Demon Gaze takes place in a fantastical realm plagued by demons. The hero, players, awakens with amnesia only to find that they are destined to fight said demons as a Demon Gazer. A Demon Gazer has the power to both repel and capture demons with their spiritual eye sort of like catching Pokémon. The story is rather light with the emphasis zoned in more on the characters and whacky interactions in-between dungeon crawling. It would have been nice for a more engaging plot, but the comical subplots of the characters are entertaining to say the least.
For those that like a challenging RPG with sound mechanics and an old school D&D vibe then Demon Gaze is it. It’s like a first-person, turn based Dark Souls. Dungeons are used to grind for experience and loot all in the hopes of getting ready for the boss demon. These boss demons can be captured and used, again, like Pokémon. Players can also recruit party remembers by buying rooms at the Inn, which can be expensive, like all things in the game. DG is brutally difficult and demands time. Some of the mechanics may seem a bit cheap and unforgiving at first, but after the first two hours things start to settle in once some good equipment and a decent party can be assembled. Like Dark Souls it’s hard, but not without its rewards given a little patience.
Now while the battle system is great, the design leaves something to be desired. Like the story, it lacks a real sense of breadth. The character and monster designs are gorgeous, but the voice acting and music are both mediocre. While the locations are varied, there’s also not a lot of structured uniqueness within them. To be blunt, they’re simple. For this type of game all these gripes come with the territory so take that as it is. For this writer, it doesn’t really matter compared to the real importance of DG i.e. the gameplay.
Demon Gaze is a fantastic throwback to hardcore RPGs. It will bruise the soul, but not without cause and reward. While it lacks something more epic in plot, it makes up for with its gameplay: simple, straightforward, and addictive. For those wanting a challenge above all else, Demon Gaze will not disappoint.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on April 22, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.