Demoniaca: Everlasting Night hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. It launched on Steam back in 2019, and recently arrived on all major console formats. And yet there are very few headlines for the game. Which is a shame, because it’s most certainly a hidden gem amongst the Metroidvania crowd.
That crowd is becoming ever-bigger. From the brutal The Skylia Prophecy to the critically acclaimed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and of course, Metroid Dread, the genre has had something of a resurgence of late. And despite the lack of attention, Demoniaca: Everlasting Night ranks amongst the best of them.
The player takes on the role of a red-headed warrior. Cursed as her village was attacked by demons, she now has many special abilities thanks to the merging of her human blood and demon blood. Seeking revenge, she journeys through the dreadful and corrupted Tower of Babel. Players will uncover its many dangerous secrets, challenge powerful lords and slay hordes of their minions. So far, so Metroidvania, right?
Well, while Demoniaca: Everlasting Night does play pretty close to the familiar formula, it does have a few tricks up it’s sleeve. To begin with, the difficulty curve is considerable. Moving from one area to the next can often result in a sudden spike in the challenge if you’re not prepared. Thankfully, the game throws XP and new items at you with abandon. The logic in it’s system isn’t about gathering them up, it’s about thoughtfully planning which you equip. Some items may give you a significant boost to your attack or health, but counterbalance that with a reduction in other areas. Do you use these items and attempt to make up for your shortcomings through spending points on them when levelling-up? Or do you play it safe by only equipping items with minor increases?
Further to this is the game’s combat system. Each of the four face buttons represents light or hard kicks or punches. These can be combined into combos once learned, which make for some devastating attacks. However, every enemy has a different weakness, so suddenly switching from a dashing jump kick to a one-two punch combo will be frequent. As will dying be, while you’re learning which combo is effective against which enemy.
Demoniaca: Everlasting Night isn’t the longest game in the genre, but it’s genuinely enjoyable for every minute it lasts. Setting yourself quests independent of the task at hand – searching for treasure chests, acquiring souls to buy an item or attempting to level-up before facing a boss – only adds to the enjoyment of living in this tough-but-fair world. If you’re not a fan of the genre Demoniaca: Everlasting Night isn’t going to change your mind. But if you are, it’s certainly not a game you should overlook.