First, I’ll give you a quick run down. Hunted: Demon’s Forge is a game in development by Bethesda Softworks, currently slated for release on May 10th 2011. It’s a co-op based game promising to bring new life to the genre.
In a nut shell, the game is advertised as a fairly cut and dry dungeon crawler, with players using either the male or female character, each focused on a certain play style. Caddoc, the large beefy male character is the primary melee, focusing on heavy weapons and heavy armor. E’lara, the slim female character focuses on ranged combat and light armor. Let me clarify the “light armor” statement. By light armor, I mean no armor. A problem shared by many RPG female characters. Does anyone realize that most swords are sharp? And that they hurt when they make contact with exposed skin? E’lara is apparently even more hardcore then the beefy male character, since she doesn’t seem to fear pain, especially around her well waxed bikini line.
Alright, my commentary aside, back to what we know of the game. The plot sounds fairly cookie cutter. Dark ages, evil creatures coming up from underground, townsfolk disappearing etc etc. Caddoc and E’lara are two mercenary soldiers who are smelling gold with this new arising crisis and agree to set out to find the missing townsfolk. Of course, the hopes of finding treasure and weapons play into this as well, but lets stick with the more heroic reasons for the time being.
If you are beginning to think I am being critical let me assure you otherwise. I have been keeping my eye on this game since I saw the first press release. A simple looking co-op dungeon crawler with the promise of good times spent yelling at your friend across the sofa, fighting over battle tactics and the last bag of cheese doodles. I love co-op, especially when its split screen. I miss the days when people used to sit in the same room and play video games on the same console. Honestly, I feel like co-op has become a bit of a joke over the years, with many designers throwing in co-op simply to put more words on the back of the box. Includes co-op! Even some games designed to be co-op have failed to inspire anything other then criticism and bad reviews (I’m looking at you Lost Planet 2.)
My hopes is that this game sticks to its guns and remains simple. No need for a epic storyline. No need for complicated mechanics. Just give me a sword, some monsters, a few fun puzzles (note the fun part) and the promise of treasure hunting with a friend at my side and I am in. Sadly, there is nothing to do now but wait and see how Hunted: Demon’s Forge will turn out. Well, almost nothing. If you are feeling the need to scratch the co-op RPG itch right now and don’t mind going a bit back in time, you could try Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 1 and 2 which are available for the Xbox and PS2 or Champions of Norrath which is available only for the PS2. All of these games are excellent and would be a great way to pass the time until May. So call up a friend, grab some chips and a drink, and enjoy some good quality time spent killing monsters and collecting treasure. Until then my friends, United We Game!