Devil’s Hunt – Review

In Devil’s Hunt, you play as Desmond Pearce, a guy that became a millionaire because of his rich father. One day everything goes wrong, Desmond commits suicide and goes straight to hell, and ends up in the middle of a war between Angels and Demons.

Devil’s Hunt is executed as a third person hack’n’slash game and developed by Layopi Games. This week I played Devil’s Hunt and I got a good impression about the game. It took me about 5.4 hours to finish it.

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Gameplay

On the store page, we learn that Devil’s Hunt is supposed to be a fast-paced combat game with exploration through hell, and the ability to change forms. And this is for some parts true.

This game takes the player by the hand to guide them through the game. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. At the start of the game, there is a lot of walking and the few enemies you have to kill will die with decently fast-paced combat. It’s not super fast, but also not complicated.

Later in the game, more enemies appeared. And this was clearly visible in the game’s performance. Framedrops that kept on getting worse and worse the closer I was to the end of the game, screen freezes that take at least 3 seconds and with teleporting it often showed me squares instead of a good animation.

With buttons often not responding and having to aim to stand in an exact spot to do something simple like jumping, I was glad when I had finished the game, because it meant that I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore.

There is a lot of focus on bugs, and glitches which should not be necessary for a full release. If we look at what Devil’s Hunt does achieve, I think it’s safe to say that Layopi Games could have delivered a better product by fixing these problems before releasing the game, sometimes a delay is needed to release a better product. Like they say, there is no second chance at a first impression.

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Weapons

In Devil’s Hunt, the player doesn’t have to deal much with weapons. They are there, like a sword, but most of the attacks are done with Desmond’s bare hands. After transforming his arms to demon-mode of course. Which is something he only does to fight, or to lift heavy objects.

The weapons are spread over three skill-trees. Executor, Unholy and Void. First, I was given the Executor skill-tree and later the game gave me Void and then finally, Unholy which is used to kill Angels.

Personally I preferred to play in Void form. This form gives some abilities like massive fists that hit the enemies right in their face, well, they are supposed to do that. In real life, we deal with bugs, so it’s not always the case that the fists aim the right way.

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Skill-tree and souls

At the start of the game, only a few upgrade points: ‘souls’ are given and there aren’t that many enemies to harvest souls from. The skill-tree grows quite slowly and there is time to get adjusted to new abilities. At the end of the game, I felt like the game was rushing to give me more souls to beat the end boss with. I kept on finding souls everywhere and I turned out to be right when I walked right into the end bosses room.

By the time I entered the room, all three skill-trees were fully upgraded to the maximum I could get it to. And most of the needed souls were gained near the end of the game.

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Controls

The controls in Devil’s hunt are easy to remember, but sometimes feel a bit clunky. Also, the main attack is located on RB (Xbox one controller) instead of X / A. On A there is dashing and on X, Y and B you can add the skills you unlock via the skill-tree.

For combat, the controls are fine. They are not spectacular but they are also not awful. When it comes to walking around in the environment, this is another story. It’s easy to move Desmond around, but to pick up items or to do simple things like jumping, you often need to stand in an exact spot to be able to do that, which often led to having to move around a bit before Desmond jumped.

Let’s do everything with one button, Layopi Games must have thought. Jumping, dashing, picking up items, going through small places. It’s all done using the A button on the controller. It’s also not possible to do mission-related tasks like pressing a button during a fight.

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Visuals

When we look at visuals, I can finally be positive about Devil’s Hunt. It looks really good. Not the best, but for a 30 euro game, it looks really good. Good graphics are something I see often in indies developed in Unreal Engine, but even then, visually, Devil’s Hunt stands out.

It’s not always amazing, some animations don’t feel fluent and sometimes it feels like movements aren’t fully executed. But, as mentioned above, I think bug fixing and patches can do a lot here.

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What was Hell like?

So I finally got to see what Hell might look like. Well, Hell is a bit on the boring side. Yes, Hell is boring. As you can expect, in Hell we find a lot of fire, lava, there are buildings with cages and there is a lot of ashes. Occasionally there are creatures walking around, not all volatile and there you go.

Especially in the first half of the game, Hell doesn’t offer a big playground with a lot of freedom, it’s more of a place you have to be for some reason and the people there would have done perfectly fine without you.

In the final levels of the game, Hell does offer way more combat and then it could be fun, but more enemies also cause more frame drops, so more bug fixing has to be done to make that part of the game great.

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Sound and music

Devil’s Hunt gains most of its value by the voice acting. Full voice-overs for characters is something indie games don’t often do because it’s rather pricey. Every cutscene has voice acting that tells the story the game is trying to tell.

The sound doesn’t always line up with the mouth movement you see on the display, but if you don’t pay too much attention to it, it’s a forgivable little flaw.

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Rating: 6/10 – Devil’s Hunt didn’t reach it’s potential.

Conclusion

The state in which I played Devil’s Hunt in, should not have been released as the full game. Devil’s Hunt is a game with a lot of potential, it could be a hybrid between Devil May Cry and Prototype. But in a game where bugs and missing features often rule, it’s hard to give it credit like that.

If Layopi Games fix the bugs and shortcomings Devil’s Hunt has, I think this can become a nice purchase somewhere down the road, but at the moment of writing, I do not recommend buying it at full price.

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Title Devil’s Hunt
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Layopi Games
Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Franchise: 1C
Release date: 17 september 2019
Game Engine: Unreal Engine

Played on PC:
Intel Core i9 9900K 5GHz
MSI Geforce RTX 2080TI
64GB DDR4

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