Devastation Review

We're devastated at the state of the world in this post-apocalyptic shooter.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 30th September 2003


  • Developer: Digitalo Studios
  • Publisher: NovaLogic
  • Release Date: 18th April 2003

A post apocalyptic setting, faceless and roofless corporations running the world and an out gunned, out numbered resistance. It may sound the like the usual setting for a first person shooter, but it’s a recipe that works, well most of the time.

Devastation is set in 2075, Earth has been devastated by war and in the aftermath giant corrupt corporations have taken control. Brutal police forces known as Pacification Squads use fear force and mind control to enforce the corporations will on the people. This is where you come in; you play Flynn Haskell, the leader of a small resistance who discovers that the corporations have started to collaborate at a high level. This can only mean one thing, something big is going on and now’s the time to stop it.

Devastation is pretty easy to get to grips with, strangely progression through the earlier levels seem longer then it does the later levels as the games difficulty seems to decrease.

The game is based on a modified version of Epic’s Unreal engine and as a result plays similar to many other first person shooters. As with much new FPS Devastation is team orientated, meaning you have a squad of AI controlled characters under your command.

You are able to issue squad members with basic commands, such as Attack, Follow, Defend and Hold. The AI characters follow all of these commands fairly well although there are some bugs, especially with the “Attack” command as the characters simply run through the level guns blazing shooting everything in sight. Nothing seems to be safe from their adrenaline filled gun filled frenzy’s not even walls and the sky! Keeping up with AI characters in attack mode can sometimes be quite a challenge in its self as they seem to bare no regard for their own safety.

Enemy AI is also buggy but in general can be fairly challenging as given the opportunity they will swamp on your position. When engaging you in gun fights they will duck for cover behind objects and from time to time out in the open. Another example of buggy enemy AI is that if you stand a certain distance away from an enemy they don’t seem to notice you, but move a couple of steps closer and what do you know, they spring into life.

Devastation features a real life physics engine, this basically means when objects with in the game are hit or moved etc. they move within the game as they would in real life. This may seem like a nice feature but it hasn’t really been blended into the gameplay. Yes you can pick up various objects and use them as weapons but many other games allow you to do the same without a physics engine. There are also some flaws in this area of the game as well, for instance when throwing objects they will land exactly how you picked them up or they will simply disappear into the ground or wall.

Devastation also has problems in the graphics department with a lot of breaks present, especially in the games early levels. If it wasn’t for this slight problem Devastation would excel as characters are well modelled and animated. Character shadows in Devastation are some of the best we’ve seen; they are very accurate and could easily pass for the real thing.

Environments with in the game are highly detailed with junk, litter and graffiti every where you look. Every piece of junk on the floor is movable in Devastation and as your character moves through the streets expect to kick bottles and cans as you go.

Sound in Devastation is surprisingly solid, voice acting is decent and most sound effects are excellent. From echoing gun shots in the street to glass bottles falling from the roof tops and smashing on the ground below. It all adds to a desolate setting that the game tries to achieve.

Devastation could have been one of the better FPS out their, it’s advanced physics engine gave the game a lot of potential although the game developers failed to capitalise on it by not including any of its capabilities into the games overall play. The game tries to master many different aspects of the genre but the number of bugs lets it down badly.

Review Score: 7.6/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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