A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story's a tale of good versus evil (and sometimes evil against worse evil), as demons and demon hunters fight against things that threaten the entire world. There are also messages of redemption and heroism, but it’s with a backdrop of constant fighting against demons.
Positive Role Models
Nero and Dante are smart alecks, willing to endanger themselves against hordes of demons with weapons in hand and snarky comments in the face of danger. Less is known about V’s motives, but he’s willing to work with the other two to eliminate demons. Players of the original will slightly know more about Vergil, but his actions are even more mysterious. The only way characters accomplish their tasks is with brutal violence against monsters.
Ease of Play
Nero, Dante, V, and Vergil each have different weapons, abilities, and moves. You can button mash your way through some fights, (and even turn on combo assists for novice players). Successfully clearing some battles, as well as earning high combat rankings (ranging from D for Dismal up to SSS for Smokin’ Sexy Style) requires learning button combos and practicing with each character. Multiple difficulty levels provide a challenge for all gaming levels.
Violence & Scariness
Nero, Dante, V, and Vergil use blades, guns, magic, and other attacks against hordes of demons, often with blood spraying from wounds. Monsters attempt to hack and slash with their own weapons as well to cause damage. Cutscenes show people being impaled, bodies strewn around environments and their remains. There are also fountains of blood, as well as moments where characters are covered in blood after travelling through bloody vein passageways.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female characters are frequently shown in somewhat revealing clothing. Two female characters are shown partially nude and covered in slime, and there are scenes where they’re covered by blankets. Apart from buttocks being shown, and one flirtatious scene where a character drops a towel, nothing’s overtly shown.
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Frequent use of “s--t,” “f--k,” “bitch,” other swearing in dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
This is the latest installment in the long running and popular Devil May Cry franchise. Previously released downloadable content has been included in this version.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
While the other characters disapprove, one character frequently smokes a cigarette. The game does display a disclaimer stating that it doesn’t promote smoking or cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is an action adventure game for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. This is the latest installment of a popular franchise, and presents four characters with their own personal motivations fighting against demons both in the world and in a hellish landscape. Characters use swords, guns, magic, and other abilities to destroy creatures, who spray blood when hit. There are also impaled bodies, remains of people, and fountains of blood in cutscenes, as well as characters that are covered in blood as they move through some portals. There's lots of swearing throughout the game, with "s--t," "f--k," and other words frequently stated in dialogue. Female characters are shown wearing revealing clothing, as well as partially nude and covered by slime. While their buttocks can be seen, nothing's shown. One character frequently smokes a cigarette, although the other characters disapprove, and a disclaimer states that the game doesn't promote smoking or cigarettes. The game has multiple difficulty levels, and while players can button mash their way through some fights, it requires practice to learn and master the skills and fighting styles of each character in battle. That can frustrate some players, especially if they can't master the combos and gameplay necessary to earn the top rank in battle, which provides bonus points.
Is It Any Good?
This remaster of 2019's action adventure gets new life on a new set of consoles, but there isn't a ton of additional gameplay here that sets it apart from the original. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition leaps onto the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S by taking advantage of the horsepower from the newer consoles to present this battle between good, evil, and worse evil in striking detail. The enhanced visuals of the Special Edition leap off the screen in 4K detail, and the addition of ray tracing and options to tailor your play between visual fidelity and frame rate allows you to tailor your experience to the equipment you own. Regardless of what tweaks you make to the play, your fight against Urizen's demons in Red Grave City looks phenomenal. On top of that, some of the added features makes this game much more challenging, especially for players that have started to master the gameplay of DMC5. The Legendary Dark Knight difficulty raises the challenge significantly, and when paired with Turbo Mode, which accelerates action for both heroes and monsters alike, requires skillful timing and knowledge of each character's skills and attacks to successfully navigate a level. The same can be said about the Bloody Palace mode, which makes it way from previous downloadable content, and sets you up against waves of monsters. While the combo assist for new players will work for a while, there's no way that you can survive, much less elevate your stage score without mastering the skills and evades for your characters.
The characters are still essentially the same as the current gen systems: Nero's got a direct attack style that's enhanced by his interchangeable prosthetic arms known as the Devil Breaker. Not only do the arms have their own abilities, but they can be fired as weapons themselves to cause larger amounts of damage. V, by contrast, is more of a distance fighter, conjuring his personal bird, panther, and rock demons to weaken enemies for him before he performs the killing blow. Dante is more technical, switching between four separate combat styles and multiple ranged weapons. These three are joined in this edition by Vergil, Dante's twin brother, who has both powerful strikes and rapid ranged attacks. For newcomers to this series, he's possibly the easiest to dive into and be successful with, but will still become incredibly difficult to master. Unfortunately, there's a downside to including Vergil, and that's while there's a slight glimpse at the other side of his story in the game, there's nothing radically new content-wise from his perspective. There's virtually no new cutscenes or dialogue from him, making his gameplay just seem like a character swap without substance. That means that favoritism for a character from the original game returns based on your preference or playstyle, but for Vergil players, the story simply evaporates. Plus, Dante's role still remains shallow and the ending still feels rushed instead of developed properly. The end result is that if you haven't played DMC5 on a current gen system and want a fast-paced action title that showcases the power of a next-gen machine, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition will keep you entertained. But if you've played the previous version and were looking for deeper or expanded content, you'll probably be a tad disappointed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.