Review by Crayonmuffin
"I've Hunted for a game like this"
Hunted: The Demon's Forge is the latest(and greatest) in the co op gaming scene. First off, I'd like to tip my hat to IneXile for creating such a masterpiece of a game. I'm a hardcore dungeon crawler fan and for a game like this to come out with the latest graphics and improved gameplay was a HUGE attraction to this game for me. Even though this game was so much different from the old classic dungeon crawlers that I used to be in love with, I still got some major nostalgia while playing Hunted. This game truly is a work of art.
Story 8/10: Hunted begins with a fairly cliche fantasy scene/story. You have the big hulking tattooed man with a sword and shield, Caddoc. Then an also tattooed elven female with a bow, E'lara. So far nothing special. But the developers DID change up their back stories so it isn't as cliche as it seems, which keeps the characters interesting. The story itself also begins fairly predictable for the most part which most stories in games nowadays are(in my opinion). The two main characters are rather gold hungry and are sent out on a mission to find the daughter of a lord. The land is being ripped apart by all sorts of evil creatures(wargar, dragons, orges, etc). All the while a mysterious woman appears time to time to give you help and guide you on your quest. You later find out a darker secret as to why evil is spreading throughout the land and who is responsible. Then, you are sent into a much deeper quest that is much more difficult to overcome. The ending of the game was rather satisfying which is important to me so the story gets a decent score from me.
Gameplay 10/10: This is where the game absolutely shines. I have never, EVER, played a co op game as fun as this one. Yes, there are many other games that have a co op OPTION, but this game was MADE for it. And it shows. Not only is it much more fun to play the storyline or Crucible with a friend, but everything in the game is based around co op play. From battles to puzzles it is ALL co op based. The battle system is very unique. The thing I enjoyed the most in the game was all of the weapons and armor you can pick up. I'm kind of a sucker for character customization and how my character looks. Even though this game doesn't have character customization, picking up a better piece of armor or weapon and seeing them in all their awesome glory just made the game that much more enjoyable to play. Also, I liked how they made weapons and shields class based(rare, epic, etc.) it gave me a better role playing experience because I felt as if I'm really upgrading in equipment. I also enjoyed the co op based attacks. For example having E'lara ice a group of enemies and then Caddoc coming in and shattering them. Or having Caddoc use his lift spell to lift a group of enemies in the air and having E'lara pick them off with her arrows. The best part about co op battle though would probably have to be the battle charging and spell link. You can battle charge your companion any time as long as you have battle magic. Once you battle charge your companion, they can then battle charge you and there will be a spell link between you, making it so if any enemy comes in contact with the players they will take massive damage. The gameplay in this game was amazing and very addictive. I'm on my 4th playthrough and not tired of it yet!
Complaints? The ONLY complaint I have with the gameplay is that sometimes the game can in fact glitch out and you or your companion may be stuck somewhere and you will have to re load. This has only happened to me in single player. Perhaps because the A I decided to run off and explore? Who knows. Just something to watch out for.
Two side notes: This game is NOT like Gears of War. Many haters of the game are continuously comparing it to Gears calling it a "Gears clone". This is not so. The only similarities are that they are third person and that there is a cover based aspect to the game.
Secondly, more of a tip, if you want the game to be a richer experience, you should for sure try to find all the puzzles and secrets in the game. You get some pretty good rewards ;)
Graphics/sound 10/10: Graphics in this game, while not being Crysis league, are still just great. The battle animations and magic graphics are incredible. I really enjoyed the game visually. Especially the atmosphere of the game. Looking at the scenery and environments you get a real sense of dark history. The sounds! OH THE SOUNDS! The sounds in this game were awesome. Not only sounds like swinging a sword or getting a headshot with a bow, but the voice acting was very good as well. Listening to Caddoc and E'lara go back and forth to each other during the game was hilarious. Nothing wrong at all in this department.
Replayability 10/10: The replayability of this game is what you make of it for yourself. If you don't like the gameplay then replayability won't be much of an option. But for me and others like me who are completely addicted to it, it goes needless to say that this game will remain in my collection for a good long while. Not only can you play through the story mode in single player or co op, once you beat it for the first time you also unlock Old School mode. I won't spoil what this mode is but it's very fun and it's gotten me to play for multiple playthroughs. If you ever get bored with the story mode there is also Crucible. Crucible mode allows you to create your own dungeon crawl maps to go through and even share them with the rest of the Hunted community for them to play also. This makes COUNTLESS possibilities for playing over and over again. You could make an insanely hard map or you could make a crazy fun easy map to go through, it's whatever you make it.
My final recommendation for this game is GET IT. If you're into this sort of game you will not be disappointed. I was very anxious to get this game and my predictions about it were spot on. It is truly a one of a kind game that will keep you busy for hours upon hours of dungeon crawling, blood splattering, loot finding awesomeness. This title is among my top favorites of all time and shall remain there.
I give this game a final score of 9/10, not getting a 10/10 just because they could've done more with the story and it glitched out on me a few times. Otherwise this game is flawless. Hopefully some DLC is coming soon.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/08/11
Game Release: Hunted: The Demon's Forge (US, 05/31/11)
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