JUST A LITTLE NOTE BEFORE THE REVIEW:
I got this game on release day and have so far put about 20 hours of solid playtime into it. During that time I have gotten a general idea of what this game is all about. My achievements may not look like I have put 20 hours into it though, so please dont give me a negative vote simply based off of the ammount of gamerscore I have.
As always, if you decide to leave a negative vote please let it be because you dont like the quality of my review, not my opinions on the game.
Hunted: The Demon's Forge is a game I have been looking forward to for quite a few months now. I was extremely excited when I heard that it was going to be a co-op dungeon crawling RPG. I had high expectations for this game. However, this game did not live up to them. Don't get me wrong, it's a great game, it just wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe I was expecting too much.
The story in Hunted: The Demon's Forge takes place in a dark fantasy world. It follows Caddoc, a master swordsman who doesn't like to go into a fight without a stradegy, and E'lara, a provocatively dressed elven huntress who is an expert at handling a bow. They are a team of mercenaries who are searching for a mysterious artifact that Caddoc saw in a dream. They are then sent on a quest to find out where all the townsfolk of Dyfed have been taken. This turns into an all out war against the Wargar(the main enemies in the game. They have a goblin like exterior and come in many different forms). The character development in this game is very well done. You really get a feel of the struggles both of these characters have gone through and you they have many different character traits.
The story is split into 6 chapters with a prologue at the beginning. The chapters are quite long. So far it has took me around 2 or so hours to complete each chapter. There is atleast 1 huge puzzle dungeon in each chapter which takes you completely off the trail that you are meant to be on. These puzzles are completely optional, but they reward you with large amounts of gold and new weapons. Each of these puzzles has it's own side story, and some of them are linked to eachother.
The gameplay in this game is a hybrid of hack & slash and a third person shooter. I have heard people refer to this game as "Gears of Warcraft" simply because its an RPG and a 3rd person shooter at the same time. Each character has a melee weapon and a ranged weapon. Caddoc is able to wield the stronger melee weapons while E'lara is able to wield the stronger bows. Caddoc is much better at swordsplay. You can use his crossbow to attack enemies who you cannot reach, but thats the only time you should use it. E'lara should really be the only one doing the ranged fighting. Her bow extremely useful. I would recommend using her bow whenever you can, only resorting to her sword when the enemies get up close and personal. Both characters should really only use their specialty combat style. They only made it possible for both characters to use both style so you wouldnt be limited to only melee or ranged. Using ranged weapons is pretty much the same as a shooter, you use LT to aim and RT to fire.
This game is heavily co-op based. Although, it is still a great single player game. Each character has their own role in solving puzzles and so on. In co-op you have to work together with your partner in order to continue. There are various places throughout the game where it requires the 2 players to be together such as doors where both players are needed to lift the door up. This helps to ensure the 2 players dont get seperated too much. When playing single player, the character you play as can order the AI character to solve the part of the puzzle they are required for. Players can switch characters whenever they reach a purple Obelisk. These are purple glowing things sticking out of the ground that let you switch characters. In order to switch characters in co-op both players need to interact with it. In single player, once you interact with it the AI will stop whatever they are doing and head towards the Obelisk. Coop can be played in local splitscreen or over XBOX LIVE.
There are also various magics. There are 2 types of magic: weapon magic and battle magic. Weapon magic is magic that affects your main weapon is various ways such as making arrows explosive. Battle magic is magic that is used either to damage enemies or to increase your attack damage and resistance. Each character has their own unique set of weapon and battle magic, and they can use their battle magic on their partner and give them the benefits of it.
Sadly, the graphics in this game arent too great compared to some other games out recently. However, they are still quite good. The character design is fairly well done and the environments are very detailed and very pleasing to the eye. The main female characters wear very little clothing and have quite large "Mammary Glands". Not that I'm complaining about seeing women with little clothing on, but when all the important female characters wear small amounts of clothing it gets a little embarrasing.
The voice acting is very well done. Each characters voice suits them very well. Conversations between Caddoc and E'lara are very amusing. They sometimes argue and they sometimes joke around with eachother. Its good to see that theres some humour in this game. One of my favourite lines is when a giant eye flies past them and Caddoc says "Did you see that?" and E'lara says "It was a giant eye". Then Caddoc asks "Do you think it saw us?" and E'lara responds "Its a giant eye, of course it saw us!". It may not be something that would get a whole croud laughing out loud, but it does make you chuckle a little inside(or "Lil" as James would say). Combat sounds are very nice aswell. You can literally hear the arrows barely missing you as you are behind cover. The enemies sound like they are choking on something while they talk. This is fairly common with the demon/overlord/goblin enemies in games nowadays.
Crucible Map Creator: 8/10
Aside from the Adventure mode, there is also a mode that allows you to create your own maps to play locally and online. You dont actually make you own maps though. Instead, you choose from the available locations and you customise things such as the enemies that spawn, the weapons you get and various alterations to the game that either help or hinder you. If you want a general idea of what its like, think of the Trials of St. Lucia DLC from Dantes Inferno. You can create maps of up to 25 rooms and post them online for other people to play. You can dowload other users custom maps and even play online with other players on them. When playing 2 player on the crucible maps, the game isnt focused on co-op anymore. Instead, its a competition to see who can get the most enemy kills and such. You still have to work together with your partner though. If one of you dies and the other player doesnt revive you, its game over.
This game was made specially for co-op play. You can either play the story in co-op or you can play with 2 players on custom made Crucible maps. I would definitely recommend playing this came in co-op because it makes the experience of the game a whole lot better.
Don't let that TA ratio of 5.0 scare you, the achievements in this game are not that hard. Its not that the achievements are difficult, but its more that they are time consuming. People have not had a chance to play the game too much as it came out less than a week ago, so thats why some of them have such huge ratios. You will be forced to play through the game atleast twice, once with each character, because there are achievements for beating all the bosses with both characters.
Crucible Map Creator: 8/10
Hunted: The Demons Forge is overall a very enjoyable game. It didnt live up to all my expectations, but I am completely satisfied with this game. I would recommend finding a co-op buddy before you buy this game. It is the most enjoyable in co-op.
If you enjoy Hunted: The Demon's Forge
, you might also enjoy:Dungeon Siege IIIGears of WarDragon Age II