- Audience-Alienating Premise: Weirdly played with, that the game alienates one specific audience while attracting a different one. Many fans have noted that, while people expecting a game about classic demons with religious theme like in Demon: The Fallen are likely to be alienated, people looking for a game about playing spies or insurrectionists are very likely to love it.
- While it's probably a safe bet that the majority of White Wolf's fanbase isn't devoutly religious (or at least fairly open-minded), the idea that God is an insane supercomputer is certain to turn a few people off.
- Author's Saving Throw: The Demon Translation Guide provides an optional system to merge the rules of Descent and Fallen in a way that retains the spy and insurrection themes of Descent while replacing the technological aesthetic with more classic demons elements from Fallen, thus satisfying fans who liked the game mechanics but disliked the different take on Demons, while still keeping the system as it is for fans who liked both.
- Broken Base:
- Not only is this game completely different from its spiritual successor, it's also completely different from what you would expect in a game about Demons and started the transition from the New World of Darkness to the new Chronicles of Darkness rules. This was pretty much doomed to cause fan uproar. Depending which part of the fandom you ask, this is either a fun game with a rich, fascinating setting and a fresh reimagining on the classic concept of Demons, or a depressing mess with no clearly-defined theme and Demons In Name Only and whose technological aesthetic doesn't fit the World of Darkness.
- There is also the issue regarding the fact there already were Demons in the New World of Darkness before this gameline, albeit non-playable ones; both Hunter: The Vigil and the supplement Inferno featured Demons as ephemeral beings who were closer to the classic conception and played a major role in the backstory of one of the core Conspiracies from Hunter, the Lucifuge. This game either provides a more interesting take that is actually playable, or causes conflicting cosmologies to exist and lessens the importance of the Lucifuge by reducing their own demons to basically just evil spirits.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The God-Machine is an all-powerful, omniscient being whose plans are beyond comprehension, its total defeat is a far dream at best, its agents are everywhere and outnumber you, and the Demons themselves are frequently only marginally better than them, being Consummate Liars who survive hidden among humans by retconning people out of existence so they can steal their life and use it as covers. This is particularly bad since, before this game came out, the New World of Darkness was praised for avoiding its predecessor's pitfall of having an Eldritch Abomination looming over your head to make sure all your efforts were vain. Some fans, however, feel it's more of a Lovecraft Lite, as the Unchained frequently fell because of love for humans and a desire to protect them from their creator, and the God-Machine gives up on its schemes very easily due to time constraints and resources-victory against local or even large-scale projects is not only expected, the God-Machine actively fears disruption enough to hide from demons.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans have been bothered by the fact this game's protagonists are Demons In Name Only, feeling White Wolf only took the most superficial aspects of the concept (namely being "fallen" and making deals), forced them in a The Matrix Expy, and then strapped the "Demon" name on it so they could make it more or less fit in the New World of Darkness. The defenders tend to point out that, apart from the mechanical aesthetic, there's not a lot of differences between demonic behavior as it is in the myths and the Unchained.
YMMV / Demon: The Descent