• Capcom

    Nero uses a variety of very expendable prosthetic arms to hunt demons in "Devil May Cry 5."

  • Capcom

    V uses three familiars who fight for him, a raven, a panther and a golem-like creature named Nightmare.

  • Capcom

    Like other installments in the "Devil May Cry" series, the point is less about killing everything than about doing it in style.

  • Capcom

    Character design is a strong point in this installment.



‘Devil May Cry 5’

Publisher: Capcom

Rated: M

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for an action game that doesn’t try to be anything else

Console: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Grade: A

The quality of video games has soared in the last few years. If you’re the type of fan who loves multiple genres, chances are you can’t keep up anymore.

One type of game has fallen by the wayside though: the pure action spectacle. (Not shooters — that’s a different genre entirely.)

The trend — one I personally love — is to mix adventure and role-playing elements in with a game, striving to deepen the story and lengthen the experience. It leaves a noticeable gap though, one that games like “Golden Axe,” “Strider,” “Bionic Commando” and “Altered Beast” used to fill.

The “Devil May Cry” series has always done a great job of filling this niche, and “Devil May Cry 5” is no exception.

In it, you take turns playing three different characters, series star Dante, the ever-handsome Nero and V, a new character who adds a bit of panache to the Hellscape.

At the game’s start, Dante, Nero and V encounter a powerful demon named Urizen, barely escaping with their lives. Fast forward a few months and the gang is still fighting to destroy Urizen and all the minions his appearance has wrought.

Each of the characters plays differently. Dante still attacks guns a-blazin’; Nero uses his trusty sword and gun, along with a variety of very expendable prosthetic arms; and V stays removed from the fray, letting his three demonic beasts do most of the melee in his stead.

Like other series’ installments, the point is less about killing everything than about doing it in style. Every encounter is rated, compiled and worked into a final level score. The slick control scheme makes it easy to string moves together in search of a better score, slaying demons in a balletic display of carnage other games can only dream about.

As you play, you’ll earn red orbs that act as money to unlock new moves, improve your weapons and, in the case of Nero, buy a supply of artificial arms to fight with.

Some players will undoubtedly be annoyed with the arm system. They are quite fragile and break if you are attacked while using one. They can also be charged up for a powerful shot that will break them or can be self-destructed to cause immediate damage and get you out of a tight spot.

New arms can be purchased or found laying around levels, though you can’t pick those up unless you have an open space in your magazine.

I’m split on these, as I hate spending red orbs on them instead of a new ability, but I can’t deny that they make Nero really fun to play. My suggestion is to pay to upgrade your number of magazine slots but only fill them halfway so you have room to pick up arms you happen across.

Fighting with V is another matter entirely. Instead of getting terribly personal, V uses three familiars — a raven, a panther and a golem-like creature named Nightmare — to do most of his fighting for him. However, V must deliver the final blows personally, which results in an entertaining mix of jumping from one character to the next for all of your destruction.

Dante fights like he did in the previous games, without too many changes. To be honest, he isn’t really the star of the show this time, though it is fun to take command of him once in a while.

The levels are beautiful with an otherworldly organic feel, as the demon realm encroaches upon the world.

Even more stunning, the character design will leave you breathless, particularly the grotesque bosses siphoned from so many nightmares.

Secret areas and a plethora of power-ups beg for repeated playthroughs, and you’ll find yourself wanting to get better grades on every level just for the fun of it.

“Devil May Cry 5” is the rare action game that wallows in its old-school sensibilities without sacrificing modern upgrades, making this the best-looking, best-playing series installment to date.