Devil's Hunt

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Devil's Hunt Game Poster Image
Demon-slaying action game has blood, gore, glitches.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The story includes themes of religion, romance, and revenge, with (potential) lessons learned from mistakes the hero makes while in enraged and emotional states.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's hero commits suicide and then makes a deal with Lucifer to exact revenge on his best friend, whom he believes betrayed him by having sex with his fiancé. He also does the devil's work, hunting down people and collecting their souls, feeding off his own rage to become more powerful. His moral choices are questionable at best, and he's an inherently violent man (he's a paid boxer/fighter before he becomes a demon).

Ease of Play

Straightforward controls, including onscreen button cues, make it easy to pick up and play. A trio of difficulty levels allows players to focus on the story or face a serious challenge.

Violence

Players use melee attacks and magic to do battle with demonic creatures. Blood spatters stain the ground as creatures burst to bloody, flaming bits. Cut scenes show more graphic violence, including gore -- ripping a horn from a demon and then using it to stab its owner; a man bloodily punching all the way through another man's chest -- and the player's character murdering his best friend with a knife. Some environments are coated in blood and gore, including entrails, torsos, and skulls.

Sex

Off-screen sex is implied. One of the main female characters wears a dress that reveals deep cleavage and no bra.

Language

Infrequent occurrences of strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are referenced, and the player's character is seen drinking whisky.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Devil's Hunt is a downloadable action game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The game is about a man who commits suicide and then makes a deal with the devil to harvest the souls of wicked people. Players fight demons, people, and other creatures using melee and magic attacks that result in large blood spatters. Non-interactive narrative scenes show more disturbing violence, including cold-blooded murder, and some environments are coated in blood and gore. The game's hero has questionable moral judgment and makes decisions based on his emotions and while feeding off his own rage for power. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are repeatedly referenced, and the player's character is seen drinking whisky before committing an act of grave violence. Dialogue contains infrequent but strong language, including the F-word. One of the main female characters wears a very revealing dress with a neckline cut down to her navel, and off-screen sex is implied.

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What's it about?

DEVIL'S HUNT is a narrative-rich action game based on a series of popular Polish-language fantasy novels. It centers on a wealthy heir and professional fighter named Desmond Pearce who commits suicide after walking in on his best friend and fiancé in bed together. Desmond wakes up in Hell, makes a deal with Lucifer to return to Earth, and proceeds to exact revenge on his friend -- though all may not be what he originally thought. What's more, his demonic side appears to affect his human thoughts, his rage lending him strength, which leads to significant internal conflict. A significant amount of time is spent on exposition, with some chapters focused almost entirely on dialogue and exploration. But as players work through Desmond's tale, they will discover he possesses a variety of demon-like fighting abilities -- in addition to his boxing and bare-fisted fighting skills -- including the power to teleport as well as briefly transform into a brimstone-skinned creature of Hell. Demon skills scattered across three "schools" of combat are purchased via skill points, assigned to action buttons, and then put to use as Desmond wanders through fiery environments on Earth and in Hell, acting as Lucifer's executor and harvester of souls.

Is it any good?

It's clear the developers wanted to honor the story that inspired the game, but managed to miss in a lot of ways that makes the game experience only an average adventure. Devil's Hunt provides players with rich and detailed environments to explore both in our world and Hell, and a strong effort was made to foster characters with whom we can connect. Unfortunately, the dialogue often feels disconnected, the acting sometimes borders on wooden, and physical movement in narrative scenes feels stiff and puppet-like rather than smoothly captured from an actor's performance. It also doesn't help that the game suffers plenty of little glitches, from occasional frame stutters all the way up to Desmond getting stuck in environment architecture, forcing the player to restart from a previous checkpoint. It may be a very pretty looking game, but it's not polished. Hopefully some of these issues will get ironed out through post-release patches.

Still, some players may still find Devil's Hunt worthwhile simply for its intense action. Desmond is a butt-kicker, make no mistake. Whether landing an uppercut with his fist, slashing through a torso with a claw, or going on a rampage as a full-fledged demon, he's not to be trifled with. He can parry attacks to stun enemies before unleashing a series of lethal blows, and even perform vicious finishing moves to individual foes in the heat of a brawl. The combat's missing a couple of features that could have made it a little more intuitive -- such as target locking -- but once you get the hang of things, Desmond will feel like the highly effective demon executor he was meant to be. Devil's Hunt is perhaps too ambitious a game for a small, first-time studio like Layopi Games. Its rougher edges clearly needed a little more sanding before being rolled out to players. That said, older players who simply want some spectacular demon-versus-demon mayhem will likely find what they're looking for here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Is the impact of the violence in Devil's Hunt affected by the over the top, unrealistic violence. Is emotion a reason for violence in any situation? How did you interpret the hero's motives?

  • What obligations come with being a good friend? Can these obligations change how you perceive a friendship?

Game details

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