The open beta for Devilian has ended and the headstart is now live for founders. While our review of the game will come live the 15th of December, this article will provide you with our first impressions with the game in its almost complete release-state. Having a beta impression this close to release gives us the chance to make the review more in depth about the game and its endgame, but also give you a fair picture of what can await you if you choose to jump in Devilian this week when it also opens up for everyone.
What is Devilian?
For those of you still new to what kind of a game Devilian is, I will give you a short summary before jumping into the action. Devilian is a free-to-play MMOARPG, imagine playing Diablo or any other isometric hack and slash together with a great many other players. You play as a vanguard of Nala, a kind of half human, half devil fighting for the world. As I will touch upon later, this half-demon aspect is a key feature of the game, and something heavily embedded in the cliché storyline. Devilian comes with four different classes to play with; Berserker, Evoker, Cannoneer and the Shadowhunter. All classes focuses on killing a lot of enemies, and all of them come with their own devil version.
Creating your devil
One aspect of every RPG that you either love spending time with or want done as quickly as possible is the character creator. And with Devilian, the character creator in the beta is a glorified randomiser more or less. The classes are locked to a gender, which really never is good choice if you want the players to play the class they like the most and spend time customizing that character further on with armor and the likes. The rest of the creation process is as to be expected from a game aiming at a more isometric experience. While you do have the chance to zoom in and almost play in third-person, the looks much better and plays much better with the top-down view.
One of my biggest problems while playing in the Devilian beta which is something that also will be true for the final release of the game, is the heavy sexualisation of women in the game. Only by looking at the banners and PR about the game, it is clear that the game follows an Asian game design that sadly still survives. The girls in the game often run around with big breasts, in as little clothes as possible, with the concept of better armor equals more flesh. I am always stunned with how many online games, especially originating from the Asian market, still revolves around this sexism that should have withered away a long time ago.
A beautiful world
Moving away from the mostly flawed character design, the monster design manage to shine in many places. There are still the almost nude female monsters around some corners, but mostly there are interesting monsters where some are monsters not encountered in games before. I like how Ginno Game seem to have put time and effort in creating their own pallet of monsters. Something which also struck me visually is how appealing many of the backdrops are in the game. At first it felt like your run of the mill isometric hack and slash environments and backdrops, but the detail some of them house are just amazing and one of the things that kept me going in world.
Quick killing machines
The most promising thing about Devilian and the one thing that made me eagerly await the full release is the fast paced gameplay. Hacking and slashing has never been quite as enjoyable as with Devilian. There is no targeting system, no way do be killed behind an object and all that matters is you pointing the cursor right at the enemy while using your skills. Also notable is that there is no regular auto attack, you do get a skill that has zero cool down and can be used as often as you like, but it is still a skill on you skill bar. Killing enemies can generate life pods for you to pick up to generate your life while in battle, otherwise it is best to regenerate it outside of battle and just go all in while killing. The Devilian beta shows great promise in making the core gameplay a fast, smooth and enjoyable experience.
The fast pace and quick killing with your skills is also something that the dungeons in Devilian take a great use of. The dungeons here will only take you a couple of minutes while running them in normal and finding groups is both easy and fast for the lone player. The bosses in the dungeon are of a classic MMO setup where you can see their attack pattern which often consists of marked areas on the ground. Another thing I did like about Devilian's bosses overall, whether they be part of a quest, a dungeon or a world boss, is how their health bar is designed. Instead of having one health meter which slowly goes down, they have a health meter with a multiplier in the end which shows how many times you have to get the meter down to zero. I found this very useful while playing, mainly because you get a better idea of how fast and when the boss will go down.
Last minute beta
While this is some first thoughts with the beta of Devilian, using the term beta this late in the game development seems a little weird. There were some bugs with text not appearing correctly and connection issues at one point. But nothing major at all during the beta, and nothing that cannot be fixed the last week before release. The beta also let us go crazy with the built in shop given that it is a free 2 play game. Even here I think it looks pretty promising seeing how most of the stuff in the shop were pure cosmetics in terms of how the armour looks and different kinds of mounts. Almost everything about Devilian looks very promising except for some clothing issues with the females, and I cannot wait to give you the full review once the games been out for a couple of days, so stay tuned.