May 28, 2022

Devil’s Hunt – PC Review

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Published by: 1C Entertainment

Developed by: Layopi Games

The world of supernaturally-powered (anti-)heroes is littered with iconic names. Spawn. Hellboy. Dante. And each one of them has one thing in common; a connection to the underworld.

Normally, these protagonists are hard-as-nails, and ready to fight the good fight with a “fuck all this and the toaster, too” mentality. Sadly though, when it comes to Devil’s Hunt and protagonist, Desmond, it appears he was last in line for reputable “badassery”.

Produced by a Polish studio working from a book by a Polish author (sound familiar?) Devil’s Hunt is an action-adventure RPG. So, it’s kind of like Darksiders, or Devil May Cry, or even Prototype. Only made for much less money. And way worse.

This review of Devil’s Hunt was done on a copy provided by the developers. Devil’s Hunt was played on a PC running Intel Core i9-10900 CPU @ 2.80GHz/2.81 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER, with 16GB RAM.

One HELL of a…Good? Time

Devil’s Hunt follows the (short) life of Desmond, a character with less emotional range than the width of his shoulders. Seriously. His shoulders are freakishly disproportioned to his body. Like the developers decided to make him look jacked with arms he could put down to his sides properly, but actually forgot to add the definition to his arms or body.

Desmond, as it turns out, is a bit of a loser. His father has recently trusted his business on Desmond, which resulted in the business on the brink of bankruptcy. Whoops. On the plus side, Desmond does have a vaguely attractive girlfriend whom he proposes to within the first half-an-hour of gameplay. Her emotionless eyes and expressionless face do wonders for a man’s ego.

The day after proposing, Desmond gets ready for an underground boxing finale against the out-of-town challenger known as “The Saw”. Things go well in the first round, and then The Saw goes a little bit demonic on Desmond and quickly dismantles the poor guy. Ego and body bruised, Desmond’s dad rubs a little salt in the wound by saying how his mother is fortunate she isn’t alive to witness how much of a failure he is. Ouch.

Still, at least he gets the girl of his-oh, wait, no. After the fight, Desmond heads home. He arrives at around half two in the morning to find her still dressed in clothes from the night before next to Desmond’s best friend. Fuck, bro! Desmond, naturally pissed, gives chase after the usurper, who blindsights him and makes a clean getaway.

Frustrated, battered, broken, and bruised, Desmond goes for a relaxing drive…straight off a bridge and into the Miami river.

Every Single One of Us [has] the Devil Inside

However, death is only the beginning. Desmond washes ashore to see an oddly dressed gentleman on the beach who…punches…the ground open…to Hell? I think that’s what happened. Anyways. Desmond plummets to Hell and is shortly caught up in the ongoing war between devils and angels. You know, that old chestnut. And it goes on as well as you can suspect.

Yeah, the story does little-to-nothing to help distract you from the gameplay, which is like a mid-’00s AA title. Only with less passion behind it. Much like the character’s eyes, then.

Combat is clunking with light attacks having the same five punches in a combo. But, you can mix things up with a heavy attack, which throws a haymaker at your enemy…and breaks up your combo leaving you with a split-second of unreactivity.

Plus side, you get granted half-demon status upon your in-game death and can summon special, firey arms for fights. Or, when things get really tough, you can go full demon and kick some serious shit! You also have “special” moves that range from teleportation (sounds cool, is really useless in-game) to energy attacks. Standard AA trash, then.

NB; I really am a fan of some AA games, just not this one.

Shout, Shout, Shout at the Devil

However, that’s about as cool as things go, to be honest. Fights feel more like miniature arena battles in-between haphazard roaming sequences that might see you scale a platform or squeeze through space in a wall. Even when you’re not performing a “special” movement like that, our walking animation looks like I’d rendered it! Context; I’m clearly not a game developer.

Yes, the animations look subpar and the action is as interesting as a Steven Seagal straight-to-DVD movie, but what really takes the piss is the world-building. There isn’t any. The developers went through so little trouble to fill the world with people (there were maybe four in a “busy” office at the start), and you can’t interact with any of them.

Seriously. Why even bother trying to flesh out a world if none of it even matters? Even in Hell, where you’re at least helping these fuckers, you can’t interact with any of them.

The Devil Went Down to…Miami?

The textures as well were abyssmal. Like the leaves in the trees were flat and clearly on a squared axis. I wasn’t expecting Red Dead Redemption 2 levels of fidelity, but Devil’s Hunt was made in 2019. Some of the textures and renderings would make early THQ blush! And I fucking love THQ!

The soundtrack is…hang on, let me get my music genre dictionary out…”butt-rock“. Yep. Poser based hard-rock that would make Nickelback seem acceptable to listen to. Side note; unless you’re somehow in a pre-2004 world, Nickelback is still unacceptable to listen to. There’s just nothing redeeming of the soundtrack at all, apart from the fact that it ends when you close the game.

And whilst we’re talking about noises, I should probably touch on the voice acting. Jesus Aitch. I’ve seen porno movies with better acting in them! Sorry, I mean, “adult films”. From Desmond’s out-of-left-field reactions and try-hard “quips”, to other characters…meh-ness? it’s easy to pity whoever had to edit these soundbites to the video.

In Conclusion…

Actually, it turns out it’s really easy to pity anybody who worked on this game. As it turns out, the studio that made Devil’s Hunt, Layopi Games shuttered last year after lack of payment to staff. Yikes. It kind of puts a damper on being able to shit all over Devil’s Hunt. But, then again, maybe not. It was clearly made at cost, and it shows. And whilst I appreciate that this was a product of somebody’s hard-work that wasn’t actually rewarded, it doesn’t make it a martyr.

It’s a shame really, because, as I’ve noted throughout this review, I enjoy AA games, classic THQ games, and the similarities to other, successful games are quite clear. However, thanks to a menagerie of mismanagement, Devil’s Hunt is an atrocious experience to play. I only pray that when I inevitably wind up in Hell, it isn’t programmed by the same guys that made this abomination.

I give Devil’s Hunt a lowly 2.5/10. Despite the basis for a great game and many of the things a gamer of my ilk should enjoy, Devil’s Hunt simply misses the target on every single point. In fact, I’d score it lower, but a small part of me, deep down, feels a bit of sympathy towards the development team. Only a small part though.

YouTube player

Devil’s Hunt is available on Steam, GOG, and Humble, though I cannot, in good consciousness, recommend you buy it. The game was supposed to launch on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4. However, due to the shuttering of Layopi Games, that isn’t going to happen.


Devil's Hunt Review
  • 2.5/10
    Overall - 2.5/10
2.5/10

Summary

Pros

+ Gameplay is easy to get to grips with despite being clunky – in other words, it’s not a complex game to master

+ Erm…

 

Cons

— Where do we begin?

— Bad music

— Awful animations

— Voice-acting is dire

— Combat is, at best, repetitive

— Character models look like subpar ’00s PS2 era

— Desmond is a drip

— Characters are uninspiring at best, and totally forgettable at worst

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