Circle-Strafing Shooting: Devil Daggers


Dustforce is a fine platformer but what I’ve really wanted from developers Team Hitbox is their follow-up Spire, a first-person shoot-o-platformer with skill-based movement inspired by Quake III and all that. Well, now I’m also keeping an eye on Devil Daggers [official], a leaderboardtastic arcade-y FPS made by one Hitboxer and some of his other chums. Here, have a gander at this here trailer:

Looks… okay, it’s not the best trailer. But I’m up for that. Not just because circle-strafing is one of the few skills I’ve really aced (no one has any use for strafe-jumping these days, do they?). The developers say, “Devil Daggers is a fast-paced shooter that pits you against legions of demons as you struggle to survive as long as you can. Compete for precious seconds with friends or on global leaderboards.” I reckon I can shave seconds.

Is this the point where I go beyond cocking my eyebrow and biting my lap and finally interject “Actually, you’re completely wrong” to people who say games like Serious Sam are modern-day Dooms? I suppose it is! You, those people I’ve definitely seen doing that: you’re wrong. Most ’90s FPS involved very little circle-strafing blasting at dozens of monsters. Doom ‘slaughter maps’ might dabble in that, sure, but by and large things were going wrong if you needed to circle-strafe around hordes. I like Serious Sam, but it doesn’t fit in the pantheon you’re forcing it into – and that does Sam a disservice.

Anyway! Devil Daggers is slated for release by the end of this year. It’s having a run at Steam Greenlight right now. I will circle-strafe around those monsters.


  1. The_invalid says:

    Hey, if they added some properly iD-esque intricate level design, I would absolutely fall in love with this game.
    As it stands, while I’m not a fan of wave-based arena shooters, I’m totally digging the Quake inspired aesthetic and atmospheric music in that trailer. Those enemy designs are great too. Very much looking forward to this!

    • John O says:

      The look is great. I was watching the trailer thinking how cool this could be if expanded into a game like they don’t make ’em any more.

    • Nootrac4571 says:

      As a result of this trailer, I’m now listening to the Quake soundtrack, which is still amazing.

      Anyway, as far as I can see, this game completely nails the Q1 aesthetic; or rather, my rose-tinted memories of how it looked, filtered through 20 years of technical advancement. That’s pretty much exactly what I want from retro-revival games like this – not perfect recreations, but a vision of how the games I loved would have looked if they’d had far greater technical resources but the same artistic limitations.

      I guess that’s kinda fetishistic? Nostalgia plays a huge part in why I love this style, obviously, but does that make it any less valid?

      Ah I dunno. Maybe I shouldn’t try to analyse it very hard. I like retro videogame art, and this game hits all the right buttons for me. Maybe that’s enough.

      • The_invalid says:

        I think the thing about ‘retro’ styles like pixel art is that because there were such strict technical limitations to work around, certain aesthetics naturally emerged.

        I don’t think people necessarily fetishise these styles because they’re just old or nostalgic, but rather, they’re imbued with a very particular atmosphere that’s difficult to recreate any other way. Call Devil Daggers ‘lo-fi gothic’ or something. I get the hunch that if you tried to recreate this with high-res textures, models, etc, it would lose most of its charm.

      • GWOP says:

        I started gaming proper way after the age of Doom and Doom-clones passed, and I found this arresting and gorgeous. It ain’t just nostalgia.

  2. Dorga says:

    I really don’t like the genre, but this looks so cool that I’m actually interested

  3. Shazbut says:

    Yeah, I thought the trailer was pretty good. You’re selling it short, Alice.

    • Caiman says:

      It’s a fantastic trailer! Dark, twisting violence and moody atmospherics. The music, I’m going to find out what it is. Dayum. Certainly effective at creating instant interest in the game.

  4. Janichsan says:

    Interesting to see that after the 2D pixel art, now the software rendered pixelated 3D graphics seems to have a revival. I seem to remember having seen one or two other games in development that have a similar look.

    • GWOP says:

      Yeah, I’m digging the rise of retro 3D (and 3D games aping retro 2D aesthetics) in indie circles… Return of the Obra Dinn, else Heart.Break(), Wings of Saint Nazaire, Sky Rogue, Drift Stage, and now Devil Daggers – all retro, but very distinct in their own ways.

    • Geebs says:

      I’ve always switched to nearest-neighbour filtering (the ‘jagged pixels’ look) when playing Quake 1 and 2 in modern engines, because a) that was how they looked in software when I was a kid and graphics cards were for fancy people and b) texture maps at those resolutions have a chunky charm that gets blurred out by texture filtering.

      They’ve really nailed the look of the beasties in this game, but I agree that some levels would be more appealing than horde mode.

  5. tangoliber says:

    I agree completely that Doom and Serious Sam are two different genres. (I love both, though.)
    This looks great, and I love the art style as well. But when is Spire coming out?

  6. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    The aesthetic is really great

  7. Jalan says:

    It’s absolutely ugly in all the right ways.

    While this likely won’t be the game that carries on the grand tradition of killing hordes of enemies while looking cool doing so, I’m intrigued to see how it goes.

  8. Phasma Felis says:

    Is anyone else disappointed when a great concept like this turns out to be strictly score-attack? I want a journey, I want levels to explore and master, I want to be able to win. Points are boring.

  9. Rane2k says:

    As many others have said: The graphics look great, but there is something very important missing: architecture.

    This is what elevates DooM & Quake over the likes of Serious Sam, architecture, intricate level design over bland football-field arenas. Arenas can be fun, but not as a basis of a game.