Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition makes one of 2019’s finest games even better

Vergil’s devil trigger is full

Devil May Cry 5 was an absolute triumph.

Don’t take it from me, read our review! Oh wait, that was me. Well, take it from me.

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is pretty good too.

So most people who know me well are aware of the fact that I’m an action game fiend. I own basically every “classic” action romp known to man, and the stylish symphony of the Devil May Cry series had its tendrils in me as soon as I got my hands on it. I can remember watching combo videos and trailers for this franchise in sub-240p ages ago. I’m glad it’s still around.

So when I say the Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition speaks to me, I know the prospect of buying the game all over again won’t appeal to everyone. In fact, since existing owners can buy the Vergil DLC piecemeal on December 15, it’s possible that you can skip this entirely. For everyone who wants to jump into DMC5 for the first time or plans on playing it annually, making a trade-up wouldn’t be the worst idea.

There are a few things at play here with this version: technical/visual upgrades (turbo mode at 1.2x speed, ray tracing, 4K, quicker load times), the ability to play through the game as Vergil, and a new insane “Legendary Dark Knight” mode that’s custom-tailored for hardcore players.

Here’s a quick rundown of the core graphical options (120 FPS is also available if your TV supports it):

  • 4K/30FPS (with ray tracing)
  • 4K/60FPS (no ray tracing)
  • 1080p/60FPS (with ray tracing)

Options: they rule! Whether you’re a casual player who’s going at it on Easy Automatic and just wants to take in the sights, or a hardcore DMC fiend who absolutely needs to play at 60FPS, there are ways to experience each facet of the remaster individually. Ray tracing looks great in the special edition, especially in its 4K format (which should be doable in 30FPS for most difficulty settings below hard). After enjoying ray tracing in each zone, I gravitated toward 60FPS, personally.

The content is really what matters though, and Legendary Dark Knight mode is a very peculiar option that feels suitable for the enhanced performance. Basically, the screen is filled with enemies throughout the campaign from the very start of the game. Some are canon fodder, some spawns involve foes that are minibosses much later in the story (like meeting multiple Sins way before one appears normally). If you’ve mastered every aspect of Devil May Cry 5, it’s a fun challenge to take on.

Vergil, however, is clearly the main draw and he mostly delivers. He feels “complete” from the minute you get him with a host of unique moves (like several Devil Trigger nuances, including a clone that you can loosely manage, an ultimate that lets him turn into V, and a proper devil form) across three weapons: the Yamato (his signature), Beowulf (the fist weapons from DMC5 proper), and the Mirage Edge blade. The Yamato is the crowning achievement here, as it allows Vergil to not only kick ass effectively, but do it in style: the marriage of the two is classic DMC.

I found myself finishing entire levels with it, utilizing its gap closers and aerial rave potential to constantly command stylish ratings. The latter is sort of a buffer weapon in that with a few exceptions, it operates a lot like Dante’s standard Rebellion sword. Meanwhile, Beowulf is a great middle-ground that enables a lot of cool combos. Just know that for the most part, the game plays out exactly the same: like in the past, Vergil is fully-featured, but kind of just inserted in.

At $40, it’s feasible to sell your preowned copy of Devil May Cry 5 for around $15 and knock a few bucks off the special edition upgrade price. But as I alluded to earlier, you can also wait and just pick up the Vergil DLC on current-generation platforms. The choice is up to you, but I’m happy with the change. As a reminder, there are no plans for a PC version…yet.

[These impressions are based on a PS5 version of the game provided by the publisher.]

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!