Devotion lifted all the hair off my body and made me question my decision to play it in the first few minutes after stepping into its twisted world. Braving its dangers, I understood why it was praised when it launched in February 2019. Sadly, just days after that initial release, the game was pulled from online storefronts after controversy surrounding an in-game joke. at the expense of China. President. Two years later, developer Red Candle Games finally made Devotion available again. Horror fans who missed it the first time around shouldn’t wait; Devotion is a terrifying and memorable adventure worthy of its reputation.
Most of this unsettling experience involves exploring a tiny apartment in Taiwan over the course of several years in the 1980s. You learn the tragic story of a family torn apart by marital turmoil, professional setbacks, and the stress of raising a child with chronic illness. The gameplay involves collecting clues and items to solve a series of well-done (and sometimes interconnected) puzzles that are satisfying but stressful to complete, as you know there is usually something sinister waiting around the next corner. . The movement is deliberate without feeling slow and that’s for a reason; every time I turned around was tense as I braced myself for the worst – and I often found it.
The psychological fears of devotion keep you on your toes and do a great job of being effective while maintaining awesome creativity. The apartment changes with the year, so new types of scares surface regularly, whether it’s something as glaring as a model-laden birthday party or a mechanical diorama sequence. elaborate. Thanks to the fantastic sound design (I recommend the headphones), just hearing doors slam or windows slam due to a thunderstorm is enough to make you hold your breath waiting for the worst. Devotion loves to mess your mind up, and it kept me to the point that I was jumping on things that weren’t even there because the atmosphere is so oppressive.
As miserable as I often felt upon stepping into the next spooky iteration of that cursed apartment, I love and admire Devotion’s commitment to scaring your pants off without going into cheap or largely predictable tactics. It’s a cleverly appointed haunted house that seems to know the perfect times to kick the pedal on scares before backing up, but it never turns off the gas completely. I also respect the fact that Devotion is not a one-ride pony. The story ultimately ventures beyond small limits into more otherworldly contexts, although it loses some of its punch in doing so. However, I like how the puzzle design evolves into more freeform scenarios after a linear start.
Devotion can be terrifying, but it also delivers a compelling narrative with a surprising amount of heart. The story is ultimately about a child struggling with terrible parents in addition to his own issues, and his anxieties made me sympathetic while creating another more relatable trauma: the fear of losing your family. You don’t want to see any harm happen to this poor kid, especially after a fantastically whimsical streak where you read their favorite storybook together. These lighter moments aren’t many, but they’re great for letting you breathe out a bit. They also further demonstrate the chops of Red Candles when it comes to mixing adventure with different gameplay ideas.
Devotion ends before it loses speed, making it a house filled with horrors to brave. It’s a shame the game has been inaccessible to gamers for as long as it was, but now you can enjoy one of the scariest titles in recent memory. If you can muster the courage, you’ll be rewarded with a delightfully disturbing experience that deserves a chance to terrify a wider audience.