We have seen stories of the battle between Heaven and Hell before. If done right, the battle between two opposite theologies can be really interesting, especially with the right protagonist. Stories like these can dive deep into the tug of war between good and evil. But in the case of Devil’s Hunt, the story is bland and unappealing. The gameplay suffers from technical hiccups and simplicity. Instead of giving me an interesting gaming experience, I’m left to wonder what the game could have been with some more time in development.
There are several interesting concepts, but the execution is a bit off. First, the story flows in a very confusing manner. The start of the game, which features a lot of action and some basic platforming, transitions jarringly into a long sequence of getting to know the main character. It’s a sequence that shows of Desmond’s rather unlikeable qualities. He’s not exactly your everyman who has an inner conflict about good versus evil. He’s a rich boy who acts entitled and stuck up. It makes him very unlikeable from the get-go, and I wish the writing team had more time to make him someone we can care about.
Thanks to a bad string of events (and, in my opinion, a concussion suffered from a boxing match), he drives off a bridge and straight to the underworld. There, he becomes like an enforcer for hell. At this point, you are supposed to feel really powerful as Desmond uses his new powers against enemy forces. However, the technical aspects don’t quite live up to the concepts that are being presented.
Desmond’s abilities include light and heavy attacks along with some power up moves. The special abilities look cool but seem underpowered compared to your basic attacks. Theoretically, you could go through most of the game with just your basic attacks and that shouldn’t be the case. Some of this has to do with enemy types and the amount of carnage during the action sequences (the enemy count is low, to put it lightly). But I wish some tweaks were made to the gameplay format so you felt in danger. I never felt overwhelmed or in danger of dying.
I personally liked the level design. I think there is a good mix of action and platforming. But the slow story moments turn Devil’s Hunt into a sluggish crawl. Plus, I really wish there was more to the platforming. Either add some more areas to explore or let me decide when to perform an action. Platforming consists of walking towards a white icon and hitting a button. It takes a lot of fun out of the experience.
When it comes to Devil’s Hunt, I can’t help but wonder what could have been. It’s clear to me that the team had a good idea. But the writing, gameplay, and experience don’t reflect the idea. I wonder what could happen to the game if it had more time in development. Could the portrayal of the characters be more likable if the team had more time to write? Could the gameplay be more challenging if the team had time to develop? As of now, Devil’s Hunt will eventually make its way to consoles. I don’t know if there will be any sweeping changes, but I can hope that the console versions turn out better with the extra development time.
Note: GameOctane editor Ryan Welch received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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Interesting level design
Potentially interesting gameplay...
...marred by technical shortcomings
Needed more time in development