Hunted: The Demon's Forge Reviews

  • OfficerBarbradyOfficerBarbrady275,086
    05 Jun 2011 29 Sep 2011
    52 9 16

    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.

    Story: 8/10
    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.

    Graphics 7/10
    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.

    Sound: 8/10
    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.

    Multiplayer: 10/10
    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.

    Achievements: 7/10
    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.

    Story: 8/10
    Gameplay: 9/10
    Graphics: 7/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Crucible Map Creator: 8/10
    Achievements: 7/10
    Overall: 47/60

    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 III
    Gears of War
    Dragon Age II
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    WeisGuy9Nice review and positive vote. On a side note, review writers who start out their review talking about negative votes are annoying. Write the review and leave it at that. If the votes are that much of a concern, you shouldn't expose your work to public opinion.
    Posted by WeisGuy9 on 16 Jan 12 at 01:23
    Phoenix C64@WeisGuy9: it is normal that a writer asks about his work so he can improve his new works. more annoying are those cowards that downvote without the balls to actually state WHY.
    Posted by Phoenix C64 on 24 Mar 12 at 16:23
    aside from a few spelling and gramatical errors, it is a very well written review. i agree with most of what you say, although i think you rate the graphics higher than i would. and the crucible map creator just takes so long to do!
    Posted on 10 May 12 at 23:56
  • All the TigersAll the Tigers512,882
    30 Aug 2012
    10 2 2
    Back in 2011, when gamers found themselves surrounded by sequel after sequel of preexisting series, Hunted: The Demon's Forge came as a bit of a novelty precisely because it wasn't a continuation, retelling, or spin-off of anything else. The game didn't receive any real hype, and most people would only know about the game because they saw an ad while looking into some other game. Following titles like Dragon Age II and Dynasty Warriors 7, surrounded by series like Fable III and L.A. Noire, and followed by names like F.E.A.R. 3 and Duke Nukem Forever, it's pretty easy to see why many copies in stores still have the "Do Not Sell Before May 30, 2011" preorder stickers.

    Now that time has passed, though, gamers can spend a little time looking into this new IP from inXile. Kotaku, quoted on the back of the case, called the game, "A Dungeon Crawl for the Gears Age." In terms of game play and combat mechanics, it's apparent why. Still, the folks at inXile did have some novel ideas on the classic D&D-esque hack-n-slash genre, which may or may not appeal to gamers, depending on how much they're after a unique gaming experience.

    Starting with the mechanics, they're effectively a palette swap for the original Gears of War. Press A to sprint, get into cover, mantle over barriers. They didn't include the fancier Gears 3 moves like kicking someone when you jump over a barrier, and you can't grab an enemy from behind cover and insta-kill them like in Mass Effect 3. None of that really affects the overall game play, but it's still a little simple and dated way of doing things.

    A point against the game is how the sprinting system is a step back from the original Gears of War. While the latter title allowed for a minimal amount of course-changes while running, Hunted does even less than minimal. Any significant or even moderate amount of steering left or right cancels your sprint, which means the player is either in full control or fast but not both.

    Enemies don't really change throughout the game. You fight the same cannon fodder throughout the story, and bosses that you were supposed to fear for one fight come back as new whipping boys. While some carry-over isn't necessarily bad, the fact you will encounter every boss at least a dozen more times after initially beating them detracts from the experience. If the final boss wasn't the final boss, you'd probably fight him three or four more times.

    Your characters gain some new abilities from beginning to end, but ultimately they have the same six moves that you just make more powerful as you level up. The controls aren't exactly intuitive either. For those who've played other titles in the genre, it'll take a bit of adjusting to one button being a weak melee, another being a strong melee, yet another pulling out your bow and aiming, and a final one to shoot your ranged weapon. Casting magic also requires a separate button, and pressing any attack will cancel your current mode if it's a different type. So pressing a melee button cancels your active magic or ranged attacks, and vice versa for all of them.

    The game takes a few bold steps in the inventory system. Or rather, the lack of one. You're restricted to one piece of armor: a single shoulder pauldron. You can't store any more, and you only switch out one weapon by dropping another. It's innovative, but perhaps in the wrong way. True, problems with inventory management are nonexistent when you have no inventory, but a lot of people probably think of managing all their items as a necessary evil, or even something not-unpleasant. Either way, a complete lack of a bag or knapsack was definitely not the best move.

    Storywise, the game isn't half-bad. It pokes fun at some fantasy-game conventions, much like inXile's much earlier title The Bard's Tale back in 2004, and overall has a nice narrative. It doesn't have nearly as much tongue-in-cheek humor, but it's still pretty solid. And once again you play the unlikely heroes who go from obsessing over profit to trying to save the world, spouting one-liners the entire time. Some of those zingers aren't half-bad, at least worth a smirk or smile. The collectibles add a bit of exposition and background that otherwise players wouldn't pick up on. Not without Colonel Sanders sitting in a room full of TVs and explaining how the Matrix works, anyway.

    Of course, about halfway through the story, you realize that you're playing a bloodier and more...provocative co-op version of the original Mario games. The princess is eternally in another castle, even though you see a total of two castles the entire game. And one of those is an ancient ruin, so it might not even count. While the story does flow from one "castle" to another, it doesn't change the fact that no one's really sure where the princess is. Peasants and noblemen alike usher you onward throughout the entire game to the next clueless soldier or royal.

    One good point is that the characters are fairly likeable. Again, most of their dialogue is just a quip followed by a retort that elicits a verbal counter, but those one-sentence speeches do give you a firm grasp on how and what the characters think about themselves and each other. There's a decided lack of any romantic feelings, and Caddoc might be in the closet with how he doesn't react to E'lara's typical female fantasy armor. But closet-residence aside, you generally get a good feel for the characters.

    When the ending credits roll with that subtle hint of another game, you'll probably find the game squarely in the middle of average. It's good enough not to be bad, but bland enough not to be great. The outside-the-box thinking certainly make the game stand out, but only from the other games that still have unopened preorder stickers on them.