Hunted: The Demon’s Forge offers something quite different to the usual fantasy-based game, in that it’s not an RPG set across a sprawling landscape or a straight up hack ’n’ slash title where your stab at your joypad’s buttons until your fingers bleed. Instead, they’ve taken a similar co-op gameplay mechanic to the Gears of War games and made a game that is a joy to play, despite not having quite the polish you’d see from a game made by Epic.
You trundle through the dungeons and towns of the land of Kala Moor as either a female elf called E’lara or a male warrior called Caddoc. Whichever one you play as, the other’s not far behind as the game’s set up for co-op play either online or split screen. In single player mode you can swap characters at lit purple areas and tell the other one what to do if you can’t do it yourself. Caddoc is strong and good at pushing things aside and E’lara seems to have a penchant for setting fire to things with flaming arrows to access secret areas and progress further into danger.
Both characters have simple light and heavy melee attacks and ranged attacks with bows and crossbows. You can also collect gems which you can use to give you magical powers such as flaming bombs, exploding arrows or the ability to make yourself super strong and powerful.
Whilst Hunted is in fact a very playable game, overall it does feel a little bit budget. Environments and characters aren’t up to scratch compared to other AAA titles and there are annoying glitches where your AI team mate blocks your way or you slide across the floor when on moving platforms. Combat also feels a little bit unwieldy and E’lara’s special bow shot where the arrow follows the action looks very lame indeed. Thankfully, there are also some things that do work very well such as proper rewards for exploring and finding secret areas and some genuinely funny lines from Caddoc.
Hunted is fun in single player and even better in co-op mode. It’s just a shame they wrote the Kotaku quote “A Dungeon Crawl for the Gears Age” on the box because it does create false expectation and ultimately set a standard Hunted just can’t keep up with. It gets a good 6 out of 10.
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