I hope you're just talking about aesthetic design (apparently you don't like that they're bugs, fair enough). Cause otherwise, just what. It's the best it's ever been. It's organic and dynamic, and encourages experimentation like never before. Gone are the times of "set in stone" elemental weaknesses for certain enemies of 1 and 3, which were basically just flat stat numbers in comparison, or the god-awful DmC color coding, DMC5's enemy design makes it so that the best weapons/moves to use against certain enemies are dictated by logic and the way they interact with each other rather than arbitrary weaknesses. Like how Antenora countercharges when knocked back so it's best to use knockdown moves. Or how Judecca always teleports around when hit by multi-hit moves so it's best to use one-hit moves with good stun power. Or, the other way around, Riots have a small degree of super armor so multi-hit moves are quite useful. Etc etc etc.
This interaction layer mostly just consisted of elemental weaknesses in 1 and 3 (4 is basically just super armor everywhere), and in 2 is basically almost non-existent whatsoever. Not only that, but the enemies are so braindead that they can't even hit you while standing still.
I missed that one, thanks for posting it.
Man, the fact that in the fandom, which is better between 3 and 5 is still a toss-up truly is a testament to how good the latter is. Actually, to how good both are.
While enemy's gameplay design is on the right direction, I think there is still much to do in order to get a really good chemistry in that sector. But I think the problem isn't coming from enemy's design (except for some anomalies like Behemoth or Proto Angelo in DMD), but mostly from the mess that is the organisation of the gameplay. Don't get me wrong, it is godly and far beyond most BTU, but the gameplay is more like a big sandbox for the player to experiment with. That's not a bad thing in itself, but there is a problem : the gameplay focus mostly on the player and not on the demons.
DMC 5 focused on aiming certains spot on the enemies and parries, and it does it quite well with a good diversity on that (from simple parry that stun to Nobodies losing a part of their moves). But the enemies aren't really "organised" and each of them do it's own thing. This could be changed to have them fill "roles" during the fights. This would push to player to form a strategy according to those role, and give more clarity on which enemy to throw in each fight. Also it would make it easier to create more challenging arenas with a certains disposition of enemies and usage of the environment.
Speaking of the environment, DMC never had good arenas. Most of them are just open space with enemies inside. This could be expanded with more complexe arena design and interaction with it. Adding grappling points for Nero for example would give more options during fights. Dante could have his own thing to move around (maybe walls allowing to do some skateboarding with the Summoned Swords). Ofc I'm not asking for environment hazard that do all the work for you, but I'm talking about well designed interaction that reward the player for using them wisely and expand his options.
With enemies and environments more in control, the last thing to add would be interaction between the player and those. I've talked about Nero's grapple, but we could add more interaction, especially with Nero Breakers and some of Dante weapons. Example I got in mind right now with Dante current weapons would be using King Cerberus as a grappling hook, or the Cavaliere to escalade walls. It could even be expanded further with some weapons able to create hazards to use against the enemies, like an ice-based weapons creating ice formation, the ability to create pool of water that can then be modified with lighting or ice, etc. This would unlock a whole new branch for the gameplay, and I think the serie need it now because we are starting to reach the limit of conventional gameplay.
Finally, I want to talk about aerial fights. In DMC 5, staying airborne is quite easy compared to previous games. But some enemies aren't designed to reach you in the air, making them helpless when you are airborne. With easier aerial combat, this could be a good idea to give enemies more capabilities in the air, especially if environment is adapted to allow more freedom in the air. For example, have fodders enemies able to climb walls or use grapple to jump on you while in the air, or design their IA to have them come closer to others airborne enemies while those hover close to the ground to let those fodders reach you when you get close.
And that's it. Those ideas came to me after playing DOOM Eternal and witnessing how good this game handle his combat's organisation. DMC is godly on the character's moveset, but not so much on combat design. So adding some of those ideas could take DMC to the next level. The only thing is to keep the gameplay "free" by not imposing some of those new mechanics, but rather give the player the option to use them and reward him for doing so in a smart manner. Also having a better combat organisation would facilitate the creation of new challenge, because the Bloody Palace and DMD are getting old.