Hey look – another RPG from Bethesda! It’ll be just like Oblivion and Fallout 3, right? Wrong. Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is a very different, action packed co-op game that just might rock your world.
I got to play through a couple levels of the game with a Bethesda representative. I started off by trying out E’Lara, an elf chick who wears leather, uses magic, and wields a bow. She plays like a shooter. You aim, fire, and kill stuff from a distance. The bow never runs out of arrows, and you fire at a pretty fast pace. You can also use magic to buff Caddoc, the other character you can play. Magic can also be used to kill enemies. It’s a cool combo of archer/mage that plays well and has great controls. I didn’t get a chance to play with a mouse and keyboard, but the game is made with the Unreal Engine, so it still should handle very well.
At checkpoints, you can switch characters with your co-op buddy. I switched over to playing Caddoc for the second half of the demo. Caddoc is a sword and shield warrior, and he handles all the front line tanking. To me, he wasn’t as fun to play as E’Lara, but I’m biased towards ranged combat in RPGs.
Both characters’ abilities are made so you have to work together as team. Caddoc can levitate enemies, which allows E’Lara to be able to shoot them out of the sky. There are some enemies that can only be hit with range, so E’Lara has to take them out. Other times, you need Caddoc to charge in and do some heavy killing to clear out an area. One character is not better than the other; they just play very differently, and you’ll need both of their skill sets to make it.
With co-op where you actually have to work together, I’m sure we’re all in for some hilarious antics with our friends. I didn’t get the chance to see how single player handles, so we’ll have to report on that later. So long as the AI is good, the game will be great to play with either a friend or alone.
A lot of the ads for the game depict it as an action/adventure game, but this is an RPG. You get loot, you level up, and you gain new abilities. Brian Fargo, the founder of inXile Entertainment, is not new to making RPGs. He’s the guy behind classic Interplay titles like Fallout, The Bard’s Tale, and Wasteland. These guys know how to make an RPG world that is rich and detailed, and it looks like Hunted will be one of those.
It looks great (hey, it’s the Unreal Engine; of course it looks good) and very well polished. The controls are tight, and the characters seem to be very well developed. They banter with each other, and it’s enjoyable to listen to. I can’t say much for the overall story, since I only played a small portion of the game, but these guys have a good track record, so I’m willing to give them a chance.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge will be available on May 10 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. I like RPGs and elf chicks in leather, so I’ll be playing this game for sure.