Many games which see release try to push their genre forward by breaking the mold in some way. Most of these experiments don’t pan out, and such is the case with Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, although it isn’t a complete failure. On the drawing board, this game shows tremendous promise, but with numerous technical issues and design flaws, it is hard to get excited about this third-person fantasy brawler.
In Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, players have the choice of playing as one of two stereotypical fantasy characters. There is the axe-wielding warrior Caddoc or the bow-savvy hunter E’lara. Both characters are rather generic, and both look and play like they’ve been plucked from any given fantasy movie of the past thirty years. The story goes something like this: Caddoc has a dream which involves a large cache of treasure and a demon who protects it. He tells E’lara about it and they go on a quest to find it. The rest of the story revolves around their quest to find the treasure, and everything that happens to them along the way.
At first glance, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge looks great. The graphics are crisp, and despite the fact that the world is mostly shades of black or brown, the detail is impressive. The character models are nicely designed and all the magic effects are visually appealing. There are sound hack-and-slash mechanics in this game – aiming works well, and attacks are easy and quick to pull off. Both players have ranged and close-quarters weapons, allowing either player to assume the role they wish to play. Whether you are Caddoc or E’lara, the ultimate decision on how you want to play the game rests with you, and you can switch back and forth without penalty. The magic system is also interesting and works best in cooperative mode. The magic from one player seems to play into the other player’s strengths as long as one is ranged and the other is melee, allowing for extra damage and added fun. The game’s artifical intelligence is good, so even if you play the game alone, you don’t have to worry about a weak computer-controlled character.
So on the surface, this game looks great. However, looks can be deceiving. Hunted: The Demon’s Forge falls apart in the details. It isn’t until you try to swap weapons that you realize it isn’t as easy as it should be. Then you find yourself surrounded by monsters, and once they start a combo against you, you are as good as dead. You could forgive the easy deaths as long as you could rely on your partner to help keep the monsters off you. Unfortunately, there are some issues with the game’s co-op system. This game is marketed as a co-op adventure, but there are key elements to a good co-op game that just aren’t there. In the Playstation 3 version, if either player fails to turn on their microphone before the game starts, you will not have the ability to talk to one another. Any experienced co-op player knows that if you can’t talk to one another, it takes the fun out of a co-op game. The problems are not limited to the co-op system. As mentioned earlier, the game’s color palette is muted and
dark. It doesn’t look bad, but it would have been more appealing if there were more colors involved. The worst problem of all is the glitches. If you play for any amount of time, you will encounter one of the game’s numerous glitches. Whether you suddenly fall through the floor or your character model gets distorted, you’ll seem them all at one point or another. It’s all the little things that bring this game down.
Despite all that has been said, this game does have some high highs and some low lows. It is difficult to recommend this game right off the bat, but if you are one of those gamers who is very forgiving, you may find enough merit to give this game a shot and might even enjoy playing it. However, for most gamers, we would recommend giving this game a pass. Few games offer Hunted: The Demon’s Forge‘s combination of genres, but there are certainly better games that will give you a more satisfying experience.
[xrr rating=3/10, max_stars=10]
This review is based on a retail version of the Playstation 3 of Hunted: The Demon’s Forge by Bethesda.