It’s only been a year and a half since the original release of Devil May Cry 5, but already Capcom are double-dipping with the launch of next-gen consoles, as Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition has hit Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. And, as will come as no surprise to the Devil May Cry faithful, it’s essentially the ‘Vergil’ edition of the game, adding in Dante’s popular brother as a playable character, in a tradition stretching back to Devil May Cry 3 and 4‘s re-releases. Of course, being a next-gen launch title means you get a few extra features to sweeten the pot, but by and large you’re essentially getting the definitive version of the still-great Devil May Cry 5, and everything we said in our review last year still goes now. If you never picked up the original game, then it goes without saying that this definitive Special Edition is an easy choice for an awesome next-gen experience.
Vergil’s the main reason to fork out for a second time, although it’s worth knowing he will be added to the original last-gen game in December via DLC at a very reasonable US $4.99. And, he’s just as much of a beast as he usually is. The base Devil May Cry 5 had a bit of a split focus, giving you three playable characters (Dante, V and Nero) who each tackled specific missions throughout the campaign. Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition lets you play through the entire game (with a few different cutscenes here and there) as just Vergil, which is great as you can just focus on getting good on the one character. He’s still got his lightspeed-quick, space-warping Yamato sword, along with melee Beowulf gauntlets and a glowing blue-version of Dante’s Force Edge sword, that lets you replicate his playstyle a little bit. And there’s even more versatility, as Vergil takes cues from his appearance in DmC with the ability to manifest a demonic Doppelganger through his Devil Trigger, is able to transform into his Sin Devil Trigger form pretty much from the word go, or even access some of V’s abilities through a special move that takes advantage of the two characters’ connection. Vergil also gets access to probably the best taunt in the game. He’s just a dope character to play as, although it takes a little adjustment to get used to his precision.
Aside from Vergil, Devil May Cry 5 also adds a very welcome Legendary Dark Knight difficulty, which is definitely worth checking out if you’ve long-since bested the base game. It really pushes you to master how you think tactically, using the game’s systems to tackle big groups of enemies, and adds a decent challenge.
The rest of the additions are to do with the game’s presentation on next-gen systems. One of the new graphics modes enables ray-tracing support, giving greater detail to lighting and reflections throughout the game. It isn’t a massive difference, and reflections are blurry on close inspection, but it does add colour and depth to a lot of areas, especially the city early on in the main story. You can choose to render ray-traced reflections at 4K, or at 1080p for a performance boost, or forgo it completely to engage ‘Turbo Mode’, which is the most interesting of the new features. Although it isn’t quite as significant a boost as you might see in some mods for the PC versions of the Devil May Cry games, it still speeds up gameplay by what feels like a good 20%, and it’s needed too given how slow Devil May Cry 5 could feel at times. It’s cool to have it as part of the official package, and if you can get used to it, a pretty good option to leave turned on.
Outside of those additions, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is a little light on anything extra. There’s no ability to replay any mission with any character you want, or more playable characters like Lady or Trish. Vergil does get some unique extra story beats for his take on the main campaign, as well as a very cool unique bossfight at the very end of the game, but it’s a little unclear how it all fits in canonically with the original story, if at all. What’s been included here for this Special Edition is very nice, but it does feel like the minimum.
Nevertheless, with all these enhancements Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is the de-facto best version to pick up, especially if you have a PS5 or Xbox Series X. Whether you choose ray-traced glory or the buttery smooth turbo-mode gameplay, Devil May Cry 5 remains an eminently enjoyable action game, and adding Vergil into the mix only makes it even sweeter.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using code provided by the publisher.
-The addition of playable Vergil adds a new reason to go back and replay the campaign again and again -He has some bomb ass moves too -Game is prettier than ever with ray-tracing support, but Turbo Mode is the game-changer for console players -Legendary Dark Knight difficulty is appreciated, and there's a pretty cool new boss fight
-Aside from the above, light on extra content there could have been for this 'Special Edition' -Many DMCV owners might be able to get away with just getting the much cheaper Vergil DLC