BFG 2011 - Hunted: The Demon's Forge Update
Posted on Monday, April 18 @ 13:43:25 PST by Nicholas Tan
All it took was one hour of hands-on time to change my assumptions on Hunted: The Demon's Forge, which I thought to be just an aggressive, 'M'-rated fantasy action shlock with a cooperative play shtick. Like a Quantum Theory with some forced Resident Evil 5. The oversexualized, leather-strapped archer E'lara and the bald tough guy Caddoc seemed more than just "partners" (hey, what happens between loading times stays between loading times...), and I was completely expecting the gameplay to match that impression. So color me surprised to find Hunted not as predictable as it would seem.
After I was teamed up with Doug from Metacafe, we quickly realized that full-on aggression was not the answer. Even though we were given a healthy stash of crystals to assign special abilities, simply mashing the attack button ended with a unhealthy number of deaths. Caddoc is meant to protect E'lara from a frontal assault by engaging monstrous brutes and E'lara is meant to protect Caddoc from being flanked by crossbow-wielding pasts - that part is obvious just by assuming the roles for a melee fighter and ranged archer. Sticking together is also obvious, if just to open a door or jump over crevice, but the importance of dodging and blocking can not be understated.
Two careless hits can easily take off a fifth of the health bar and one Level 3 ability can use half of the mana bar, and both health and mana do not regenerate. On top of that, each character can only carry three health potions and three mana potions, both of which are in short supply. If that weren't enough, enemies frequently attack Caddoc's and E'lara's blindsides and can overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Playing defensively and smartly - using any cover, turrets, and bottlenecks you can find - is key.
Just to add another twist, whenever you and your partner reach a checkpoint, both are forced to switch characters and thus their respective roles (and just when you were getting comfortable). Thankfully, it's easy to find a player for co-op, whether it's online or on the couch via split-screen.
Finding a cooperative game that challenges players to working together with the right pace, without barreling through enemies just for the fun of it, is rare. Hunted: The Demon's Forge spears into stores May 31, 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
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