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Devil Kings PlayStation 2

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Release Date: 3rd February 2006
Price: £29.99

Devil Kings, an introduction.

When the creators of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry release a new title it certainly makes you take notice. Both series are known for their immersive qualities and intense action and both series have continued to deliver quality experiences. Devil Kings is their latest title and it's definitely an experience that's not to be missed. It may be an original title but for fans of mass combat action games it will definitely feel like a familiar experience.

What's the game about?

The best way to describe Devil Kings is that it’s a game that's very similar to Koei's Dynasty Warriors. It's not exactly the same game in terms of how it plays but it's a similar experience and if you have enjoyed the Dynasty Warriors series then you're almost certain to enjoy Devil Kings. The game allows you to play as one of 12 fantasy feudal lords who battle for land and power. The game includes a Conquest mode, which is really the heart of the game, and a Free Battle mode, which allows for one-off battles. There's also a gallery and a demo that allows you to view some basic instructions on how to play the game.

What's good about the game?

Devil Kings is an uncomplicated mass combat action game that's easy to get into and offers virtually unlimited replay value thanks to its dynamic nature (the games never seem to play the same way twice). The main mode in the game is the Conquest mode and here you'll pick a feudal lord to play as (only six are initially available with a further 6 to unlock). Each of the feudal lords has their own fighting styles and signature moves meaning that they each offer a unique experience. After you've picked your preferred feudal lord, you'll be taken to the Battle map where you can select a territory to attack. It's worth mentioning that events on the Battle map move along in real-time and the AI controlled feudal lords do not remain idle so if you do nothing your territory will eventually come under attack.

Once a battle has been triggered, you'll be taken to a screen where you can prepare your character with attribute enhancing items and special attacks. To begin with your character will only be a Level 1 character and will have no items or special attacks. By successfully completing battles you'll acquire experience (to enable you to level up), gain special attacks and acquire special items. In fact the game contains over 80 special items in total. On the battlefield you'll gain items by opening treasure chests and defeating key enemies. Feudal lords also have a powerful fury attack. In order to use the fury attack you'll need to fill the fury gauge. Fury attacks are well worth the effort as they enable you to take out multiple enemies in one go. Should you fall on the battlefield though, it will be game over. A map is displayed on the top right of the screen which allows you to see where your enemies are and in which direction they are moving. You'll encounter enemies in waves (represented by red dots on the map) so it's not just a case of wading through hundreds at a time. The game offers three difficulty levels (easy, normal and hard) and whilst the easy mode really is too easy for experienced action gamers it does make the game accessible to those who aren't used to combat heavy action games.

What's not so good about the game?

As in most 3D combat based games the camera angles are an issue in Devil Kings. All too often you have to alter the camera angles to suit the direction you're travelling and to face enemies. Enemies can catch you unawares if you're not careful in maintaining the camera, which is rather unfortunate. The game could have also been better for deaf gamers had the cutscenes been subtitled. It probably would have been nice to have had a multiplayer mode but sadly the game's a single player only experience.

How does it look?

The in-game graphics are pretty much what you'd expect from a PlayStation 2 action game. Capcom have a history of incorporating some great looking CG clips with their games and Devil Kings doesn't disappoint. What comes as a surprise though are the anime style movies that help to deliver the story as they look very impressive and it's clear that the budget for the game must have been a generous one. Although the battlefield can become quite crowded at times, the frame rate always remains stable. Some enemies do seem to just appear out of thin air, which looks a little crude, and slain enemies do simply disappear too, which again looks a little disappointing but I daresay with a game throwing this many enemies at you some sacrifices had to be made.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

We said earlier that the game isn't as good as it could have been for deaf gamers and there's quite a bit of unsubtitled material here, which is unfortunate. The cutscenes in the game are all unsubtitled and there are no options to enable subtitles. Important comments made by characters when you're on the battlefield are shown in text which is good to see. Messages and warnings are also shown in text which again is very useful. You'll be informed of how many enemies you've slain and how many consecutive hits you've made via text too. Any orders that you receive mid-battle are also shown in text. The demo, which is kind of a very basic tutorial, also delivers its messages via text which means it's actually quite useful for deaf gamers.

Final thoughts.

Devil Kings is a game fans of Dynasty Warriors will enjoy. As a result of the fantasy setting the game doesn't take itself quite as seriously as the Dynasty Warriors games and in some ways this makes it more approachable. Being able to equip special moves is a nice touch too. There are some problems such as the cutscenes not being subtitled and the camera, that simply needs too much attention at times, but on the whole it's an enjoyable mass combat action game and certainly a worthy rival for the Dynasty Warriors series.

Overall Game Rating: 7.3/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Devil Kings is an accessible and enjoyable mass combat action game that fans of the Dynasty Warriors series should definitely enjoy.