Last month, Platinum Games, the developers behind celebrated games like Nier: Automata, Bayonetta, and Vanquish announced they were going to make a mobile game called World of Demons. While the trailer didn't show a whole lot of gameplay, it seemed to promise some super stylish character action-style gameplay.
In the time since the game's been announced, World of Demons actually entered soft launch in select regions, which has allowed us to get some hands-on impressions of the game. If you want to know what the game is like, check out the video above for some unedited early gameplay, and look below some key take-aways:
It suggests it's a mature game
The first thing of note when booting up World of Demons is that it is age-gated. Before you can get into the game at all, a menu pops up that asks players if they are 16 years old or older before continuing through to the main game.
In my time with the game, there wasn't anything beyond stylized violence and some mild, text-based cursing that really stuck out as particularly “mature.” It all feels super weird too because it's not like the game checks to verify your age, either. You can just say yes and move on.
What it is
If anyone was hoping for a mobile version of Bayonetta or some other character action title, that's not really what World of Demons is. It may look the part, but World of Demons is a much more casual experience than it seems.
World of Demons is essentially just a bunch of fighting arenas that you need to train both yourself and your hero for. There's no grand adventure, no puzzles, and not really even a complicated fighting system. What the game does have is quite a bit of story, but most of that just takes place with short quips between the main character and whoever they're fighting. This dialogue is less boilerplate than your average mobile game's writing, but it is still mostly forgettable.
How do you play it
In World of Demons, you inhabit the role of a demon hunter (named Onimaru) and are basically just in charge of his movement. Your hero attacks enemies automatically whenever they are in range of an enemy combatant, and most of your job revolves around moving within striking distance using a virtual joystick and swiping on the screen to dodge out of the way of attacks.
There are a few other things to do in combat, like activate certain special abilities, call on allies for support, and time dodges to initiate powerful counter attacks, but overall the combat is disappointingly simple.
Is there anything else?
Outside of combat, World of Demons has a management layer that's pretty similar to a lot of other free-to-play mobile games at the moment. There's currencies you can accrue to buy chests, which can get you Defenders, Crystals, and all sorts of other things that you have to equip and upgrade in order to keep up with the increasing difficulty of enemies the further you get into the game.
Overall, World of Demons seems middling at best. Outside of its stylish appearance (which, by the way, can look pretty drab at times), there's not enough in it to hold your attention for very long. The combat is just too simplified and feels too dependent on how well you're upgrading things to feel particularly satisfying. On the other hand, the game is free, so when it ends up releasing globally, there's nothing stopping you from downloading it and trying World of Demons out for yourself.