DEVOUR: Collective Chaos #1

by Nil
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Welcome to Collective Chaos, a new feature where some of the FULLSYNC team get stuck into the mad world of four player co-op games. We’ll accompany these articles with Let’s Play series so you can see our experiences for yourself!

DEVOUR is a new four player survival horror game from Straight Back Games, a small indie team with a passion. We rounded up four of our most co-operative contributors – two of which could be considered slightly horror-averse – and decided to take on the game’s possessed cult leaders ourselves.

NIL:

NEVER GO UPSTAIRS. I TOLD YOU, NEVER GO UPSTAIRS!

DEVOUR was a real surprise. It looked promising, but so do a lot of games at this level of development, and execution often falls flat in the end. I was expecting typical indie co-op goofiness, with cheap jump scares and wonky mechanics, and what I found was a genuinely engaging horror game with a simple, effective loop and a ton of fun to be had with friends. As you’ll be able to tell from the video, Lu and Chris aren’t exactly horror fanatics, which actually enhanced the experience all the more – I’d really suggest going in with a few people susceptible to spookiness for maximum effect. Maybe I’m just a sadist.

I’m not sure the experience would stand up as strongly as it does in single player. That’s really not how DEVOUR is intended to be played, though. After we beat Anna for the first time I was delighted to see a little UI element in the lobby screen that hinted at the potential of more maps in the future, which was recently confirmed – but I’d also like to see them tighten up Anna’s house of horrors a little more too. The difficulty ramps up in huge spikes, to the point where the endgame is just a cycle of picking people up until you get lucky enough to find a goat standing next to the sacrifice bowl.

For the asking price, you really can’t go wrong with DEVOUR. Even if you only play it once, it’s well worth it.

JIMMY:

Here’s a goat! Pick it up! Have some hay!

DEVOUR is a fun experience that any fan of horror would enjoy with their friends. The concept is simple, gather goats and sacrifice them to reverse a ritual that has corrupted your cult leader!

The start of the game was atmospheric and chilling. You start exploring the house, finding keys, unlocking new rooms while the demon is creeping around the same house, showing up when you don’t expect it, frightening you real good. There was a point where we just started exploring the house properly, unlocked a few rooms, just getting into the swing of things. We found a room with a creaking rocking chair, creeping us out. And as we were to go back out to the corridor Anna was standing right there, staring into a wall next to the door!

And once you’ve captured your first goat and place it in the fire… all hell breaks loose. You hear a distant shriek as Anna starts raging and running around looking for someone to take out her anger on. At first your imagination runs wild, because you don’t know what happens when she finally catches up, and you can hear her getting closer and closer as you run away. 

Playing this with some easily frightened friends is hilarious! There were so many times I lost control of my character because I was laughing so hard at their reactions. And I must admit that I may have sacrificed them once or twice as I knew Anna was giving chase right behind me.

Once you get further in the ritual the game’s difficulty ramps HARD, and it becomes a real challenge to keep everyone alive. it may even seem impossible at times but we made it through with some good teamwork and good use of the resources you get given. As the game is today, the replayability is quite low, but with the whispers of a new map for further exploration, it is a game I will revisit. For the price, it delivers fun for every penny.

LU:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

AAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAA.

Considering I’m not usually one for horror games (I think the last time I played anything remotely horror-esque was Fatal Frame II, back in 2009) I was dubious as to how much I would enjoy DEVOUR. Despite this, I found the gameplay to be immersive, exciting and definitely the kind of co-op experience I would have hoped for. Sneaking around the house hoping that Anna doesn’t come for you is chilling and she is genuinely terrifying when she catches you.

Currently, I feel like DEVOUR does lack replayability somewhat – we beat the game on our first run and there doesn’t seem to be much point replaying it before other maps are added other than for Steam achievements. However, for the low price of £3.99 you are getting a very well made game that is delightfully terrifying, and I’d say it is well worth the money spent.

Overall, I feel that the experience far exceeded my expectations and I’m looking forward to the release of other maps in the future.

CHRIS:

I DON’T LIKE THIS. I NEVER LIKED THIS.

I am surely not a fan of horror titles, and the only reason I agreed to play DEVOUR was because my friends practically begged me to. The horror genre is one which I certainly don’t look forward to, so I had a lot of regrets going into this. Playing at 10 in the evening made the experience more terrifying as the whole room was in darkness.

DEVOUR

DEVOUR, however was much more fun than I had ever imagined, as through the scariness of it all we managed to actually complete all our objectives and get all ten goats and burn them.

Being with people I trust probably made the experience a far better adventure than if I played it solo (surely never) or with people I don’t know much but having my three best online friends together with me changed the dynamic totally. I would even say I enjoyed the game, albeit the jump scares of Anna getting to you are still a nightmare. Needless to say, my heart was beating at an increased rate for an hour after finishing.

It’s a game which I would play again against my will, but I know I’ll have a good time as my friends will be with me.


DEVOUR was developed by Straight Back Games and is available now on Steam! Stay tuned for more Collective Chaos – in the meantime, check out more of our game reviews here.

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