Many games have tried to recreate the formula that made Dark Souls so successful, mainly by trying to make games impossibly hard as a way to frustrate players into wanting to get that “reward” at the end. Dark Devotion is a game which has mirrored itself on Dark Souls’ ugly and monstrous backstory of demons taking over and your character is a Templar, humanity’s last hope in reclaiming the land.
Dark Devotion has a beautifully crafted pixel world which creates a gloomy atmosphere in the dimly light rooms you call your home and the endless corridors of dungeons filled with monsters. It’s just a shame that the combat and overall direction of the game tend to lose itself by trying to be a Dark Souls like game.
Combat is one of these areas where the game lets itself down as it reverts to the Stamina based combat approach where it becomes a resource tied to swinging your weapon, blocking enemy attacks and dodge rolling out of the way. Combat tends to wear a little thin as the same approach is taken in every single fight – roll in, attack once or maybe twice and roll away.
The problem with stamina restricted combat is it becomes repetitive and tied to an enemies animation to rinse, repeat the same actions over and over. Combine this with the dungeon crawling aspect of the game you tend to feel a massive amount of Deja Vu every time you go exploring. This really starts to kill the satisfaction of diving further into the dungeon when you did the same thing in the room before and the room before that.
Stumbling across new enemies makes the adventure a little more interesting and gruelling at the same time as you need to learn how these new enemies fight. Enemies are quite broad from those who charge at you with broadswords, fire-wielding lantern swinging enemies and nimble beast claw rouge types plus more as your journey deeper.
After some time though, you do get the same attrition as you did before, starting to pick up on their patterns but the game does throw in enough new enemy types along the way to not make it always about killing the same two monsters over and over. The game also tries to make it ‘harder’ by just throwing more enemies at you rather than increasing the difficulty of one mob, which feels a little cheap.