Welcome to our Dark Devotion review. Dark Devotion is a Metroidvania/Dark Souls hybrid type like game that is packed full of many challenging moments complete with utter frustration in some areas.
- Dark Devotion
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
- Developer: Hibernian Workshop
- Publisher: The Arcade Crew
- Multiplayer: None
- Available: October 24th, 2019
- Price: £15.99 (U.K) $19.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 16 (U.K) T(U.S)
- Review Code Provided
Taking on the role of a young female Templar Knight Initiate, players will find themselves heading on a brutal adventure through the Ancient Dungeon, an area full of challenging levels, enemies, puzzling moments, and items to find. All of this is done with a story in the background but no actual linear path to follow, instead allowing the player to do as they wish when new areas become available. What you will find to help the story make sense are Templars, sometimes alive, sometimes dead who can provide small snippets of information by talking or leaving little notes behind.
The difficulty of Dark Devotion seems to be quite high and whilst the challenge remains and gets tougher as you delve deeper, it’s easy to learn how to overcome the challenges presented by enemies and certain level elements by paying attention and learning their patterns. This is a crucial thing to do if you want to get far in this game as well as going prepared with the right type of weapon and armor.
Weapons and armor can be found scattered through levels as well as dropped by defeated enemies and each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Getting the right setup is crucial for taking out enemies and bosses you come across in a quick and slightly easier fashion.
Faith plays a huge part in Dark Devotion and as such the game has you collecting it as you defeat enemies. Faith is used for opening certain doors, casting spells and praying at altars that can replenish your health. You can only carry so much at a time and this amount depends on a few factors such as what weapons or bonuses you currently have equipped.
The Ancient Dungeon is split into four different areas, each with its own theme that determines what the environment is and what enemies you’ll come across. All of the levels come with their own challenges to overcome and each from the start is rather challenging overall. Since death is so easy to achieve in Dark Devotion each level has a few teleport statues inside it. Activating these statues will allow you to return to the area where your last activated statue is. Returning to the area is done from the main hub area (known as Filthblood Shelter), where you’ll find the teleportation door. Admittedly this sort of checkpoint system is a pain in the ass, as there’s nothing worse than getting so far from a teleport area and dying at the weapon of an enemy or a pit of spikes and then having to restart from the last teleport statue. Oh and I should mention that each time you die you lose all your weapons, armor and items, with the only thing not going missing being any earned experience points which can be used in Filthblood Shelter to upgrade various aspects of your character.
Fighting enemies will have you doing a lot of rolling and dodging as well as the swinging of weapons, all of which use stamina. Stamina replenishes itself but does go down quite fast which adds a level of challenge to each and every fight you come across.
Each level has its own bosses to take down aswell and these can be quite challenging given their usually larger size than the protagonist and their just as large damage dealing weapons. It’s in these battles where all that rolling and dodging and stamina management practice comes into good use as you’ll be doing a lot of it considering the timing between an enemy’s last attack and their next seems to be rather short.
One slight issue is that the game doesn’t do much in the way of explaining basic things such as doors or how the teleport system works. Which is a bit of a pain as it leaves you having to figure out things that should be made clear from the get-go.
Whilst Dark Devotion may have the look of a platformer, it features no jumping and very few moving platforms and traps. Since there’s no jumping you’ll find yourself relying on your rolling ability to make it across small pit areas and things that look a bit like areas you should really be jumping across, but hey ho, no actual jumping is present at all.
Graphically Dark Devotion is a gorgeous game to look at, thanks to its level of detail and well-drawn pixel art. Sure it’s not as good as triple AAA titles, after all, it is in 2D but for the price this game cost and the budget that was allocated to bring it to life it really is a beautiful bit of work.
In conclusion, Dark Devotion is a wonderful game that takes elements from Dark Souls and Metroidvania and combines them into one fun yet challenging game. A few flaws aside, the game features addictive gameplay and despite all the frustration, I find myself going back and forth until I can finally pass a certain area.
That concludes our Dark Devotion review. To purchase the game on PS4 check out the links below.