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.

Click on the thumbnails below to view in full-screen.
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
3
Bad
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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washington

If anyone watched any gameplay videos in the past couple months of this game, you already knew it was going to get horrible scores. From all I've read and seen of this game, its going to be like a Duke Nukem Forever situation for me. Meaning I will pick it up when its in the bargain bin at walmart for 5 bucks, and have some dumb fun with it. Personally I love getting a good laugh at games like these, just as long as I didn't get duped into spending more than a couple bucks on the game.

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Gomtor

I wanted this, but now I will not even play it for free.

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Stebsis

This really looked absolutely horrible from the start. Just get Bayonetta 1 and 2 for some great melee action and nonsensical story, and Splatoon for a fun multiplayer shooter... or splasher, and you'll get much better experience.

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Gomtor

@Stebsis: And I am anticipating Xenoblade X very much for western release.

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TheOneWhoCooks

I had no clue this was on PC. Thought it was just a Wii U exclusive.

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Stebsis

@TheOneWhoCooks: PC version only has the multiplayer though. Single player is Wii U exclusive

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BradBurns

@Stebsis: ohhh okay

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UltimateImp

A terrible game, for one of the worst consoles. How befitting.

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DEVILTAZ35

@ultimateimp: How is it the worst console? It is the only one around that has decent innovation with it's controller. I don't have any of the consoles but at least Nintendo initiate not imitate.

Plus it's not like Sony and Microsoft don't have games they would rather forget sitting on their platforms too.

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dani_i89

@deviltaz35: The WiiU is terrible, and the controllers are atrocious. It's like they designed them to be the iPad's ugly distant cousin. The games also suck and are primarily aimed at kids. Nintendo died well over a decade ago.

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fabi_salisbury

@dani_i89: While I agree the WiiU is not the best console ever, there are some decent games for it. The "Nintendo is for kids" argument is getting old now... Plus you will find that most kids/teens will play M rated games these days. As for the controllers being atrocious - perhaps you need to work on your motor skills?

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dani_i89

@fabi_salisbury: The kids argument is not old. Nintendo has a been a "for everyone" console since the start, however since the Wii, that focus seems to have really shifted to the younger crowd and not gamers. I used to love Nintendo, but now cannot stand it. The controller is horrible....a controller should, first and foremost, be comfortable and ergonomic. Nintendo controllers are neither, I don't want to feel like I'm holding an iPad whilst gaming.

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crxuchilbara

@ultimateimp: !

Hey! It's not JUST the worst console. Nintendo tried really hard to make the Wii u undesirable.

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berserks

Looked so good in the first ( or two ) video , then i saw some gameplay years later and almost puked . So it s no surprise it got an awful score .

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thebigwig1894

It looks fun and I imagine the multiplayer would be at least a bit of fun but I doubt it'll get much sales at all

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Vile-Okami

@thebigwig1894: I'm sure Wii U owners would rather wait two weeks for Super Mario Maker.

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Vile-Okami

Damn, there's a lot of retards in this comment section.

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p1p3dream

Is it just me, or does anyone else get some kind of morbid satisfaction out of reading these terrible game reviews. I kind of get excited to read these reviews even when its about a game not on my system.

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crxuchilbara

@p1p3dream: P1p3, You knew this would be bad. Your brain is just happy others agree. I hate when games make the player pay for the devs inexperience in coding weapon swapping.

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TheSilverApe

@p1p3dream: Look up schadenfreude.

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lordshifu

@thesilverape: its german origin meaning having joy from witnessing the misery of others :) learned it my gre preparations :D

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p1p3dream

@lordshifu: It's kind of like rubbernecking when you're driving by a gory car accident. we humans are fucked up creatures.

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TheOneWhoCooks

@p1p3dream: Maybe now Xbox fanboys won't feel so angry about the Gears review.

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lostn

More reasons to own a Wii U,

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Prats93

From the moment it was announced that it would be a Wii U exclusive I think we all knew that it would suck.

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asmoddeuss

@prats93: <---------fan boy detected

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Twiztid-Maddox

@prats93: The Wii U is capable of having great exclusives, look at the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X!

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joe_b1_kenobi

@prats93: I think its more that the game just looked crap. Bayonetta 2 scored a 10 remember.

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crxuchilbara

@joe_b1_kenobi: wii u has potential. This game does not.

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hiba_mario

so poor single player but decent multiplayer, doesn't that make it identical to another game series which gets a new release each year with very decent reviews?

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joe_b1_kenobi

@hiba_mario: I really hope you're joking.

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Prats93

@hiba_mario: Umm no. COD is a much more polished and fun experience. COD Advance Warfare was great and knew exactly what it was. Devils Turd is just typical unpolished *** crap.

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hiba_mario

@prats93: Hey i never named any game nor defending Devil's turd but thanks for proving my point anyways :)

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E-Major

@hiba_mario: No like button, so I'll settle for a verbal high five. Very nicely done. ;)

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JustPlainLucas

This game's been getting mediocre to bad reviews across the board from American based sites, but Famitsu was pretty generous giving it a 33/40. Seems like this is more intended for fans of extremely niche Japanese games, the kind where they honestly don't care about gameplay mechanics and clunky controls, just weird characters and stories.. I was excited about this game when I first saw it, but the more I saw from it, the less enthused I became. I knew the game wouldn't fair well in the West, but I had no idea it would be scoring this low. Shame, because this was exactly the kind of game the Wii U needed...

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lostn

@JustPlainLucas: Famitsu gave FF13 39/40, 13-2 40/40, and Lightning Returns 37/40.

Famitsu are sellouts and can't be trusted. Anyone who gives any FF13 game a score of 37+ is either high, or guilty of accepting payouts. They have no editorial integrity.

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Dari23

Not even a video review?

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40mdf0

Itagaki, stop making games. You were good during the original Xbox days with Ninja Gaiden, but enough already.

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Twiztid-Maddox

@40mdf0: Itagaki doesn't need to stop making games! He's a legend! His Ninja Gaiden game for the original XBOX was better than all of the Devil May Cry games combined! It's not his fault THQ went bankrupt while he was developing this game!!!

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@Twiztid-Maddox: He's a one trick pony.

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Pierce_Sparrow

Wasn't this one of the big, hyped Wii-U games? So much for that then....

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Chourtaird1

@Pierce_Sparrow: Let's say it like this: I am a huge Nintendo fan (and yes I admit that I fanboy about Nintendo at times) and pretty much suck up news about Nintendo. But for some reason I only learned that this game was even a thing about three months ago...so...Nintendo really didn't make a fuzz about this game.

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asmoddeuss

@Pierce_Sparrow: No

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BrunoBRS

@Pierce_Sparrow: i don't think anyone hyped that. matter of fact, i think nintendo was actively trying to hide it.

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Pierce_Sparrow

@BrunoBRS: Funny because I remember people using this game as one of Wii-U's big games coming out in an effort to defend the system.

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BrunoBRS

@Pierce_Sparrow: never seen anyone do that. not after the game was actually publically unveiled (for the longest time all we had was itagaki's name)

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btroof

c'mon man the MP alone should be worth more than a 3

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iX-gamer

I'm saddened by the news. Maybe next time Mr. Itagaki-san.

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cboye18

Ivan? Ivan?!! Ivaaaan!!!!!

*Da da dadadum dum dum dum!!*

GAME OVER

Devil's Third More Info

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  • First Released Dec 11, 2015
    released
    • Wii U
    Devil's Third is the latest project brought to you by Tomonobu Itagaki.
    7.4
    Average Rating7 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Devil's Third
    Developed by:
    Valhalla Game Studios
    Published by:
    Nintendo
    Genre(s):
    Shooter, Third-Person, 3D, Action
    Theme(s):
    Modern
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature