Dante is Devil May Cry. No matter what happens, he is always there. He’s dependable and reliable. We know we can chain together great combos with him. We know he has a sense of nobility to him, as well as humor. He’s great, and this doesn’t change in Devil May Cry 5. In fact, his position in the story, moveset, and journey’s progression might just make him better than he’s ever been.
Think about the Devil May Cry 5 timeline. The prologue of the game begins on May 16. That’s when Urizen beats Nero so badly, he has to leave and regroup. Dante steps in to give him the opportunity to get away, holding off Urizen in the meantime. Nero and V don’t start their real journey into Red Grave City to take on Urizen and deal with the Qliphoth until June 15. When Nero does encounter Urizen again and sees he and V still aren’t ready, it is Dante who once again comes in to the rescue. Before we ever get to play as him, he is established as this pillar of strength who is able to withstand what is going on in the city and stand strong against Urizen and his forces until Nero and V can come in as reinforcements. It says a lot about him.
But then, every story segment says just as much. Dante has this sense of confidence, but also comes across as this generally cool and likeable individual. When we have the flashback showing him getting V’s job from Morrison, we see the lows the Devil May Cry business has hit, but he’s still going and able to joke about the situation. There’s a levity there, even though we know he is a defender of humanity whose strength makes him as much of a hero as his father, Sparda. He goes toe-to-toe with these terrifying demons, but never flinches. Yet, when Nico presents him with the Dr. Faust weapon, essentially the best and most deadly cowboy hat ever, we see him treat this fangirling weaponsmith with kindness, joke with her, do this fantastic dance with a moonwalk, and graciously accept the gift.
Its fitting with his skillset. Dante exudes power, but at the same time is just fun. He has a robust moveset, thanks to his multiple weapons he can cycle through, and changing his Style is effortless. Think about everything he has available to him. Rebellion returns, as his primary sword. He can use Ebony and Ivory again, his classic guns, as his ranged weapon. Or, if you want a little more punch, he has a Coyote-A shotgun. He also has the Devil Arms Balrog and Cavaliere (read: the motorcycle that splits in two), again for melee attacks. He has King Cerberus, which is essentially a pair of nunchuks that can turn into a staff. Dr. Faust lets you throw a cowboy hat at foes to damage them, almost like a boomerang. There’s even a missile launcher, Kalina Ann, which might seem like overkill in some other sorts of games. (But not here, of course.) This is in addition to his Devil Trigger form.
It is a lot, but his Style system makes it so easy to get to one sort of groove, then switch if you find it isn’t working for you in a situation. Trickster’s name is misleading, as it isn’t tricky at all. Rather, it’s about being speedy and having an easy option to dodge or sidestep when needed. It’s also very good for combos and works well paired with his other styles. Swordmaster is about using those close-range weapons like Rebellion, Balrog, Cavaliere, or King Cerberus, so you can get in an enemy’s face and go to town with a combo that should hopefully ruin them. Royal Guard is a defensive go-to for blocking and parrying enemies’ attacks. You use it interspersed with the other styles and don’t rely on it only, as it is more to offer a respite from a dangerous foe and let you get a chance to regroup or better handle a strong attack. Gunslinger is one that has very specific uses, since it relies entirely on weapons like Coyote-A, Dr. Faust, Kalina Ann, and Dante’s iconic Ebony and Ivory. You use it when you need space, know a larger boss or more daunting normal foe is going to use some strong close range attacks, or maybe want to try and whittle down a larger group of enemies surrounding you, before you switch to a style like Swordmaster or Trickster to take out the stronger enemies.
Editor’s note: There will be general spoilers regarding Dante’s portion of the adventure below. There are no specific details, but it will allude to some of the endgame events.
The fact that we get resolution with one of Dante’s brother and rival, Vergil, really makes Devil May Cry 5 a rewarding experience for longtime fans of the series. We have seen where the two have been over the years and how they interacted. They were more often foes, as in Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry, who occasionally found themselves drawn toward the same goal. To see this longtime relationship returned to here, given a chance to work things out again, and see how Dante now interacts with him, is incredibly satisfying.
To be honest, it is Dante’s sections that the Devil May Cry 5 cutscene situation so distressing. If you press a button during these sections, the game skips them. Say you want to pause the moment when Dante gets the Dr. Faust cowboy hat. If you press a button to pause, the moment is over. The game automatically skips the cutscene. If you attempt to get a screenshot of that sort of moment on, say, the Xbox One, pressing the Home button to bring up the screenshot option causes the scene to skip and the moment to be lost forever. (Or until you replay that mission.) It is disheartening, because there are so many moments someone might want to share.
In short, Dante is great. Devil May Cry 5 gives people a chance to really appreciate everything he is capable of. We can admire his strength, appreciate his humor, and enjoy the way all of his different styles can work together to earn some fantastic SSS combos. He’s in top form here.
Devil May Cry 5 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.