Alrightyroo, after about 20 runs through the DMC5 demo I finally feel like I have enough of a handle on things to write a bunch of stupid garbage about it!
It's excellent! Nero feels pretty much the same as his DMC4 incarnation (which is a good thing), but with some really interesting new ideas and some great quality of life improvements that cut down on some of the finger gymnastics you used to have to do to get the most out of him. He still has his crazy sword with a motorbike engine in it that lets him rev the handle like a throttle to blast a gout of flame out the exhaust pipes on the back to hit people harder (have I mentioned that DMC is the best series ever?), but now you can rev the sword while running through the level, whereas before you slowed down to walking speed to do it. He still has his charged pistol shots, done by holding down the Shoot button, but in DMC4 this meant you had to keep the Shoot button held down for like 99% of your playthrough because the charged shots were just too good to miss out on. Here they've changed the mechanic to one where you hold the Shoot button down for like two seconds and Nero loads in three special bullets, allowing you to let go of the button and keep your charged shots. Stuff like that keeps the skill ceiling high, but lowers the skill floor so that you don't have to be a hardcore controller-claw-er just to play the game, which is wonderful.
The timing and inputs on all Nero's sword combos feel identical to DMC4, but the demo is unfortunately missing some of his unlockable moveset so the combo potential isn't as high as the full game will be. As for new moves, Nero has a full complement of new taunts to play with, including an air taunt that can function as an air dodge in a pinch, but the real game changer is the Devil Breakers. Having consumable power up items in a DMC game has been pretty controversial, but after actually getting my hands on the game I'm having a lot of fun with them. Each robot arm has one move you can use over and over, those being a big electric knock-back move with Overture and a spammable air dodge with Gerbera, but they can also be charged to blast off a super attack that does huge damage and breaks the arm. And when I say huge damage I mean huge, boss-melting, SSS-ranking daaamaaaage. It's up to you whether you want to just keep using the regular ability (which can be extremely useful) or do the super attack for huge damage but lose the arm in the process. We'll have to wait for the full game to see how the system really works, and whether you're going to be left at the mercy of how the Breakers are strewn about the levels, but for right now I'm OK with it.
The demo ends with a big ol' bossfight against Goliath, the large angry fellow with a mouth in his belly who can feed cars into his bellymouth and then spit them out at you, and this is just a great first bossfight for a DMC game. A big bruiser whose attacks are fairly slow and deliberate, perfect for getting new players used to DMCing but also great for more experienced players to just wail on. He has some really fun AI routines you can bait out if you want to get your style on, like reflecting his tummy projectiles straight back at him with a perfectly-timed slash, or making sure you have an Overture arm to stop him in his tracks when he tries to charge at you. The way the fight progresses between different environments gives you a great opportunity to plan ahead with your choice of Breakers, too: Gerbera's in-air super attack works really well in the confined space inside the church, so you can make sure you have one ready to use at the right moment. I like it a lot.
About my only complaint at this point is that it feels a little on the slow slide. The game speed is identical to DMC4, but these days when I play DMC4 I do it on Turbo Mode, which is an option to increase the overall speed by 20% that was added after the original release. Capcom is being coy on whether Turbo Mode will be in DMC5, but I really hope it is. The other thing is that hitting Start during a cutscene will skip it straight away, rather than bring up the nice "Pause/Skip" menu I want to see in video game cutscenes these days, but that might just be something for the demo. Other than that, I am 100% convinced that this game is my dream come true. This is everything I've been waiting for for the last 10 years. As the splash screen you get on beating the demo says, DEVIL MAY CRY IS BACK!