Devil Spire Review – Hack through Haunted Hallways in a Retro FPS

Devil Spire Review – Hack through Haunted Hallways in a Retro FPS
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Platforms: Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Devil Spire

Publisher: Ithiro Sumi

Developer: Ithiro Sumi, Lucas Perdomo, Lucas Bressan

Genre: Action, RPG

Release Date: February 2nd, 2022

Devil Spire by Ithiro Sumi, Lucas Perdomo, and Lucas Bressan

Devil Spire is a first-person action RPG Rogue-like with a 2.5D aesthetic inspired by the likes of Hexen and Doom. Describing itself as King’s Field (an early FromSoftware title) but procedurally generated, Devil Spire is a challenging, atmospheric adventure game where the odds are stacked against you and every corner hides potentially lethal pixel art waiting to strike.

Devil in the Details

Devil Spire provides several tools to fine-tune your adventuring options; these include a standard “ascent” mode, a boss rush option, an endless mode, and more. I found the ascent option to be more than enough challenge alone; clawing up through the floors is an arduous task.

Character creation can be a fairly swift set of choices, or you can simply randomize and get going. I tended towards a heavy weapon and high strength build, but I found the alternatives provide fun possibilities from fragile spell-casters to ranged specialists. Min-maxing is an option, but as all weapons degrade, it can be dangerous to play an inflexible build and find yourself without the appropriate tools to leverage your stats.

Each run begins at a small village with a very finite selection of tools and weapons to be bought. I often ended up running with my initial gear as the equipment in town is generally pretty poor. It’s usually worth stocking up on lamp oil, though; many floors are steeped in darkness, and lamp oil is always on a timer.

Weight is also an ever-present concern, especially for low strength or vitality builds. Strength adjusts the weight you can equip, while vitality allows you to carry more in your inventory. Most gear, including weapons, has a durability limit that can run out quite quickly. It’s important to find new weapons and stay ahead of this entropic curve.

Getting Higher in the Pixel-Art Spire

The floors of Devil Spire are usually fairly small, but they contain plenty of winding corridors to hide a few secrets and dangers. There are 10 different kinds of environment, from dank dungeons to flooded chambers and hedge mazes. All are very atmospheric, and the enemies within are both bizarre and threatening. They could, perhaps, have a little more combat variety; many enemies simply strike or cast one of an assortment of spells. The spell variety would be engaging enough if the counter-play weren’t pretty consistent: hit the enemy before their spell finishes casting.

That said, I do enjoy the weird enemy design here, from bouncing goats that throw knives to spell-casting shroom-people.

The aesthetics of Devil Spire are probably a “love it” or “hate it” scenario. Personally, I find it incredibly atmospheric and engaging; perhaps it’s the hazy mists, or maybe it just tunes into my nostalgia for the Doom era of 2.5D graphics (I still find that game can be more creepy and engaging than titles with all the polygons in the world). In either case, it’s clear that Devil Spire has been given a lot of variety; a sizeable assortment of weapons and spells are available, and there are plenty of surreal enemies to find and dispatch.

Devil Spire is a solid action RPG that achieves its goal of providing a retro-dungeon crawling experience in the first-person genre. It offers several ways to play, plenty of class variety, and enough challenge to keep intrepid wanderers coming back for more. It manages to conjure a distinct atmosphere with very limited tools, and I’d encourage anyone with an eye for the ’90s classics to explore Devil Spire’s grim hallways.

Devil Spire is available via Steam.

Watch the trailer for Devil Spire below:

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