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Hunted - The Demon's Forge

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Platform: xbox360ps3xbox360
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda
Release Date: 06.01.2011

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Hunting for Good Co-Op


Hunted The Demon's Forge is a new co-op based RPG from the minds at inXile behind the hilarious The Bard's Tale from several years ago. That was enough for me to be somewhat curious about the game, however I still went into PAX East with little to no expectations for the game. The most I had heard were comparisons to Gears of War, which made me a bit apprehensive. Thankfully my fears were for naught.

"Co-op fans should keep an eye on this Resident Evil 5 style loot-fest."

The first thing you're likely to notice about Hunted, is that the main characters do look a bit generic. You've got the gritty mail warrior, paired with the scantily-clad "hot elf chick". The demo did not go much into the story of the game, just a jaunt through a ruined village type area fighting against some enemies that looked very similar to Orcs from the Lord of the Rings films

Once the gameplay (demoed on a 360) kicked in I realized that the derivative artistic stylings were hiding some fantastic combat mechanics. My first playthrough of the demo I played as the male hero, who excelled at melee combat. Melee attacks were set to X(light attack) and Y(heavy attack) on the 360 controller, with a roll set to A. The d-pad selects a skill (spells and special attacks) which could be activated by the right bumper. The left bumper was for healing potions, and the left trigger handled blocking. Now, both characters have ranged weapons, and the nice thing about this setup is that switching between the weapons is a simple matter of pressing the right trigger to bring up your ranged weapon (which switches the left trigger to activate aiming mode), and you can switch back on the fly to melee simply by pressing one of the two attack buttons. It worked quite well, and made firing off arrows and running in for a kill a blast.

The differences between the two characters are not that large, but the male hero has stronger melee attacks and skills, balanced by slower ranged attacks, while the female hero is obviously the reverse. The controls are very easy to get the hang of, and I was switching between melee and ranged combat quite easily right away. This is not to say that the combat itself is easy, however. The enemies is the demo were no pushover, coming at you with large shields that meant you need to actually aim your ranged attacks rather than just rapidly firing at enemies. The majority of enemies also dropped loot, though the demo was too combat heavy to take the time to see what I was picking up. When one of the heroes fell, the hero still standing could toss a healing potion that way with a press of the B button. The dynamic of the co-operation between two characters almost gave it a Resident Evil 5 feel.

Near the end of the demo, there was sort of a rest area where a beam of light (literally) allowed you to upgrade your characters skills. The full compliment of abilities was obviously not available in the demo, but there was still plenty to choose from, such as ice arrows and fireballs for the female hero, and charging attacks and lightning bolts for the male hero. The demo ended with a boss fight against a teleporting demon, along with more of the Orc type monsters. It was an intense battle requiring myself and the Bethesda employee playing the other character to work together.

The demo lest me satisfied and eager to play more of the game. There were some funny one-liners at points in the demo, making me hopeful that some Bard's Tale type humor may be in the final product. Being a co-op focused game, it supports split-screen and online play, and even system link play for those who don't like sharing their screen real-estate. Co-op fans should keep an eye on this Resident Evil 5 style loot-fest.



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