A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Devil May Cry 5 is an action/adventure game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. This is the latest installment of a popular franchise, and presents three antiheroes as they fight demons both in the world and in a hellish landscape. Characters use swords, guns, magic, and other abilities to destroy creatures, who spray blood when hit. There are also impaled bodies, remains of people, and fountains of blood in cutscenes, as well as characters that are covered in blood as they move through some portals. There's lots of swearing throughout the game, with "s--t," "f--k," and other words frequently stated in dialogue. Female characters are shown wearing revealing clothing, as well as partially nude and covered by slime. While their buttocks can be seen, nothing else is shown. One character frequently smokes a cigarette, although the other characters disapprove, and a disclaimer states that the game doesn't promote smoking or cigarettes. The game has multiple difficulty levels, and while players can button-mash their way through some fights, it requires practice to learn and master the skills and fighting styles of each character in battle. That can frustrate some players, especially if they can't master the combos and gameplay necessary to earn the top rank in battle, which provides bonus points.
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What's it about?
DEVIL MAY CRY 5 is the latest action/adventure game in the popular franchise about demon hunters and the evil threats they face from hellish beings. The gameplay takes place in Red Grave City, where demons have started popping up in the streets and attacking the population. Even worse, a gigantic tree has suddenly erupted from the center of town with dangerous roots and tendrils that skewer nearby citizens. The cause of all of this destruction? A new powerful demon called Urizen, who's using human blood to become the lord of hell. Fortunately, Dante and Nero, two powerful demon hunters, have raced to the city to halt the demon's plans before it destroys the world. Along with a mysterious new figure named V (who seems to control demons of his own), the three figures throw themselves into battle against the hordes. Players will trade off between each one of the hunters, carving their own path into the underworld with their own unique skills and abilities. As players fight demons, they'll be graded on how varied their attacks are, as well as how they avoid attacks and taunt creatures; the grades provide bonus points, which eventually give orbs that can be used to power up their attacks and skills. Can this trio defeat the demons and return Red Grave City to normal?
Is it any good?
This mature action/adventure game hacks and slashes its way into becoming the best game of the franchise thanks to its deep and varied gameplay. Devil May Cry 5 builds on the series standard of fast-paced action, grading the kinds of attacks you launch at monsters while avoiding incoming strikes. While you could button-mash your way through some battles (and the game even features a combo assist for newcomers), the only way to elevate your score from a D for Dismal to a SSS (for Smokin' Sexy Style) is to learn, practice, and master your attacks and abilities. But instead of focusing on one character, Devil May Cry 5 breaks the series mold by including three hunters, each with unique combat and play. Nero is clearly the star of the game, with a more direct attack style that's bolstered by his new interchangeable prosthetic arms known as the Devil Breaker. Not only do the arms have their own abilities, but they can be fired as weapons themselves to cause larger amounts of damage. V, by contrast, is more of a distance fighter, conjuring his personal bird, panther, and rock demons into battle to weaken enemies for him before he steps in to perform a final killing blow. Finally, Dante is a much more technical warrior, switching between four separate combat styles at will to perform vicious combos.
Inevitably, players will start to pick their favorite character based on their own play style or preference, but it's incredible just how fresh these characters make combat feel. Even when you're fighting against monsters you've fought before, the mix of abilities and ranks drives you to get better, which helps prepare you for the challenging boss fights scattered through the game. For the most part, the gameplay is extremely well balanced and designed to keep you playing (and replaying) missions. One slight issue is that Dante doesn't have nearly as big a part to play in the game as Nero or V, so as you're getting used to his moves, the game's practically over. Another weak spot is that while there's a lot of story development, the ending, particularly the big story twists, feels a bit rushed, even as it sets up an interesting cliffhanger for a future game. These minor hiccups aside, if you're an action fan, this is a great title that will test your skills. Devil May Cry 5 has style, snark, and plenty of action to keep you coming back for more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Devil May Cry 5 affected by the blood and gore shown in the game? Would the impact be lessened if you weren't fighting demons or other scarier creatures? Would it be intensified if you were fighting people?
Do you think that Devil May Cry 5 needs to include so much swearing, or would the dialogue have the same snarky effect if it didn't have the same amount of mature language?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: March 8, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Violence
- Last updated: November 9, 2020
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