale in many ways. We got tons of plot points that were introduced in three and four that finally got their proper follow-ups. On top of that we had a prequel novel with events before five that actually had Lucia from the second game and man the amount of personality, she had in that one novel is far better than how she was presented in the game. Along with that we got many great callbacks to the entire series and yes this includes the reboot game. Devil May Cry 5 has everything and while some may think having things that represent the reboot game seems to be wishy washy, because it can seem this game was making no enemies in the fanbase. To be honest though, even a fan like me can say there are good to even great things to the reboot title (which will be for another day). I do find the callbacks to the first DMC to also be interesting because both the original and reboot title were not done by the man; we know for Devil May Cry now, Hideki Itsuno. Being with this franchise for a long time though and seeing its many faces, this man learned how to merge things together with perfection.
Speaking of perfection, I am torn with saying this is the best Devil May Cry game ever. The action in this game is just the best! So much variety is given with only three characters and two in particular are like over ten characters in one and the third one is literally four in one. There are even foes that have come back from the original game like Sin Scissors and Nobodies. The only big flaw here though is that the DMC series finally got rid of those puzzles and while secret missions do have some fun little puzzles to solve, DMC5 breaks the tradition and actually does go for the reboot’s way of level design a bit. In 5, you are walking straight a whole lot, but at times I would rarely notice because the action is that good. So as of right now the remaining Resident Evil in DMC is literally the engine that runs in this game.
Onto the other aspect of Devil May Cry that has been with the series ever since the beginning is Dante. As talked about before, Dante as always been the cool surfer bro when he is on the job. Dante in the original game shrugs off danger like he is a Toku hero. In Devil May Cry 3 we get to see that attitude take a reckless variation until he finally notices what he needs to do. Then with the fourth game, Dante got to act like a mentor passing off the torch to another son of Sparda. For this new look into Dante’s life we actually get his anime personality at the beginning. Dante has no running power or water in his place and still just rests at his desk. A new job comes up and he hears something that kicks his gears right back in. Dante’s self-destruction comes clear in this title and it finally adds in a larger sense of relatability to him. Back then we loved his moments of fun and also took in his sadness as well (with the first game, it got taken more as a joke sadly…). Also let us add on the fact that is been teen years since we got to see this demon hunter back in action. Dante is us; he has been waiting for another gig and so have we. The major difference is that Dante actually does not want to waste any time though. It sure is interesting to see Dante with age becomes narrowminded in a fashion.
Now back in fashion, is the youngest Devil Hunter, Nero. With this character, I took a look at his punk attitude and while that is still clearly here, we get to see his full character and take a step forward as well. To be frank, this easily could have the title of Nero’s Awakening. Yes, the main character role is given to Nero again and while many would think after DMC4, they would not do that again. The issues with Nero’s debut was because of budget restraints for the most part. It felt unfair to Nero and it is only thanks to time and a major misstep from the franchise to make fans warm up to him. Nero was my beginning with the series so seeing how he deals with these new events is heartwarming. Itsuno even gives Nero shorter hair and somehow people mistook him for Dante from the reboot title. Both Nero and Donte share a punkish attitude so this short hair look works for Nero and they also made sure to give him some Vergil details since that will be a major thing later on.
Along with Nero is a whole new look into how he plays. Back then, Nero only had his one special arm that gave him the greatest grab in video games. Nero can still do the famous Snatch move, but Nero has far more than just grabs. Nero has electricity, parries, time stops, flying arms, and even a freaking Mega Buster! That is only about half of the arms’ abilities and these are an insane concept to add to the Devil May Cry series. In a way this is a method of keeping some Resident Evil in the series since the arms have to be used with a worry about your inventory. The arms are a bit fragile so when taking a hit, they break and you can break them yourself to unleash a powerful move. At first, Itsuno was questioning if they should make the Devil Breakers similar to Dante with his weapons, but they wanted to make Nero stand out in many ways. The team decided to work with consumable weapons (and this time not like a Holy Water that subtracts your score). Either way these items really show Nero’s character well. They have large impact, but with reckless behavior can lead to messy situations and regretting your actions.
Onto the aspect of regret we have our brand-new character, V (yes that is his name). V actually brings back a style of cool that was almost in the series before and that is goth. The original Donte had more gothic themes along with his British punk aspects and to be honest, it would have been fine in my opinion. Now is it better to have a new character pick up this theme, yes that is for sure. A new character can bring new aspects to a series just like Nero introduced the punk attitude. In a way though… V does take ideas from Donte because of who he actually is. Now we get to the part where all chains are off. What I am implying here is that V is Vergil. Vergil who has been seen as posh cool and a character who had loss after loss. Vergil split himself into two and V is the human half with barely any demon power. V is extremely fragile as he is a literal husk of what Vergil left behind. A big reason why William Blake is being used for this game ever since the beginning. That opening statement is all about how holding grieving emotions towards another just leads to a path of destruction. V is now the one who notices that and wants to redeem his errors.
Now V is still not a perfect man, but taking steps to fix what he has done is improvement none the less. On top of that V even brings a new style of combat into the series, summoning. V has three summonses where they are all from Devil May Cry original. Even the summons mention how they were born. These summonses were created from memories of when Vergil was Nelo Angelo a huge aspect Vergil wanted to get rid of. The demon, Urizen has no memories he just knows he has suffered losses from Dante and wants power! V being the shell of the part of Vergil’s life he wanted to shed is truly literal since he even tried to get rid of those memories which made the summons, Griffon, Shadow, and Nightmare. V brings new tactical combat to the series and while your familiars do the damage, V has to bring the finishing blow. V is extremely fragile and relies on stepping away for the most part. The gothic themes even come clearer when playing as him. His slender designs while wearing pure black clothes and with those tattoos just create an interesting image of a fighter. V even uses a cane to walk around. The best part about V is that you control your summons with different buttons, except for Nightmare until you ride and control him. You can even taunt while the partners are attacking and it is the greatest!
I am sorry if this is going to be an extremely long post, but there is still more to cover here. We got another new character by the name Nico. Sure, she is not a playable character, but her importance is large none the less. Originally designed to be another badass character, Nico was going to be more of a straight arrow that loved her craft. Through some improvising though the actress found a new way to show how Nico acts. Nico is playing things up while keeping a cool demeanor. When she is in the van, she is one of the devil hunters, hell this van is a Devil Weapon! She knows how dangerous things are and tries to hide it because this is pure bliss. She actually relates to any fan of the series since we love what we are watching, but if this was our reality, we would be extremely afraid. She also works so well with Nero from the get go since they both come from a story where they were neglected by their fathers. This is why these two have brother and sister like relationship so quickly and I love it so much. Nico easily became my favorite girl of the series which is impressive and it’s all thanks to how an actress wanted to add in some comedy for the character.
Okay now for the big, big, and I mean big spoilers for this game and some of the greatest moments the series ever had. The return of Vergil and what that could bring after so many years. Vergil has always been an important figure in the series even in the first game with his Nelo Angelo appearance. So, what is in store for Vergil this time around, yes, he becomes the final boss again like his role in Devil May Cry 3 and yet so much has changed for him. Vergil now returns to where Dante has grown older and even seeing his son take steps that both Vergil and Dante never could do. A family is reunited with this one character returning. Two brothers are back and a son gets to meet his father for the first time. Family is an extremely large part of the Devil May Cry series ever since day one. The first Dante wanted revenge for the death of his mother and we got to see how fragile of a topic this was for him. This only got expanded in his prequel title where he sheds a tear for the loss of his brother and feeling pain that only Lady knows as well. The thing is though, Dante accepts what he has done after all of these years.
Taking a bit of a detour to talk about other mechanics in the game that really enrichen the experience. The first one is Dante’s new power, the Sin Devil Trigger. Dante can now achieve higher than his father and wields a new sword under his own name. This new Devil Trigger really just shows off how powerful Dante as become. You do not get the healing factor with this one, but the damage output is insane! Dante even gets the largest weapon load of the entire series. Dante can have all of his swords after finishing the game at different difficulties, the return of the Kalina Ann and its second version which Dante dual wields them, new crazy weapons like the Faust Hat and the Cavaliere, and new spins on Ebony and Ivory and even Cerberus. Along with all of this you can even show off your skills to others thanks to the Cameo mechanics. Where your data is saved and can pop up to help players or to simply show off in the background. There is just so much style in this game and it makes sure you get the chance to show it off yourself.
Vergil is back and what happened because of him? A giant demon tree is summoned so that the demon half, Urizen can acquire power that the demon king, Mundus had. Which is quite an interesting detail since before the final fight with Urizen, we see him covering his true self. Vergil caused chaos yet again and with him back, Dante holds nothing back. Dante goes for the first attack, yes Dante of all people. He has no warm embrace for his brother, his heroic sense takes a violent turn. Dante has already done this before, twice to be specific. He holds no regrets on his past even if it still was damaging to his overall life. Dante has become tired of all this.
As for Vergil returning, he had two different experiences at the same time. Urizen, the demon wanting power and V the man who got to see the true terror of that. We even get to learn the reason for how Vergil came to be which is mommy issues. Yes, this has become a joke in the series as well, but Eve is extremely important to how Dante and Vergil are as characters. Dante was saved and Eve did not get to Vergil in time, leaving him to run for his life alone. Vergil took that as he was left behind and had to defend himself hence his quest for power. It’s something many fans (including myself) have looked into before since that feeling of loss from both the demons and his family made him feel worthless. Vergil still holds his family in importance because its fact of why he is around and how much he wanted his mother to love him. On top of that Vergil does admit that he fell in love with a woman in his past. Again, his past love could be another reason for why he wanted new power since he had a family to protect. Vergil simply got lost gaining that new power.
In a way, Dante’s narrow mindlessness is similar since he has only been getting stronger and even with a new Devil Trigger to boot as well. Power clouds the mind and both of these idiots lost a lot. Dante even mentions he barely remembers any peaceful moments with his brother, he only knows of when they fought. These two never took time to forgive each other, they only kept fighting. This became their method. Even if Vergil finally got to reflect on his past with regret for his quest of power, he still held onto an old desire. V mentions this before fusing back with Urizen, they both hold that feeling to finally win. Dante’s heroism and Vergil’s desires simply just end of clashing with each other every single time while in reality they both share the burden of loss, but there is one to unite them.
This is the moment when Nero takes his main character slot. Throughout this fifth title, we saw Nero becoming more reckless. Nero sees that power is all that he needs and says that straight to Dante’s face. Dante called him a deadweight before and that just motivated Nero to get stronger in a bad way. Still Nero ends up being caring to others around him since that is how he grew up. He had people to care for him unlike Dante and Vergil who had to live on their own. When Nero learns Vergil is his father, he starts to really question many things. Originally, he was just fighting to prove his mentor wrong, now it became a moment where he could lose family again. Growing up with Kyrie and Credo gave him a family and falling in love with Kyrie became strength for him. The loss of Credo then gives Nero tons of regret, he never forgave himself for it. Now Nero learns who his father is and now he learns that his mentor was an uncle the entire time. Nero tries to accomplish the number one thing that never happened in a Devil May Cry game, to reunite a family.
Devil May Cry 1 and 3 had Dante fighting his brother and even killing him later on. Sparda’s family was forever torn on that faithful day when Eve died. The two brothers took different paths. Dante taking the side of what the hero wanted to save. Vergil took focus on what his father was, a demon and a legend, with a search for power. Nero fought for the thing he never fully had and he is back to do that now since it has been his entire goal in life. Nero lives with what Sparda’s actual legacy is, family. Sparda was a demon who ended up being a hero and yet the most important thing to him was family. He fell in love with a human woman and started one. His sense of justice came from love. Dante did not want to lose anyone close to him, hence why he closed his heart away and acted like the over the top hero. Vergil lost his focus for power even if it could have started with great intent. Nero never strayed from this path and he knocked some sense into these devil boys, to finally forgive each other.
I cannot tell you how much this moment feels for any fan of the series. For me, I started with Nero and got to learn of Dante and his story later on and it feels correct. This is why Nero was taking the main character slot, he finally does the impossible. Nero prevents anyone from dying, the bloodshed is over. Seeing this moment being his awakening to his devil power and saying “Fuck you!” to all of this; is the biggest impact in the entire series. It throws a huge middle finger to a major trope since no one is going to lose here. Nero gets to prove himself in such an important moment of his life. Nero’s final fight with Vergil is beyond great since it’s the son proving he is right while his father needs to prove dominance. Now Dante and Vergil go away for who knows how long, but Nero has gained the possibility of being able to see his family in the future.
Hideki Itsuno has mentioned that this could be the end for him and this series. To be honest, this is a perfect end right here. The man who started with the first misstep in the series with the second game, created a legacy for himself. Devil May Cry 3 brought new life into Dante and a fourth game kept the image strong. The reboot happened and only made him more motivated to make this proper return bigger than ever. He even found many ways to tribute the original game something he never worked on because that was Hideki Kamiya. It’s amazing to put it simply. This man creates an ending for a franchise he didn’t even start. At the same time, he put everything into this game. The original motif of family, the sons of Sparda story telling that started with Devil May Cry 3, and finishing the passing of the torch that the previous game started. There are even many aspects of the reboot title with how the game plays and some funny references inserted as well. Itsuno loves this series even if it had missteps before, it only creates passion to do better. Thank you, Itsuno and to all of the teams of Devil May Cry you started a new trend of action games and closed a big book on it.
Now we can truly ask this. Dante will we meet again?