IGN released a 14-minute gameplay developer commentary for the long-anticipated World of Demons game, an action mobile game developed by Platinum. The Japanese developers have shown, in ten years of their existence, that they are masters of the action genre, so I had no doubt that they will deliver something epic, and lo and behold – this fourteen-minute gameplay video shows just that, and more – much, much more!
Honestly, having such a polished action game on mobile is… insane. You cannot even begin to imagine how far have they have taken this genre with this game when it comes to the mobile platform. This was unthinkable a mere year ago. Let me start at the beginning.
Platinum partnered with DeNA to develop a mobile title called the World of Demons. The art style resembles Japanese traditional art and dressing style, as well as the fighting style, and it looks like it’s based on Japanese mythology. That means that the player will be battling Yokai – Demons in Japanese mythology and fairy tales. The aesthetic, as I said, follows the traditional Japanese style, so you will have classic-looking paintbrush strokes on wood blocks, which is amazing. But since it is an action game, we mostly want to know about gameplay, right?
Well, you don’t have to worry about that for one bit, as it turns out. In the announcement trailer that I will link below, you can see bits and pieces of the game, but we didn’t really see solid gameplay up until recently.
As you can see, we got the taste of the amazing art style and some great animation, but we didn’t know if the gameplay field would deliver. Now, with this 14-minute long developer commentary gameplay video, everything is clear – Platinum has done it. And they succeeded in such an amazing way.
The game looks so good, that both videos that I posted getting lots of dislikes begs the question – why? Well, it’s rather simple and hilarious, really. The game looks so good, that people are furious that the game is phone only. They want to have these games on the PC and PS4 and Xbox, or at least on the Switch. Platinum’s Creative Director, Masaki Yamanaka, said that, while this is their first try to get into the mobile market, they didn’t want to experiment with other genres and tried their hand on what they do best – which is a sound decision, and as it turned out, they succeeded in a great way.
He said that “We think that we’re very strong [making]action-based [games]. We also think that we can develop a graphical and visual sense that would be possible only with a Japanese studio,” Yamanaka said. “We wanted to take these two elements, explore them, and create a game from that. I think that’s kind of what started the inception [of World of Demons].”
Andrew Szymanski, product manager of DeNA, commented on Platinum’s performance and their developer skills in a very positive light as he found Platinum to be the perfect studio for their needs and the game that he wanted to publish so passionately: “My goal, initially, was to bring action to touch devices. I’ve been working on console games for a long time throughout my career, and I never felt like there was anything on touch devices that had that level of fluidity and responsiveness,” Szymanski explained. “I couldn’t think of any better company in the world than Platinum to do that. This is a really auspicious confluence of events where I essentially came to Platinum and said ‘I want to do an action game on mobile. I want it to have swords. What can you guys do?’ [World of Demons] is something we immediately fell in love with.”
Through these first fourteen minutes, we can see how Platinum and their immense experience hit the jackpot. The insanely polished combat, great controls perfectly fit for mobile, and fluid animation are all features that shine in World of Demons. The controls are not only well-implemented, they are also very simple – you only need to keep your finger pressed on the screen to keep attacking; if you want to perform another action, such as dodging, summoning help or switching targets, you need only swipe in the right direction and the action is done. And everything in the gameplay revolves around this, which is awesome because offensive maneuvers rely on your skill and hunch for when not to attack, rather than just keep your finger on the screen and trash the youkai.
Apparently, World of Demons was developed with the motto of having an action game on mobile without giving in to concessions. This is very bold from the developers perspective, as you cannot compare something like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta to any mobile title (realistically, it is way to early for such complex mechanics to transition into mobile, if they ever do). Previous games (all of them action games) developed by Platinum were made so that you had to time your attacks and defenses well; you just had to know when to push your attack and when to get the hell out of dodge. While this game drops that timing of attack in a certain way, it still holds onto this principle by making you decide when to stop attacking. World of Demons makes you think about your actions and it makes you want to actually hone your skills the Dark Souls way. The timing for dodge, or anything else really, is imperative, and the game really makes you feel like you wish you simply were better at it.
An important aspect of World of Demons is knowing where the enemy is, as the demons can swarm you if you are not careful. The game features a 360-degree arena, so you have to be aware of your surroundings and deal with that crowd control problem. An interesting part of the gameplay is also based on the elements and their hierarchy (each of them is stronger than one and weaker than another), and the player basically has to keep watch and constantly switch buffs to maximize his/her damage. You can also summon a helpful monster once the bar is filled, so keeping an eye on that is advisable.
The game will launch sometime during the summer and it will be, surprisingly for me, free to play. It will release on both iOS and Android. As DeNA and Platinum both state, there will be no locked content, which is even stranger to me. Basically, they promise that you won’t have to pay to play anything in their game besides the cosmetics and certain customization. Apparently, the game is generous to those who are effective and skilled (as any action game is, really).
It seems that the game is designed in such a way that you will have to farm a lot (which is another notion of action games, albeit this seems a more mobile-y feature than others) to be able to tackle greater challenges, and I am unsure how that will play out. Part of me is worried as I dislike grinding, but it could be that it is essential and not boring at all, so hey, everything can still turn out as amazing as it sounds. For those who want to pay, this progression will naturally be quicker, as with any mobile game really.
Both Platinum and DeNA promise monthly content patches. At first, certain content will be presented and then it will be built upon each month. Chapters are made out of twenty missions each, and each mission will introduce a new monster. You will have two chapters once the game launches, and forty missions are quite a lot, so that’s great to hear. It will be single player only during the launch though, but once the story mode is done and the players have substantially built up their characters, the developers plan to introduce multiplayer and PvP. Also, we will be getting raids which you can tackle with your friends. All of this sounds great, and I believe that Platinum will deliver, just like they delivered with the gameplay.
Simply said, Platinum did it. As DeNA is very picky what they publish nowadays, this was a great business decision. Both the developer and publisher saw clearly what they wanted to make and went into that direction. So if you are eager to get some Devil May Cry or any insanely responsive hack and slash game on your phone, ready yourselves, because this summer we will be getting just that in the form of World of Demons.