Rating – PEGI 7
I guess it was inevitable that someone took the neverending battle of Good vs Evil and made it into a shooter type game. I however never would have expected it to have been implemented in such a comical manner. I have looked around for reviews on this game, but they are rare. Probably because the topic tends to be taboo to a certain group of people.
Developed by Enigma Software Productions, this group of developers based in Madrid really know how to think out of the box. Instead of creating a controversial majestic battle depicting Angels vs Devils (AvD), you get cute baby-like beings running around in nicely designed maps.
The maps look typical of a kid’s version of heaven or hell. Looking slightly cartoonish and at the same time trying to convey a nightmarish or heavenly sense, the maps in AvD do feature standard multiplayer type design concepts. If you’d like to know, the maps are also not overly adorned with contentious pentagrams or such similar icons (unlike what Doom did).
Mind you, the little babies are all dressed up neatly in their diapers, and they come complete with golden halos (and earrings) and little horns (plus swishing tails). The sweet innocent darlings can also be equipped with accessories such as cool shades, hardhats, sneakers, bracelets, and more.
After the funny and cute introduction movie, you are thrown into the game menu where you can either enter Single Player or Multiplayer mode. Single Player mode allows you to either start a story-based Campaign, or select from an initial choice of 10 levels to play from in Free Campaign mode (5 each for both Good and Evil sides), or to learn the ropes in Training mode.
Multiplayer on the other hand provides you the capability of running a game server or joining a hosted game. There was unfortunately no servers that I could see nor was I sure whether anybody could see that I was running a game server. So it is with disappoint that I must report that I could not try out this mode, and am unable to say how good this mode is.
Let’s move on, shall we?
|Three main modes in single player|
The single player campaign consists of a number of levels each for good and evil.
In the Angel’s campaign, you take control of the cute archangel Gabriel. Your mission is to first chase the baddies out of Heaven, before making your way among the lands of mankind. After which, you will head into Hell to finally put a stop to the evil plans of Belzebuth.
On the other side of the fence, you get to assume the role of baby Belzebuth and will have to chase angels out of Hell before heading towards Earth to take control of mankind. Finally, you must invade Heaven to stop the Archangel Gabriel.
As you can see, both campaigns complement each other.
|Missions galore in the Campaign mode|
There are six game modes in AvD. I must say that some of these modes can be quite interesting, but basically they are all pretty fun to play:
- Annihilation – A standard staple of the game where you must destroy all enemies in the opposing team.
- Steal the Symbol – This is an arena style of game (like Capture The Flag) where you must protect a symbol while attempting to steal the symbol of the opposing team.
- Obstacle Race – This is a unique racing game that requires you to visit flags in the correct order before the opposing team reaches the finish line. This game can get quite challenging because flags are not always that easy to find (you must follow the compass located at the upper right). And, once you shoot your enemies, they are forced to spawn back at the last flag checkpoint – which means you can get shot in the back pretty quickly if you don’t pay attention.
- Greed – This is a great mode where you collect credits and try to meet a target before the opposing team does. The credits look like floating coins and come in several denominations, so aim for the more expensive ones first.
- Search – You have to chase numerous will-o-wisps (ghost lights) in the level and catch them. You win by netting the target number of wisps before the opposing team does. The only problem I had with this mode was that I found it difficult to fly my little angels (or devils) and to also judge the exact position of the wisps.
- Curse – This is another interesting mode in which you get to play tag. A cursed character, denoted by a skull floating above him, must quickly touch an opponent to handover the curse. While possessing the curse, your clock will start to count down. You lose when your clock reaches zero.
|Is this an RPG wannabe?|
At the start of each level in the campaign (except the very first level), you will be given the chance to improve your character. Yes, this game has an element of role playing to it, and you have five attributes that you can improve. They are: Strength, Power, Constitution, Agility, and Speed. Luckily, there is an Auto distribute button if you don’t want to waste the time of distributing points.
At the same time, you also have the option of shopping for accessories that you can give to your character (or your team members). There are hats, gloves, sneakers, wristbands, bandanas, and shoulder pads that you can purchase. You must enter the Warehouse to equip your character with your purchased items.
When you start playing your game level, you will notice you have a red and blue bar which depict your health as well as your mana; do keep a close eye on them as it won’t do you any good if they reach zero. In addition, you will notice the array of icons at the bottom center of the display. These are your powers and you have 11 to choose from to use against your enemies.
Celestial / infernal powers include: Balls of energy – a standard shooting weapon, rays that you can sweep radially to hurt your enemies, healing power to replenish your health, a force field that stuns and hurts your enemies, low gravity allowing your angel to leap higher (or poison that a devil can shoot at angels), the power of invisibility, the ability to paralyze your enemy, a shield that gives you temporary immunity, and a halo which doggedly pursues an enemy until it is destroyed.
|Oh no you don’t… take that!|
For angels, the most powerful weapon is the Divine Multiray – these rays home in and zap all nearby devils. The most powerful weapon the devils have is Hell – which fries all angels around you.
On the other side of the spectrum – the 11th power, is your ability to fight with your fists and feet. This is an important power which you will access quite frequently, because all the powers mentioned in the previous paragraphs require mana to use. And the mana bar is very quickly depleted in the game. So, when you are out, prepare to dish out grievous hurt with tooth and nail.
|Hooray! The Angels save the day again|
The visuals in the map are very interesting, you will find statues like an imposingly huge statue of Cerberus. You get to run around in cathedrals, caverns, and castles, as well as pyramids, mausoleums, cities, and even a labyrinth.
Dotted around the levels are obstacles that you must avoid (such as a bomb which saps your health, a slow potion, and others), as well as goodies that you should collect (credits, power alphabets, health and mana potions). There are also glowing blue (good) and red (evil) portals that you can use to travel quickly around the map.
So far the game seems to be rather interesting with few faults, but there are actually a few glaring problems with AvD:
- The game tries to be an RPG, so in the thick of action when your little guy has accumulated enough experience points (the gray bar at the bottom left), you will level up. Leveling up triggers an animation sequence which takes an excruciating few seconds where you can’t do anything (anyway you can’t get hurt as well). It is highly irritating to get interrupted this way while in the thick of action..
- As I said earlier, there is a blue mana bar which gets drained as you use your weapons. When your mana bar runs out (which is quite frequently), you have to resort to an all out mêlée to survive your enemies.
- I experienced hangups for some of the levels. They essentially forced me to terminate the game and restart the level all over.
- In addition, there seem to be a few other cool features in the game that feel out of place in AvD. Take for example, the credits that you must collect which allow you to shop for more cool accessories. And there are a series of alphabets located all over the map that you could collect to spell out a power that is given to your side. Of course, you can do without collecting any of these, but that would be to your detriment if you wish to advance further in the game.
|Choose your mission in Free Campaign mode|
Let’s move on to talk about the Free Campaign mode. In this mode, you must first create a team of beings. You will then select from a range of maps and modes to fight it out against the opposing side. This mode is actually like the campaign mode, but with the freedom of choice to choose a range of missions and modes to play.
The Tutorial is just a simple level whereby you could learn the ropes if you wish to. There is no handholding here, it’s just a straightforward level of navigating portals, collecting stuff, using the health and mana auto-replenishing fountains, and shooting at your enemies.
|Creating your team of Angels in multiplayer mode|
The music of the main menu features a rather cool jazzy piece with the singer snickering before he begins his rendition. This is a clear sign that you should not take the subject matter of the game too seriously, but just sit back and enjoy this shooter game.
Well, Angels vs Devils was definitely not what I expected when I got my hands on the game. It’s a rather pleasant surprise: the game has cute graphics of angelic and devilish babies, plays out like a shooter, and has a dash of RPG style leveling to do. The game may tend to be childish for some, while others may feel offended by the insensitive use of the topic of the ultimate battle between Good vs Evil. Whatever it is, watch the videos of this game first if you are not sure whether the game is right for you.