Daedalic’s upcoming title, The Devil’s Men, draws its inspiration from classic adventure games. It is a tribute to the likes of Monkey Island and similar in scope to Telltale’s ever growing set of adventure games. While I’ve not been one for the style of gameplay in point and click adventure games, it has always been the story that draws me in. And The Devil’s Men seems no different.
The game is set in a steampunk world during the Victorian era. The setting is a small, seaside town complete with both a rich and lavish area and a seedier side across the river. These two areas produce the game’s protagonists: Adelaide and Emily. Adelaide’s story is a tragic one; her father’s death led to the family’s money disappearing, thrusting Adelaide into poverty. Emily, on the other hand, is a local criminal and second-in-command to a gang leader. She is currently on the lamb for a supposed murder she committed. These two must work together in order to solve the mystery surrounding Adelaide’s father’s death and the murder Emily is accused of as both are tied to a secretive group named The Devil’s Men.
Playing through the game will have players taking on the roles of both Emily and Adelaide, but with somewhat of a catch. The actions of one will directly affect the actions of the other. Our demo presented both sides of the same scenario; one playthrough had Adelaide directly saying she found evidence linking Emily to the murder. Emily in turn broke into the inspector’s house to steal back the evidence, cracking a safe combination in the process. The other playthrough had Adelaide falsifying evidence and lying to the inspector. This playthrough had Emily still breaking into the Inspector’s home, but only to meet with Adelaide. It seems that regardless of certain choices, the game must following set paths to reach the next point in the story. However, according to Kevin Mintz, the Game and Narrative Director for The Devil’s Men, the story will end up branching more and more to a set of two endings. Given the level branching paths within the game, there will be a level of replayability for anyone wanting to see what other paths hold.
The game’s story aside, it looked beautiful during our short hands-off demo. The backgrounds are all painted 3D visuals, which are then put directly into the game. The character sprites are all 2D and fantastically drawn as well, containing a very anime-styled direction. When the characters approach the camera however things can become slightly awkward, but the game still looks beautiful. The only unfortunate piece about the hands-off demo was the lack of voice-acting and animation to match as such. Kevin Mintz noted the game will carry a full set of dialogue when it ships.
The game is expected for release on both PC and Mac in Q3 2015 currently.