Honestly, the game had a number of factors that held it back from being a good game on its own merits and we ended up with a very average hack 'n slash game and a bad Devil May Cry game. Like the worst since 2 levels of bad.
This I agree with, had Capcom not been trying to give the Devil May Cry series a reboot it didn't need the game wouldn't have left anywhere near as bad a taste in the mouths of the fanbase. Heck, the fact that they were trying to sell DmC as Devil May Cry's future was what caused the uproar in the first place.
The biggest problem with DmC's character arc for Dante was that it had already been done better in Devil May Cry 3. Now, I'm not saying that the parts of Devil May Cry 3's writing that you're supposed to take seriously are anything secial, just that they're better than anything in DmC.
Are you some kind of super hero? I couldn't stop comparing to previous games. The fact of the matter is, at least in terms of gameplay, that the series had set a standard that we should have all come to expect of other games in the series. And in my honest opinion, that shouldn't be ignored. if it's being sold as a reboot of the Devil May Cry series, it should be judged by the same standards of it predecessors.
Thankfully, though, the fans of the series have spoken with their wallets. Not only did DmC flop overall, but the word straight from Capcom is that back when they first released Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition their profits literally doubled. I think at this point they've gotten the message.