I’m about to write some shit about Devil May Cry that will spoil the ever-loving fuck out of the latest instalment. If you haven’t played or beaten Devil May Cry 5, then now is the time to stop reading.
Good! Let’s begin! Come the ending of the most recent demon slaying party, leading man Dante and his edge-lord brother Vergil have had their admittedly perfect asses handed to them by Vergil’s bastard child and Dante’s petulant nephew, Nero. Oh yeah, that was a whammy reveal huh? Who saw that coming? No one, because let’s face it, it’s pretty fucking stupid. Anywho, Nero vents his daddy issues by laying into Vergil in what turns out to be a fairly decent final fight, and, come the finale, talks down the two brothers to stop them trying to outright murder each other. Aww… What a nice afterschool special. This goes tits up, however when the two realise that they need to hop into Hell to close the gigantic demon portal spawning the Qliphoth roots from the other side and save pretty much everyone on our lovely little planet. The two jump right on into the death portal, but not before shutting Nero up with a solid brotherly double back-hand to the face. After this you’re treated to a couple of mid and after credits scenes of Nero kicking ass on Earth, and the brothers in the underworld having a seemingly friendly sparring match before joining forces to waste a few hell-beasties themselves.
Now what does this mean for the series as a whole? This clearly isn’t the end, but I do believe it’s a new beginning. Since DMC 4 came out way back in that dark time of 2008, it’s been pretty clear that old-hand Dante is being phased out for the fresh-faced and much more contemporary cool of Nero. I’m all for this change since, as much as I love Dante, its noticeable that his personality is becoming more and more dated; he’s an early 2000’s idea of cool and hasn’t really evolved in all these years – His most updated form came with the DMC: Devil May Cry rendition who, funnily enough, acted much more like Nero with a more aggressive personality and being rude rather than just quipping at everything then shooting it. Nero just fills the lead role better in this day and age, and maybe Dante can just become a side character like his cohorts Trish and Lady. Let’s have a story focused on just one character again, and Dante can keep his antics to cutscenes, and if it matters so much, a little DLC maybe.
While playing through DMC 5 I found myself easily having the most fun during Nero’s segments, seeing as Dante is same old same old, and V just isn’t as stylish as anyone else in the series; sure he’s interesting, but that’s not the same as racking up a combo using Nero’s truly varied attacks and abilities. Things go into overdrive in the replays too since bastard boy regains the use of his Devil Bringer from DMC 4, and can knock out some seriously cool combos ending in over the top brutal finishers using this in tandem with his Devil Trigger. This kind of action can’t be found in vanilla Dante’s battles, and opens a wide gulf of fun between the 2. Sorry Dante, but I think you’re stuck in Hell for the foreseeable future.
It’s been clear since the start that Nero was going to be embracing the style of DmC Dante, which, while not the biggest success for the series, was widely praised by even the most stoic of classic Devil May Cry fans for its gameplay at least. Nero’s latest iteration takes the best of that style using a grappling hook to close the distance and some impressive dodges and jumps to keep the combos going for as long as possible, and all this fits perfectly with his original fighting style which, while different from Dante, was certainly nothing too exciting. Now however, the rage beast stands out dramatically from the crowd, and just needs a full game as the sole leading man to really shine!
So how about it? Shall we make Devil May Cry 6 the first game of the franchise to completely see off the Legendary Devil Hunter, and let the rookie have a crack at the title? I personally think it’s about damn time for the new blood! Especially if he brings Nico along for the ride again… Sorry Dante; I’m bagging this bitch!