Japanese and European cover art
|Developer(s)||Valhalla Game Studios
|Distributor(s)||Valhalla Game Studios (PC)|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||Wii U
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash, shooter|
|Mode(s)||Single-player (Wii U), multiplayer|
Devil's Third (デビルズサード Debiruzu Sādo?) is an action-adventure hack and slash shooter video game by Tomonobu Itagaki's Valhalla Game Studios, developed for Wii U and Microsoft Windows, with the latter version being an online multiplayer-only title. The Wii U version was released in Japan on August 4, 2015, Europe on August 28, 2015, and Australia on August 29, 2015. It will be released in North America on December 11, 2015.
In an official live stream event, Valhalla Game Studios had announced their partnership with Korean publisher Nexon for the PC version, now entitled Devil's Third Online. The free-to-play title will have a closed beta period between November 27 and December 1 in Japan. An open beta is also planned for January 2016, and the game will be officially launched by the end of the month. Whilst the PC version is largely similar to the Wii U multiplayer, the final release will include an exclusive mode called "Chimera Clean Up", whilst the "Seize Match" mode will include new rules. The PC version also supports voice-chat, which the Wii U version completely lacks.
While the camera is usually set to follow Ivan, the player character, the camera shifts into a first person perspective when aiming. Unlike many modern third-person shooters, it does not adopt an over-the-shoulder approach, instead opting for a more traditional camera that is directly behind the character, save for when ducking behind cover. Melee combat consists of chaining together a series of attacks, often followed with a cinematic takedown. In addition, melee weapons can be swapped, thrown at enemies, and stolen mid-counter.
It features online play and a means of reshaping the battlefield via a sort of level editor. It features three types of progression currency: Clan Funds, Dollen, and Golden Eggs. Among choosing sides in game modes, there is a third side known as the "Free Entry" option, which is said to be the option that would appeal to the Lone Wolf type of player. It isn't clear as to what this actually does, but it is implied that "Free Entry" players fight as a third force that does not contribute to either team.
The game's backstory is based on the Kessler syndrome theory. Debris from artificial satellites in orbit has created a cascading effect of collisions, leading to the destruction of nearly all satellites, both civilian and military. In the resulting turmoil, war erupts around the world as the balance of military power is thrown into chaos. Infantry battle is altered in a world without satellite technology. It can be seen from concept art that the game will be taking place around the world with Asian, European and American locations.
This is the first game developed by Tomonobu Itagaki after leaving Tecmo in 2008 and forming his own game studio, Valhalla Game Studios, with other members of Team Ninja who left Tecmo in 2009. The game is a departure from Itagaki's previous genres, hack and slash and fighting games.
Devil's Third switched engines during its development, as the company responsible for making its original engine closed down. Since that time, Valhalla Game Studios have continued development using an adaptation of video game developer Relic Entertainment's engine. Although a version of Devil's Third for the Wii U was not confirmed at the time, Itagaki reported that the game would run perfectly fine on the system. Devil's Third then used the same game engine as Darksiders II. It now uses Unreal Engine 3 as the main game engine.
The game was originally announced by THQ, and was planned to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Following THQ's closure in 2013, the intellectual property rights to Devil's Third were given back to Valhalla Game Studios and Nintendo picked up publishing duties for the title to be released for their own console. Devil's Third new development as a Nintendo-published Wii U-exclusive was eventually officially announced by Nintendo at E3 2014 post their Digital Event presentation.
North American release
Despite anticipation, and prior confirmation of the Japanese and European region release dates, the game was not featured at E3 2015 however, and prior to this its Nintendo eShop listing disappeared without explanation. It was later revealed by gaming news outlet Siliconera that Nintendo of America decided not to publish the game, although the game is still confirmed for North American release. However, an alternative publisher was not announced at that point. While there are no official reasons were given, Liam Robertson of Unseen64, a website that archives video game betas (including cancelled games), whom originally tipped the public about Nintendo of America dropping publishing duties for Devil's Third, stated the subsidiary "lost faith" in the title, similar to the Wii title Disaster: Day of Crisis, which never saw a North American release. Robertson claims this information comes from an anonymous insider source while investigating the development of the cancelled Wii title Project H.A.M.M.E.R..
On July 11, 2015, Nintendo of America revealed that they would be sharing more information in regards to Devil's Third soon, but did not state whether or not they would be publishing the title in North America. Multiple sources had reported to Nintendo Life that Nintendo of America did indeed drop publishing duties but had since reconsidered due to backlash against the decision.
On July 21, Nintendo of America officially announced they are publishing Devil's Third in the region, releasing the title in the fourth quarter of 2015. They also announced that the multiplayer mode of the game would be released on the PC from Valhalla as a free-to-play game, albeit in limited form by comparison.
Early previews for the single player campaign have been mixed to negative with most complaints being the game's poor graphics, heavily inconsistent framerate, stiff aiming, and input lag. Despite negative reception, designer Itagaki thought that the game would be a "breakthrough for the industry", and that it would elevate the genre to a new level.
As a whole, Devil's Third received mixed reviews worldwide. After the game's Japanese release, the game received a mostly positive reception. Japanese magazine Famitsu gave the game a score of 33/40, with four individual reviewers scoring it 8, 9, 8 and 8 out of 10. Since the game was exclusive to Amazon in Japan, sales weren't available for tracking, but the game received a mostly positive reception from users.
The Western release of Devil's Third received generally mixed to negative reviews. It received an aggregated score of 44/100 on Metacritic based on 46 reviews, and 43.92% on GameRankings based on 24 reviews. Overall, praise was given to the games design, gameplay and multiplayer elements, while most panned the games campaign, controls, graphics, and inconsistent framerate.
Vandal Online gave the game 6.93/10, summarising that "The best thing we can say about its campaign is that it works as a tutorial. The multiplayer mode is the key, but you need to understand how it really works to make the most of it".
Nintendo Life gave Devil's Third 5/10 summarising that "Devil's Third is tricky to recommend, ultimately. There's undoubted fun to be had online, but at the same time this is an action game that sells Wii U gamers short. It's packed with good intentions and ambition, but Valhalla Game Studios was unable to execute its vision well enough. The devil is in the detail, and that's the problem".
Sean Bell from GameSpot rated the game 3/10, praising multiplayer modes and occasional comedic moments, but heavily criticizing microtransactions in multiplayer, clunky controls and technical issues.
Kirk McKeand of Digital Spy gave the game just 1/5 stating "Devil's Third is an offensively bad - sometimes actually offensive - action game, with sub-standard melee combat and fiddly gunplay. Riddled with technical issues, it's almost completely devoid of any redeeming qualities. It also has killer bats".
The game failed to make the UK Top 40 sales charts in is first week on sale in the region.
- Cowley, Dana (June 19, 2014). "Unreal Sightings at E3 2014". Unreal Engine. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Futter, Mike (August 24, 2015). "Nintendo Announces Star Fox, Xenoblade, Fatal Frame Release Dates". Game Informer. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- McWhertor, Michael (July 11, 2010). "Ninja Gaiden Creators Reveal Devil's Third, The Bloody New Shooter From Valhalla". Kotaku. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
- "E3 2011: Wii U Capable of Handling Devil's Third". Cubed3. June 14, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Purchese, Robert (July 4, 2012). "Devil's Third rights returned to Itagaki and Valhalla Game Studios". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- "Devil’s Third Won’t Be Published By Nintendo Of America, But It Is Coming Here". Siliconera. July 10, 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- McFerran, Damien (July 10, 2015). "Rumour: Nintendo Isn't Bringing Devil's Third To North America". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Whitehead, Thomas (July 12, 2015). "Nintendo of America Confirms Plans to Bring Devil's Third to Region". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- "NOA recognizes fan interest in Devil’s Third, will have news soon". Nintendo Everything. July 11, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Whitehead, Thomas (July 15, 2015). "Multiple Sources Point to Nintendo of America U-Turn on Publishing Devil's Third". NintendoLife. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- "Amidst Speculation, Bad Press, Nintendo confirms Devil’s Third in NA". July 21, 2015.
- "Devil's Third for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Devil's Third for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "Famitsu review scores (8/18/15)". Nintendo Everything. August 18, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- Bell, Sean (August 26, 2015). "Devil's Third Review". GameSpot. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- Clapham, Matt (August 26, 2015). "Devil's Third review: Hell to play". GamesRadar. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- Ingenito, Vince (August 28, 2015). "Devil's Third Review". IGN. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
- Koopman, Daan (August 26, 2015). "Devil's Third (Wii U) Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- Orry, Tom (July 15, 2015). "Devil's Third: A cruel joke for Wii U owners". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Seedhouse, Alex (July 15, 2015). "Devil’s Third preview". Nintendo Insider. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Koopman, Daan (July 15, 2015). "Devil's Third (Wii U) Hands-on Preview". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- Scammell, David (July 27, 2015). "Itagaki believes Devil's Third will be a 'breakthrough for the industry'". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- "Japanese Players Are Actually Having A Lot Of Fun With The Hybrid Action Of Devil’s Third". Siliconera. August 13, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.