Title: Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Reviewed On: Xbox Series X
Devil May Cry 5 is one of the best video games that I have ever played. Its focus on refined action, various playstyles, captivating story beats, and so much style had me coming back for more again and again. Still, I never felt that the experience was held back by hardware limitations when it launched, which is why I was eager to play Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition on the newer consoles. Although this is now the best way to experience this incredible title, it may not be worth returning to for old fans.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition centers around the original story where Dante and the crew are up against some demons threatening the world. Although this game is all about action, it does understand pacing as you make your way through environments taking out demon trash. Along with Dante are Nero and V as playable protagonists. The trio offers a nice balance of playstyles and brings their own flair to the narrative. If you want to know more, check out my review of the 2019 release.
Given that the Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition offers the same story experience as the original, it’s a tough sell to those who have already played. The problem is that I couldn’t figure out how to transfer my save file over to the Special Edition version. Starting from scratch isn’t really a problem, but those who have purchased DLC might be a little upset.
So if Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is largely the say story experience as before, why am I writing this review? Well, because the enhancements added are just so damn good. The loading screens are pretty much a thing of the past as the action truly never stops between sections. If you used these moments to catch your breath after a death, well, you’ll have to get used to the pause menu because they’re almost non-existent now.
Furthermore, the enhancements made to the engine pushing 120fps gives the game a smooth and seamless presentation. This game has also been beautiful, but it has never felt this good. It’s responsive action that I had grown used to takes on a new form in this release as I pretty much glide through enemy encounters during some awesome fights.
Still, I should mention that I don’t think enhanced graphics make a game good. Devil May Cry 5 was a masterpiece within the action genre before the Special Edition came around. These upgrades make the experience better in presentation and limiting pain points of any frame drop or lowgrade texture.
So now, let’s talk about Turbo Mode, where you can crank up the speed to 1.2x. It feels a little insane at first, but after you get used to adjusting your button inputs, it begins to actually feel natural. I don’t think it won me over than the main game mode as I enjoy a bit more time to execute combos, but I can see this being a must for fans who want to speed things up. The most important thing is that it works for the game and even feels natural, the more you play using it.
Then there’s Legendary Dark Knight, which is Capcom pushing the new hardware to new limits. It’s a difficult mode, but it also shows how many more enemies that can be on the screen at once without suffering from poor framerate. This mode is perhaps the best for those who have played through the game before. It offers new encounters and tougher battles, which made going through the campaign feel like a remixed version of it. If anything, I feel this is probably the second reason you’d want to pick this version up on new hardware.
What’s the first reason, well, Vergil, of course. Vergil’s campaign is pretty much just the same as the campaign that you’d go through as all the characters with a few new cinematics. Also, instead of switch protagonists, you’ll just play as Vergil throughout the entire game. I would have preferred some exclusive moments added to this character DLC or some additional environments, but his playstyle makes up for the lack of additional stages.
Vergil is just a powerhouse to the point where it feels like you are just too overpowered for anything you encounter. He has a few different weapons available, including a few sword options and a strong melee fist, which can be included in your combos. There are a vanishing attack and a long-ranged dagger throw, which can all be upgraded using Red Orbs found throughout the stages. It’s important to note that Vergil will be playable on the standard version of the game in December, so if you don’t have the console, you can still play as him.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition has a healthy balance of updated systems and features that make it a great introduction to what we can expect from action games in this new generation. Those who haven’t played will get to experience the best this title has to offer while returning fans can push their skills with the Legendary Dark Knight Mode and being able to play as Vergil. While I would have preferred a totally separate new campaign for Vergil, everything here shows how an amazing game can be better. Now, when is that Lady and Trish DLC coming?
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