Devil's Third Review

Ivan the Terrible.

Devil's Third opens boldly with your hero--a Russian Vin Diesel lookalike called Ivan who is permanently topless and covered in Japanese tattoos--playing a drum solo in his cell in Guantanamo Bay while a riot ensues throughout the rest of the camp. Why has he been locked up in Gitmo? "TERRORISM", says his on-screen bio.

Despite this, he's apparently good friends with some guy in charge of the facility who sets him free to quell the riot. He does this by murdering everyone in sight with his fists, or a pipe, while occasionally getting attacked by swarms of vampire bats.

Devil's Third is an action game that combines elements of melee combat--as per director Itagaki's previous work on the critically-acclaimed post-reboot Ninja Gaiden franchise--and cover-based shooting from both third- and first-person perspectives.

Unfortunately, while the freedom and precision of movement in 2004’s Ninja Gaiden was wondrous, Devil’s Third's melee combat feels unresponsive and clunky by comparison. There’s none of the careful consideration of your use of space and movement, no moveset to learn inside-out to ensure you cut everyone down with breathtaking efficiency. Instead, Devil’s Third invites you to just wade in and mash the attack buttons until everyone is dead, with action occasionally punctuated by a comically violent execution animation. The ability to dodge and block incoming attacks is available, but seldom used due to most of the enemies offering no tells of their next move.

No Caption Provided

As you might expect from a man who runs around waging war with no shirt on, Ivan can't absorb a huge amount of punishment. Often it only takes one or two enemies to get the drop on you and it's do svidaniya, comrade. This isn't an issue in and of itself, of course--the likes of Dark Souls or God Hand succeed, and indeed thrived, by using a more vulnerable protagonist--but unfortunately it doesn't work so well when enemies are capable of literally dropping in out of thin air.

At times, you are punished because the game does not understand its own rules. While Ivan can snap to nearby cover with some degree of reliability, enemies will often land shots at him even when you'd swear blind that they shouldn't be able to. Worse still, you'll occasionally see enemies shooting at you through their cover, never mind your own, and the controls occasionally become unresponsive as if you're dealing with some kind of simulation of online lag.

Because Devil's Third throws both gun-toting and melee enemies at you at the same time, so much hinges on a seamless transition between the two combat styles, theoretically creating interesting situations where the player is constantly forced to adapt. In reality, there is a slight but absolutely crucial delay when switching between your gun and melee weapon, leading to poor Ivan getting repeatedly shot or stabbed while he fumbles around with the various instruments of death magically stuck to his entirely nude back. Indeed, you'll frequently find yourself trying to gun down sword-wielding foes, or sprint at someone with a hammer while he fills you with bullets, purely because it often feels like the delay when switching weapons is more likely to get you killed than using the wrong style of combat.

"Control issues, combined with Ivan's frailty, often make combat a joyless and frustrating experience."

While Devil's Third may raise a smile with its self-aware sense of humour, the control issues--combined with Ivan's frailty--often make combat a joyless and frustrating experience.

The game also tries to alter the pace occasionally, including one section where you have to use Ivan's infra-red sunglasses to detect anti-personnel mines. This section, though brief, is tedious in the extreme as it simply involves creeping through a warehouse at a snail's pace while shooting the occasional mine. Worse still, the mines are reintroduced with no warning at all after a few battles, implying that the player is expected to keep the sunglasses activated and patiently crawl through the rest of the level, just in case.

Devil's Third does offer some welcome respite with its inventive multiplayer modes. As well as shooting at each other or hitting each other with hammers, players can also find themselves herding brightly-coloured chickens or collecting fruit and hurling it into a giant blender. And yet, because of the control issues shared with the main campaign, it's difficult to envisage players taking the game seriously in the long term, despite the multiplayer modes' initial charm.

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Click on the thumbnails below to view in full-screen.
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Worse still, as the multiplayer component of the game is being released for free on PC, the microtransactions and currency system of a free-to-play game are entirely present in the Wii U version. This allows players to buy their way to the more expensive weapons with real money if they so wish, which will surely infuriate players who are quite reasonably unwilling to do so.

Despite the occasional laughs and wonderfully weird multiplayer modes, Devil's Third is near-impossible to recommend. The numerous issues with the controls as well as crucial elements of the game's combat systems soon mount up to provide an experience that frustrates far more often than it entertains, resulting in a missed opportunity for what could've been a cult hit.

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The Good
Occasionally funny, intentionally or otherwise
Comical and inventive multiplayer modes
The Bad
Clunky, frustrating action
Plenty of bugs--some funny, some infuriating
Free-to-play elements in a full-price game
Utterly laughable main character
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Sean Bell has plenty in common with the hero of Devil's Third--he's going bald, and only a 12 year-old could ever think he's cool.
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Avatar image for bubba_1988

LMFAO, I remember when @bunchunumbers was tooting this as the next great game for the Wii U. It was supposed to prove to people that the Wii U can have a successful violent game on the system. The system has been dead for a year now and anyone who defends is clearly suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

Avatar image for bunchanumbers

@bubba_1988: *sigh* That's what I get in believing that he could recapture the Ninja Gaiden magic. I'm disappointed that it didn't turn out like Itagaki hoped. It looks like Nintendo fans only have Bayonetta 2, Zombi U, the CoD games and lots of the launch window games when they want a good example of a mature game. At least for now. There are some promising horror indies coming.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien

@bunchanumbers: You're a mod now?

That's cool. lol

Avatar image for Xirtahm

@bubba_1988: "...The system has been dead for a year now..."

Yeah, try telling that to the Splatoon/Smash/Mario Kart community. Splatoon especially.

Avatar image for dani_i89

@Xirtahm: Nintendo died over a decade ago.

Avatar image for jdlok

@dani_i89: God I hate people like you. Absolutely hate you. What are you trying to prove? Because the only thing you are proving is how unbelievably ignorant you are, loser.

Avatar image for Yojimbo25

@jdlok: I wouldn't even bother with trying to reason with someone like him. He's apart of the Nintendo bashing douche bags that rag on everything they do. If it wasn't for Nintendo, there wouldn't be Playstation or Xbox.

Avatar image for 0m39AX

@Yojimbo25: If it wasn't for Atari - and later on SEGA - , there wouldn't be Nintendo.

Avatar image for Yojimbo25

@0m39AX: Yes but don't forget the crash of 1983.

Avatar image for dani_i89

@jdlok: Face the fact kiddo. Nintendo is a joke and a thin, THIN shadow of it's former self.

Avatar image for deactivated-58ce94803a170

@bubba_1988: Splatoon says hello. This game has people going crazy for its online mode, looks like it might get a cult following.

Avatar image for otterbee

@mesome713: "Cult following" is typically synonymous with "not well received by the general population". How many units did Splatoon sell? What percentage of the install base is that? Wii U sees high sales on titles sometimes because the userbase is *begging* for something to play on the system. The game debuted the end of May; didn't they have a "free weekend" less than 3 months later? To me, that's trying to garner interest in the title.

Sure, it might be a fun game. But, the active population on Wii U has probably atrophied substantially. And they're still trying to get some more interest in the title.

Please don't label me a hater...I've had a Wii U since the beginning. MH3U saw hundreds of hours and was well worth the price of admission. But, I'm hard pressed to find a title that I really want to play on the system these days. I really hope that Xenoblade X lives up to the hype when it's finally released stateside.

Avatar image for DawnBlue

@otterbee: What about Super Smash Bros. then? Surely it's at least a moderate casual success by any measure and then there's, of course, the "cult following" of competitive side as well. (Personally I enjoy it casually as a party game)

Mario Kart, although not one of the games I like as much, seems to also hold some interest.

Avatar image for deactivated-58ce94803a170

@otterbee: Seek and yee shall find.

Avatar image for louixiii

The Devil's Turd lolololol

Avatar image for ffxiisucks

The Devil's Third gets a 3 out of 10, i see what you did there.

Avatar image for timetraveler_x

Looks fun, and a little over the top. Just to bad with the micro transaction. But to many games suffers from this now a days.

Avatar image for 001011000101101

"Free-to-play elements in a full-price game" Glad to see reviewers are finally beginning to crack down on this, but couldn't that criticism also be aimed at pretty much every major release nowadays? MGS V had that and it received a 10 on this very site.

This game looks hilarious though.

Avatar image for BradBurns

Nintendo, you still have time to cancel this and use that money to publish physical copies of Fatal Frame V..

Avatar image for sparkiemarky

Was this the game that Nintendo was going to refuse to publish or something along those lines and everyone got in an uproar about it?

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR

This always looked shit-tier. Like a poor mans Suda-51 game.

This game is going to flop big time. Luckily for Itigaki Nintendo are desperate for content.

Avatar image for me3639

I remember 2 or 3 years ago when this was shown in a dev. walkthru and it looked really bad and old. However, after the presentation went through the sites all the N fanboys used every positive spin they could to try and create buzz for this game when anyone with eyes could see this was a mess.

Avatar image for hzsn724

Wait the in-game transactions are still in the Wii U version? What the ass?

Avatar image for koospetoors

Might still get this, I wholeheartedly expected it to be terrible and not surprised at all about the reviews its getting, but it looks like the good kind of bad and the multiplayer seems like lots of fun. I'm just really bummed about the golden eggs though, since the economy sounds weighed in favor of microtransactions which is really shoddy of them.

Avatar image for louixiii

The Devil's Nerd lol

Avatar image for rsqviper

Why does the Russian guy have Japanese tats all over his body?

Avatar image for dani_i89

@rsqviper: Because Japan....when did Japanese games ever make sense?

Avatar image for AzatiS

After an amazing Wii U year , that of 2014 ... WTF is going on with 2015 !

This very moment in Gamespot, Wii U section , Top 10 rated games ... there are only 5 ?!! ... With 3 of them being super bad ? And now this ?

Gtfo Nintendo ... 10million consoles only ... for a reason. Nintendo should really drop this oldish mentality how things should work or they wont make it in console industry. NX is their last hope , literally.

Avatar image for nNFL2K

@AzatiS said:

After an amazing Wii U year , that of 2014 ...

Stopped reading right there and began laughing uncontrollably.

Avatar image for AzatiS

@nNFL2K said:
@AzatiS said:

After an amazing Wii U year , that of 2014 ...

Stopped reading right there and began laughing uncontrollably.

Good for you

Avatar image for nNFL2K

@AzatiS: Not so good. I only stopped laughing 1 hour ago, and now I'm in the hospital because my throat is so raw from all the laughter.

Thanks A LOT, buddy! :-(

As a side note, every room in my hospital has a Wii U near the door. They're not hooked up or anything, I mean, nobody would actually play it, they're just being used as doorstops...

Avatar image for Stebsis

@AzatiS: There's still Mario Maker, Star Fox and Xenoblade X(WHOOOO!) to come

Avatar image for AzatiS

@Stebsis said:

@AzatiS: There's still Mario Maker, Star Fox and Xenoblade X(WHOOOO!) to come

Too low games dont you agree to compete with the other 3.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV

Foolish to expect they would actually explain why it's weirdly called "Devil's Third"??

Avatar image for deactivated-58ce94803a170

"Sean Bell has plenty in common with the hero of Devil's Third--he's going bald, and only a 12 year-old could ever think he's cool."

I think bald people are cool, and i think Ivan is a very awesome noir type dude. Sucks many did not like the style of the charaters, but watching on Youtube its clear why people hate on him. Ivan has that, "fack what you think" attitude, hes a pretty awesome character design.

Seems many dont like Itagaki's style in creating games. Many are calling his characters in Devils Third sexist, childish, outdated, cliche, i wouldnt be surprised if SJW's attack this game pretty soon. What can you do, haters gonna hate. Seems a storm is coming, should be fun.

Avatar image for crxuchilbara

@mesome713: This game is bad. Haters and non haters agree.

Avatar image for deactivated-58ce94803a170

@crxuchilbara: Yeah, sucks its a bad game, at least many are loving the multiplayer though.

Avatar image for deactivated-57d7734d3cfbd

Itagaki > This Review!

Avatar image for megakick

What makes it worse even if you buy the game you still have micro-transaction in multi-player so your basically just paying for story mode.

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi

Well, it's a shame, although it was not looking like it would be a good game.

Avatar image for gameover_n

Only Nintendo have such games with so low score i remember watching Wii games's score only Mario had good score hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Avatar image for handsomepeasant

@gameover_n: What? I don't even care for Nintendo consoles all that much, but... what? <- 3/10 (Same score) <- 3/10 <- 3/10

Don't be an anti-fanboy.

Avatar image for vile-okami

@gameover_n: Bit retarded, aren't you?

Avatar image for gameover_n

@vile-okami said:

@gameover_n: Bit retarded, aren't you?

You're such a sweetheart do you know that hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi

@vile-okami: You answer was not smart either.

Avatar image for vile-okami

@Warlord_Irochi: How so? He clearly doesn't have a fully functional brain.

Avatar image for bobbo888

@vile-okami: because your response is that he's retarded.

Avatar image for gameover_n


Avatar image for jimmkd84

im not expecting greatness but seriously at 3?? is that all ?

Avatar image for crxuchilbara

@jimmkd84: Right? Getting a 3 these days is a feat in itself. Not many games on here have 3s. And there are guns in it too!? That's like 3 points just for being a shooter or what?

Avatar image for itchyflop

so how do games of this acclaimed awfulness (if it is I haven't played it) get released, surely Nintendo licence the software so the devs can use their hardware to play it on? is it only gamers who can spot a poor effort before its released?

Avatar image for crxuchilbara

@itchyflop: idk. How do these titles get so much hype? It makes the industry seem inexperienced

Avatar image for itchyflop

@crxuchilbara: ok I kinda see now by looking at the comments below (thanks guys) obviously there is a huge Itagaki fan base, who wanted a game based on his work.

Avatar image for megakick

@itchyflop: Itagaki is full of himself. All his fanatics were like Tecmo is screwed now, yeah OK....

Avatar image for itchyflop

@megakick: I see why now thanks

Avatar image for subsided94

@itchyflop: nope, Nintendo wasn't gonna publish it but Nintendo fanboys demanded it so they ended up releasing it

Avatar image for itchyflop

@subsided94: see above :) thanks

Devil's Third More Info

  • First Released Dec 11, 2015
    • Wii U
    Devil's Third is the latest project brought to you by Tomonobu Itagaki.
    Average Rating9 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Devil's Third
    Developed by:
    Valhalla Game Studios
    Published by:
    Shooter, Third-Person, 3D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.