Devil Kings E3 2005 Preshow First Look

Capcom unveils an action game for the PS2 where you can go medieval on a whole lot of enemies.


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Capcom announced Devil Kings at its E3 press conference today. Billed as a fast-paced action game for the PlayStation 2, Devil Kings will let you battle hordes of enemies and unleash awesome critical moves on them. Your goal: to unify various warring states under your rule. Sound a little familiar? That might be because the game looks a whole lot like something from Koei's Dynasty Warriors franchise, and not just in a cursory kind of way either. Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? We went hands-on with the game at Capcom's conference to find out.

In Devil Kings, you'll get to choose from a roster of six unique characters, including ninjas, gunslingers, and spear throwers. The main character in the game is the titular Devil King, a crimson-clad warrior armed with a sword in one hand and a shotgun in the other. The game takes place in a fantasy-themed version of ancient Japan, and as the story goes, the main character is a powerful king who has sold his soul to the devil for his special powers, all for the single-minded dream of unifying the world's warring factions into one utopian society (ruled by him, of course.) Each character has unique critical moves and abilities. For example, one character can bring down a storm of flaming meteors while another can wield six swords at a single time, becoming the equivalent of a human Cuisinart. Each character can also gain experience and level up, enhancing existing attributes.

If you've ever played any of the entries in Koei's Dynasty Warriors franchise, you should find the hack-and-slash mechanics of Devil Kings immediately comfortable. The game relies on two main attack buttons, each of which can be modified by holding down the R1 button to create special attacks. Each attack revolves around a character's specific weapons, so in the case of the Devil King himself, one button does sword attacks, whereas the other fires his shotgun blasts. You'll find yourself fighting quite a number of enemies of varying strengths when on the battlefield, and you'll even be flanked by a few grunt soldiers that are on your side. Enemies also hold specific ranks on the battlefield, so taking down an enemy commander will help your side's standing (though the game stops short of including a morale system). You'll also find rival warriors, which are essentially your counterparts, and periodically you'll have to square off against them.

There are more than 80 special items that you can unlock in Devil Kings. When combined with a character's special abilities, these items give you the potential to literally plow through waves of enemies. Over the course of the game, you can build up your character, collect items, and carve your own path to world domination.

Devil Kings, despite featuring quite a number of characters onscreen at once, runs at an altogether smooth clip. We didn't notice any frame rate problems, even through all the different enemies and colorful visual effects that emanated from our special attacks. The character designs are aesthetically pretty cool. The Devil King is this burly looking samurai with bloodred armor and a cape, and he moves in a deft but brutal fashion.

The game is in the early stages of development, and it isn't due out until next year. We'll have more details on the game as they become available.

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