WARNING! SPOILERS IN POST AND IMAGES! EVEN A DEVIL MAY SPOILER!
Devil May Cry 5 should not exist. It’s an oddity, a throwback to yesteryear that is firm in its belief of the kind of game it wants to be. In the first hour, it’s the kind of game that has landing Superman-level punches on gigantic bloodbag mosquitos, summoning demonic panthers to rip Hellish abominations limb from limb and sees you utterly demolished by the laziest monarch to ever sit on the throne of the damned.
There’s nary a prompt to purchase a season pass, your path through the game is strictly linear and there’s a level of polish attached to it that is unheard of in modern gaming circles. Sweet Sparda, I adore this game. There’s a lot to love about Devil May Cry 5, from its over the top action through to some cheesy sequences that feature Dante doing his best Moonwalk and somehow still being thought of as a massive badass even after he gets an S-Rank in crotch-grabbing.
And yet, it’s not the smooth gameplay, epic boss fights or the stunning depth of the combat that I’ve been most enamoured with. Rather, it’s the acting inside of Devil May Cry 5. Thanks to those aforementioned visuals, Dante’s inferno looks unbelievable in action. Sure, there’s a touch of uncanny valley, but the gap between the unnerving and the digital illusion feels smaller than ever.
You can thank Capcom’s reliance on actual actors for this, as the development team recruited a cast of both English and Japanese. You’ve got your usual Devil May Cry stalwarts such as Reuben Langdon giving Dante his usual cocky devil may care attitude and Daniel Southworth as the reborn Vergil, while Faye Kingslee is an absolute delight as Nico, Devil May Cry 5’s best character. Johnny Young Bosch is always a delight as Nero and Wendee Lee even pulls double duty as Trish and Eva.
And sure, for those of you about to drop a comment, yes there is some overacting done here. Honestly I don’t care, because while some of the delivery may come off as explosive, it never feels forced. Devil May Cry 5’s acting always feels sincere, full of heart and when you see those moments when the action is actually dialled down a few notches and the cast get to be more subtle? That’s something special.
There’s two moments in particular that stand out in particular, when it comes to a more gentle approach being just as bombastic as seeing Urizen splinter the walls of reality with his power. They’re both near the end, with Nero grabbing the first nod by having a simple phone call with the one person that he’d fight heaven and hell to protect, Kyrie:
The second? Vergil, ready to fight his brother yet again, and yet still able to break his stoic facade for a moment just so that he can deliver a subtle smile. I’ve got to say, Southworth’s more measured and calm delivery is just and always will be, the absolutely best contrast that Capcom could have ever hoped for when they established him as Dante’s polar opposite so many years ago.
Bonus third scene! Nico and Nero at the end of Devil May Cry 5, with Nico being the kind of best friend that I wish that I could have: Honest, supportive and ready to give me crap. Nico bouncing back and forth with Nero, irritating him and making him trip on himself? I adore it and I can watch this scene a thousand times without it ever getting old.
I adore stuff like this. To me, it sells a game and what the medium is capable of. Anyone can create bombastic scenes, but having the talent to reign in the energy and unleash it with pinpoint precision? Now that takes skill. It’s not easy corralling cheesy one-liners, genuine acting, bleeding edge technology and a cast that can make you believe in them, but Devil May Cry 5 does it with style.
There’s plenty of fantastic acting inside of Devil May Cry 5, a game that is already cementing itself as one of my personal highlights not only of the year but of this gaming generation.
Last Updated: March 14, 2019