It Takes Two to Hunt
Who in their right mind would go dungeon crawling alone? No matter how many arrows you have in your quiver or swords strapped to your armor, strength comes in numbers. Knowing this, inXile Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks are putting their final touches on Hunted: The Demon’s Forge to give you and a buddy a fighting chance against all those creepy things that go bump in the night.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge can be played in single player (with an A.I. partner), or two player online co-op. We would have loved to see some form of local co-op, being that the game is made specifically for playing with a buddy, but sadly there won’t be any split-screen modes as of the writing of this article. But, at least InXile was good enough to allow players to swap roles mid-game, albeit at predetermined swapping stations.
Many games with a co-op mode simply put two players in the same space to play out the main story or side missions. Hunted: The Demon‘s Forge takes co-op one step further by pushing players to work together to succeed. Anybody can hack, slash, and loose arrows. The master sword and shield fighter Cadoor and apt archer E‘Lara are individually skilled fighters, but favoring true cooperative gaming, working together makes the duo like a medieval Batman and Robin.
Magic plays a big part in Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. Beyond tired spells like fireballs and lightning bolts, Cadoor and E’Lara can use magic to help each other, giving magic a fresh and unique role. For example, Cadoor can use a radial levitation ability to lift multiple enemies in the air--making easy targets for E’Lara. On the flipside, E’Lara can infuse arrows with ice to freeze enemies, and Cadoor loves smashing chilled baddies to bits. Also, generous players can bail out teammates by sacrificing magic to help a teammate. For example, If E’Lara gets stuck clashing swords, Cadoor’s lightning spell can turn E’Lara’s short sword into a lightning saber. Sharing is caring, after all.
When you’re not in the mood to party up with a friend, you can play Hunted: The Demon’s Forge solo with an A.I. partner. The cool part about playing solo is that you can level up the A.I. character to suit the strengths of your play style. But, it hasn’t been determined yet if you can send commands to A.I. partners or not, which will probably play a large role in the quality of the single player experience. Nobody likes to babysit computer A.I., so it remains to be determined how inXile will handle this.
The world of Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is right out of a Tolkien dream…or nightmare. Lush forests and cascading waterfalls overlook ancient ruins and the underground lairs crawling with monsters that’d make the boogeyman wet the bed. Built with the Unreal Engine 3, the level designs and cover-based combat are reminiscent of Gears of War, but with broadswords, enchanted bows, and battleaxes swapped out for the Lancer (a chainsaw-equipped machinegun for those who haven‘t played any Gears games recently). It’s great to see a new title like Hunted get the full treatment, and players inclined to explore maps will be rewarded with loot and other goodies. Just don’t forget to use the buddy system.
Being a game published by Bethesda, it just wouldn’t be right without some RPG elements thrown in for added flavor. inXile included tons of weapons and gear to upgrade your characters with throughout the campaign. There may even be a damage system where armor and equipment degrades, but the gory details have yet to be revealed by the developer. What we do know is that you can export your character from single player to online campaigns.
While single player has some question marks, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge surely will play well with others. Just be sure to find a co-op buddy who doesn’t mind playing as a scantily clad elf woman once in a while and you’ll be all set. Hunted is scheduled for a spring 2011 release, but a firm launch date has yet to be confirmed (though Gamestop lists early June).
With immersive co-op, a stunning environment, and infinite amounts of ghouls and goblins to take you’re anger out on, is Hunted: The Demon’s Forge on your list for 2011 games? Let us know in our commentary section!
John loves gaming and loves writing about games. He wants to become a known voice in the gaming community and a game designer one day.
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