At Gamescom, I played a lot of games. For some, it was hard to differentiate. Some will likely struggle to stand out. While playing the 1C Company’s Devil’s Hunt a developer from Layopi Games sat down on the couch beside me. From there he not only talked me through the demo, he also talked. This wasn’t done and see what we want you to do and see, this was please enjoy our game your way. I was even asked for feedback. It was really refreshing in comparison to a lot of the impersonal experiences. If you’ve watched the trailer at the start of this preview you’ll notice that there’s an emphasis on narrative here. The game is actually based on the novel ‘Equilibrium’ from Paweł Leśniak, who also founded the studio. Having this influence helps to focus on the narrative, which despite being grand focuses on one man and his place in an epic war between good and evil. As Desmond, you’ll be the determining factor in the outcome. Now we have a treat. Almost ten minutes of gameplay:
For a game still in pre-alpha development stage, it’s impressive graphically. From the character models of both the players and enemies to the towering environments and animations, the groundwork has been laid for something special. The two most important aspects are the combat and the story. On the story from the game being based on the novel already gives it an advantage. To highlight this the developers have created nearly 100 ‘high-quality’ cutscenes that add up to two hours of story. Based on what I’ve seen so far the high quality doesn’t need to be questioned. You can see it for yourself. What I also found in the gameplay demo was little environmental context clues. If you discover certain things in the world you’ll be treated to a voiceover from Desmond filling in some story details.
Now onto the next important aspect, combat. Recently there has been a resurgence in third person action games. From the high action orientated Bayonetta or Devil May Cry to the highly RPG orientated Dark Souls or Final Fantasy XV, all of these games put other aspects ahead of story. By bringing story as a central theme it gives Devil’s Hunt to stand almost alone in the market. Recently God of War pulled it off magnificently. Desmond will rely on melee combat and as you play you’ll unlock various abilities and combos to keep it fresh. Desmond’s demonic arm which develops throughout the game and is tied to the story will add more combat elements as you progress. The main thing I can say is that the combat works and it’s fun. It doesn’t feel clunky, despite being slower than DMC or Bayo it still retained total fluidity. It didn’t ever cross into hack and slash button mashing, every movement or dodge had to be deliberate.
As this was only pre-alpha, the main thing I came away with was excitement. I can’t wait to see more. Devil’s Hunt launches 2019 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.