Without so much as an explanation, Desmond finds himself in the middle of a city under siege, burning to the ground. Using your fists, claws, and unholy powers you punch your way through demonic creatures until you reach the monstrosity haunting your dreams. Crushed under the weight of its massive claws you transform, giving in to the darkness inside of you, lashing out with flames straight from the bowels of Hell. And with a flash of light, you awake.
Devil's Hunt certainly knows how to give players a taste of what is to come, putting them right into the action with a fully capable and decked out Desmond. The tragic events that led to this transpire shortly after, given you context to what you witnessed at the start of the game. It doesn't take long before your life, which seemed to be going well, based on the expensive sports cars, luxury accommodations, and hot girlfriend come crumbling down. Losing your first illegal underground boxing match is only the start of your bad luck, as you find yourself caught between the eternal struggle between demons and angels. You are the Savior and Destroyer, and it is your choice whether to save humanity or damn them to eternal torment. At least, that is what you are told throughout the seven-hour adventure, but there aren't any choices for you to make.
Being based on the novel, Równowaga, written by Paweł Leśniak, the game's narrative is quite linear. Rocking sweet looking glowing red arms, you'll spend most of the game punching and clawing at demons and those unworthy of keeping their soul. Although Desmond can utilize both light and heavy attacks, combat tends to feel clunky at best. Without a target lock-on, you'll be pulled towards enemies, similar to how the Batman Arkham games operated. However, the combat in Devil's Hunt is not as smooth or rewarding. Skills are divided between the three unique skill trees or schools. Executor focuses on damage dealing, Unholy allows you to heal and use ranged skills, and Void controls engagements with your demonic powers. Once unlocked, you can swap between the three schools on-the-fly.
Using specialized skills interrupts the flow of combat, immobilizing Desmond, for the most part. This wouldn't be too much of an issue if skills didn't have the tendency of not working. One of the first powers you acquire, sees you flinging horizontal flaming arcs directly in front of you. Most of the time, they would go right through enemies, having no visible effect, and not dealing any damage. Melee attacks seem to suffer from the same lack of feedback.
I understand that every attack can't interrupt or stagger, but visible feedback of your attacks is sorely lacking. It doesn't help that Desmond is unable to block, and only specific attacks can be parried. Instead, you must dodge most attacks, but having a slight cooldown on dodging, leaves you open to incoming attacks. Enemies can (and will) attack off-screen, leaving you indefensible, but worst of all most attacks knock you to the ground. Your ultimate demonic form never feels overpowering, mostly because you'll glitch and be stuck in place. Although there are finishers, that see Desmond brutally kill other demons, there is one skill in particular that almost instantly kills anything. As long as you are not interrupted, the soul-stealing ability can take care of most enemies. It's not entirely worth the risk, as you will almost always be facing a handful of foes at once, probably to counter the inclusion of that skill.
There aren't actual puzzles for your solve while exploring, but occasionally you'll come across blocked paths, requiring you to locate seals to shatter. Without the ability to jump, your movements are somewhat limiting. Anytime you come across a half-wall, you'll need to interact to climb up/down. There are collectibles for you to find along the way, mostly in additional paths that don't lead anywhere. Occasionally you come across teleportation pads requiring you to locate a matching location, typically above or below you. While the environments on Earth are visually lacking, aesthetically, the depths are Hell are quite spectacular. It is just a shame that you spend half the game trudging through dull streets, and warehouses, and forced to return to Desmond's pad continually.
Technical bugs are quite rampant throughout the entire game. As you navigate through tight corridors on Earth or in Hell, Desmond easily becomes stuck along surfaces. It doesn't matter if it is a wall or an object in the environment; the movement system is clunky at best. Playing through the game with a controller, it was tedious at times navigating through the game's tight corridors.
During one of the boss encounters, which I won't spoil, you are forced to complete it using your demonic form. However, there isn't anything to tip you off, and instead, the boss regenerates health constantly until you trigger the proper sequence. On another occasion, Desmond carefully crossed a plank but didn't transition back to his normal walking animation after reaching the other side, forcing a reload. There are additional minor nuisances, such as missing dialogue, and poorly timed transitions, leading to an overall unpublished product.
Devil's Hunt's battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell can be visually stunning, but highly unpolished at times. Stiff animation and various bugs mares the rather great voice acting in the game. It's a shame that the game's protagonist feels one dimensional, and the game never digs deep enough into his choice of being the Savior or Destroyer. Many of the smaller bugs can be overlooked, especially with the low price point for the game, but the forced restarts and game-breaking glitches need to be a top priority.Note: Devil's Hunt was reviewed on PC. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.