I am pretty eclectic when it comes to visuals, and I find a wide range of art styles pleasing, and yet there is something about the chibi style used in Divine Knockout (DKO) that feels soulless and devoid of passion.
While each character, location and asset is well made, Divine Knockout (DKO) feels like the work of a 9-5 artist who hates his job, and it shows, with no single character, location, weapon or ability standing out from the rest.
Hi-Rez has an annoying habit of hamstringing games by releasing them as a closed beta with near-constant giveaways, which not only diminishes the value of founder packs but adds extra hoops to jump through for players who want to play the game.
Several publishers have utilized this system, which rarely works; most famously, this system was responsible for the death of high-profile titles such as Scavengers and Rocket Arena and a similar model dooming Worlds Adrift to an early grave.
Publishers need to understand that selling a product and then giving it away in bulk for a few days does nothing but frustrate early backers and latecomers who feel cheated by having to pay for access that was freely given a few days before.
Divine Knockout (DKO) was originally announced to become free to play upon the conclusion of its “very open” closed beta; however, with the news of development being suspended, this is now only a possibility instead of a probability.
Unless the current monetization model in the game changes rapidly, it will be one of the most consumer-friendly models on the market, with players able to open up new playable characters every few hours.
By placing a greater emphasis on cosmetic unlocks over functional ones, such as in Rogue Company and Rainbow Siege 6, the developers have a narrow window of opportunity to market Divine Knockout (DKO) as the most consumer and new player friendly free to play title and hopefully encourage other developers to follow suit.
While this is unlikely to happen, and Divine Knockout (DKO) is more likely to slip into obscurity than anything else, it’s certainly nice to think about.
I have played many free-2-play games and see nothing wrong with live service titles (when done correctly). Still, I can’t get into Divine Knockout (DKO), as while it’s very polished and works on a foundational level, Divine Knockout (DKO)’s combat and minute-to-minute gameplay is just tedious.
With players unable to die, matches consist of repeatedly trying to push other players to or from objectives. Honestly, after a few minutes of playing, I am always ready to go and play something else, a feeling that I don’t get in a lot of other games, with titles such as Rumbleverse (RIP!), having been able to hold my attention for weeks at a time.
I understand the need for fast matchmaking times; many gamers judge a title by how quickly a lobby can fill, and once a game is declared “dead” by Twitter/Reddit, it’s very difficult to return from that.
However, instant lobbies populated by barely functional bots are not any better, and after playing dozens of rounds against AI, I can safely say I would rather wait 10 minutes to find a lobby with real players than play lobby after lobby, where I appear to be the only human player.
Being the top-scoring player in two dozen back-to-back matches isn’t rewarding; it feels like seal clubbing and takes away my little motivation to play Divine Knockout (DKO).
In June 2023, Hi-Rez Studios announced that it would be rebranding itself as Hi-Rez Ventures, and part of this restricting involved the First Watch Games (Rogue Company) & Red Beard Games (Divine Knockout) ceasing to exist as separate studios, with the former becoming part of Evil Mojo (Paladins & Realm Royale) and the latter becoming part of TitanForge (Smite).
As part of this restructuring, Evil Mojo assumes all development and publishing responsibilities for Rogue Company, while Titanforge assumes all development and publishing responsibilities for Divine Knockout.
While consolidation can be a good thing, it seems Titanforge is in no rush to work on Divine Knockout, with the new publisher/developer having made no statement and the original developers having disappeared shortly before development on Divine Knockout was suspended.
Divine Knockout (DKO) isn’t dead due to its sizable crossplay community, with the vast majority of players residing on the PlayStation network due to Divine Knockout (DKO)’s being given away to PS Plus subscribers in December 2022 and the PC community being buoyed by multiple giveaways on both Steam and Epic Game Store.
While we don’t know how many people are currently playing Divine Knockout (DKO), the Steam community averages out at just 121 players, disastrous numbers when you consider the well-published free-to-claim event shortly after its launch in late 2022.
Divine Knockout (DKO) supports:
Divine Knockout (DKO) supports:
The Divine Knockout (DKO) in-game store sells:
Divine Knockout (DKO) is rated PEGI 7 and contains the following:
Divine Knockout (DKO) had the potential to become a good game.
I am a huge fan of several other titles published that were initially by Hi-Rez; however, right now, there is nothing about Divine Knockout (DKO) that makes me feel I can recommend buying it, especially with its original development team (Red Beard Games) being absorbed by Titanforge, and development being suspended earlier in the year.