GamesCom: Hunted: The Demon's Forge Preview

By Lee on September 7, 2010, 1:24PM EDT

Amongst the chaos-filled lunacy of a video game trade fair, some titles fail to make an impact. Be it due to a lacklustre presentation, an uninspiring demo or merely just being "fine," occasionally games fall down the back of your mental couch. Hunted: The Demon's Forge is one such game.

A co-op based, fantasy themed action adventure, Hunted puts you in control of either an elfin female archer, or a big burly brute of a warrior. Unsurprisingly, the female archer is a little quicker, a little lighter and better at range, while the warrior chap is better at getting up nice and close and bopping enemies over the head with his big phallic sword.

To mix things up a little, you are not confined to one character during the course of your playthrough. Special orby things placed at specific points in the environment allow you to swap characters, a bit like Freaky Friday. Except with more skeleton armies and less Lindsey Lohan.

In case you hadn't already guessed, Hunted is full of he usual fantasy tropes. There's orcs and elves and distant mystical lands with talking doors and shrieking demons. Taking place in a murky, greeny environment of stone walls and dark woods - it's all a bit generic.

So off you trot together, in search of... something. To be honest, I can't really remember what it was. But it wasn't very exciting. Perhaps it's poor form to knock a game for a barely recollected storyline. I couldn't argue against that. But I tell you one thing - I remember every detail of the four minute BioShock Infinite footage I was shown. What does that tell you?

It tells you that Hunted: The Demon's Forge was a little uninspired. There are magic powers that attempt to liven things up a touch, like the freeze ability the semi-naked archer lady can pick up for her arrows. It was quite fun picking enemies off from a distance and encasing them in ice for my playing partner to smash into tinkling pieces, but that was it really.

Conversely, one of the lumpy bloke's magic powers was the ability to lift opponents into the air, allowing the archer free shots. To give a little credit to Hunted, the co-op isn't just an afterthought, a trendy inclusion to a current vogue. It's built in to the very fabric of the game.

Elsewhere, there are some ultra-light puzzles as a diversion from the button mashing/arrow-flinging combat. We played a little side-mission where a ghost told us to collect its bones that were scattered around the environment. We'd did it, barely thinking, in just a few short minutes.

Hunted sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of Bethesda's upcoming titles in being surprisingly light and throwaway. That's not to say that the snippet we saw didn't work, it was fine. But it lacks the heft of the likes of Brink or Rage, that truly creative spark that gets your blood flowing.

Which is why we hope there is plenty more to be revealed about Hunted: The Demon's Forge, some hidden quality that failed to reveal itself. Because, right now, we're decidedly unmoved.

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