While the camera is usually set to follow Ivan, the player character, the camera shifts into a first person perspective when aiming. Unlike many modern third-person shooters, it does not adopt an over-the-shoulder approach, instead opting for a more traditional camera that is directly behind the character, save for when ducking behind cover. Melee combat consists of chaining together a series of attacks, often followed with a cinematic takedown. In addition, melee weapons can be swapped, thrown at enemies, and stolen mid-counter.
It will feature online play and a means of reshaping the battlefield via a sort of level editor. It features three types of progression currency: Clan Funds, Dollen, and Golden Eggs. Among choosing sides in game modes, there is a third side known as the "Free Entry" option, which is said to be the option that would appeal to the Lone Wolf type of player. It isn't clear as to what this actually does, but it is implied that "Free Entry" players fight as a third force that does not contribute to either team.
The game's backstory is based on the Kessler syndrome theory. Debris from artificial satellites in orbit has created a cascading effect of collisions, leading to the destruction of nearly all satellites, both civilian and military. In the resulting turmoil, war erupts around the world as the balance of military power is thrown into chaos. Infantry battle is altered in a world without satellite technology. It can be seen from concept art that the game will be taking place around the world with Asian, European and American locations.
This is the first game developed by Tomonobu Itagaki after leaving Tecmo in 2008 and forming his own game studio, Valhalla Game Studios, with other members of Team Ninjawho left Tecmo in 2009. The game is a departure from Itagaki's previous genres, hack and slash and fighting games.
Devil's Third switched engines during its development, as the company responsible for making its original engine went out of business. Since that time, Valhalla Game Studios have continued development using an adaptation of video game developer Relic Entertainment's engine. Although a version of Devil's Third for the Wii U was not confirmed at the time, Itagaki reported that the game would run perfectly fine on the system. Devil's Third then used the same game engine as Darksiders II. It now uses Unreal Engine 3 as the main game engine.
The game was originally announced by THQ, and was planned to be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Following THQ's closure in 2013, the intellectual property rights to Devil's Third were given back to Valhalla Game Studios and Nintendo picked up publishing duties for the title to be released for their own console. Devil's Third new development as a Nintendo-published Wii U-exclusive was eventually officially announced by Nintendo at E3 2014 post their Digital Event presentation.