Devil May Cry 5 is Surprisingly Accessible to Newcomers
Even though I was hesitant to make Devil May Cry 5 my first real foray into the series, it turned out to be a great decision.
I’ve been sold on Devil May Cry 5 from the moment I saw it revealed last year at E3 2018. Everything about the game seemed right in my wheelhouse from the getgo and it immediately became one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. The only problem was that I had still never played a single Devil May Cry game in my life.
Late last year, I told myself I would finally rectify this and decided to try and play all of the DMC entries–including DmC: Devil May Cry— before the fifth installment released. Unfortunately, I ended up failing in this pursuit. Even though I ended up purchasing every game in the series, I only ended up playing the original Devil May Cry while I visited my parents over Christmas break. A very festive game, I know.
Before I knew it, the release of Devil May Cry 5 was upon us this year and I still wanted to dive headfirst into what it offered, despite having still not cleared out my backlog of older games in the series. After debating with myself internally on whether or not I should hold off or not, I decided that I didn’t want to wait to play Devil May Cry 5. Turns out, this was the right decision to make because after beating the game, I found it to actually be quite accessible to those who are more unfamiliar with the series.
I think the main reason why Devil May Cry 5 was so accessible to me despite not fully knowing the series’ lore was because the story the game is telling isn’t an overly complex one. At it’s most basic telling, Nero, Dante, and V are tasked with taking down the demon Urizen before he becomes too powerful. While there are plenty of twists and turns in the narrative along the way, the core of the story is easy to follow and in my opinion, didn’t require the backing knowledge that would stem from playing all of the other games.
It also helped that Devil May Cry 5 comes with a video in the game’s main menu that gets you caught up on the story of Dante and friends so far. That said, the movie moves pretty quickly and deals out a whole lot of details all at once. It was pretty overwhelming as someone unfamiliar with Devil May Cry 3 and 4, which seem to be the two most important installments in the series that deal directly with what transpires in Devil May Cry 5. Still, I think this video’s addition really helped me understand at a baseline level just what is going on in this series and gave me an idea of who characters that I wasn’t familiar with like Vergil were.
If there is one thing that I did feel left out on in Devil May Cry 5, it was with the finer relationships between some characters. Certain moments in DMC5 seemed to feature callbacks to past games between characters where I was left wondering what exactly was being referred to. This mainly stemmed from Nero more than most other characters in the game as he would reference many other characters that you wouldn’t meet over the course of the experience. Still, it wasn’t hard to piece together details such as Kyrie clearly being Nero’s girlfriend.
More than anything, if I had played the previous games in the series though I would have just had a greater appreciation for some of these callbacks and nothing more. Again, at no point did I ever really feel lost in Devil May Cry 5, but it seemed like some moments in the game would be more rewarding had you experienced every other installment in the series so far.
Playing Devil May Cry 5 without experiencing the other games proved more than anything that I still want to play the previous installments in the franchise. Even though I’ve played the most recent iteration, I still would like to go back and play DMC3, DMC4, and DmC: Devil May Cry at some point down the road. Like me, if you end up liking what Devil May Cry 5 has to offer, you can always just go back and revisit the past games. It doesn’t really matter in the end which order you play them in as long as you’re having fun with each game.
If you’re on the fence about jumping into this series for the first time like I was, I would just encourage you to make the leap and get into Devil May Cry 5 for yourself. While there might be a few instances where things go over your head throughout the game, my missing out of a callback to a previous entry never made Devil May Cry 5 any less enjoyable — the combat is just too dang fun in this game. Even as someone who typically doesn’t play games out of order in this manner, the experience of Devil May Cry 5 was a blast from start to finish and I’m more than happy that I took the time to play it as soon as it released rather than down the road.