Every now and then we take a look at a non-MMO here at MMORPG.com. While some readers don’t like this type of coverage, when we find a good RPG game that really makes us take a second look we give it some coverage. Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is that type of game. A co-op RPG with two characters acting as mercenaries undertaking a wild quest against dark forces, the game has a lot of fun elements for RPG fans and jumps right into the dark fantasy genre.
Hunted has a great combat interface. The game moved quickly, something we would expect from a console title, but had a real strong point when switching between the characters skills. E’lara is the ranged class using bows and magic, yet she can still switch to melee mode with a short sword and shield. The options given to each character allow you to spec skill in a way that best suits your game play. Overall though E’lara is the ranged class and drops opponents with a bow very quickly. The shooting interface is easy to master.
Caddoc is the melee master, smashing through opponents with sword and shield. He also gets the ability t o use magic and works as more of the tank on the team. Caddoc had some great fight moves when taking down skeletons that we saw in the demo. His fast paced, hack and slash approach to the game was great for actionc ombat. Caddoc also can throw spells at opponents, but does much better with his sword. One thing that was great to see was how E’lara’s lightening attacks could be cast at Caddoc to boost his melee effectiveness. Once struck by lightening his next attack would blast opponents with blue flashes of electricity. Seeing both characters be able to use buffs on each other while moving through the fast paced combat was fun to watch.
More and more fantasy games are getting away from the epic style story lines. With Dragon Age giving the character a more neutral role, Grey Wardens, we are seeing a strong trend towards darker fantasy settings. Still with a large amount of anime influence in games, there are plenty of bright and happy fantasy lands to run around in. Hunted sets the world in dark fantasy with a Robert E. Howard influence. Not only are the two main character mercenaries, they are also ruthless killers and wear the hero role very lightly. This type of fantasy especially in RPGs always gives the player more choices in terms of what a character would do. You are not forced to play the D&D paladin during every encounter.
The demo at E3 we saw had the pair fighting a group of skeletons in some old ruins. As mentioned the game combat moves fast and if you do not have another person to do the co-op play with, you can always run it single player and switch between the two characters depending on who you like to play more. The controls worked well and targeting was easy to get a handle on. FPS players will have no problems mastering the bow. Melee works well too and gives you some great combo moves to pull off when dropping opponents to the dust.
Hunted is by no means an MMO. It is however an Action-RPG and one that we felt was worth looking at. Apparently Bethesda did as well because the game will be published by them. Since their other fantasy IP, Elder Scrolls, has been quiet for some time it looks like this game will be first on the map for Bethesda’s return to fantasy after Fallout 3. Hunted looked fun and had a great dark story to go with it. The co-op play between the characters may even turn your spouse onto gaming with you and you could technically play as a couple. Even though it does not cross into MMOs, Hunted the RPG sets a great basis for a dark world with high speed combat. Perhaps one day it will be an IP that we see turning into an MMO down the line. Thanks to the team at Bethesda who allowed us to check out the game and for any fans out there that are looking to take a break from the online grind, check out Hunted: The Demon’s Forge.