What do you think if one day, the family is not as peaceful as before? How will you protect your loved ones? Devotion game from Red Candle Games will give you the answer.
I love my family with the best memories of my childhood, and it still lifts me every day.
And I think many people will agree that no matter what happens, this is the best place for each of us.
However, Red Candle Games with excellent game makers bring a very different perspective. Stemming from the breakdown in the members’ internal relationships, what Devotion game has done is the human philosophy that surpasses the horror game “label” to which it is attached.
Warning: Due to political reasons, Devotion game was removed from the stream. And this is a pity for those who are fans of the horror series as well as the world gaming community. Hopefully, my Devotion game review will bring you something in the meantime for the re-release.
Is this still a family?
Unlike what its name conveys, Devotion game brings players to a Taiwanese family’s darkest things in the 1980s under the influence of so many negative factors.
This is a very new way to exploit compared to the products of the same period that are circling in “colorful” space of monsters or supernatural events that are only temporary sensations. And out of that uniqueness, we have a profoundly brilliant depth.
Devotion game is a story about a family with three members. You will play the role of Du Feng Yu, an ambitious father, and screenwriter. His wife is Gong Li Fang, a famous singer with a good voice but accepted to step back from the glory to care for her family.
And crystallize for their love is Mei Shin, a lovely little girl. A perfect family, right? And what we want here, of course, is that they will be together happily ever after.
But that forever cannot come true.
The devil comes to break everything
Bad things came in succession and our three could not stand. The father can no longer make money when his scripts are no longer well received.
Meanwhile, Mei Shin falls ill when her parents’ pressure wanting her to become a successful singer is too dire. It probably wouldn’t be that bad if the three tried to work together. But it is worth discussing here that Du Feng Yu chose to find a priest and blindly believe in her words.
The couple cracked.
The monstrous rituals ranged from him from worshiping Xu Guanyin – an evil god in the opinion of the people of Taiwan to the soaking of the Rose Woman wine with snakes and some souvenirs of the couple.
Mei Shin not only could not cure but also lost her life when her father tried to immerse her in a solid bath for 7 days to purify her soul.
It all ends, the family is broken, the innocent child loses his life, and this makes it a tragedy. It can be seen that religious elements are fully exploited to create the main storyline of the work.
One more thing that makes me extremely admire every publisher’s abilities is that they have created a very special setting for the story.
It all revolves around an apartment in an old apartment complex. The house’s unchanged after so many years turned it into an inherent member of the Du family. But what makes us focus here is the extremely logical time circuit. You will experience the milestones 1980, 1985, 1986, and 1987 respectively with the most important events.
The transmission through the main character’s flashback turns Devotion game into a non-linear story. I thought it was a discrete connection until the game experience. The details are connected through Du Feng Yu’s flashbacks and then burst into a horrifying ending.
It can be said that this is one of the few indie horror games that has built a life-style story with elementary elements but still ensures an obsession and great depth.
All I need is an impressive gameplay
A good storyline is something any game maker wants. Red Candle Games has done that, but it also inadvertently puts pressure when many players want good gameplay to fully convey that content.
With Devotion game, I can see that Red Candle Games is promoting very well its strengths from the tradition in the way of making horror games that they are pursuing. The obsession is created from psychological influence, not the monsters ready to slam the player’s face.
The first perspective and the role-playing make the structure of Devotion game tight and go according to the intention that the publisher wants. I’ve had Blame Him or Follia Dear Father, which are recent horror titles that have handled this very well.
The player is followed from the perspective of someone who is directly related to the story and is also the primary agent of this mess. Each scene is like a piece of the master picture of this Taiwanese family.
Additionally, the timing link also greatly affects the mechanics of the game. More than just finding items and solving puzzles, you must bring a lot of items to assemble and open up the portal scene.
Then the story can continue. But this seems to be the challenge that game makers bring to players. Space was pitch black, and there was only one lighter in the player’s ear. There is no arrangement at all in a non-linear story. You can trust your intuition, but the right combination of clues is also essential.
As a flashback of the father, Devotion game images are also artfully distorted and messy. The house’s space full of the scent of death, which was already cramped for just five rooms, is now more and more troublesome with unexpected changes.
You hear a knock on the door in the bedroom and quickly move to see what’s going on in there. But when you turn around, the living room from earlier turned into a long, dark hallway.
Do you want to predict the Devotion game?
There is no chance. Besides, the environment around you is also continually changing. Don’t blink! Because just a few seconds of information is enough to make the wallpaper or flower vase no longer in the same place.
The point I particularly notice is the appearance of dolls representing family members. From their lifeless white eyes to their tiny movements, it can startle you if you don’t notice it.
The materials to create a horror game are also enough. However, there are a few points in Devotion gameplay that make me unsatisfied. The game reminds the legend of P.T by its slow gameplay in the first-person view. But it seems that the slowdown has been pushed to its maximum. You don’t even have to run.
This makes the story slow, and when faced with angry spirits on a few rare occasions, the man’s protest is also feeble when his only weapon is nothing. Besides, building a good story but focusing quite a lot on solving puzzles makes Devotion game a detective novel with a little horror.
You go from page to page to explore and are only a little startled when you encounter an insignificant jumpscare scene. The horror is made up mainly of spatial transformations, music, and a few dolls but lacks a bit of drama when I can’t see a chase. Maybe somewhere red or bleeding walls will make you dread.
Skillful handling of graphics
To create the atmosphere of Taiwan in the 80s of the last century is not easy but for me, Red Candle Games has done it. You will find there a box TV with a tiny screen, a red wall calendar, a pendulum clock… These are items with bold Asian colors that you can hardly confuse.
Besides, the transition back to space and time is also very impressive. If for the first time, the house still radiates a happy family’s warmth when everything is immersed in gentle sepia tones.
But things gradually change as heralds a stormy future for Du Feng Yu’s family. Under the flickering light of the lighter, I was startled when I passed before my eyes the image of a witch or the walls slowly bleeding.
The dark and light patches of neon lights, candlelight, and dim and fuzzy yellow filament lights are handled quite well, creating a feeling of confusion and uncertainty for the in-game environment.
One of the more successful points is that I clearly feel the publisher’s effort to try to convey a complete ritual in the customs at that time. The dolls’ image becomes an unforgettable highlight when the obsession from their lifeless eyes is too great.
Sound of fear bumps to the ears
And every sound from big to small in Devotion game will make you startle every time you hear them.
From the dripping sound somewhere in the bathroom, in the hallway, to the sound of the wind blowing against the kitchen window, to the sound of the protagonist’s footsteps echoing in the long, dark hallway. All gave me more goosebumps because I do not know what awaits me.
With the voice acting for the characters, the game has almost become a movie; combined with the first perspective, the player can see and hear everything the main character has to go through, understand the stages.
The characters’ emotions through the nuances of their voices. And also thanks to the voiceover, many scenes in the game are creepy and haunting. If you listen carefully, maybe you will hear Mei Shin’s chorus of singing in the song “Devotion” as a gentle reminder to his father who accidentally lost his way.
Devotion game’s official release date is February 19, 2019. However, as I said, for some unworthy reason, it was mercilessly removed from the steam. Will this game come back? I hope so.
The amulets are glued along with the apartment. Bizarre rituals take place. The priest’s whispers. The painful cries of mother and daughter. That place is probably not home anymore. Every mistake in Devotion game cannot be fixed, but don’t let that happen to you. A horror game with deep human philosophies. I hope you will have a chance to experience it. Thank you for reading my Devotion game review.