It’s the new year, and that can only mean one thing: exciting new game releases are far and few in between, at least for the next few months.
So, the way it usually goes for me is that I take this much needed time to catch up on my ever-growing backlog of games from the previous year that I wanted to play but never really got around to.
In the first installment of Breaking Backlog — a series where I play old new games — I tackle Devil May Cry 5. This game came out in early 2019, so everything has been spoiled for me, but if that is not true for you, here is your spoiler warning.
While writing this, I’m just about halfway through the game and can say that I’m upset that I didn’t start playing this sooner.
Like previous DMC games, the combat is fast and fluid. Without fail, this always leads to me going out of my way to get that ever-elusive SSS ranking in encounters.
The story is your usual DMC affair with returning characters Dante and Nero along with newcomer V trying to kill the big demon baddie who, as per usual, turns out to be Dante’s brother Vergil because of course, it is.
Regarding the new character V, I like him a lot.
He’s an edgy, brooding, grimdark Hot Topic mall goth with awful tattoos, which I find him EXTREMELY relatable. If the name V doesn’t give it away, he is the human half of Vergil.
Get it? V is for Vergil.
His fighting style is very different in that while you control V’s movement, the attack is carried out by the demons he controls: the mouthy bird Griffon, the shapeshifting panther Shadow, and the hulking beast Nightmare.
V serves as a tool to empower these demons so they can do more damage, and he can refill his devil trigger gauge by reading William Blake’s poetry, which is honestly hilarious.
For those that have played previous DMC games, Nero controls like you expect him to, and his new Devil Breaker mechanic that lets you swap between different mechanical arms makes things different enough to keep his combat from getting stale.
The game handles its upgrade system in a sufficiently wacky way. Using payphones throughout the city, you can call new character Nico and her van to your location to purchase upgrades. It’s a seemingly normal process until you call her, and she drives her van through solid concrete from the ground below you.
Devil May Cry has always been a series that has reveled in how silly and over the top it can be, and this entry dials up the insanity to an 11.
I’m not sure what’s next for the series after this game, but I’m already salivating over the idea of a Devil May Cry 6 in the future.
So far, DMC 5 has given me a lot to love.
In a time where too many games are taking themselves too seriously, it’s a nice change of pace to play a game that isn’t afraid to be wacky without sacrificing solid gameplay in the process.
For my first game of 2020, the year is off to a solid start.