Devil's Third is now roughly one month from release in PAL territories, with its Japanese release also coming in August. It's been a source of plenty of debate, with various early previews being critical of the title, yet there's naturally hype and excitement around the action experience.
Game Director Tomonobu Itagaki, whose previous works include the Dead of Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises, is understandably hugely passionate about the project; it's the first finished game from his independent company, Valhalla Game Studios.
Part of the allure of this title is its hybrid of FPS and action brawling, and Itagaki-san has often stated that it's a first of a kind and a game changer. On the relationship with Nintendo it's explained that both sides pushed each other on the project, and the project's leader outlined to Famitsu (translation posted by Itagaki-san on Facebook) that he feels the project contributes, in a small way, to the continuing evolution of Nintendo.
More than that — and I'm not being patronizing — Nintendo is trying to change itself on a large scale. The way I see it is that we were entrusted to help with one small part of that change. For example, with things like online multiplayer, Nintendo is trying to break out of the paradigm they've held for so long by exploring all kinds of new angles; and as our part in that plan, we were to make a completely new type of game—something that Nintendo had never made, that wasn't in their portfolio. In the beginning, they were telling me, "This isn't very Itagaki-esque. We want it more Itagaki-esque." That's how much they were saying, "Do it!"
Though we have plenty of reservations about aspects of the solo campaign, we're still particularly intrigued by the online component. In addition to various modes it has clan and diplomacy systems, which do seem to fit with Itagaki's goal of shaking up conventions. Below was his explanation of the in-game chat when playing online.
Right. That's why we implemented a diplomacy chat. Of course, if all the members were participating, it'd be impossible to follow; so that's why it's limited to just generals [the highest-ranked clan member], and captains [officers]. As the clan grows in size, the number of captains it can appoint increases, and captains can begin and engage in diplomacy chat themselves. There are a lot of things they can do—not just diplomacy, but managing and discussing internal affairs, et cetera. Generals and captains from multiple clans can also join in large meetings. Just like a top-level summit. So, chat is a really important part of the game. It can be used to discuss strategy: "We're going to launch an offensive against this clan this day of this month, so we'll need you to do so and so." Sounds fun, doesn't it?
Finally, a lengthy answer was given when asked about the lengthy development period for the title, which has seen it change publisher following THQ's bankruptcy and move to Wii U from PS3 and Xbox 360.
Well . . . If we had given up, then we wouldn't be able to show our face to all the people that had supported us up to that point. There wouldn't be any opportunity for us to work in this industry anymore. That's just how it is. We developed Ninja Gaiden in 4 years, and that was with us developing multiple lines at the same time, so it's not a particularly long time. Our desire was to complete the game by any means while establishing our company structure, developing the game itself, and keeping the company going all at the same time. We were finally able to make it through thanks to Nintendo who really made it all possible along with everyone in the industry, and also thanks to the expectations from all the fans and gamers that were waiting. With all that support, I couldn't be someone who would drop it all and walk away. That's one part. And on top of all that, we had already made the decision to make the game. We brought in staff to execute that decision. Those staff, their families . . . I'm repeating myself, but all of our fans . . . I couldn't just betray them. "So you did it just as some personal responsibility?" No, it's not like that either. You know, sometimes if I'm speaking with someone, they'll tell me that I've changed. Establishing my own company, I'm pretty much free to do what I want, and I'm also solely responsible for what I do. It can be a pain sometimes, but at the same time it gets you in the mood to just get it done. So as I said before, for all the support we've received in every form imaginable, and for letting me introduce Devil's Third like this here today, I'm incredible grateful. Like I said in the beginning, it's a culmination of everything so far—not just mine, but of everyone that works here. Please try it for yourself. I think it's going to be a breakthrough for the industry. I believe it's going to take shooters to the next level.
It's worth checking out the full interview. In our own first impressions of the Devil's Third solo campaign we felt that there were strong ideas trying to shine, but technical shortcomings and some questionable design hold it back. It'll be intriguing to see how that campaign progresses and whether multiplayer proves to be a key part of the experience. Itagaki-san believes that the solo and online play combined deliver "two full games worth of content".
Are you excited about Devil's Third's releases? It arrives in PAL regions on 28th August and is due in North America in Q4.
How so ? How is this revolutionizing shooters ?
There are plenty of Shooters with melee combat already. Red Steel and Shadow Warrior come to mind.
And from what ive seen so far, the melee combat is in no way as complex and deep as it was in his Ninja Gaiden titles.
He really acts like a cornered wolf and i both like and despise that.
Hes really passionate and determined, but also bites pretty much every hand that tries to reach him.
I think it has a style all it's own as well as a unique take on familiar themes. What do you mean he bites every hand that tries to reach him.
@Einherjar i believe the revolution he is referring to is actually the online's depth, with the clans diplomacy, base building and literal territory control more than the merging of fps and ninja giadien style action
What a guy... Day one purchase from me. If the online stacks up to his vision, it will steal away months from my life.
Gotta commend thw guy for his determination. Still on the wall but leaning towards a buy due to curiosity. May wait for some reviews but I'll be reading a broad number from all types of sites and even then I plan to let myself be the final judge.
This game really has me intrigued for some reason, I really hope it turns out well
Kudos to the guy for not giving up.
The online component really has me interested; some of the features sound incredible. I'm just not convinced it will all actually work as it's supposed to, is it even going to be possible to find matches? I'll have to wait for reviews before buying this.
Since this is an online game published by Nintendo, it's safe to say that just like all the other Nintendo online games there will be plenty of updates ironing out all the issues. I think the game is going to be pretty good, and is obviously different from other games in the genre, and I'm confident that this will get better over time.
Is he going to fix the problems with the game tho, or is this going to be like Arkham knight, were one version or part of the game is good, then everything just starts breaking near the end of it? Seriously they need to acknowledge the problems in the game instead of blaming the controls.
If the PC version is basically Arkham Knight with Micro transactions I'm going to not even consider buying the Wii U version.
I read the entire interview, and I have to say I'm disappointed in the softball questions the Famitsu writer posed. Do they always play so nice / patronizing with developers? No tough questions at all, which is really out of line given the mostly negative reception by Western critics (including this website).
Really hoping for Itagaki that his trusting fans will enjoy this game. He needs loud ambassadors for this thing to succeed.
Wow...I had no idea that Itagaki-san was so determined to finish Devil's Third. Other developers were even asking for funds through Kickstarter, basically coercing people to pay more than retail just for vanity items and without a guarantee that the game they backed would make it on their console of choice (Looking at you, Slighty Mad).
Itagaki-san really does seem like he has a lot of passion for Devil's Third and he seems to be as earnest as Nintendo to make games challenging, revolutionary and fun at the same time. I wasn't swayed by the negativity around DT before, and I never will be now.
@Einherjar How is it revolutionizing shooters? Well, for one, the clan system in Devil's Third is far more complex than a Call of Duty or Battlefield clan system by incorporating alliances and territory control. At the same time, DT is "backwards-compatible" by incorporating a standard mode that people used to playing FPSs can still get in on before they test out the new multiplayer.
As far as Red Steel and Shadow Warrior goes...well, the both of them seem to follow a more Doom-like formula which really doesn't differentiate themselves from other games in the genre other than incorporating flashier melee attacks. I'd know, I've played both.
Reading the context of the interview with Itagaki-San, he doesn't seem overly defensive about Devil's Third. He seems more determined about pleasing his fans and motivating his staff to finally see a project through to the end. If memory serves, they've been working on DT for almost half a decade now.
The fact that the studio can make a game look this realistic on the Wii U is a testament of their skill as well as their determination. I'm not going to cast that off just because of a few bad reviews from people who may or may not be competent gamers.
I go into all games, AAA or not, with a neutral expectation. With that said, the game has my interest and I will play it. Genre defining/bending/etc. or not, I just hope it's worth the ride.
I'm buying because it has a sense of forward thinking personality most games seem to shy away from. I like a lot of the action I have seen so far. I think online would seal the deal for me, but if you've ever tried blacklist online and never found a match you'll know how much of a coin toss that really is.
@JJtheTexan that my friend is famitsu in a nutshell and has been like that for a number of years now. It really is promo material rather than what we as gamers would like it to be. Famitsu is like reading the back of the game box, a lot of info but nothing significant in terms of an opinion about the actual quality of the game and it's mechanics etc
Ready to hand over my money.
Can PC and Wii U players play together? Otherwise I don't have much hope for the clan system for Wii U players.
From the way the news is going, turning a profit should be the first goal.
The multiplayer modea looked really fun in the e3 presentation, so hopefully it all works properly.
You almost made me spill my coffee over myself with the "Tom(onobu) Wiseau" comment. Dude, that is so spot on that I can't understand I didn't think of it earlier! Thanks mate!
Me and my brother are playing this game and we're already using some of the horrible catch phrases, just like we would with a Wiseau movie, and I can't wait to tell him bout Ita's All American ( ) twin brother. Hahah, they look so much alike!
"I believe it's going to take shooters to the next level"
Well this guy clearly lives in fantasy land.
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