Straight out of 2012 comes a new action-adventure by Polish studio Layopi Games. Devil’s Hunt tries to combine what makes the genre great, including top-tier graphics, fun combat, and an immersive story. As for whether it succeeds at those, well, that’s another question entirely.
Decent art and world design. If there is anything that Devil’s Hunt does really well, it would have to be its overall art and world design. Despite the game’s rather short length (at just 4 hours), I was honestly quite surprised at how much detail was worked into each environment. Take for example the main character’s home. It’s fully decorated and explorable even though you hardly spend any time in it. In fact, I spent a good chunk of time just walking around it and seeing what was there before actually jumping into the meat of the game.
This extends to most other areas in the game as well, including the run-down areas of the city, the interior of a massive office building, and even the lava lakes and demonic structures of Hell. You’ll travel all over the place throughout the game and each area is just as detailed as the last, even if you barely spend a minute or two in it. The game may have its problems, but its world design is definitely not one of them.
Clunky combat. While Devil’s Hunt does have some good ideas, especially with regards to its skill and combo system, it is unfortunately brought down by just how clunky the combat is. The main issue is that it simply lacks any sort of impact. Hits don’t offer appropriate feedback, some skills oftentimes show no signs of actually hitting an enemy, and, regardless of what enemy you may be facing, the combat just feels monotonous. If you’ve ever played any of the Batman: Arkham games, it basically plays like a watered-down and boring version of that.
There’s little variety in the enemies and even when there is, the attacks are mostly the same thing. The boss battles offer up at least a bit more variety, but have move sets that are so limited that it just feels wrong to call them proper “boss fights”. The devs definitely had some good ideas going into the combat, but the result is just a repetitive clunky mess.
Fluctuating graphical quality. While I did praise the game’s overall art, world design, and atmosphere, it doesn’t come without some graphical problems. Most notably the fluctuating quality of the game’s animations, cutscenes, and character models. The biggest offender would be the animations, which range from decent to outright goofy. You’ll have some animations that come out smooth and look at least satisfactory, and then others that are noticeably choppy in comparison.
Of course, this issue is only amplified in the game’s cutscenes, where these glorious animations are put on full display. You’ll see cars that can turn 90 degrees while barely moving, stiff characters shuffling about, and facial expressions that border on lifeless. And on the topic of characters and faces, it looked like some were noticeably more detailed than others, which made some cutscenes just come off as jarring. Granted, this is a game coming from a smaller team that likely does not have that high of a budget, but it’s still an issue that needs mentioning.
Choppy storyline. Devil’s Hunt sells itself as a very story-heavy game. In fact, those cutscenes that I mentioned before actually take up a significant chunk of the time I spent in the game (probably around a third). So given that, you would expect it to have at least a somewhat good story, but unfortunately the game falters there as well. Not only is the pacing all over the place, but it oftentimes felt like I was only being given pieces of a much larger story.
It felt haphazard at times, eventually culminating in a completely rushed ending that honestly just comes out of nowhere. I say that because the boss fight just prior to it did not feel anything like a final boss. It was so simple that I had originally thought it to be the first phase of some larger fight, so I was surprised to see the game end right after it. Really, the overall story was just all over the place and considering that it takes up a significant amount of the game time, it’s honestly just disappointing.
Numerous technical issues. Unfortunately, on top of all of these other issues, Devil’s Hunt also has a bunch of technical issues plaguing the experience. Within the first ten minutes I was already running into a stuttering issue. My FPS would be fine and then suddenly drop for a second and return at what felt like random intervals. I also noticed that the game had some odd issue with objects loading in and out from the environment, sometimes flickering in and out of existence right in front of me.
Aside from that, I also ran into a bunch of audio issues, including dialogue clipping too early, dialogue repeating for a second and then cutting out again after a line is finished, and just dialogue not playing at all. It was like the game just decided I didn’t need to hear any more dialogue after a certain point and I probably would not have noticed had I not toggled on subtitles at the beginning of my playthrough.
However, the technical issues don’t stop there. I also ran into this really annoying issue where my character would get stuck spinning in circles when coming into contact with some other object. I would sometimes get stuck in place for several seconds at a time for seemingly no reason. And on top of all of that, I did have the game lock up on me at one point, forcing a total restart to get it working again. The game is a buggy mess that definitely shouldn’t have shipped without some additional testing beforehand.
While a decent first effort, Devil’s Hunt simply has too many problems to warrant playing. Clunky combat, a choppy storyline, and numerous graphical and technical issues really bring down the experience. The game’s one saving grace would be its art and world design, but that’s simply not enough to warrant a recommendation. I could see the game doing okay maybe 10 years ago, but it’s just not good by today’s standards.
You can buy Devil’s Hunt on Steam here.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.