By Quentin H. / April 2nd, 2019
Devil’s Hunt is a video game based off of a comic book-turned-novel about a character named Desmond who has both demonic and human abilities. As war breaks out between demons and angels, Desmond can tilt the war to one side or the other through the use of his abilities as hell’s executor. While the novel that the game is based upon, Equilibrium by Paweł Leśniak, is not currently available in English, the author of the novel was the creator of the game Devil’s Hunt as well. There are approximately two hours worth of cutscenes spread across ten to twelve hours of gameplay in the game, which means that the story will be the driving focus of the game. In the demo I played at GDC 2019, I was dropped midway through the storyline as Desmond has lost a fight with an angel and falls back into Hell once more.
Devil’s Hunt is an action game that reminds me, in a lot of ways, of the God of War or Bayonetta franchises by how you run across a fairly linear map per level while killing enemies along the way. There are three different fighting schools available to Desmond in the game, and the one I got to use in my hands-on demo was the Executor style. While fighting, I can attack with light and heavy attacks, I can parry attacks, and I could use (more like spam) special demon abilities as well. The basic combat itself was fairly standard to play as, and I ended up relying upon my special demon attacks to do significant damage to the various enemies I fought. I couldn’t get the hang of the parrying system either, though to be honest- I am usually terrible at that sort of thing anyway. Where Devil’s Hunt seeks to set itself apart from other games though, starts with the Soul Drain ability. If you trigger the Soul Drain move while fighting, you can literally rip the soul out of the enemy and add it to your collection. These souls can then be redeemed for ability upgrades and items to help make Desmond stronger in his journey through Devil’s Hunt. I found myself spamming that move nonstop, due to the perceived benefits of 1) 1-hit KO’ing an enemy, 2) the currency factor, and 3) the mini-cutscene that would play every time. The basic combat and abilities (which are demon-powered) in Devil’s Hunt work as efficiently as it should for an action game, and it is clear that the developers are well versed in how to do this type of action-genre combat. Finally, there is Desmond’s demon form. If you perform enough combos while fighting, Desmond can transform into a demon that literally just tears through enemies (though I only was able to use it on the boss at the end of the demo) until the demon form goes away. This provides a great way to get in super flashy and damaging attacks without having to rely on a truly outdated QTE system in order to do super damaging attacks. And it was with this demon form that Devil’s Hunt began to truly shine and ‘click’ for me as a worthwhile entry in this action genre.
As for Devil’s Hunt‘s story- due to only seeing a small glimpse of it, I cannot weigh in on it, though it is clearly important due to the two hours of cutscenes that will be in the game. That said, the little bit I did see was enjoyable and I found myself wondering just how Desmond fits into this war overall and what side he will pick in the angel/demon war. There are puzzle elements in my demo as well, and I cannot say much other than they definitely remind me of the Tomb Raider reboot with their style difficulty: it is level mechanics based instead of player skill based and that while it’s not too hard, it’s definitely not a super easy cakewalk in order to progress through.
Devil’s Hunt is an ID@Xbox title that is trying to punch its way into being considered a AAA title, and I think it is succeeding at doing so. Of course, the real strength of the game will be determined by the overall story of the game when it releases for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and potentially Switch, in Q3 2019.
Are you excited to pick up Devil’s Hunt when it comes out? What about picking up the original novel when it is localized?
Let us know in the comments below!
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