Review: Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

Humanity, demons, and the supernatural world has always been a part of the action genre that has drawn gamers to the world of Devil May Cry. The latest offering from the series developed by Capcom, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition opens with a prologue that immediately sets the tone. There is no hiding the fact that from the outset that the player is in for an adventure. Devil May Cry sees the return of well-known demon hunters Dante and Nero and introduces a new playable character known as V. Now nearly two decades since the first Devil May Cry game, Devil May Cry 5 has enough to offer to those both new to the series and those who have been there since day one to enjoy.

Devil May Cry 5, initially released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 8 March 2019; now this rerelease sees it come to the next-gen gaming consoles with both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X available now. Noticeably, this sees an improvement in the graphics; at the time of review Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition was played on the reviewer’s Xbox Series X and Samsung 4K OLED TV. It is still early days to understand how far we can push the new consoles graphically and performance-wise; however, Devil May Cry 5 has tapped into the ability to extract a strong performance from the Xbox Series X. This is evident when on both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the graphics performance targets the 60 frames per second mark to extract the best possible performance out of the new generation of gaming consoles.


The new generation of gaming consoles has allowed the developers to include new graphical options when setting up before the playthrough. These options include the ability to turn on Ray-Tracing, allowing for the game to turn on an advanced and lifelike way of rendering light and shadows, or the choice is there for the game to be run in a higher framerate at an astronomical 120 frames per second. Besides Ray-Tracing and High Frame-rate modes, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition offers new gameplay modes known as the Turbo mode and the Legendary Dark Knight Mode; these modes force the gameplay to speed up even higher and throw more demons at they player; so choose your difficulty settings wisely should you select one of these two new modes.


Difficulty wise, six options are given before a player starts the journey, with those options being Human, Devil Hunter, Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die, Heaven and Hell, Hell and Hell. Human and Devil Hunter are two of the game’s most comfortable difficulty modes. Even on those levels, the difficultly gets progressively more challenging in general missions, and when facing different bosses at the end of each mission. Two of the most challenging difficulty levels are reserved for players who beat the Sons of Sparda difficulty and become available for those who dare to play Devil May Cry 5 on its difficulty peak.


Devil May Cry 5 has an excellent control system in which the player will find it easy to use during the combat sequences. The A button allows characters to jump while the X button will fire the characters’ gun. The Y button will perform slashing attacks with the sword. The B button will use the character’s unique abilities. The control system offers players the opportunity to gain stylistic points for how enemies can be attacked, leading to some exciting attack combinations that vary between the three playable characters.


Devil May Cry 5 can draw in newcomers to the series, as even with its easier difficulty level and it’s combo assist mode that makes it more accessible for those having trouble. However, that is not to say that they had forgotten about those who had stuck with the series and this is seen in the complexity of the three playable characters. Players will need to use the three different fighting styles of Nero, Dante, and V. Each have their different abilities, which can change how the player approaches each mission.


Devil May Cry 5 sees players first starting as Nero, who wields the Red Queen sword for melee combat, and the Blue Rose double-barrelled revolver. However, he does not have his demonic arm from the previous game but has an assortment of new robotic arms called Devil Breakers instead. The Devil Breakers have various functions that allow Nero to grab enemies from a distance or stopping time to freeze an enemy in place. Nero can also find Devil Breakers during stages. Devil Breakers are powerful but fragile and are destroyed if misused.


The second playable character is Dante. Dante retains the persona seen in the previous Devil May Cry, in which he can switch between four styles to create new techniques or parry enemy attacks.  He returns to Devil May Cry 5 with his signature blade Rebellion and the demonic Devil Sword Sparda. Dante also has the Devil Trigger, which enhances both the abilities and healing powers that he possesses. Dante also can use an overpowered form known as Sin Devil Trigger that allows him to produce new means of attack when in combat.


And finally, Devil May Cry 5 introduces the new playable character V, who is an extremely unique character in which his primary weapons are a book and a silver cane. V can call upon Griffon, an eagle that uses ranged lightning-based attacks, Shadow, a panther that forms blades, spikes, and portals out of its body, and Nightmare, a large and powerful golem to combat against demons from the underworld. The usage of these three special abilities means that the fight sequences with V can be extremely violent but cool to watch.


Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition brings in Vergil as a playable character. Vergil first made his appearance in Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4 with the ability to play as Vergil as a playable character in the special editions of both games, just as we find him to be in Devil May Cry 5. One of the more enjoyable aspects of using Vergil as a playable character is that while in combat, he can use three demons created from trace memories of Nelo Angelo, a demon created by Mundus, to weaken his opponents so he can land the deathblow when the enemies are nearly defeated.


Narrative wise, Devil May Cry 5 opens with Nero hunting Urizen, a demon who took Nero’s demonic arm and the sword Yamato. Nero travels to Red Grave City, where he finds a demonic tree called Qliphoth planted in the city, with the tree killing the town’s people to harvest their blood. Upon seeing the demonic tree, Dante and his group attempt to confront Urizen in the tree which has overtaken Red Grave City, but finds themselves defeated and Lady, a demon created by Mundus, and Trish, a freelance demon hunter, are captured by Urizen. The opening sequence of Devil May Cry 5 lays the platform for what is an emotionally driven story.


Devil May Cry 5 continues with Nero and V seeking to rescue Dante, Lady, and Trish from Urizen’s clutches and rid Red Grave City of the Qliphoth demon tree. The story offers some storyline plot twists best left for players to discover, and players will not be disappointed. Along with the unique storyline that keeps the player engaged and wanting to know more, there is a theme evident in Devil May Cry 5, and that is the theme of love. It shines through the way the characters interact with one another. The story plotline also clarifies that love is the central theme of Devil May Cry 5 as the player dives deeper into the missions that help progress the storyline. The developers of Devil May Cry 5 have crafted an incredible story that does justice to the Devil May Cry series as a whole.


Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition has an average game time of around twelve hours on the first run-through, with the game offering the player a wide variety of enemies and bosses to take on as they play through the game. Devil May Cry 5 isn’t a game that can be played with children younger than 15 around given that the story and premise of the game revolving around demons and the supernatural world. The game can be paused at anytime.

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J for One More Game

Rating: 9 – Amazing – as near to a 10 as you are going to get without it being a 10. It’s an amazing experience that just requires that little something else to make it a masterpiece. Your hard earned cash and time would be well spent here.

Please click the link here for a full rundown of our rating scale.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition was reviewed on an Xbox Series X and is also available on PlayStation 5.

The publisher kindly provided review code for this title. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.

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