A decent character action game
DmC does not break the mold. It does not reinvent the wheel. Honestly, it really doesn't deserve the fuss it's gotten since it was announced.
As a character action game in the same vein as Bayonetta and the previous DMC games, it really does not rank in the upper echelon. Combat is a fair bit inferior to other examples mostly due to some poor decisions in button layout and how moves are executed. One of the moves requires you pressing the analog stick in a direction twice and then attack to execute a driving strike. This is very awkward and really never feels natural. Really, if I have to lay all my complaints against the combat on one aspect its this; the game lacks a lock-on mechanic. For a character action game this does not make a lick of sense. Many times in DmC you will be required to use a grapple mechanic to take out enemies that are flying above the arena. Since you do not have the ability to specifically lock-on to these enemies, you're essentially at the will of the game hoping that your character will suddenly decide to target them. It's awkward and frustrating and only results in making you feel like you're in less control of the combat.
There are a few other examples that not having lock-on does to the combat but it really all does go back to making you feel like you don't have full control over the combat. Games like DMC3, DMC4, and Bayonetta have such tight and responsive combat and playing this is close to something like Darksiders 2. Now this isn't a slight against Darksiders 2, for the kind of game that is the combat is perfectly adequate.
I may be getting into some very specific complaints and losing sight of the big picture here. The combat does, for the most part, work. You can perform some really impressive combos and it does look really cool. It is fun to fight dudes. So really, if what you want is a game that is kind of like DMC with a more mashy combat system, then ok I guess this is for you. It's functional, but forgettable.
Moving on from there, the rest of the game is fairly average. Platforming sequences are nothing special and require some very rudimentary skill. Now that i think about this, actually... that's all the game has. You essentially go from cutscene > platforming/combat > combat/platforming > boss. Then repeat this until the end of the game. At no point is anything really overtly bad or anything. It's just very rarely memorable. There are a few exceptions here and there, two specifically that are actually really cool.
The last thing I want to really touch on is Dante, the story, and supporting characters. Capcom decided to "reinvent" Dante. So they gave him black hair. Dante is still a cocky douchebag who says some one-liners. He is very much not reinvented. Instead they have just given us a boring version of Dante that never says anything interesting or does anything interesting. The old Dante at least sounded enthusiastic when he vomits out one-liners. DmC Dante sounds bored. The story is very much forgettable. It's not CRAZY DUMB enough to be funny, instead is just kinda dumb. The supporting cast of characters are wasted and nothing of note is done with them. If given the option I would go for the silly and campy style of previous DMC games over this drab, and serious DmC we have now.
If I had to reduce this game down enough to a brief summary I would simply say that DmC is a decent character action game. It has OK combat. Average platforming and level design. Dull and lifeless characters. That's it. It doesn't deserve this big controversy surrounding it. It really doesn't even deserve the DMC title. It's just an OK game. Serviceable, but forgettable.