Is Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition more stylish on the PS5?

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We have remarked on more than one occasion that there are simply not enough new next-gen titles available on the PlayStation 5 at launch. Having already worked our way through Marvel’s Spiderman and Miles Morales, as well as Sackboy and the deliciously difficult Demon’s Souls, our choices have been fairly limited.

But in recent weeks, next-gen ports for current generation titles have been made available. With FIFA 21 looking promising, albeit with the same gameplay frustrations, how does something like Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition fare?

We were fans of the absurdity and combo-heavy gameplay of the PS4 original, but does it venture a return on the next-gen iteration?

We poured quite a few hours into the Special Edition to find out if it is indeed special enough to invest in.


Graphics bump

First and foremost things will feel familiar in the Special Edition for anyone who has played the original Devil May Cry 5. One of the key changes, as to be expected given the next-gen nature of this title, is that you’ll be able to choose new visual settings.

Most notably a new mode that supports ray tracing, which according to Capcom adds in new elements such as reflections in surfaces.

To be perfectly honest, the action in-game is so frantic we could not actually see such elements truly at work.

That said things look a fair bit sharper on the PS5 than they did on the PS4. With character movement in DMC5 very much on rails, the areas that your character can move into look highly detailed, the background aspects though, look much like they did in the previous gen console.

There is the ability to up the frame rate too, although it is not clearly stated at how many fps it is running at, with it simply being called a High Frame Rate Mode. Either way it is a nice addition, as the regular DMC5 could look quite intense on-screen at times, depending on what was going on.

The improvements on the graphics side of things are therefore aimed in-game than in cutscenes, with those having already looked pretty polished on the PS4 version of the game.


A few additions

What will also be welcome is the new Legendary Dark Knight (not a Batman reference) and Turbo Modes. The former amps up the difficulty, which was glaringly evident during the opening boss battle, and the latter ups the played speed by 1.2 times, so only those with well honed reflexes need dare.

One of the other key additions to the Special Edition is the ability to play as Vergil from the beginning instead of the DMC Crew. This option is also not a simple rehashing of a current character model with a new skin, and Vergil feels like a wholly different fighter compared to the rest of the roster.

This is a nice change up as anyone who has played as Nero (the main character for large chunks of the game) will know he can become annoyingly obnoxious after awhile.

Speaking of which the same cheesy, and at certain points cringey dialogue, from the DMC series remain true to form here. And if you were wondering whether resident master at arms Nico is the same in the Special Edition, the unfortunate answer is yes. As such she retains a special place in our hearts as one of the worst DMC characters to date.


Speed upgrade

One of the other nice things about playing Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition on the PS5 is the welcome loss of loading screens. They proved a bane on the PS4 version of the title, and couple with the frequent cutscenes meant you were twiddling your thumbs waiting to get stuck into the action for the first few chapters of the game.

Thankfully that is no longer a concern here, although Capcom still insists on doing an animated intro every time you head back to the Start Menu.

Oh, the game also takes a few more seconds than to reach that Start Menu than some other titles we’ve played on the PS5, but it is nowhere near the exhaustive wait that it was on the previous generation.


So the question is whether DMC fans should invest in the Special Edition. At this stage, we think only if you can afford it.

November proved to be a frantic month as far as video game releases went, and the fact that the Special Edition retails for R719 at the time of writing, makes this a purchase that may be better down the line, when players are a little more liquid.

Purchase the game though, and you’ll get as distilled a DMC experience as you’re likely to find, now with the added bells and whistles of ray tracing and higher frame rates.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.