The lights are on
As the deluge of Bethesda content pushed live this morning indicates,
the creative powerhouse recently held an event to showcase a handful of
upcoming games. Among them was one I’ve been eyeing down for some time,
the dark fantasy action title Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. Despite the
obvious effort going into the game, it seems to be approaching release
with surprising stealth, which made me even more eager to get my hands
Amidst the hubbub of the event, I had a brief chance to chat with
David Clayman, associate brand manager for Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. In
our time we discussed what makes Hunted a genuine cooperative
experience, and touched on an intriguing new game mechanic.
“The important part about Hunted is that it was conceived as co-op
from the very beginning,” began Clayman, “so it isn’t co-op in that you
are only playing with someone to defeat a difficult enemy. Every part of
the game was created with co-op in mind. Caddoc and E'lara both have
their strengths and they play to each other. And there is the co-op at a
distance where you can throw revival vials, and the magic system can
get very intense. It isn’t just an offensive weapon. You can choose to
buff your partner and use mana to help your partner out.”
Clayman went on to describe one such scenario, where both characters
would buff each other, resulting in a mutual battle charge. When
performed on the battlefield, the pair creates a tripwire of death that
will kill everything between them as they gain ground. This is
considered a particularly advance co-op move.
“All of the skills were designed with co-op in mind,” Clayman
continued. “Caddoc has this one skill where he will lift enemies up on
the air and he will drop them, and it will do damage. But what he is
really doing is lifting them up as targets for E’lara. E’lara has a
freeze arrow she can advance, and it’s great because you can shoot the
freeze arrow and it will do damage. But what she is really doing is
giving Caddoc a chance to close the gap and charge enemies, because he
is better at dashing in at close range. There isn’t anything you can’t
do alone, but if you want to be very successful, you need to work with
Clayman also dropped a new detail about a substance called Sleg,
which was described as liquid mercury that makes you near invincible.
Sleg has been used in the world of Hunted to deform enemies and enslave
innocents, but both Caddoc and E’lara can use it to augment their
abilities in difficult sections of the game. Clayman posed a question –
will you truly work with your partner to best difficult scenarios, or
will you take the easy way out? Evidently yielding to Sleg’s siren call
will have far reaching consequences in the game.
In addition to speaking to Clayman, I was provided a chance to get my
hands on Hunted in an hour long play session, partnered up with a
fellow member of the press. Neither of us had extensive time with the
title before then, however, and our novice experience was evident
immediately. I personally found the controls quite unintuitive,
particularly when swapping between the three assorted weapons and spells
unique to each character.
While the two of us began to adapt after twenty or so minutes,
without the proper time to master each character’s moves (we swapped
protagonists just as each were getting the hang of our hero) neither of
us had the opportunity to engage in meaningful cooperative play. It was
easy enough to revive each other from a distance when downed by a tough
boss, but the aforementioned and impressive sounding spells eluded us
for the time being. Hopefully my next hands on session will be
significantly longer, and provide a true feel for the cooperative nature
of the game.
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