Bought Devil May Cry HD Collection based solely on the strength of the new DMC5 trailer song and how much I liked Metal Gear Rising. I have a cursory knowledge of the series going in (I’ve seen DMC3’s opening cinematic, basically nothing from DMC2 besides the general consensus that it’s “the bad one”, and of course DMC1’s infamous ending monologue) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than “stylish action and also demons probably?”
Devil May Cry 1 is a weird start. There’s not a whole lot of the over-the-top action the series (at least to me) is known for, and it’s a lot moodier than I expected. It’s very easy to believe this started as a Resident Evil game - the whole thing takes place in one location, you can examine a whole bunch of objects for some oddly phrased flavor descriptions, and the music (outside of combat) is suitably ambient and creepy.
Honestly though I kinda love it?? It’s basically nothing like what I thought it would be, and there are some really rough aspects of the design that immediately date it (the fixed camera angles being the most notable offender, especially whenever platforming is involved). Despite all that though, the mix of proto-“character action” demon fights and slower-paced exploration of what are some genuinely cool gothic environments is really working for me. I especially like how few abilities you have at the start: having such a limited moveset initially makes every upgrade feel like a huge help and forces you to get really familiar with how Dante controls. Even some of the rougher parts are charming in their own weird way - idiosyncrasies like the first-person swimming and the way it always lets you backtrack to any previous room (despite there rarely being any reason to) are what give the game a lot of its flavor.
I am still looking forward to the point in the series where things get ridiculous, though. Starting a song in complete earnest with “the darkness of night falls around my soul” pretty much instantly sold me on these games tbh