After the PS5 event on June 11th, Little Devil Inside has appeared on Sony’s website among the handful of “stunning games” coming to the PS5 as a timed exclusive. The indie title from the small crowdfunded developer strikes us as a definite outlier surrounded by a number of well-funded triple-A titles. But that only intrigues us more.
The game began its crowdfunding campaign over 5 years ago, in April 2015. Since then it has pushed beyond its main goal of AU$250,000 to gathering a total of AU$306,515 from over 5000 backers. This has even surpassed Neostream’s stretch goal, which promises to add more flora and fauna to the game’s open world. Alongside being green-lit by the Steam community, and securing a timed exclusive deal with Sony, this all undoubtedly adds to the kudos and quality of the product we will see at launch.
Although we have been given little of the game itself, a release trailer and a few short gameplay moments have been revealed. They give us a peek into the game’s minimalist, low-poly world filled to the brim with monsters, breath-taking landscapes, and quirky characters.
So far, Little Devil Inside appears to be an open-world fantasy survival RPG, whereby the player explores, loots, and slays their way through absolutely beautiful environments. That said, the developers have expressed that the game thrives on its little moments filled with looting, quiet exploration, intense planning and, potentially, crafting being the mainstays of the game—differentiating it from a host of similarly themed fantasy RPGs.
Neostream outlines the game’s premise, explaining, “you are hired by a Professor who is investigating and studying unusual, concerning activities in the outside world to develop new technologies. As a member of his faculty, you are hired to go on risky missions (he may tag along on some) to investigate and bring back bits of information and/or artifacts for further study and analysis.”
They describe the player character as one who is not a super-hero nor a supernaturally gifted individual. Instead Little Devil Inside wants you to experience the natural human development achieved by slowly improving and accumulating skills and gear. They cheerfully exclaim that the “pace of the game will be like a long journey”, one filled with progression, highs, and human connection along the way.
What draws me to the game in particular is the phenomenally unique art style. With the majority of next-gen games flaunting incredibly detailed graphics, Little Devil Inside has gone to the other extreme and will instead offer players masterfully crafted low-poly textures in a smooth, evocative, and unique art style enviable by the largest developers.
Neostream cites minimalism as a great influence on this aesthetic design philosophy. They wanted to side-step the urge for realism in order to create a “surreal but familiar look & feel” which holds a level of visual detail that’s “minimal but sufficient enough to create vivid imagery in the player’s minds.
Although we still know relatively little about the gameplay itself, we know it promises a lot. “Swords, guns and steampunky gear” are what we’re likely to use as we explore forests, deserts, swamps, cliff tops, arctic wastes, cities and even deep under the sea.
With no official release date announced, we can only assume the game will be released alongside, or soon after, the PS5 emerges on the market. That said, given the half-decade since the start of their campaign, many fans are becoming disgruntled with the game.
It has already repeatedly missed its proposed release-dates, which are no longer listed on its Kickstarter, and given its newfound place as a “timed exclusive” for Sony consoles and PC, Xbox-based fans are up in arms.
Not to mention the number of complaints about racial stereotypes that emerged after the game’s trailer was released forcing a public apology from Neostream.
It seems like the South Korean developers still have some mountains to climb on their way to release, but what is for certain is that this beautifully crafted world with exciting gameplay potential will continue to captivate our imaginations till we can learn more.