Remember when The Witcher came out, a game developed by Polish developers based on a Polish book? Which made the book series popular in America so it showed up here? I believe seeing this success is how Devil's Hunt came about. Polish developers are tackling another Polish book series in an attempt to raise its popularity. But is this a devil actually worth hunting? Or, should you go find something else?
I Forgot Everyone's Name Already
You play as Desmond Pierce, who is having a very bad day. His dad fires him from his cushy undefined job, he loses his underground street fight to a nobody, and he gets home to find his best friend screwing his fiancé. Unable to take the chain of bad events, Desmond drives his car off a bridge, killing himself and ending up in hell. Thankfully, Lucifer reveals that his identity as a mythical figure known as the Savior and Destroyer. With this now known, he can come back to life and spend time on Earth on the condition that he goes about collecting some souls. Soon, Desmond finds himself choosing a side in a war between Heaven and Hell.
In theory, this perfectly fine premise could lead to some interesting drama. In practice, it leads only to an absolutely convoluted mess of nonsense. Characters seem to exist in a revolving door of constant death and rebirth with little rhyme or reason. At least four different people betray Desmond, then later betray the person they betrayed Desmond for. Some even repeat the process for good measure. There are always new characters popping up, and none of them serve a real purpose. At one point, a giant snake eats Desmond, and then the snake's head explodes and he just reappears on the ground as if nothing happened. No one ever comments on this.
Devil's Hunt is based on a book called Equilibrium by author Paweł Leśniak. Since that's the first book of a trilogy, Devil's Hunt ends on a cliffhanger that's unlikely to see a resolution. However, there's something even more baffling than all of that nonsense in the story. Devil's Hunt claims to be 13 chapters long, yet there are actually only 12. The reason for this? Chapter 10 straight up doesn't exist. You finish chapter 9 and start at 11. I went to the chapter select screen to double-check. Sure enough, there's no option for 10. For the life of me, I can't tell if this is an intentional design decision or a glitch. Even weirder, I can't tell if anything is actually missing from the story. The whole thing is such a load of nonsense that an entire chapter could be missing and I didn't even notice.
The Quiet Man's Bad Friend
Sadly, Devil's Hunt's third-person character action gameplay doesn't really save it either. Desmond has both a light and heavy attack, and three different fighting stances he can switch between. However, there's no real difference between any of these fighting styles outside of visuals. None of them are any stronger or weaker than the others. Just in one Desmond punches people and in another, he punches people and occasionally pulls a sword out of hammerspace. No matter what, it takes the same amount of attacks to down enemies.
The real difference between styles supposedly comes in the abilities they get. Each style can equip three unique abilities from five choices. Executor's abilities mostly focus on dealing large amounts of direct damage, Unholy gets more ranged attacks, while Void focuses on crowd control. At least, that's how it looks like it works in theory. In practice, I rarely switch off of Executor. Its ridiculously overpowered abilities kill everything effortlessly. Once you get eruption, you discover that it basically hurts all nearby enemies for obscene amounts of damage and it makes you wonder why to bother using anything else.
Even if you choose not to use the abilities, fights are a breeze. Light attacks stagger most enemies, so you can end nearly every fight by spamming them. Eventually, Desmond gets the ability to rip a soul straight out of an enemy, instantly killing them. While I wouldn't use it in any group fights thanks to the time it takes, in a one-on-one it makes the whole thing hilariously pointless. Before long every single fight became spamming a single overpowered skill between mashing the light attack button. Occasionally you get a prompt to use a finisher, but they're usually pretty boring. Unless you want to see awesome finishers such as "Desmond punches a guy in the face four times" and "Desmond's hands awkwardly clip into someone's chest."
Please, Just Let Me Get Where I Need To Go
If you're not fighting, you're walking. You're walking a lot. There are vast ten-minute stretches of nothing throughout Devil's Hunt, as if the game needed a thick layer of padding. There's no platforming or puzzle-solving here either. You just walk from point A to point B, sometimes hitting an interact button to traverse up or down. Every now and again, you'll stand on a specific spot and look for a location to teleport to. These segments are blatant redundancy, trying to run out the clock wherever they can. It took me about 7 hours to finish Devil's Hunt. At least 2 of those hours consisted of walking aimlessly. Thankfully, while these sections pop up frequently in the first half of the game, they disappear by chapter 7.
Occasionally, you'll run into a boss. Many of the boss fights are so ridiculously easy that they become laughable. I'm not sure the first four bosses even have any attacks. Many of them seem to stand there and let themselves take it. Later bosses at least try to fight, but none of them really do much. However, for reasons I can't figure out, actually hurting the bosses felt hit or miss. Several times I'd land blows and their health bars just wouldn't move at all. There wasn't some step or action I was missing. Bosses just have long frames of pointless invincibility at random times and I couldn't figure out how or why.
It may have been one of the many glitches I ran into while playing Devil's Hunt. This game has issues. Lots of them. From the game crashing if I kept it paused too long, to all audio cutting out sometimes when I alt-tabbed. Several times, enemy AI became stuck, leaving my foes standing around doing nothing. Audio would cut out during scenes, lines would be accompanied by no subtitles. The description for Lucifer was completely missing from the in-game database. Skills fail to unlock on the skill tree, but I still lost souls trying to buy them. My favorite glitch is when suddenly Desmond would say his lines at 5x speed, sounding like a deranged swearing chipmunk. This speech quirk is the most fun I had with Devil's Hunt.
Devil's Hunt Review | Final Thoughts
Devil's Hunt is a video game that just doesn't do anything worth seeing. It isn't unique, and worse, it isn't fun. I guess it successfully makes me want to read the book series, but more to see if it's as much of a flaming wreck as this game is. Don't hunt this devil down. It certainly cries.
TechRaptor reviewed Devil's Hunt on PC via Steam using a copy provided by the publisher. The game has a scheduled release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in Q1 2020.
- Desmond's Voice Sometimes Speeds Up to 5x
- Complete Nonsense Story
- Chapter 10 is Missing
- Boring Action
- Lame Enemies
- Bosses Are Terrible
- Tons of Dead Air