DEVOLVER Digital have once again used their E3 showcase to poke fun at the gaming industry and themselves with the latest edition to their epic Devolver Digital Cinematic Universe (DDCU) series of showcase videos.
This year’s announcements used the theme of “Devolver Max Pass+” – a (non-existent) subscription content service which everyone has already been signed up for whether they like it or not – which has the sales hook of being absolutely free, but every game (which are real) on the service is a Premium Purchase.
As the official announcement explains: The entire Devolver Digital catalogue on Steam is now included in the Devolver MaxPass+ service as premium purchases that are not included in your recurring monthly payment (if there is one, which there isn’t). Each of these gems are available at a reduced rate for a limited time, with discounts ranging from “insulting” to “we’ll pay you to take this”. Your subscription is active at devolvermaxpassplus.com
Besides the delightfully self-aware and batshit insane DDCU elements, the showcase also had several game announcements with a heavy focus on the AA-Indie stuff Devolver do so well. Read on for trailers and more info!
Did you play Ghost of Tsushima in Kurosawa Mode just to get the complete Samurai Cinema experience? The developers of Trek To Yomi certainly appear to have, announcing this stlylish Samurai adventure which the official announcement summarises thusly:
As a vow to his dying Master, a young swordsman is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats. Faced with tragedy and bound to duty, the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward. A cinematic tour-de-force from Leonard Menchiari and Flying Wild Hog coming to PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox One platforms in 2022.
From the Samurai Cinema graphics and style to the gameplay, the trailer has definitely got me interested so I’m definitely keeping an eye out for this one when it shows up next year.
OK, so there’s a wizard, right? And he’s got a gun. Stay with me here…
The press release explains the game this way: Wizard with a Gun is an online cooperative sandbox survival game set in a magical wilderness wrought with dangerous creatures and arcane mysteries. Embark on a journey alone or with friends to collect, craft, and outfit your wizard however you see fit as you explore the unknown. Carefully design weapons, bullets, and furnishings for your tower home but try not to burn it all down as the magic you wield escalates beyond your control. Coming to PC and consoles in 2022.
It looks like the good kind of strange so this one is also on the “keeping an eye out for” list now too.
I’m not really sure what Inscryption actually is, beyond “Bizarre” and “Some kind of horror game?”, but according to the press release:
From the creator of Pony Island and The Hex comes the latest mind melting, self-destructing love letter to video games. Inscryption is an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie. Coming to PC later this year.
Between that and the trailer, you know as much as I do. It’s out later this year so we’ll get to experience it for ourselves then.
As much as PC and Console gamers like to pretend it’s not a thing, mobile games are huge so I’m not surprised Devolver are getting in on the action there.
According to the press info accompanying Devolver Tumble Time, the game is “the future of physics-based puzzle gameplay, elegant monetization, and strategic brand integration launching for mobile devices in 2021. Choose characters from a packed roster of your favorite Devolver Digital games and rack up big points matching and clearing their impossibly adorable heads from the tumbler. Get hyped enough and unleash each character’s special ability to clear huge chunks and earn power-ups to create chaotic chain reactions. Then maybe watch some entertaining ads because nothing is ever really free.“
To be honest, that’s exactly what I expected from a Devolver mobile game announcement.
Back in the early years of gaming, games didn’t come from the internet – they came on physical media such as disks, cartridges or CD-ROMs. Devolver are paying homage to that era with Demon Throttle, an old-school bullet-hell shooter that leans so heavily into the retro thing that it will only be available in a physical edition.
Per the press release: Introducing Demon Throttle by developer Doinksoft, the creators of Gato Roboto. Coming to Nintendo Switch as a physical box set – and *only* a physical box set – through our friends at Special Reserve Games, Demon Throttle tells the story of a beautiful vampiress and dusty gunslinger on a quest for vengeance against a demon that stole her mystical chalices and slept with his estranged wife. Now the two unlikely companions must blast their way through four monstrous generals and their wicked domains in order to lift the demon’s curse and exact their revenge.
Fortunately Nintendo Switch cartridges aren’t region locked, but you will have to pay shipping from the US to get it here and that’s probably around as much as the game (which costs USD$29.99 – roughly AUD$39) again. The physical release only thing is a cool idea, though.
While the trailer for Death’s Door had me a touch underwhelmed, the press info makes it sound a lot more interesting: Launching July 20th on Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One and PC, Death’s Door thrusts players into a quirky and curious world where Crows are in charge of collecting the souls of the dead. Reaping souls and punching a clock might get monotonous but it’s honest work for a Crow. The job gets lively when your assigned soul is stolen and you must track down a desperate thief to a realm untouched by death – where creatures grow far past their expiry and overflow with greed and power.
It’s certainly a good plot idea so I’ll be keen to see what the actual game itself is like.
The idea of “ghosts” (representing previous attempts) in games isn’t new (it’s been around in racing games for decades), but Phantom Abyss takes the concept and applies it to treasure hunting.
From the official announcement: Launching June 22nd into Steam Early Access, Phantom Abyss is a massive asynchronous multiplayer game that casts players into procedurally-generated temples and tasks them with retrieving the sacred relics hidden within deadly chambers. Intrepid adventurers will dodge scores of hidden traps, leap treacherous chasms, and flee relentless guardians through branching paths until one of the relics are claimed or the devices of death overwhelm them. Be warned, you only get one attempt at each temple and failure or settling for a lesser relic means you will never see that temple again…
Definitely not one for those with a strong FOMO gland, then.
To conclude this piece, I’m going to include the disclaimer from the bottom of the Devolver Max Pass+ press release because it really is excellent and worth a giggle or two: