The original Devil May Cry actually began development as a Resident Evil title. However, after a significant amount of development time the game was considered to be too much of a departure from the classic Resident Evil formula to carry it's name. Instead of scrapping the project completely and wasting a rather large amount of development time and money (as was the case with the prototype of Resident Evil 2) Capcom instead decided to continue development of the game under a different name. Development was eventually handed over to the Creator/Director of the original Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami, and the Devil May Cry series was born.
As you might expect, Devil May Cry features many technical similarities to the older Resident Evil games, as well as some general presentation trademarks of several Capcom and Mikami games. The game features the same fixed camera viewpoint (a feature that is still met with mixed reviews to this day), as well as the trademark "You Are Dead" game over screen and the "This game contains scenes of violence and gore" start up warning screen, all of which had originated from Resident Evil, with the latter being included in countless M rated Capcom games, including Dead Rising, Killer 7, Dino Crisis and Onimusha. Despite being a new and (at the time) unproven series, Devil May Cry would not stay in Resident Evil's shadow for long, eventually becoming a beloved franchise in it's own right, as well as one of the pioneers of the 3D Hack and Slash genre.
On September 15th for the Tokyo Game Show, a new CG trailer (apparently non-gameplay) was released for "DMC," the fifth game in the Devil May Cry series. It features a short-haired protagonist (who apparently has an affinity for smoking) who shares many of the combat traits as Dante (dual handguns plus melee). One sequence in the trailer seems to indicate that you will also be able to use an extending grappling hook of some sort, at the very least to swing around objects in the environment.
The main plot of Devil May Cry revolves around Dante, who's mother was murdered by demons. Dante swears vengeance on the demons, looking to eradicate them from existence. Throughout the course of the story, Dante eventually finds out he has a long lost brother, Vergil. He also finds out that the demon lord Mundus is the one who killed Dante's mother. Though, throughout all the Devil May Cry games, the basic plot remains that you are going to be killing a lot of demons.
The gameplay of Devil May Cry focuses on fast and stylish combat. The player strings combos together by attacking an enemy for a long period of time without getting hit. Later games in the series would also reward you for using a variety of attack and using stylish moves. Devil May Cry also features some puzzle solving and item hunting but this always take a back seat to the action. Dante also possesses a Demon Trigger ability that allows him to take a demon-like form. This serves as a special attack of sorts. Also, although guns are one of Dante's primary weapons, there is no ammo and no need to reload.
Novels & Manga
Two light novels, which are novels with manga style illustrations, were released alongside the first and second Devil May Cry games. Both were written by Shinya Goikeda and served as prequels to the games. The first novel, Devil May Cry Volume 1, spanned the events from Dante's mother's death to the events of the first game and was released alongside the first Devil May Cry. While the second novel, Devil May Cry Volume 2, spanned the gap between Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2 and was released alongside the second game. Shin Mikami was able to work with Goikeda during the writing of the novels. However, Devil May Cry 3 contradicted many of the events that took place during the novels.
A three part manga was also announced. The manga takes place a year before Devil May Cry 3 and is suppose to serve as a backstory on how the characters in the third game came together. Code 1: Dante and Code 2: Vergil have both been released with Code 3: Lady still to be released.
A Devil May Cry anime series was also produced and aired. The series spanned 12 episodes and aired June and September 2007. The events during the anime take place after the first Devil May Cry but before Devil May Cry 4. The series was directed by Shin Itagaki and produced by Madhouse. In 2008, the anime was released in the United States by ADV though Funimation Entertainment later accquired the series when they bought ADV.
A Devil May Cry comic series was originally planned in 2004 by Dreamwave Productions. Only three of the planned four comics were released, the fourth was abandoned after the company went out of business. The idea of a Devil May Cry comic series was not mentioned again until July 2008. WildStorm, an imprint of DC Comics, announced that they would be publishing a Devil May Cry comic series, alongside a Resident Evil comic series. No launch date or creative team has been announced at this date.