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  • Accidental Innuendo: Kat referring to the Virility Factory, which she explored in Limbo as a child.
    Kat: It's funny, I expected it to be bigger. A lot bigger.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: While there is no debate that Mundus is an asshole, there has been some debate as to the degree of his villainy. Some regard him as being Necessarily Evil, but nonetheless a Selfish Neutral seeking to profit from his scheme because of Humanity's inherent nature, while others see him as only barely avoiding being pure evil (with using humans as livestock) by way of Pragmatic Villainy. The black and gray nature of the game makes it all the more contentious an issue.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: If you play your cards right, Vergil is probably the easiest boss of the lot; only his Puzzle Boss section at the end may throw newbies, otherwise he goes down far too quickly to really pose a challenge, even at the higher difficulties.
  • Anvilicious: Everything wrong with Limbo City is literally the result of a demonic banker enslaving humanity through biased media, junk food, and debt. The parallels are not so much drawn as they are gouged.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The Definitive Edition re-release, which removes a lot of the Scrappy Mechanics that made the game derided among longtime Devil May Cry fans and changes the playstyle and difficulty to be a lot more like previous games, as well as new game modes and alternate skins for Dante, including his DMC1 design. Unfortunately, one particular marketing decision created a new, albeit smaller, Broken Base problem.
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  • Awesome Music: "Empty", the final boss theme. It sounds like Tranquil Fury in musical form, an excellent backdrop for the duel between Dante and Vergil.
  • Base-Breaking Character: The game presents its own unique spin on DMC's classic characters and comparisons to the originals are inevitable. Whether these comparisons are fair or not is up to the fan.
    • This version of Dante is incredibly divisive, and a major part of what makes or breaks the game. Fans of the original series find him too unlikable, too different, and too edgy to the point of Narm. Fans of DmC feel the critics dismiss Dante's narrative arc where he becomes a better person and further feel that this version of Dante is more compelling because he undergoes character growth while the original Dante did not (which is also disputed by old series fans and the fans of this game). His design is also argued about with some feeling it's a downgrade to Dante's classic look, others feeling that it's a good direction that makes this Dante more distinct, and others feeling that the design didn't change enough and wasn't as unique as it could have been.
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    • Vergil's Adaptational Villainy is a major point of contention. A lot of the original's fans found the old games' Noble Demon version of Vergil to be much more interesting of a character and compelling of a villain than the DmC version whom they see as pathetic and petty. DmC fans feel that it's unfair to judge him against his old incarnation rather than on his own terms and feel the critics dismissed the more subtle moments of his character and his ability to Bait the Dog. Though among Vergil's arc and Face–Heel Turn are divisive amongst DmC fans as well as critics with some seeing it as a sensible progression and his DLC was a fun addition while others feel it came with too little foreshadowing and made him less interesting
    • Mundus's portrayal in DmC is a major departure from his original portrayal. To fans it's a good case of Adaptation Expansion giving Mundus much more personality and involvement in the story-line while the original Mundus was too generic and too much of a background character until the end. Others feel that the corrupt banker re-imagining made him less threatening than the demon overlord he was and that he ended up overshadowed by his more charismatic henchmen like Barbas and Drekavac. A big part of it is whether or not you liked the game's themes considering how deeply Mundus is woven into them.
  • Breather Boss: Most bosses except the final one, Vergil, are this. Certain regular enemies pose a bigger challenge than the bosses.
  • Broken Base: Fans are either glad to see a reboot for the series, or hate every last thing that's been changed. Compounded by the fact that a lot of the reboot's fans openly dislike or even hate the original series and characters, especially when it comes to the original Dante's bombastic persona. This extends to the critics. It's not just that the reboot broke the base, it's that the reboot attracted critics with very different tastes and sensibilities who otherwise would never bother with the franchise.
    • There's a small faction who also wished that the Dante shown in the TGS 2010 trailer, with the scrawnier, bruised look, and the smoking habit, remained on the basis that it would've been interesting to see how that Dante would've developed. Changes were mostly made to sate the old fanbase, but even that wasn't enough to do so.
    • Sure, the Definitive Edition improved the game significantly and really is the optimal way to play this entry, hands down. The problem? It was never released on PC, meaning to this day Steam and Microsoft Store users can only buy the original release. Considering a number of fans criticized Definitive Edition to basically be the PC version with balance changes and extra content on top, these players being left out to dry has rubbed them the wrong way hard.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • The game encourages you to torture the smaller demons, and taking out a larger one with a well-placed axe swing or aerial combo can be incredibly satisfying, especially if you do it without taking a hit.
    • What is the most effective weapon to use against Bob Barbas? The Eryx.
  • Contested Sequel: Fans of the reboot call it a fun, accessible title with great art direction, a protagonist that actually develops and grows rather than remaining static (though DMC1 & DMC3 does in fact contain character development), and a story that's more than a somewhat-confusing Excuse Plot. Non-fans criticize the gameplay, which is much easier than previous titles and sorely lacks the depth of DMC3 and DMC4 , a story that's very ham-fisted with its themes to the point of being difficult to take seriously, and that the drastically-altered characterization of the leads, particularly how Dante starts the game as a tool without any of the charisma or likability of the original version (bar DMC2), and takes time to become more heroic, all drain a lot of the fun from the experience. In short, some consider it worth playing, while others feel it simply doesn't match up to the legacy of the older games.
  • Crazy Awesome: Dante is this in a vastly different way from the original. He is foul-mouthed, arrogant, violent, brash, and rude. And yet, he's still a massive badass, not despite, but because he's so over-the-top.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • Critics have generally been very positive about the game, while some fans of the previous Devil May Cry games did not like the changes made (particularly the characterization of Dante and Vergil). The metacritic score says it all.
    • The reverse happened with the Vergil's Downfall DLC and the Definitive Edition rerelease; old-school fans liked them more than the main game for being closer to the franchise's roots in terms of difficulty and gameplay, but some critics bashed them for those same reasons, which just goes to show how different the tastes of these two groups are and how polarizing the game is.
    • If the reactions between critics and fans towards Devil May Cry 5 is anything to go by, it still persists even today. At this point, though, it's gotten heated enough to charitably be called a Fandom Rivalry.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: What upsets many of the old fans is that few of the characters do much to seem initially likable. Though they reveal further depths of character as they go on (especially Dante, whose development as a character is essentially the story's primary arc), their first impressions make it harder to get invested in their doing so.
  • Designated Hero: Both Dante and Vergil are questionable freedom fighters. Dante can come off as a brash Jerkass for mocking Mundus when he's mourning the death of his son and is more interested in killing demons than helping humans. Vergil views humans as lesser beings, doesn't care about Kat's well-being, and tries to enslave humanity just like Mundus.
  • Designated Villain: Some see Mundus this way — banishing Sparda forever and ripping out Eva's heart before eating it may have been horrible fates to inflict, but they were a blood-brother-turned-traitor and a sworn racial enemy, respectively. And doesn't he have a right to be angry when Dante taunts him over the death of his child? What makes it divisive was that he did all this right in front of Dante while he was a small child.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Mundus is a major recipient of this. Some genuinely believe that humans are better off with his rule than without, completely ignoring the fact that humans were being burnt alive, locked in eternal thought-prisons, slowly poisoned, and casually massacred by him — purely because Dante is initially kind of a jerk. Not to mention brutally murdering Dante's mother right in front of him.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Bob Barbas has a fair amount of popularity thanks to his hammy performance.
    • Phineas, for being an example of a kind-hearted demon, which was a major theme of the original series.
    • Drekavac also has also received positive appraisal in spite of only being a recurring mini-boss who has no lines, no backstory, and no characterization.
  • Evil Is Cool: Mundus has been considered one of the most badass characters in the game, but the character that really takes it home is his bodyguard Drekavac. A mask-wearing badass demon dual-wielding katanas was an instant hit, and the fact he's wordless only adds to his mysterious awesomeness.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Vergil looks a lot like his Mr. Fanservice brother, and that attractiveness bleeds over even when he turns villainous, even if he's generally considered pathetic.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • In general, Aquila can do this if utilised properly; Using Y, Y, pause, Y, can bring a lot of enemies close to you, then hold Y for a spin attack that a) does wonders for you combo scores and b) stun locks most of the enemies at any given moment, reducing any damage that can potentially come your way. You can steer it so you can pick up more, and depending on environment and enemy in question, allows for easy ring outs (a One-Hit Kill for non teleporters. Witches and Dreamrunners are resistant to the trick for that reason; it can work, it's just not very reliable).
    • Summoned Swords for Vergil; on Heaven Or Hell it equals "Instant Death" Radius. Combine with Rapid Slash to reduce the odds of enemies thinking to block it and only flying enemies will give you any pause for thought. Works as a great combo score booster outside HOH too.
    • Devil Trigger can paralyze enemies. It gets even crazier with certain combinations. Using Devil Trigger and Demon Evade, Succubus can be defeated in 3 hits. Using Demon Evade, Devil Trigger, and Overdrive results in the most anticlimactic boss fights. Even Mundus can be defeated in 11 hits.
  • Goddamned Bats: A few enemies particularly stand out as being irritating:
    • Fire and ice enemies at the same time. As they can only be hurt with demon or angel weapons respectively, if one gets in the way while you're attacking the other, you'll be staggered instantly. Remedied to some extent in the Definitive Edition, where both enemy types can be hit with any weapon, but will only take full damage and hitstun from the corresponding color type.
    • The harpies do heavy damage, are immune to grabs until they attack, and quickly grow back their wings if you shoot the things off.
  • Good Bad Bugs: This iteration is full of these. In-game cutscenes (not the full cinematic ones) would, for most of the time, deactivate the red/white filter and sound effects of Devil Trigger when played. However, there are actually a few cutscenes where you can activate Devil Trigger just before a scripted cutscene starts and its visual effects would carry over. Notable instances include the scene where Dante is about to smash a wall in the ending of Mission 18, and the scene just after you loosen the Succubus' grip from a rock on Mission 6.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, which came out in 2007, Dante was frustrated having to deal with debt he owed while operating his shop Devil May Cry. In this game, debt is the method that Mundus uses to keep people ranging from average citizens all the way to Heads of State under his control.
    • This Continuity's iteration of Vergil, voiced and motion captured by David de Lautour, is part angel. Back in the nineties on Xena: Warrior Princess, de Lautour played an angel.
    • Dante says "Not in a million years." when a white-haired wig falls on his head in a jab toward fans who disliked this redesigned Dante. Come the announcement of the Deluxe Edition for Devil May Cry 5, and one of the alternate costumes included is Classic Dante with dark hair and the Reboot Dante's color scheme.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!:
    • A major criticism of the change in gameplay, especially with the ease in which a SSS rank can be achieved, air combos making most enemies completely helpless (with none of the skill or effort required to achieve this in older entries), and the boss fights requiring less skill and strategy than in the previous entries. It doesn't help that the hard difficulty isn't nearly the difficulty you expect from the hard mode of a Devil May Cry game.
    • There's also the inclusion of the Checkpoint System. While the previous titles have indeed a way to continue from a specific point of the mission, this game turns them Up to Eleven. The sheer abundance of automatic checkpoints even decreases the challenge posed by the "Hell and Hell" difficulty as compared to the previous titles. The check point system becomes less of a problem in Definitive Edition as dying is penalized and you drop ranks real fast, if multiple deaths occur on a mission. I.E, dying drops what would have been SSS rank to a SS, and so on. While this does increase the challenge, it can also be rather aggravating to have to restart a mission after a single death to get the SSS.
  • Jerkass Woobie: While Dante is a brash hedonistic Jerkass, his life has genuinely sucked compared with Vergil's. He lost his parents when he was seven, was raised in an orphanage run by demons, chased by and battling them for years without a clue why using powers he doesn't understand, and to top it all off, no one knows about his struggles with the demons only he can see or do anything about. He was told that he was delusional, and questioned his own stability after some particularly bloody battles. Hell, in one of his flashbacks, he's shown tearing open his own chest to make sure he had a heart.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mis-blamed: As noted by the Executive Meddling entry on the Trivia page, some of the changes made were at Capcom's insistence to Ninja Theory that they "go crazy with it."
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Half of the stuff Vergil does is a slow descent across the line: not caring about Kat's safety, shooting Lilith and her child when she was completely defenseless, his plans after Mundus' death, and his "revenge" in the DLC chapter.
    • Some see Dante as crossing it as well, when he mocks Mundus about his dead child. Even though he only does it to get Mundus away from the Hellgate. It's rather divisive.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The deep-voiced guy going "Savage! SSadistic! SSSensational!" when you're doing well.
  • Narm:
    • Dante and Succubus' trashtalk, which devolves into playground-style exchanges.
    • Vergil's screams of pain during gameplay can be hilarious; case in point, when he gets hit by a Ravager enemy's chainsaw attack.
    • Vergil's attempt at a Wham Line comes off as being painfully obvious and unnecessary. Many found that Dante's response completely undercuts it as well.
    • The voice acting becomes laughable sometimes. Dante's voice acting is often hard to understand, which resulted in comparisons with a participant from Gordon Ramsay's show.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The controversy over this game caused an upsurge in the original series' popularity. Averted for this installment, however, where the poor fan reception caused the game to sell poorly, both on its initial release and the later Definitive Edition release.
  • Obvious Judas: Fans that played previous games knew that Vergil would ultimately betray Dante.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • One detail of DmC Vergil's personality that has been noted/criticized is him belittling humans as being as stupid, murderous hypocrites. Despite claims that this is a distortion of his character, Vergil being a misanthrope was very much an aspect of his classic iteration in Devil May Cry 3 — there was a reason he and Dante weren't on the same side. It was, then as now, a contrast with his brother, who had an optimistic view of humanity and opposed Vergil's hierarchical "might controls everything" ideology.
    • Also some details of this continuity, such as this Dante's dark hair and this version of Vergil using firearms, had already occurred in the non-canon Devil May Cry 1 novel. The former is that Dante, while using the alias of "Tony Redgrave" at the time, dyed his hair brown to keep his past/heritage hidden. Vergil, posing as Gilver, used a shotgun against Dante in one encounter. Some observers even believed that the game would be an adaptation of that novel, but it was eventually shown to be Jossed.
    • In regards to Poison the Succubus, there are several people who don't realize that succubi ala Morrigan Aensland are a recent invention. In the original myths and medieval demonology texts, they were hideous beings that used Glamour to appear as beautiful women to seduce men in their sleep — thus, an accurate Succubus.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Some fans wrote the game off for being a reboot developed by Ninja Theory instead of by an in-house Capcom team — despite Capcom being the ones who suggested Ninja Theory develop the game.
  • Player Punch: At the end of Mission 12, Dante is desperate to help Kat, who is on the verge of being captured by Mundus's SWAT forces and is terrified. With Dante on the other side in Limbo, all he can do is give Kat some instruction on how to seem non-threatening when the SWAT team breaks through the door. But as soon as they do, they shoot her anyway on sight (albeit nonlethally, although they enact some police brutality for good measure), leaving Dante to curse his inability to do anything in his current state.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: For most, the gameplay is pretty solid (if somewhat easy for veterans of the previous games, at the least most do cite it's better then 2) and fun. But a majority find the story cringe-worthy and laughably bad at points in trying to be "edgy".
  • Polished Port: No matter which side of the controversy you put yourself at, one thing is clear: The guys at QLOC did one hell of a good job when working on the PC port of DmC: Devil May Cry (the other consoles were made by Ninja Theory). The game truly shines in the graphic department when played on a PC, and there is also the fact that the game is actually playable and doable, even on higher difficulties, with keyboard and mouse, without control issues of any kind, very much not what you would expect of a spectacle fighting game. Not to mention that it can be played at 1080p and at 60 fps. Though only time will tell if there will be a PC port of Definitive Edition, which has the 1080p/60fps bonus and tons of extra contents.
  • Ron the Death Eater: To go with Draco in Leather Pants, of course. Meta example in that Dante gets this In-Universe and out. Some critics, particularly those who dislike the reboot, took some of Bob Barbas' talking points about Dante being a "disgusting, degrading, and generally nauseating" person with "a history of physical violence and a known sexual deviant" at face value.
  • The Scrappy: While both Dante and Vergil have considerable hatedoms, even people who defend the game dislike Vergil for being a condescending Jerkass and wealthy snob who lacks Dante's tragic childhood or character development. On top of that, fans of the original Vergil despise DmC Vergil for being an absolutely pathetic weakling. Where Classic Vergil was one of Dante's most ferocious fights every time they clashed be it as Vergil in DMC3 or Nelo Angelo in DMC1, DmC Vergil has trouble with what amounts to an Elite Mook and needs Dante to save him, and by the end of the game it's clear he's vastly outclassed by Dante. There's a reason Classic Vergil fans refer to DmC Vergil as "Vergin."
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Plenty. Several of these issues would go on to be fixed in the Definitive Edition, along with a complete rebalance of the game via Hardcore Mode. This was done to encourage sales of the game among the older fans who they insulted during this game's promotion.
    • The reworked Style System is one of the most common fan complaints as it is now easier to reach SSS Rank compared to the previous titles. This is also the first Devil May Cry game to utilize a checkpoint system by a large margin, making some of the notably difficulty levels such as "Hell and Hell" to become easier than they should be. Also add the fact that the game actually records the number of times you died in a mission (which negatively affects your overall Style Ranking post-mission). This becomes less of a problem in the Definitive Edition where dying or using items penalizes your score. On the flip side, in either edition, restarting a checkpoint counts as a death. In games of a similar genre such as Metal Gear Rising where restarting a checkpoint does not count as dying, this is a source of frustration when going for a no death run on the hardest difficulty. More so if playing the updated version.
    • The absence of a hard lock-on function makes the aim for guns, grapples, and dash attacks a bit dodgy. This also makes dash attacks like Stinger harder to execute, as you have to tap the left stick in a direction twice instead of simply holding it towards the enemy you're locked on.
    • The Devil Trigger is a Game-Breaker. It freezes enemies, giving them no chance to pose a challenge, while also throwing them up into the air, limiting the combos that you can perform.
    • A good number of people found that the Demon Weapon/Angel Weapon system was almost completely unnecessary. There aren't any heavy Angel weapons or light Demon weapons, which wouldn't be a problem except that the game's combat favors heavy weapons a lot — the Arbiter pretty much blows away every other weapon in the game, so you only ever pull out an Angel weapon for the stuff that absolutely requires them.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Dante's hair, funnily enough. Most of it is textured directly onto his head, with only the top and a little down the back as an actual mesh. Normally, this isn't an issue, but there are some sequences where the two parts of his hair react very differently to certain lighting conditions (such as the cutscene where the Hunter breaks through the funhouse mirror), resulting in scenes where it looks like he's bald except for the longer parts of his hair.
    • The coat animations are done by hand instead of the physics engine, resulting in it awkwardly snapping back over Dante's legs whenever he stops. However, this only occurs in segments where Dante restricted to walking.
    • The Classic Skin also has a much lower res texture for Dante's bare chest than the rest of the skin.
    • The DMC1 skin for Dante, and the DMC3 skin for Vergil, have a weird tendency for letting the legs phase through the coats. And they just look of place with the overall tone of the game.
  • Squick: The demon Poison physically exemplifies this trope. It gets worse knowing that there's a soft drink made from her abdomen's secretions that's sold to the oblivious human populace.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The initial previews, which focused largely on Dante's redesign, were panned by many fans of the series. It still receives to this day an astronomical amount of this, with several fans refusing to acknowledge its existence. We're talking about even more flak than Devil May Cry 2 got.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Bob Barbas's Raptor News commentaries on Dante could be seen as this, which perhaps also contributes to Barbas's Ensemble Dark Horse status.
  • That One Level: Even many hardcore Devil May Cry fans find the "Vergil's Downfall" DLC to be actually better than the base game in terms of gameplay (and not considering its 2D cutscenes). Some note that due to the increased difficulty brought about by Vergil's unique and focused playstyle, the DLC plays much like the previous titles of the main series. The two new enemy types are actually engaging and that the final boss of the DLC was way more challenging and difficult compared to the final boss of the base game.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A number of aspects of the game weren't popular among fans of the original series. These include:
    • Dante and Vergil's new character designs and backstories.
    • Being a Continuity Reboot/Alternate Continuity in general.
    • The Noisia and Combichrist helmed soundtrack.
    • The usage of Unreal Engine 3 instead of Capcom's MT Framework game engine.
    • Dante being a former smoker.
    • The increased use of profanity.
    • Running at 30 frames per second rather than 60 on PS3 and 360.
    • No dedicated lock-on button on the PS3, 360, and PC.
    • The lack of a taunt button.
    • Not to mention the obvious politicization.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The tools to give Vergil an interesting Protagonist Journey to Villain narrative are present, which would make his Face–Heel Turn at the end more compelling and climatic. Instead, his switch from ally to Final Boss comes off as jarring and committee-ordered, being done with no proper set-up even if someone was expecting it at the end. This even bleeds into the Vergil's Downfall DLC, where every chance to expand his character just makes Vergil look increasingly underwritten and shallow.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: This universe has confirmed Angels and they are established as a sworn enemy to demons. This opens up a lot of cool possibilities. Perhaps an angelic counterpart to the Devil Trigger? How does Dante struggle with the knowledge he doesn't have a single drop of human blood? Are the Angels present as a force for good or maybe a different breed of evil? Sadly, outside of Eva and the angelic weapons, not much is done with them.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Lilith was obviously not intended to be 'nice', but after seeing her fearing for her and her babies' life, and then seeing her reaction to Vergil shooting her stomach to kill her child, a few players felt sorry for her.
  • Vindicated by History: A downplayed example. Nowadays, fans generally consider DmC to be a decent game in its own right, just not a good Devil May Cry game. It's been argued that the game would have had a much better reception if it were a new IP instead of having the Devil May Cry name attached to it.
  • Wangst: Vergil in the Vergil's Downfall DLC. He spends the entire DLC complaining about how everything went wrong and blames Dante for everything and ends up whining about how their mother loved Dante more then him.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: DmC features, among other things, soft drinks made out of giant monster puke, fighting inside TV broadcasts, and a living city that warps itself to try and kill you.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Poor Kat seems to get thrown into the Keiko and Yuki club by the haters, utterly ignoring the fact that she endured similar torments to Dante but without his supernatural resilience and successfully holds out under Mundus's torture to protect Dante and Vergil, then goes on to give them a detailed interior plan of the building she was held in after her rescue as well as specifics of how to get around security.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the backlash following the game's initial announcement, previews slowly tried to win series fans back over by showing off the combat, boss battles, new environments, and fan favorite characters like Vergil.


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