When we shared our initial first impressions of Devil's Third it turned into a bit of a saga; your humble writer was surprised at the level of feeling that came out in response to an early look at the game. The focus was on the single player campaign at that point, with our general summary being that - while full of good intentions - it falls short in its early stages. Devil's Third wasn't giving us the revolution in action gaming that had been promised, ultimately, and it became a bit of an ongoing topic - with diverse opinions - all over the web.
While the single player campaign is a hefty experience, for some gamers shooters and action games like this are all about online action. To be fair to Devil's Third, this component really is shaping up to be rather substantial and impressive in its scope, so much so that a version of it will actually arrive on PC as a free-to-play game.
Of course, free-to-play makes money from microtransactions, and they caught us a little off guard when we saw them first-hand here in the Wii U game. At present pricing isn't available as the service isn't live, but real money can be used to buy Golden Eggs - whether that's a self-referential or accidental pointer to The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, it's apt.
Upon booting up our pre-release build and going online for the first time we received a batch of these eggs (whether this will be standard in the final retail version is unclear, but we suspect it will), and they can be used for acquiring items or be traded in for a chunk of in-game currency. Some items, including projectiles and hugely destructive X-Type weapons, can only be bought with these eggs, in some cases costing a lot of them. Frivolous but cool accessories such as outfits can also only be bought with eggs, and small steps of progress would also reward us with one of these little blighters. As we've said though, some items need plenty of eggs to buy, so time will tell whether the balance of driving microtransactions and being fair to those happy to grind will be reasonable. Microtransactions are relatively common in retail games - especially shooters - but that doesn't mean they're a good thing.
That's a negative out of the way, but there are some real positives in the online mechanic. Our ability to test it thus far has been limited to specific - but poorly attended - online sessions, but it's clear that a lot of thought has gone into the structure of this multiplayer component.
The first step is to choose from a fairly limited batch of pre-created characters - with some minor customisation - for your fighter, and then you setup your first load-out. You can opt to be focused on Assault, Gunner or Sniper styles, though nothing's stopping you from buying weapons to support all options and having multiple loadouts. There's huge variety including machine guns, shotguns and sniper rifles, and finding a primary and sub-weapon loadout with both power and distance options can be key. You can also buy melee weapons, so just like the single player campaign there's a blend of shooting and melee that's essential to the action.
Initially you can only enter Drill events, which consist of the standard, wild and wacky modes that have been touted a great deal to date. With limited numbers playing online we've only been able to sample the self explanatory Battle Royal and Team Deathmatch modes, but there are some other fun - on paper - options. 'Chickens' involves catching the birds and holding onto them for points, Carnival necessitates grabbing fruit to hurl into mixers, while Close Quarters and Gladiator involve melee-only combat or a race to grab just one gun in a map.
With full rooms of 16 the 10 available modes in Drill are all promising, though sadly our experiences to date have topped out at 8 or 9 competitors in a room. Pleasingly, though, the performance issues we've encountered in the story mode are less prominent here, which is surprising considering the linearity of the campaign. Visuals are simple and performance is still not as optimal as it could be, but it's certainly playable and relatively reliable.
The blend of gunplay and melee can certainly be enjoyable, too. We still find the crosshair rather stiff when compared to more capable shooters rocking 60fps, but at least Devil's Third makes a 'strategy' of charging at enemies waving a sword around reasonably viable. Switching to a shotgun for close shots or engaging in slightly comedic but nevertheless frantic sword fights is certainly enjoyable; it still has a low-fi budget feel, but it's relatively fun nonsense in the multiplayer arena.
The pre-set stages we've encountered so far are decent, too, though some are naturally better than others. The worst stage was a night-time area where you could accidentally suicide by falling into water, but as it's hard to see with all the grey and night-time lighting there was the farce of seeing suicide notifications on an all-too-frequent basis from all involved. Some stages are excellent, though, with sniper points, buildings and trenches all around. Some thought has clearly gone into catering to observant players with multiple loadouts - the Grand Canyon is a sniper's paradise.
Around all of this is an impressive infrastructure, with the GamePad screen offering access to text chat, notifications, private messages and more. That PC announcement is less surprising in this context, as this infrastructure points to a development team well versed in the complexities that PC-centric shooters offer.
There's a lot we're yet to sample, too. We've levelled up a little, but due to limited time windows and the aforementioned poorly attended servers we haven't hit the point where we can unlock Siege Match. This is the area where you can create, defend and invade fortresses as a lone-dog mercenary (assigned to a team in matches) or as part of a clan. When hype was built about the substantial online mode and its customisation at E3 2014, Siege Match was a big part of that.
Rummaging around the e-manual it's certainly got huge amounts of potential. Whether setting up or applying for a clan you can establish communication to arrange missions, you pick a side of a broader conflict and you can - it seems - go to war with other clans in a meaningful way, such as wiping out their fortresses. Members of clans can even use in-game currency they've earned and put them towards bettering their group, and it's in this mode that powerful X-Type weapons can be activated by charging a gauge. On paper it sounds fantastic, and we're keen to put it to the test.
There are real positives to the online component of Devil's Third, though aside from a more stable framerate our previous complaints from our initial preview remain. Our references to a 'budget feel' regard the fact that this is still far from slick, and has a roughness to the physics and gameplay mechanics that belies a troubled development for Valhalla Game Studios. Yet it has potential to be fun when approached with a forgiving attitude - it's lacking the level of quality normally expected of a game published by Nintendo, but like with the solo campaign there are good intentions and passion on display from the developers.
So far the multiplayer component seems like the heart of Devil's Third, and does it more credit than the unremarkable and frustrating single player campaign. We need more time to assess its overall merits, but it is a bright spot in this most curious of Wii U releases.
so gameplay or nah?
Ugh, online shooters, I'll give this a miss.
Too bad it's competing with Splatoon.
I have been watching Japanese feeds of online play for the past week and can honestly say that I am very psyched for this game. Graphics don't bother me or this 'slickness' Thomas mentioned as long as I am engaged. And this looks like it could keep me engaged for awhile. Just one question; does the online component support off-TV play like BLACK OPS 2 did?
In the world of 2007, this game would be something everyone would want.
I can make time for both.
Still interested. Still worried though. Mainly about the framerate.
If they can patch it to improve it, especially in the single player, that'd be grand.
I think it's safe to say this game isn't going to be a success on any real level. But I think it could become a cult classic. A lot of the problems are comedic and not game breaking. It looks like it'll fit into the "so bad it's good" category.
Some of these multiplayer modes sound fun if they're executed well. The one gun in the whole map thing is unique and could be great. And we finally have an explanation as to why there are chickens and fruit.
Biggest issue that absolutely needs solving: framerate. Solve that, and I've no doubt i'll enjoy the game.
Still doesnt sound good enough and not a reason to stop playing either csgo, splatoon or tf2
Those certain weapons costing money is an issue... unless you can unlock everything non-cosmetic without paying a dime.
Planetside 2 did it right; skills, abilities, and equipment can ONLY be improved by in-game currency (which cannot be bought, last I checked). Primary, sidearm, and special weapons can be unlocked via both ingame and real money, and only cosmetics are cash-only (this includes cosmetic variations of various guns; same stats, different look). And this all applies to vehicles and aircraft as well. This is on top of the fact that starting weapons are the most balanced, and thus aren't "weaker"; other weapons are "sidegrades", being better in one thing but worse in another.
Anyhoo, might check out the multiplayer on PC. Seige actually sounds kinda fun.
Well, it's not CS:GO or CoD - it's "better"...?
Yeah, I'm not a fan. I'm sure a select group of people will find this fun, and I hope they enjoy it.
The best microtransactions are done by Valve, nuff said. Everything is cosmetic, nothing helps you be a better player
As long as you can earn that stuff without grinding too much I don't mind at all. Though there wil likely be some fools throwing money at pretend weapons to win when they otherwise could not.
Oh are there many characters for multi including females and maybe custom?
I'm still interested in getting this title there is simply a desert when it comes to this kind of game on Wii U - I mean how many times can you eat a salad and not want a steak, though I must say it depends on how close they release it to Xenoblade X - if it gets released before X then I will pick it up but if it comes out after X I can most likely say it will be a NO GO for me .
Aaand I'm out. Devil's Third seems to follow the pathetic trend of focusing on multiplayer at the cost of singleplayer. Bad practices are not to be supported (which is a very hypocritical thing for me to say, but is still true), and I sure as hell neither support lacking singleplayer and pay-to-win multiplayer.
Between amino unlocking challenges in Splatoon and the teeny tiny micro transactions in SSB I think we've gone past the point we're we as Nintendo fans can look down our noses at anybody. It's like 75 cents per hat in SSB, and there are a lot of hats. And of course the 2 Pokémon free to start games on 3DS.
I'm not pro microtranasctions, I'm just against the attitude.
Microstrasactions are annoying, but as long as I can unlock some good gear I'm fine with it. I've never let microtransactions ruin a game for me.
With a big focus on online, it's a 'no thanks' from me. Also, the main character looks just plain dumb, like a leftover from some really bad 80's B-movie. Might be the intention - haven't read too much about this game - but this just adds to the 'not for me'. And micro-transactions... well, 'no thanks' again. Too bad!
In other words it looks like dog crap,but it's still fun.
I'm not an online player, so I'll be getting this based upon the single player campaign, but I liked the words at the end of the preview: "good intentions and passions on display." I actually prefer unpolished passion to lifeless perfection. (I find passionate perfection too rare to worry about.) I'm leaning towards giving this the benefit of the doubt, as well as not punishing NoA for listening to the fans who were in an uproar about this game.
I think the real question is which would you rather play: Devil's Third, or Duke Nukem Forever?
I rarely play shooters anymore (splatoon aside), however, I was always willing tog ice this a chance as I know MP is usually the heart of it and it sounded quirky and different. Yet the microtransactions bit really turns me off, if we aren't competing on a level playing field I'll just die often and get bored (I'll admit I'm a pretty average jack-of-all-trades gamer!). Didn't see it get mentioned, but do we know if this has local? That would save it and I don't currently have a proper local shooter for the U (I imagine it'd run at 10fps though!).
Also on a side note, the official UK Store have finally acknowledged its existence with a TShirt bundle for £40... Reckon that means the discount online stores will have it for £27 hopefully.
@rjejr Agreed. Although if it gives someone an advantage I'd be irked, that's acceptable in a free game, however, feels like the U owners are really paying for the SP and a few golden eggs to start. Also, playing against PC (I assume this is cross platform?!) aren't we likely to be annihilated by mighty mouse warriors? Us Nintendo fans can only jump left to right after all...
So many briny squiddies complaining about the same crap everyone's whined about for months. We get it, you hate microtransactions and immediately cast this off as a worthless game like the thousands of whiny kiddies did before you.
I don't play multiplayer games for glory or to be the best. I play games like this like I play Splatoon...or recreational sports, for that matter. It's a short, easily reconciled contest; friendly but fierce. If I lose? Fine. If I win? Cool. Next match, please.
Microtransactions don't bother me in the least. If I see a level 1 player rolling around with gear he didn't earn that's supposed to be overpowered but I whip them anyway, well, that just makes things more fun and exciting for me. Still getting this day one. I'm forsaking my PS4 for a second year so I can finally get the games I've been waiting for. Something like Devil's Third and Fatal Frame must've been a part of Iwata's wishes to bring back the hardcore crowd for the Wii U. What constitutes "hardcore" I don't know, but I'm staying with the Wii U as my console of choice this generation.
...I'm actually not missing much on the Sony front, now that I think about it. Fallout is dead to me after New Vegas bored me to tears. FFXV will be overshadowed by the VII remake, and Kingdom Hearts III over the latter. People have already forgotten about Evolve and Mortal Kombat as well, and everything else that's coming up will be left in the dust as well.
3 months after its launch and Splatoon is just growing stronger. A trend I'm sure will continue for a little while.
Nice to hear it's looking promising. I really hope the micro transactions aren't too bad.
At this point I'm just buying the game to have it. It's such an interesting curio. If I end up having fun with it, then that's a plus
@kensredemption @BrizzoUK It's not cross platform unfortunately, Itagaki confirmed this in a FB Q&A...
Looks like a winner to me, expect to see me running around online in just a few weeks.
Any word on local multiplayer?
@Kaze_Memaryu I just don't get it... Why multiplayer must be a bad thing? Why a game, in 2015, cannot be "multiplayer only" or at least "multiplayer focused"?
It is your choice to grab it or not, but just saying that a game is bad because it favors multiplayer sounds a bit harsh...
@IceClimbers Planetside 2. Free to play, not free to win, massive online battles with vehicles.
@Mogster Sadly no local multiplayer or online co-op modes.
@Pod Hey, Mario Galaxy came out in 2007. That was an awesome year
Itagaki has said it won't be cross platform because of mouse/keyboard advantage.
@rjejr So you are saying that SSB has become the Hat Simulator of Nintendo?
At this point, it sounds no better than a F2P mobile game. I'm never buying this.
@arnoldlayne83 My problem isn't the focus on multiplayer, but that the singleplayer, by comparison, is just bad. If a game wants to be more about multiplayer, sure, why not? But that doesn't mean they can just mess up singleplayer, or anything else about the game.
It boils down to a simple rule: if you put something in a game, make it good.
Nobody is forcing you to buy hats in Sm4sh. And it's not like they make your character any better. It's entirely cosmetic and if someone decides it is a reasonable purchase then good for them. It doesn't alter the game for anyone else playing=good use of microtransaction.
Splatoon challenge maps are single player level maps with different objectives that unlock...more cosmetics that have very little effect on online play as the abilities can be found on other clothing even early on. I'd go as far as saying that the amiibo outfits are WORSE because they offer no statistical bonuses for getting certain sub abilities. In this case, microtransactions are okay. That being said, I do think Nintendo should eventually release the challenge maps to the public but leave the outifts as amiibo exclusive.
And the Pokemon games have been exactly what Nintendo said they would be: free to start games that are meant to be played in spurts. If you want longer sessions you have to shell out for it. You put in exactly as much money is you think is fair.
@SetupDisk There are male and female models in the avatar creation, with decent but slightly limited customisation.
There have been plenty of games which got less than stellar reviews which I have enjoyed enormously (eg. any Nintendo game reviewed by Gamespot). It re-enforces that online reviews mean jack squat when it comes to personal tastes. You really do have to try it out for yourself.
@MeddlingIdiot Thanks for the heads up. It'll probably be a ghost town quite quickly then! I kinda feel they probably should have made this f2p on WiiU like PC it charge small for the SP mode, a bit like Ironfall. Could have been braver and at least fostered an online community.
I totally agree with you. I have really enjoyed games that got less than mediocre reviews.
The problem with this one - at least for me - is that the only reason I would buy this is for the multiplayer. In other words I will not buy it because only the most optimistic of fans will expect to find enough players in the online lobby at any given time to really enjoy the game.
I do not see this selling more than the COD game we had - nowhere near - and that lobby was pretty much non-existent (based on European timezone) and not much better globally.
@Darknyht - I don't know what Hat simulator is, I'll google it later, but hats = horse armor.
@Indielink - It's not about who buys them or who doesn't, what they do or don't do, it's about Ntineod offering microtransactions and everybody saying "good for them" but when ever any other company does it everybody says "oh, that's so evil". Fanboism irks me.
I'm still going to put this game through it's paces and see what it's all about, offline and online.
But not everyone is saying good for Nintendo. They got beat up over the Splatoon amiibo content. And as for the microtransactions thenselves, Nintendo's so far avoided microtransactions that result in unfair game balance as opposed to Ubisoft with AC Unity or just about anything that EA makes. Everything so far has been optional and keeps the playing field level. And that is without a doubt a good thing.
@Captain_Gonru - "where are you on this game?"
I haven't really given it that much thought to be honest. I'm not a big online guy. Spaltoon is an aberration. I don't play FPS. I never play multiplayer in games like Uncharted. Heck I only ever played Subspace Emissary in SSBB, so you can imagine how much I'm not playing SSBU.
And really over the past few years it's been all about my kids. I did play TLoU after they went to bed, but that's about it. I really enjoyed Madworld on Wii, and I would probably enjoy this, but I don't see me getting it. As a gamer I've been, shall we say, domesticated. And this doesn't look very zen.
So anyone, PLEASE, does the online mode support off-TV play???
Think I'm still giving this one a shot. Almost certain.
@Captain_Gonru Kids change everything. My know-it-all sister, that's not an insult she's quite bright and very successful, used to kid me about how I changed all the time when my kids were little - they're 12 and 10 now - then a couple of years ago she had kids, her's are 2 and 11 months. now she knows. Though I also understand for some men it changes nothing, football, golf, whatever, they can't be bothered, and that's fine, that's how it worked for our parents generation, but as a stay-at-home dad its probably affected me more than most. Really need to focus on getting a job though while I have a little mind left.
@Captain_Gonru W/ all the good things I've read about LCU I'd buy a multplayer sequel day 1. I would have bought the first game day 1 if it had multiplayer. And I will buy it day 1 when it hits a normal price point for a 2 year old single player off line Lego game w/ no licensing costs. $20 sounds about right.
With the way the comments are leading towards i can see this not getting the support it needs. Too many high expectations or it won't measure up to other shooters. No one has played the official game game, yet everbody has this doom appeal except a few. At a time where games are being canceled left and right for the wiiu you would think ppl would try to be alittle open minded or grateful this is still coming instead of having it pushed back to be dropped with a ps4 & xbox version!
@Captain_Gonru - Btw, what ever happened with your water gun?
Funny you should ask. I was in Target a few days ago and the woman who works in electronics saw me and shouted out they were in. She walked behined the counter adn showed me one and said they had a few in. I told her I didn't have my receipt w/ me - it had been 2 months - and she sort of said "oh". Unbeknownst to her I complained to customer service about a moth ago and they gave me $13 of the price of Spaltoon b/c of the lack of gun. I even gave my kids $4 each since we all chipped in $15 each to buy it - we had $15 worth of Target GC from the usual purchases - we're n there a lot. And, to top it all off one of the guys on here aaron sullivan mailed me his for my birthday, said he didn't want it. Sometimes it doesn't suck being me.
As for Target, I bought Metroid Other M there about 3 years ago on clearance for $4.98. It's still on the shelf for $49.99. Today's ad - I only get the newspaper delivered for Sunday ads and coupons - said 20% - 70% off 3DS, Wii and Wii U games - which I noticed that same visit to Target many of the DS and Wii games were on clearance and I wondered on here if they were dumping last gen. I ordered Mario and Sonic Winter Olympics for $17.99, the Wimote itself is worth $20 to me.
@Kaze_Memaryu I'm assuming from your statements that you must HATE splatoon? This is by far the most multiplayer only game available on the Wii u. I finished the single player 'campaign' in less than 4 hours.......devils third has had allot of bad press but the single player campaign is described as substantial in most cases and as 'a hefty experience' in this very article!?!
@ULTRA-64 I'm not talking about length alone. What was shown from Devil's Third in terms of singleplayer content looked vastly unpolished, and several complaints were raised against the stiff and unintuitive controls.
Splatoon might have an insultingly short singleplayer campaign, but at least it's rock-solid in terms of playability.
Nonetheless, I do hate what Splatoon turned out to be. I'm having fun in multiplayer, but that's it. Despite the virtually unlimited possibilities of expanding the singleplayer with very few workhour requirements, the multiplayer is the sole focus, and I'm always furious about it, even when I like the new multiplayer content. That's why I keep my opinion and my critical view strictly separate - personally, I love yet hate Splatoon, but critically speaking, I'm flat-out underwhelmed.
@Captain_Gonru I don't think I would have paid $10 for Other M but I suppose youo culd be right, $9.98 sounds like a sticker I'd pick up. hmm, wonder if I kept the receipt? I susally stick them in the box.
@Captain_Gonru Dead threads, good for off topic posts.
Picked up Mario and Sonic Winter Olympica at Target yesterday for $18. Since they were still selling Wiimote + for $40 (Nintendo really is craycray, but in a bad way) it was worth it for the blue wiimote+ alone. Game is ok, my 2 kids and I played it for an hour, but we'll go back, I think it's better for 2 or 4 than 3. I may even play solo mode myself, I like the faux story linear progression. It's what SMM should have had, an actual game.
I really hope Nintendo is using the extra time not just to polish this game for the US market, but also to add gyro controls (and maybe wiimote controls for those who like that). Personally, I can't imagine playing without gyro controls anymore. Splatoon has spoiled me.
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