Forging its own brand of co-op fantasy action, Hunted: The Demon's Forge looks to entice players with its double team bow-and-bash combo.

Ambitiously charged inXile Entertainment puts their best foot forward, but unfortunately they fails to make a mark in was appropriately named “A Dungeon Crawl for the Gears Age” (Thanks Kotaku.) That one quote pretty much sums up 'The Demon's Forge.' Basically what we have here is another “Gears” influenced duck-and-cover co-op game that flows much like 'Gears of War,' minus the awesomeness. While we commend inXile for their efforts, no one is going to remember Hunted a few months from now while the onslaught on new products keep rolling out.

Awkwardly Reinventing
Based in a fantasy world, Hunted is an awkward take on the classic dungeon crawler formula with an obvious shooter influence. However, even with this clever idea behind the development, it never really pans out. The plan was put into action; create a couple of interesting characters for the players to engage, mix it up like a sword-and-bow shooter and send them on a mystical journey of excitement. Yet, the game never really "clicks" and Hunted ends up feeling as drab as its dreary world.

The character have their merits, and while they are a tad predictable, its nice to see their personalities slightly reversed with the barbaric hero (Caddoc) being the cautious player and the more fragile female role (E'lara) as the head-strong, act before thinking character. This is the good, although past the tattoos and clashing personalities, nothing else in the world has the same level of care. No matter how alluring the character design seemed, its just a mundane 'Lord of Rings' flavoured masher that becomes forgettable. Pushing forward Hunted gains a little momentum. However, most gamers won't make to this point.


Co-Op on the Mind
So what else is going for Hunted? Well, you would have to check off the bullet point of split-screen co-op. While InExile made a conscious effort to highlight this in the games core design, playing with another player might turn the serious overtones of the game into more of a joke; Hunted is easy to pick on if you're feeling cruel. Either with a friend or the A.I. acting as your chum, the gameplay works the same. You have to tell the A.I. What do in a limited capacity, but the same vibe is present. For a co-op game, the tactical side is almost forgotten as you can't command your friendly companion. Understandable tactics are not a big deal in fantasy action “shooters,” but it could have been with a little more enrichment. What Hunted focuses on is using specific magic skills in combat to make quick work of your adversaries. Using attacks like levitating then shooting them down is one idea that is just the beginning of team abilities that lead to greater bonuses when fighting as a team. A little motivation never hurt, and its clear that InExile wanted to highlight the co-op play as much as possible.

Picking up the Pieces
Upgrading your skills and equipment is another area that tries to pull Hunted in a more RPG category, even if it is clearly an action adventure. You can upgrade your skills via collectable 'Dragon Tears,' and change up your weapon when you find a new one on the battlefield. However, there is no inventory system, so you're basically swapping like you would do in when finding guns in a shooter. This goes hand-and-hand with the mana and health that you pick up, another feature that would have benefited from a inventory screen. Really, I'm not sure why InExile didn't embrace its obvious role-playing idealisms more rather than roaming down the uncertain plan of the fantasy shooter.

Continuing into the negative, the forge that spawned Hunted is dated. The production values are simply below the standard of the current crop of games. Visually Hunted is more like a first year Xbox 360 title, which isn't game-breaking, but we are are used to so much more. Like I stated above, the character designs are interesting compared to the rest of the game, but its nothing that you haven't seen before. Even our two star heroes are flips on thousands of characters before them. The voluptuous, nearly nude heroes paired with the tattooed muscle bound freak. Check em' off the generic pile. Again, its not horrible, but it is forgettable.


Lastly, a “create” mode has been added to accent the single player game. Selecting the Forge from the main menu you can create your own grid based map to fight different waves of enemies with various bonuses and characters. Depending on your love for 'Hunted' this will be a feature worth investing. Although, we didn't spend too much time here, it seems like a nice “extra” for those who want to shoot one more arrow at another wave of enemies.

In a pile of generic ideas, Hunted: The Demon's Forge descends into the darkness becoming instantaneously forgettable. Even flirting with some creative ideas, mainly the fantasy RPG shooter, Hunted never comes into a solid format beyond a linear hack-n-shoot. The only thing foreboding about this world is existing within it. So unless you're hard up for a budget fantasy edition of “Gears,” Hunted: the Demon's Forge is a skip, or at the very most, a quick weekend rental.

  • Split-screen Multiplayer
  • New spin for a “Fantasy” game
  • Somewhat interesting lead characters
  • Pushes cooperation between players
  • Rinse and repeat formula
  • The world just isn't overly interesting
  • Dodgy controls
  • Under performing production
  • RPG elements are too limiting
Quote: "In a pile of generic ideas, Hunted: The Demon's Forge descends into the darkness becoming instantaneously forgettable."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 06.07.11

Similar Games: Army of Two: The 40th Day (7.0) | Gears of War 2 (9.4)


The Demon's Forge



Action Adventure

US Release
May 2011


PS3, X360

Players 1-2
Co-op 2
HD 720-1080p
5.1 surround
D/L Content