I went into Devil’s Dare expecting a cheesy game with subpar gameplay. I was half-correct. A beat-em-up game about four convention goers that stumble into a zombie apocalypse, Devil’s Dare is incredibly cheesy and cliche with it’s story line. The references to other video games are in your face, and they don’t stop. At the beginning of the game, a red fairy pops up and tells you to listen. This fairy is identical to Navi from Ocarina of Time, but red.
He gives the four characters powers, and enables them to defend themselves from the zombies. One of the characters becomes “the master sword” one gets “twin sai”, which is an obvious reference to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. By this point, you can probably tell that the references are over the top, and definitely out of control. To some people, this is a great form of humour, and they love it. In my case, I find it tedious and unintelligent comedy.
That said, that’s all personal taste. Comedy is a very personal matter, and what I find funny, you might not. I don’t really like the Borderlands humour either, to give you an idea of where I differ.
The gameplay, however, is totally solid. Keeping in line with the idea of a beat-em-up game, you’re fighting zombies in waves as you move along the level. The four characters have different styles of combat, with one being slow, one being a tank, one being ranged damage and the final melee damage . These zombies all have different attacks and abilities, and you have to dodge and stun to prevent them from hitting you. The combat is quick and features two buttons. A basic attack and a special attack. When an enemy is low on health, the special attack allows you to “fatality” them, and get more cash back for killing them.
The cash mechanic is interesting, too. Using a mechanic from arcade games, you die if you don’t have enough cash to come back to life when losing all of your health. This turns the game into a much bigger challenge, and provides a serious rewarding feeling when you get to the end of the level.
Levels are selected as you go, with each playthrough going in a different direction.based on which you choose. This adds both the ability to see more content easily, and serves as a way to continue playing the game when you just can’t take a hard boss anymore, but want to keep playing.
Speaking of, the bosses in levels are kinda silly. I’ve fought The Terminator and Jason Vorhees so far. So the designs of these characters are very unimaginative. That said, the fights themselves are difficult, and make you use all of your characters abilities in defeating them.
Music is good, and evokes the feeling that the rest of the game is trying to get through to you: of playing an old school arcade game. This same feeling comes across through the art style. Devil’s Dare is a great game to play if you’re missing the beat-em-up style games of yesteryear, and does a good job of emulating that old arcade feel.