One of the best video games of the character action genre, one of the best shallow popcorn action movies you'll ever watch, and the true "start" of the Devil May Cry series as far as I'm concerned (and I don't mean chronologically, though it is also the earliest game canon-wise). I've played this game many times over the years on the original PS2 and in its HD re-release on PS3. I've loved it each and every time and I still love it now.
Things you should know about this PC port: Yes, it's a shoddy port, but no, the PC version in its mod-less state is NOT unplayable. You just need to muck around a bit and you'll be fine with the game as-is (though the game will still run at much less than the natural 60 fps sometimes without mods, but it's still very playable under 60). (EDIT: Looks like after installing the K-Lite Codec Pack Mega and its Updates that I mention later on in this review, I no longer seem to have any major drops in the framerate anymore. I guess the issue was tied to system codecs somehow. END EDIT)
Some tips to get it running without mods:
- Run the gamepad setup app that comes with the game before playing if you want to use a gamepad (and for a game like DMC3 that was designed with a gamepad in mind, you REALLY should). You'll need to disconnect any XInput gamepads (like an Xbox 360 gamepad) before using the setup app or playing the game; this game was made before XInput, so it's just not supported properly and will argue about it if it's still connected. What WILL work is a DInput (Direct Input) gamepad. I personally find that a DualShock 4 works perfectly (make sure you disable any background programs that will make the DS4 emulate a 360 gamepad). Edit the bindings in the app as you see fit, click the Save button multiple times until you see the "saved" popup, exit the app via its Exit button, and your gamepad should be good to go.
- The game might crash during the opening pre-rendered videos due to possible codec incompatibilities. If you encounter this, downloading and installing a codec pack for your PC might fix this. I personally recommend the K-Lite Codec Pack Mega (if you choose this, don't forget to also download and install the separate Update app on the K-Lite Codec Pack website after downloading and installing the K-Lite Codec Pack).
- The game might display strange resolutions in the Options (like 0x0) if you have a multiple monitor setup going. Unfortunate, I know, but that's why it's a shoddy port. Switching to only 1 monitor output before playing is best to choose the resolution you want. After choosing the desired resolution and making a save file, any time you start the game after, it will remember the resolution you chose, even if you re-enable multiple monitors and it goes back to displaying strange resolution in the Options.
- The game will start windowed by default. To go back and forth between fullscreen, make sure the window has focus and hit Alt+Enter (it will unfortunately sometimes crash when doing this; I find it's safest to do it while you're in the Options menu).
- The game was made in the era of 4:3 televisions (after all, it was a PS2 game first and foremost), so all offered resolutions will be in 4:3. If you are going to fullscreen, make sure your display uses the correct aspect ratio to avoid a stretched image (personally, I have to use my separate graphics card settings app to switch from scaling by aspect ratio to scaling by fullscreen, and then I have to set my actual display's settings to output in 4:3, though the specifics may vary depending on your setup).
- There's no "Exit Game" option in the game, so to exit, you have to exit fullscreen and hit the window's close button to close it. When you do, THEN you'll actually get a "Quit Game" choice in-game. Choose "Yes" to close.
- There can be quite a bit of screen tearing at times. However, the game DOES technically support V-sync. To enable it, however, you'll have to do it from your separate graphics card settings app.
So yeah, it IS a shoddy port, but the game without mods is still very much playable if you're willing to put in a bit of elbow grease for this old title. I'd say it's worth it, though; this game is a hell of a ride and a hell of a gem! And hell, you can still use the mods too if you want after all this, why not =p