The developers call their creation a grim indie roguelike RPG. And they are not cunning. The www.friv1000games.org
friv game really blows gloomy despair. Death takes away from the hero almost all the progress and equipment, leaving only the learned skills. In fact, the details in Dark Devotion are dark, so let's take a look.
The main character of the game is a young templar who came to explore the ancient underground cathedral, where, of course, not everyone is happy with her. However, there are plenty of friendly NPCs in the “pixel” world of Dark Devotion . Strangers are not averse to telling their sad story and sharing their observations. From similar phrases and notes scattered extensively in a dark dungeon, we comprehend the local "lor" - fragmentary and in general, alas, not very interesting. I do not exclude that among the players there are those who read the passages about the royal horse and were delighted with the plot, but Dark Devotion is definitely not about it. The same approach to the presentation of history was used in Dark Souls , a game, the comparison with which in the review suggested itself.
The huge temple stands on the ruins of an ancient civilization, so the player has where to go. The general map of the game is divided into several zones. In each of them there are mini- “bosses” and the main opponent, the victory over which opens the next area and a short path to it. For the passage, you can choose different routes: for example, in the first world, go down the sewer, deal with the local Iskramny martyr, and then go to the Executioner, without meeting the other three "bosses".
The first zone - the Ancient Dungeon - is perhaps the most developed and diverse. It has several locations, a lot of hiding places, and in general it is felt that the developers have invested in it to the maximum. And then either the enthusiasm began to fade, or the budget came to an end. If the Lair of the perverted nature can still please with diversity, then the Alabaster Citadel causes one disappointment - completely palace walls, “fat” enemies and only two ways to the main “boss” (with the promised four).
But the saddest level is the last, the fourth. This is just the main hall, the doors from which lead to the rooms to the “bosses”. Again, they promised us a fork in the amount of as many as five. And here I do not even want to blame Hibernian Workshop in deception, how much to lament the fact that the final of the game feels meager: these are just “leaders”, one after another.
The map is not generated randomly - it is always the same. The location of unique weapons, armor, chests and NPCs does not change. Only consumables and equipment that fall out of ordinary enemies are random.
Even in spite of a short denouement, the world of Dark Devotion is great and full of secret rooms and forks. At the same time, the game cannot be called metroidvania - you can explore the world only by stepping forward, and the locations themselves are full of points of no return. When you enter a new room, the door closes behind you, and if you fall off the ledge, you will be able to return to it only if a staircase leads to it. To go the other way, you have to start the pilgrimage again. Sometimes it is terribly annoying: you can accidentally get on the falling floor, to please the wrong location and thus ruin the whole passage if its goal is a certain “boss” or object. Only one way out - to remember everything that you see.
In fact, the game not bad trains the memory and attention. Hitting a trap a couple of times or landing on thorns (the last kill instantly), willy-nilly, you begin to memorize the whole thing and make timely rolls. Admittedly, the game already at the beginning perfectly demonstrates what to expect from it: in the first room of an ancient dungeon, a careless player instantly stuns his head with a spear, and after a couple of steps he will fall on the spikes if he does not look at his feet.
I suspect that many have been killed at this place.
After death, having lost all equipment and consumables, our templar gets into a hub refuge, from which paths lead to the visited zones of the game world. With the hero, there are only purchased abilities and collected ancient knowledge, which slightly increase the characteristics. Weapons, armor and items need to be crafted by a blacksmith. In order to create a certain equipment, you have to find a sample. Alas, not any thing will do, but only one that glows green. And then you wander around the dungeons, find cool swords that demolish enemies for 50-70 health points, but only a stupid dagger is sent to the hub for eight points of damage. Because he glowed, and the rest - no.
At first it will be annoying: he died on the “boss” - he lost all valuable loot, for the next attempt, go in tatters and with a rusty gladius. It is, however, to fill up one of the first "bosses", and the character will always get one of the best swords in the game. By the end, you pay less and less attention to the posthumous loss of equipment, because the most powerful spells and weapons fall out of the “bosses”.
But, you see, it would be too easy to go on a trip armed from head to toe. Therefore, you can carry only two sets of weapons and four types of consumables with you, and only half of this can be equipped in a shelter. Given that one of the cells will almost certainly be occupied by a special amulet that prevents the revival of already killed "leaders", this is criminally little. Here after death absolutely all enemies are resurrected, but as long as you carry the amulet, the defeated “bosses” are not afraid. The main thing is not to use it by chance or drop it.
There are a lot of teleports scattered around the locations, but only one can be activated in order to move out of the shelter later. And they can be destroyed for the sake of profit.
There are no jumps in Dark Devotion . Totally. From enemy attacks offer to evade using rolls. It is necessary to understand that somersaults, as well as flapping arms, spend endurance, and in order to survive, it is necessary to correctly use it and memorize the attacks of opponents. Animation of one movement of the heroine can be canceled by another: for example, a long blow with a two-handed sword stops the roll. So Dark Devotion, if suitable for the role of Dark Souls in 2D, then with great stretch.
Not in the game and the usual scale of health - only the number of hits that the templar can withstand before the journey will have to start again. Any enemy (absolutely any - from a weak skeleton to the final villain) demolishes one unit with its blow. First, the emblems of the shields go into the expense - this is armor, and then the red balls - health. The number of both is determined by the equipment: armor and knick-knacks, respectively. By the way, the "first-aid kits" in the game are applied instantly and at any time, and the battle with each "boss" can be greatly facilitated if you do not teleport to him directly, and go through the entire zone, "vacuuming" them in search of healing things.
Perhaps one of the most interesting game mechanics is blessings and curses. Sometimes they are issued by chance, and sometimes for some actions. Beat the enemy fell on health points, not armor? Get a deep wound and reduce stamina regeneration. Applied a few poultices in a row? Hold anesthesia and a minus 5% chance of a critical strike. Put on the earring with damage? Congratulations! Now you have a dull bubbling sound in your ear, and every enemy becomes elite. But the most terrible, in my opinion, the curse is the falling out of things during the roll. You are standing on the ledge, tumble from it to the platform below, and all nine first-aid kits, carefully collected in the dungeon, are at an unattainable height.
With blessings, a similar story. So, for killing several enemies of the same type, you can get an increase in damage. For the successful passage of locations, higher powers can award the templar with a divine bubble that protects from one hit and recovers when entering the room. Random fines and bonuses brighten and diversify the passage.
After the death of enemies, the heroine gets points of faith. That is spent on a lot of things: with the help of prayer, you can open aisles and altars with valuable (or not so) objects, and prayer at special statues restores health, removes curses and gives blessings. In addition, this resource is consumed when pronouncing spells. In addition to the usual faith in the game is "spoiled", which is also issued for killing opponents. It can be spent in the hub to purchase special skills.
One of the skills allows you to make a protracted roll, teleporting the heroine away from the enemy.
Let the final locations and made carelessly, and some mechanics are invented by developers solely for the sake of increasing the duration, playing Dark Devotion is still fascinating. It is interesting to fight, explore the map and look for ways to get into the secret rooms. Weapons, armor and abilities can be customized to your playing style. For example, I went through almost all the “bosses” with a sword in one hand and a torch in the other, for someone more fun to play with the giant two-handed katana of the Lady Crow, and someone would probably prefer the bow. You can pick up your armor to taste, remember where they lie, create your perfect assembly, hang it with runes to increase dama.
For the French from Hibernian Workshop, Dark Devotion was the debut work, and for me - the first supported project on Kickstarter. The campaign ended successfully in the fall of 2017, and since then, the backers have been languishing in anticipation. The game was supposed to be released in the summer of 2018, but the creative process was delayed.