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A Cooperative Dungeon Crawler - Hunted: The Demon's Forge Preview
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is a cooperative dungeon crawler that harks back to classic games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeon Master, and Bard’s Tale while still retaining a modern look and controls. Developer inXile has stated that Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is being designed in a manner so that it plays similarly to the tough-as-nails dungeon crawlers of the past where getting lost was just as much a part of the experience as battling and successfully clearing levels.
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Story and Characters
The game’s plot revolves around two characters named Caddoc and E’lara. These two protagonists are off treasure hunting when they stumble upon a strange stone. This relic allows them to talk to the dead and listen to their pleas. From here the story develops further as Caddoc and E’lara search for more ancient artifacts and try to unravel different mysteries put in front of them throughout the game.
Both characters are playable, and they are significantly different from one another in both attitude and fighting style which definitely plays a pivotal role when solving puzzles and taking on sidequests. Caddoc, the more calm of the two, uses melee weapons while battling. There are a number of large weapons that this warrior can equip throughout the adventure, and his specialization in close combat makes for a no-nonsense battle style. E’lara, on the other hand, is more hot-headed and rushes into battle. She uses a variety of long-range weapons, sticking primarily to bows.
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Combat and Cooperation
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge consists largely of simple combat and optional exploration. You and your partner (another human or the AI) cooperate on a single screen to take down waves of enemies, explore massive dungeons for special items, and solve puzzles. You can play on your own, but taking on the game’s campaign with another player is something that inXile is saying will really make the game stand out as an enthralling adventure. Because Caddoc and E’lara play differently from one another, checking out what both characters have to offer is strongly encouraged. You can switch between the two at checkpoints, and another player can jump in and join you at these checkpoints.
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Magic and Spells
Caddoc and E’lara have their own sets of spells that can be used in combat and puzzle-solving situations. The two characters can also use their special abilities to help one another. So if E’lara uses her ice bow to freeze an enemy or other obstruction, Caddoc will be able to bring one of his massive weapons into play and shatter whatever his female companion put on ice. By the same token, if Caddoc uses a levitation spell to lift an enemy into the air, E’lara can test her accuracy by shooting down the suspended foe.
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If you feel like doing a bit of exploration during your adventure, you can do just that. Hunted: The Demon’s Forge features a number of optional sidequests. You can trigger most of these side missions by using a death stone to communicate with the dead. These denizens of the afterlife give you different tasks such as locating hidden objects in certain areas or going on fetch quests for collectible items. While you don’t have to complete these sidequests, doing so usually reveals a bit more of the game’s plot and allows you to upgrade your characters’ stats and abilities.
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Hunted: The Demon's Forge Preview - Coming in May 2011
If you’re into dungeon crawlers like Dungeons & Dragons where getting lost in an expansive environment is commonplace, be sure to keep a lookout for Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. Bethesda and developer inXile currently have the cooperative game slated for a May 10, 2011 launch. You can expect it on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC when it releases early next year.