It is almost certain at this point that New Blood Interactive’s creative output is going to quickly dwarf our capacity for keeping up, expanding inevitably until the entire universe is wholly subsumed by New Blood Interactive games and domain names. The newest entry in this growing existential threat to our reality is Hakita’s brilliant ‘Devil May Quake’ action romp, ULTRAKILL, a wonderful FPS that feels like a distinct throwback to the less-than-tasteful BULLETSTORM with its elaborate combo mechanics and incentive to stylishly gore enemies in the most imaginative ways possible.
Where ULTRAKILL truly succeeds is in the way it incentivizes the high octane violence on display. Rushing through the bloody showers of monstrous destruction is the only way you regain health- there’s no medkits or edible wheels of cheese here, only your determination to keep it as close & personal as possible with your foes and foe accessories. Waging cosmic warfare has never been so satisfying as it is in ULTRAKILL, and the straightforward gunplay gives way to a staggering depth of technique and modular fire modes to increase its depths outside of its literal blood opera acrobatics. Oh, did I mention, there’s wall jumping, sliding, dashes, ground pounds and double-jumps, giving the player an incredible degree of movement expression that will leave enemies’ heads spinning for days, were they to ever live that long, then again their heads will just as likely spin without them.
It’s strange to think that the game’s official url is devilmayquake given the innate comparisons I wanted to draw to the Unreal Tournament franchise or the highly underrated Vanquish. I never had a chance to properly sit down with the Devil May Cry franchise despite it’s legendary repute in the industry, but the inspiration here is obvious even at first glance. ULTRAKILL actually failed to grab me when I first watched the trailer in much the same way AMID EVIL did, and, for a moment, I foolishly doubted Dave Oshry’s ability to suss out a blockbuster indie waiting to spring forth. To our readers I only have one piece of advice: NEVER DOUBT DAVE. The moment I stepped forth into the cyberpunk-alien corridors of Hakita’s fast paced shooter, I never looked back and all doubt evaporated from my mind, it was the perfect high velocity follow-up to the Gloomwood demo I played moments previous on stream.
Hakita’s exceptional understanding of gameplay flow and how to forge satisfying weaponry fits in perfectly with New Blood’s braggadocios entries, not to mention the beautifully telegraphed boss fights that pushed me to the brink of my reflexes, giving me no room to relax. Despite the exhausting intensity of the whole experience, I couldn’t put the demo down, finding myself resolutely steadfast in my determination to finish it in one sitting. Much like Amid Evil, I found every preconception I had about the experience blown out of the water and dropped directly through a glass floor into fan blades below, shredded instantly.
The demo even includes a few secrets and a hilarious contrast to the level select portal rooms from QUAKE and Amid Evil- a vibrantly colorful synthetic forest (complete with tiny little speakers hidden behind trees) with pedestals you need to place skulls on to move into the next area. Hakita’s vision for a robust, satisfyingly agile shooter is undeniably enticing and worth every microsecond of your time. Go check it out, on steam, Today.
…. Seriously, right now! What are you waiting for?
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice