Review: Devil’s Third (Wii U)
Recent history has proven to us that Nintendo platforms aren’t traditionally the best stomping ground for ‘mature’ titles. Yes, there have been a couple exceptions throughout the years but the general consensus is that if you want a shooter filled with blood and guts it is better to look elsewhere. Devil’s Third is one of the titles that intends to buckle this trend and provide something new and unique to the Wii U platform even with its troubled development history.
Losing the plot
Ivan, a testosterone-driven, tattoo-covered, walking cliché is the games protagonist. Think of a lead character for the cheesiest, most ridiculous, b-grade action sitcom and add a forged Russian accent to get an idea of what Ivan has to offer. Sure, the character has more unnatural attitude than the WWE (or WWF back then) during the late 90’s but dare I say… it kinda works… kinda. After all, a game like this shouldn’t be taken seriously for its plot, or lack thereof should it? Sadly there are things far worse than the over-the-top storyline.
The mindless storyline lends itself well to the combat which is a combination of FPS dominated gunplay and third-person melee combat. The bloody and brutal melee combat is executed by juggling between regular and heavy attacks executed by mashing the X & Y buttons. By stringing together a sequence of attacks you fill up the Enbaku Gauge and execute powerful attacks whilst invulnerable. Both the first & third person attacks are plagued by camera angle issues. This becomes blatantly obvious during the various, ridiculously frustrating boss fights. It’s one thing to have a difficult, well constructed challenge towards the end of a level, but having an overpowered demigod-like enemy, that you can actually see, is a different story all together. The transmission between the shooting and hacking away at foes is about as fluid as a baboons butt which adds to the already mounted frustration.
It’s not all bad…
While the single player campaign falls moderately short of anything worth the 8 hours it takes to complete the online is surprisingly good… when you eventually join a game. Fair enough, the lobbies didn’t fill up instantaneously but that is often the case when reviewing a title before its release. This shouldn’t be an issue once the game has been released. The PC version of Devil’s Third is a free-to-play rendition of the game which lacks the single player mode and relies on micro transactions. The Wii U online adopts this strategy where real currency can be used to purchase golden eggs, the in-game exchange. This work for a free-to-play model but is a bit of a cheek when buying a game at retail price. To begin with you can only take part in Drill events that act as a way to ease your way into the online world of Devil’s Third. Battle Royal and Team Deathmatch modes have been well thought out even with a limited amount of players online at the time of review. The overall crux of the online is that it is somewhat simplistic which lends itself well to the melee and shooting dynamics online. The jagged aiming, that flawed the single player mode, is far smoother and the inconsistent framerate is far less noticeable online.
…or is it
It isn’t often that an anticipated single player title is rescued by its online component, but this is most certainly the case with Devil’s Third. Keep in mind that the game has evolved from originally being a PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 title to a Wii U exclusive, THEN to free-to-play PC game and has been through various development snags. Ultimately the online is well worth your time. Unfortunately if you are only after a single player experience you are well on your way to being severely disappointed.