Devilian made me feel gross; Devilian made me feel like I had clicked on one of these stupid 'come play with us my lord' flash ads that would creep on the internet if I disabled ad-block for a few seconds; Presented as a free-to-play action mmorpg, my interest was piqued by the mix between Diablo-like gameplay and MMO systems. This game is not entirely without merit, but there are a few glaring flaws both in the way it plays and how it markets itself. I had a few good moments with it, but not much more. I'd rather play Path of Exile or Diablo 3 when the next season starts.

When you launch Devilian, you are greeted by a scantly clad lady in an obvious attempt to sex up what could've been a good game regardless. This is pretty dumb, do they really think that they're action-rpg needs sex appeal to sell? How unconvinced are they by their own game? It's a bit troubling. Then I went to create my character, and the choices weren't great; The two melee classes were buff guys, the mage class was an almost naked lady and the gunner class was some kind of child. I usually don't mind dumb art direction, but I just groaned before reluctantly selecting the mage lady; if I had an option to make a male character - or to change my model at this point - I assuredly would've. Gearing up doesn't fix this, no matter what level of equipment you manage to stack upon yourself, you still look like someone who shouldn't be fighting at all. 

First getting into the game, I felt that the controls were a bit weird. By default, the game selects a classic left-click to move control scheme familiar to other ARPGs, but there was some jank in the way you could attack while moving - or the lack of hold+attack - and I didn't feel that Devilian controlled like any other ARPG I had played before. I changed the controls to some WASD hybrid where you move with the keyboard and cast with the mouse, and that worked better, almost giving me a twin-stick shooter feeling, more tolerable with what was there before. Still not perfect, with the skills bound to the number keys - awkward to reach with a hand on WASD - but functional.

Skills are the bread and butter of ARPGs and they kinda work in Devilian. You have a few branches per character, each with a few skills that you can improve via enhancers. When you max a branch, there are a few passive skills you unlock as well. It's pretty standard, but I didn't enjoy the choices I had as a mage, I also don't really enjoy having too much active skills in ARPGs, so even if all skills were interesting, there would be too many of them. I wish there would be more passive skills early on. Mage started with an array of expected spells; fireballs, chain lightning, frost-nova like abilities and such. 

The stats are what you would expect as well from any ARPG or MMO. Critical attack, evasion, resistance to certain elements, the works. What this game tries to do to differentiate itself is the 'Devilian' thing where you can transform into a giant monster when a gauge is full, complete with different stats and skills. In theory that might be interesting, but while playing the game I never felt like I 'had' to use it and when I did, it lasted not long enough to be fun and I could kill the enemies about as fast using my normal spells, so it wasn't exceptionally strong either. The itemization is a bit bland as well, there are various 'tiers' of gear and they're well delimited, so you'll get all the items from one before moving to the next and there isn't much in lieu of customization. I like that you can identify items on the go just with gold, but I didn't enjoy how I could just equip whatever and keep plowing through the various quests.

The MMO aspect was inconsequential to me; The only moments where I met other people were in quest areas with low monster density and literal queues forming up to be able to kill some quest boss or something. That and the horrible chat. You can do dungeons in a party and there's probably some kind of end-game raid content there too, but that's not my cup of tea and I could manage S ranks on the dungeons I've tried by myself, so that's good. The flavor of the world feels much like diablo 3. If you want your giant zombies that explode when they get killed or your literal asmodan clones, you're at the right place with Devilian. The quests are more or less all "go to place X and kill 15x Y", which usually isn't a thing in ARPGs. There's also a "Auto-Run" button that will make your character walk automatically to some place. I feel that if your game needs such a thing, there might be a more elegant solution.

And all of that is without mentioning the free to play mechanics piled high on top of the naked ladies. There are so many systems in this game to throw money at that I stopped caring about most of them. Pets and boosts and resources and daily rewards and what not, I don't think you should put money into Devilian. I played until I got three different naked ladies on my talisman drops, then I decided that the sub-par ARPG and the unnecessary MMO weren't enough for me to keep going.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories3/5, Action RPG