Republished on Wednesday, 11th January, 2023: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of January 2023's PS Plus line up. The original text follows.
If you're the kind of player who spent hours upon hours coming up with absurdly cool combos in Devil May Cry 5, then this expanded re-release is for you. Likewise, if you're totally new to Capcom's bombastic action title, then this is the best version of an already exceptional game (you can read our original Devil May Cry 5 PS4 review here). In short, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is bloody brilliant.
Let's start with what's new. Vergil, Dante's katana-wielding twin brother, has been added as a fourth playable character, and he's yet another masterclass in terms of gameplay design. Vergil is ridiculously good fun, and quite possibly the most stylish fighter on the roster. He's got teleportation, lightning fast sword slashes, and a 'concentration' meter that fills up when you role-play as the supremely cocky bastard that Vergil is.
Casually strutting straight towards an enemy? That's some meter. Dodging an attack at the last possible second and then taunting your inept opponent? That's a lot of meter. However, you'll lose concentration if you start running about or swinging your weapons at nothing but air. It's a mechanic that encapsulates Vergil as a character. To get the absolute most out of him, you need to perform with all of the effortless flair and rage-inducing smugness that we've come to expect of the series' antagonist.
It's a shame that Vergil doesn't get his own story, though. If you opt to play as him, you'll slice and smash your way through the usual Devil May Cry 5 campaign, but with no cutscenes or narrative to string you along. It's not a huge issue since Vergil's gameplay is quite clearly the star of the show, but it still feels a bit cheap. Even just a couple of new cutscenes to help contextualise things would have made a real difference.
Fortunately, Special Edition comes equipped with a true game-changer: Legendary Dark Knight mode. A whole new difficulty level available right from the beginning, this mode tests your skills by throwing hordes of demons at you. Instead of fighting just a few foes in each area, you'll be met with a whole crowd of creatures. It's a brutal but brilliant addition, and while we wouldn't necessarily recommend it to newcomers, it provides the perfect reason to blast through the campaign all over again.
Impressively, even when you're surrounded by countless monsters and your screen's completely covered in all manner of visual effects, Special Edition barely drops a frame. Performance on PS5 is rock solid, and barring some slightly rough looking environments, the title still looks phenomenal overall. There are a few graphics options to play around with — including a 30 frames-per-second mode that maximises resolution and ray tracing — but we found ourselves sticking with a tried and true 60 frames-per-second, dynamic 4K setting.
Truth be told, the ray tracing in Special Edition isn't anything to write home about — and it's certainly not worth cutting the frame-rate in half for. There's also an option that allows for 120 frames-per-second if you have a display that supports it, but it's nowhere near locked, leading to noticeable drops when things get busy. The bottom line is that while it's nice to have all these options, Devil May Cry 5 is best played smooth and sharp.
But hey, what about those load times? In Special Edition, they're basically non-existent. The game still has load screens that feature written gameplay tips, but they're gone in seconds. Sometimes they don't even get that. Even entering The Void — a practice mode that can be accessed from the character customisation menu — takes but a moment. It all equates to a seamless experience, where you can immediately dive into the action whenever you're ready. Truly next-gen.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is the definitive version of an already outstanding action title. In terms of gameplay, we'd go as far to say that Vergil is one of the best designed characters that the genre has ever seen, and his inclusion alone is enough to have us grinning from ear to ear. Devil May Cry 5 is still an utter joy to play, and remains one of the greatest action games to ever grace PlayStation.
If anyone's got any questions about the game or the review, let me know and I'll try to answer. Sorry it's a bit late!
I know it isn’t popular, but I really thought this game was sub-par, especially next to the DmC remake def ed which I thought was far superior.
Good to hear. I sold my original DMC5 and the I’m picking this up physically in a few days. I love some good DMC and this’ll be first I replay any of the games.
@Shogunrok I’m assuming there is no save data transfer form the original?
I'm getting the ever so slight impression that the reviewer liked it. Could be wrong, though.
@Mega-Gazz I've only played DmC and thought it was superb. One of my favourite games of the genre of all time.
@Mega-Gazz I agree. Shiny graphics can’t hide the fact that this game is stuck in the past. Racking up combos just isn’t as satisfying as it used to be when other action games have stepped up their game so much in recent years.
Can't wait till next year to play this baby on PS5, I really wish Capcom would give us another DMC anime of this game or a continuation of 3. With the massive critical and sales success of 5 I wouldn't be surprised if 6 is in the works in some way..Great review Robert 👌
N.i.c.e. waiting for the physical copie.that devil may cry 5 lokoks amazing.word up son
@Jaz007 Nah, sadly not.
@Enuo @Mega-Gazz Sorry, but I'm gonna have to take your Gamer badges.
@Star-Lord Unfortunately I don't think so — I don't think we ever got review code for it, and then the PS5 came out so we didn't have time to go back.
@ShogunRok Hair fashion aside, please provide any objective reason why DMCV is better than DmC. DmC has better variety of enemies, better level design, better use of colour (DMCV is all grey) and is .... less cringy in the writing.
@Mega-Gazz I've written two reviews on why I think it's a 9/10!
@shogunRok any idea if the physcial release is still due for December ?
@ArcadeHeroes Yep, out on the 1st December as far as we know.
It annoyed me to no end last year that Sekiro released a few weeks after DMC5 and got heaped with praise and hype. DMC5 on the other hand was superior in every way in my view. A truly underrated masterpiece of a game.
@Mega-Gazz - As a huge fan of DMC it pains me to say it but I couldn't agree more. DMC5 is only just beat by DMC2 as the worst in the series and is inferior to DmC in every department.
@ShogunRok All these years and some people still can't move on from DmC. It's exactly the same as Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, It was Just some experimental side game that Capcom let some other developer try their hand on.
I personally kinda liked DmC for what it was but if you ask them if it was better then DMC 3 & 1 they will say yes which tells you everything you need to know 🤷
Decided to wait for the physical release. Happy to see it seems like Capcom did a good job porting this over to the now current gen.
@Juanalf DmC is a solid action game — it's got some cool ideas. But to me, it's not Devil May Cry. I think it largely misses the point of trying to be Devil May Cry.
Which is fine — it doesn't have to be exactly like Devil May Cry to be a good game. Like you say, it's one of Capcom's experiments, but on a personal level it doesn't come close to what Capcom does best.
Sad to hear Vergil did not get his own true story mode/campaign.
Hopefully this can be patched in down the line.
It was fun but I really prefer the likes of Bayonetta to this.
@Mega-Gazz Saying DmC is better then DMC5 is like saying Terminator Salvation is a better film then Terminator 2 and i'm saying this as someone who played DmC and didn't play the other 5 until the year DMC5 came out.
Combat is deeper then ever and only rivalled by Bayonetta, the writing is great, the characters are great, the story is fun and s pure fan service in a good way, soundtrack is godly and the various weapons and what you can do with them is amazing. DmC is fun and a good time but its a poor mans DMC game and is just no where near as deep and fun as DMC5.
@WallyWest We obviously played different games.
I thought this game was excellent and looked really good on the Pro so to hear it is even better is just brilliant news! Not sure I could go back and play through again as I don't like doing that with any games, too many in the back log to start looking back.
@ShogunRok I already have it on the pro so is it worth the actual upgrade. Thanks as I'm stuck between buying this or godfall. But godfall reviews are putting me off but it's already half price on ebay so I'm tempted.
@Bobskie77 Depends how much you enjoyed it before. If you think it's an absolutely amazing game and would love to play through it again, I say buy it (Vergil is amazing). But if not, maybe wait for the price to drop at some point next year, or when there are no other games that interest you. It's still 90% the same game.
@ShogunRok yeah I thought as much. I did look at a comparison and bar raytracing it's the same game despite it being 120 fps. So yeah i can get it for like 20 bucks now but already have the deluxe edition for the pro. But i must say I'm loving my ps5 I've had no issue with mines so far and it's only a wk and a half old. So fingers crossed i got a good one. Thanks again ✌️.
I just picked it up for PS5 and I’ve been playing 10/10 games lately, some tough acts to follow. But I gotta say, this game has some of the most fun moments I’ve had playing a game... in a very long time. And I’m not even very far into the game yet.
I just got to the part where you start playing as V. At first I was disappointed to not play as Nero anymore. But man, V is a blast to play with! Especially V’s first boss battle, it’s just so good. This game gets better and better. And I haven’t even gotten to play with Dante or Vergel yet.
PS4 VERSION IS BETTER ON BACK COMPAT IN MY OPINION.
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