A Sad Tale of Devotion
Red Candle’s newest game Devotion garnered some interesting press and is still currently removed from Steam (although you can still purchase the soundtrack). In this first-person psychological horror game centered around a small Taiwanese family, you play father Du Feng Yu as you explore an apartment building and piece together the mystery surrounding your family.
As mentioned in a previous article, I am an absolute baby and cannot stand to play horror games alone. I decided it was time to buckle down and give this scary game a try on Twitch. Devotion had just been released with a wave of positive reviews. Determined to tackle at least one scary game, I purchased it and allowed everyone to experience my terror first hand.
While it does include aspects of horror games that I’ve come to expect, such as jumpscares (including a cameo by my own mother) and moments of tension, Devotion is not your typical horror game. As you progress through the story, you uncover something more terrifying than a fantastical monster born of Guillermo del Toro’s imagination: a tragedy of how a family was ripped apart by the dreams of an overzealous father.
A retired celebrity who can’t take her husband’s destructive devotion, a failing screenwriter who has sacrificed everything to his god, and a young girl who’s forced to put fame ahead of her mental well-being; Devotion left me feeling quite down rather than scared at the end of it. There were several moments where all I could feel was sympathy for the poor daughter who was caged inside her own home for her own good, when all she needed was proper care for her mental health and to be allowed to be a normal child rather than focus on perfecting her singing for competitions.
Graphic at times and relatable at others, Devotion is a game that will leave an impression on players for some time, even after they’ve completed it. The ending is ambiguous, forcing players to formulate their own speculations, and while I certainly got my money’s worth with this game, I wish that more people could play it for themselves. Here’s to hoping that it will be back on the Steam store soon.