Not every attorney is as honest and hard-working as those depicted on Law & Order. Sometimes, lawyers will cheat to get their clients off the hook– tampering with evidence, intimidating witnesses, and using over-the-top theatrics to sway the judge. Devil’s Attorney star Max McMann is your guy if you ever get busted for petty crimes or major offenses, because due to his sleazy tactics, he never loses a case.
You need a criminal lawyer.
Devil’s Attorney is a turn-based “combat” game where you trade moves with prosecutors in a courtroom setting, using action points to decide when and where to hit your opponent’s case. It’s not an adventure game like Phoenix Wright, where you have to actually solve a mystery, but it’s more like a Final Fantasy-style RPG. Your moves include interrogating witnesses, which lowers their credibility, and special tactics like raising objections, or your voice.
Later in the game, the prosecutors you face will bring in more evidence, witness protection, and expert testimony to try to send your clients to jail. But as you win cases, you’ll be able to build up your vanity, materialism, and decadence attributes by buying fancy clothes and furniture with your winnings, which lets you unlock new moves. If you fail a case, you can retry without consequence, and since some of your attacks are based on luck, you might have better results the second time using the same strategy. You can also earn a bonus by winning each case within a limited number of turns.
Who you gonna call?
If Devil’s Attorney was nothing more than a back-and-forth over court cases, it wouldn’t be quite as much fun. The specifics of each case don’t really matter in terms of gameplay, since it’s all about destroying the prosecution’s credibility. But each case is prefaced by a hilarious, well-written, and well-acted cutscene, where Max engages in smack talk with each of his opponents. Over 58 cases, you’ll come to love Max’s ruthless attitude, and look forward to each interaction he has with the bumbling or overconfident prosecutors. One of them even manages to steal Max’s heart, which is no small feat, since he’s already in love with himself.
Your clients also represent a goofy cross-section of pop culture. You’ll find lookalikes from 80s movies like The Terminator and Top Gun, defending themselves against allegations of public nudity or buzzing the control tower in their fighter jet. You’ll also have to defend loan sharks, pool hustlers, video bootleggers, scam artists, and many more. The trials don’t last very long due to Max’s ruthless efficiency (and because the game is a tad easy on the default mode), so you’ll quickly jump from one case right into the next.
Your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash.
Devil’s Attorney could use a bit more strategy and depth in the courtroom battles, but the cutscenes and storyline are outstanding. Max is a self-absorbed attorney who wants to win in the worst possible way, but we can’t help but be impressed by the charm he lays on everyone he meets. If you think Phoenix Wright is too goody-goody, Devil’s Attorney is a hilarious alternative that’s well worth the fee.