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Serenius

Hunted: The Demon's Forge (releases today - 5/31)

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This one didn't get a lot of marketing attention, but was my personal best of show from QuakeCon last year. Looks like a cross of God of War and Gears of War with a dark medieval setting.

Love the art style of this game, especially the color palette selection in the media releases they've done so far.

For the console haters, it's available on PC as well. Going to pick up my copy today! :quagmire:

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It does interest me being a game that's specifically designed to be played all the way through cooperatively, to the point where it's apparently a bit shit without a friend. Gives me and the girl a chance to play something together so will most likely grab it. :cool:

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Alright, so I spent about 3 hours with this game tonight, and here are my initial impressions.

Keep in mind I started the game on the highest initial available difficulty (there's an unlockable harder difficulty), and I've spent most of the game playing as the melee fighter, Craddoc.

Gameplay:

1) Melee combat is very God of War-ish. You have light and heavy attacks, and can block with a shield (that eventually breaks). I don't recommend this style of play unless you have some kind of dual analog stick game controller (I have a wired 360 one). Melee combat with the mouse and keyboard feels really wonky, but melee combat with a gamepad feels natural.

2) Ranged combat (playing as the female Elf) is very Gears of War-ish. It's not quite as polished and smooth as Gears' game play, but it's a step up from Mass Effect 1 or 2. I didn't experiment with this mode of play much yet, but since you can switch characters at several points per level, I'm sure I'll try it out more later.

3) Overall, the game play is very fun. It's not quite up to par with either God of War or Gears of War, but certainly better than a number of other similar titles out there to either archetype.

Presentation:

1) I love the art style and how they actually do get the "dark fantasy" feel right (whereas Dragon Age just uses fantasy and calls it dark). The color palette generally strays from your standard orange/blue or red/teal lighting schemes, so you're in for some pretty unique visuals here.

2) Graphics and sound quality are very inconsistent. The intro area looks horrible (noisy textures galore), but the graphics quickly improve as you move into the meat of the campaign. You can tell there's good design work behind the visuals at a high level, but on close inspection, it's obvious they don't have the best artists in the industry. I'm ok with this though! Only major gripe I have here is that there are a lot of times when it's just too goddamn dark to see!

3) Story seems a little average at a high level, but the banter between the two characters has been good enough to keep me chuckling regularly. They put a nice twist on what could have been stereotypical character design by making the brutish guy the cool-headed thinker, and the elf female archer the brash, impatient fool.

4) No major issues with enemy or ally AI thus far. Both characters seem to behave properly when playing solo. No real issues with enemy AI outside of one spawning area that bad dudes where getting stuck on.

5) Music is above average, but hasn't jumped out and grabbed me by the ears yet. It's good enough to not notice as a detriment.

I have yet to play coop, but the game seems pretty well-designed for a true cooperative system where you are reliant on each character's abilities from what I've experienced in solo play so far.

Haven't tried playing with the built-in dungeon editor yet, but I can tell there will be a big investment of campaign play to unlock everything and really dig into it.

tl;dr - So far I'm really liking it. :)

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Alright, about 6 hours in and I just completed a massive, 4 hour dungeon crawl. I haven't been that satisfied with exploring the depths beneath the surface since the Deep Roads in Dragon Age Origins (good thing!).

I was rewarded with this outdoor area, sporting a rather scenic view. Yes, the graphic quality of the game seems to get better the further along you get.

Also, I haven't had this much difficulty in putting a game down and going to bed since God of War 3. You know a game is fucking fun when your wife has to remind you to go take a smoke break. :cool:

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I rented the PS3 version tonight, and wasn't impressed :( The level design was bland, the colors are washed out and the lighting of the levels look like the designers were only allowed to use a 5 lights. The combat felt like Gears of War, go into cover, shoot with arrow, do some hacking, repeat. The game behind the scenes made the game sound so epic, and innovative that it got me all excited to try this out.

It's really easy to spot the movers for the scripting, because they are unlit and stick out of the world like a sore thumb. Gameplay got a little dry, I played it for a good 2 hours before ejecting the dvd and putting it back in the case. I definitely enjoy RPG dungeon crawlers, I just think this one could use a little more polish time in the gameplay mechanic, do something new. Sounds like the PC version is much better :)

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Unfortunately the game doesn't really hit its stride until about 3-4 hours in. It's like they put the majority of effort into the middle and the beginning was a little lackluster. Too bad for the devs since most people won't give it enough time to really shine.

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