In generations past, you would’ve expected a substantial proportion of the games for the new consoles to be made up of very slightly improved versions of current-gen titles. That’s just the way things have always worked but in these more enlightened times, most publishers are offering free upgrades for their games. Devil May Cry 5 is one of the few that’s handling things differently though, with a new special edition that features substantial new features in addition to all the expected graphical upgrades.
We go hands-on with Vergil to give our impression on how the blue-clad Son of Sparda handles in Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition. Check out our PS5 gameplay of DMC5 Special Edition, captured in 4K in fidelity mode. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is also available on Xbox One Series X|S.
The original Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t require the major readjustment that Devil May Cry 3 did but all the other elements are inspired by that first special edition. As such, Vergil not only becomes a playable character but gets his own separate option from the main menu, as you get to play through the whole of the story mode from his perspective – including new cut scenes and even a new theme tune (owners of the current-gen versions can buy Vergil as DLC). As you’d expect from the previous game, Vergil uses three main weapons: his Yamato sword, the Beowulf gauntlets, and the long-range Mirage Edge. What really makes Vergil different though is his Concentration gauge, which slowly fills up whenever he’s standing still or walking slowly and depletes when he gets hit.
The higher the gauge the more damage the sword does, the more enemies Mirage Edge can target at once, and the more you can charge up the gauntlets. It’s a neat risk versus reward mechanic, that is clearly aimed at already skilled players, but it’s very satisfying when you’re able to make the most of it and also neatly reflects Vergil’s personality. He has plenty of other tricks up his sleeve too, with his Devil Trigger now creating a clone character that will repeat the original’s moves, although only using the sword.
Vergil’s demon form is activated by his Sin Devil Trigger, which has unique moves and regenerates health, plus there’s the unexpected ability to stab himself with his own sword so he can use all of V’s summonses – the only downside being it takes a while to initiate, which leaves you vulnerable. That’s entirely by design though, as Vergil’s meant to be a new challenge for those that have already beaten the main game.