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 jdc6305

Wow thats pretty bad I can't believe this is getting a psychical release but fatal frame isn't.

Avatar image for kgbuster

Devils Turd.

WiiU is a joke.

Avatar image for Shadowmax889

@kgbuster: no Itagaki is the turd

Avatar image for lukeflywalker

I knew this was going to be garbage. It looked trash from the gameplay videos. Yet another flop from devs that should be knocking games out the park.

Avatar image for mrjoeyyaya

Not sure whether to trust this review or not... after all this site gave Sonic Lost World a really bad rating and I had A LOT of fun playing it, beat the game, and I personally thought it was pretty good.

Avatar image for eshtebala

@mrjoeyyaya: Even if Sonic was considered a bad game, if you enjoy it there's nothing wrong with that.
So if you're not sure whether to rely on this review or not, try to watch a gameplay video or a little bit of a gameplay walkthrough and see how the game is for yourself.

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX

@mrjoeyyaya: Sonic Lost World was a really bad game though, it had poor level design..

It is the best 3D Sonic history in recent but that's not saying much of anything...

Avatar image for sir_william2

@mrjoeyyaya: This review is the opinion of the reviewer whether the game is good or not you should find out yourself. Thing is I am pretty sure Gamespot is right when it comes to this game.

Avatar image for Masenkoe

@mrjoeyyaya: the general consensus (not just GameSpot) is that the game is very bad.

Avatar image for trugs26

This game looked bad ever since the unveiling.

Avatar image for Arsyad00

that snipershotgun scythe looks OP.

Avatar image for lordshifu

@Arsyad00wut ze heck is snipershotgun??

Avatar image for JoSilver

Ha, The comments section, Going on about, Nintendo Defenders when I don't Think anybody in there right minds was defending this game ever! I always thought it looked bad from when they showed if at E3. I was hoping to be proven wrong, but I'm not disappointed in the least. From the 15 minutes of gameplay I saw a while a few weeks ago it looked really bad!

As a Wii U owner I have way better games to spend my money on... Waiting for Xenoblade!

Avatar image for superbuuman

@JoSilver: long wait for Xenoblade X, really wish it was earlier. -_-

Avatar image for prats93

Lol at how the best part of the game is also on PC.

Avatar image for koko-goal

@prats93: Only the MP mode and it's F2P.

Avatar image for prats93

The Nintendo defence force is in full effect.

Avatar image for abHS4L88


Strange, I don't really see anyone here defending the game so what the hell are you talking about? I see those disappointed, others who expected it and those who just brush off the review and will try the game anyways.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@prats93: true. hard to believe their quality standards have dropped so low :D

Avatar image for Shadowmax889

@Xristophoros: no this is a trird party game that is not even an exclusive for the WiiU. The Nintnedo Games so far are very good

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@Shadowmax889: true, though the good games are in very short supply on the wii u. everybody knows this. i can count no more than 10 noteworthy titles. it is very difficult to justify the purchase of a console with so few options. i am hoping the nx will be able to stream or be backwards compatible with wii u titles.

Avatar image for electricocarina

Why are so many people hating on Nintendo over this game? That clearly isn't justified. Let me point out this game was originally bound for 360 and ps3. You guys wouldn't be hating on them if it had still been released for those consoles.

Avatar image for subsided94

@electricocarina: Mainly because as you pointed out, Sony and Microsoft wasn't dumb enough to publish thos turd because they have standards

Avatar image for prats93

@subsided94: Nintendo were just desperate because even they know the Wii U is dead.

Avatar image for Shadowmax889

@subsided94: they didn't market this game like Bayonetta 2. They knew it will suck. Just needed a mature game in the library, thats all. This game is also for PC so is not even an exclusive for WiiU

Avatar image for electricocarina

Sounds like most its problems lie in glitches that need to be fixed (the whole shooting through cover thing) and some bad lag (the delay between switching weapons styles. Hopefully they'll fix these with updates, as your making it sound like this game would be exceptionally good if it didn't have these technical issues

Avatar image for onesiphorus

The negatives for this game are not surprising due to the reactions to the re-reveal months ago. Mr. Itagaki had "jumped the shark" on Devil's Third.

Avatar image for punchdude453

@onesiphorus: Well, supposedly, the MP is good. This review even says so itself. I will check this game out one of these days. I'm not saying this game is bad or good base on whatever review.

Avatar image for superbuuman

Ouch! ....still getting it :P

Avatar image for alexandreos

@superbuuman: Retard.

Avatar image for lembu90

Daikatana of wii u perhaps?

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 Rating7 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.