Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

inXile's Hunted, a next-gen return to the dungeon crawler

1:00 PM on 03.16.2010 // Nick Chester

"What would it be like to take the classic dungeon crawl and bring it today's technology? That kind of classic gameplay, that immersion of the 'creeping around a dungeon' experience?"

That's the question asked by inXile Entertainment's Bryan Fargo, who founded the company back in 2002, following a long history as CEO of Interplay. About two years ago, Fargo and the team at inXile came up with its answer -- Hunted: The Demon's Forge, a cooperative third-person action title set in a dark fantasy world.

To publish the game, inXile teamed up with Bethesda Softworks, which Fargo sees as the perfect fit.

"Of all the publishers, they remind me most of Interplay in a way," he says. "They're a very focused company, they do great quality stuff, and they only behind a few things each year. So it's kind of perfect for the kind of blood and sweat that we're putting behind this."

inXile and Bethesda showed off the results of the blood and sweat at GDC last week, giving us a first look at Hunted in action. Hit the jump for the first details and impressions.

Hunted's tale begins with the corruption of the dark ages, with appalling creatures known as the Wargar terrorizing and kidnapping townsfolk across the lands of Kala Moor. With promises of riches at the end of their journey, mercenaries E'lara and Caddoc head out to uncover the truth behind the rise of the Wargar.

That's the setup for Hunted, ripped from the pages of a classic fantasy tales of old. So I was a bit taken aback when I was immediately reminded of Epic's Gears of War when inXile fired up a demo of build of the game for us in a behind-closed-doors first-look meeting. That "look" is familiar -- the game uses the popular Unreal Engine 3.0, which inXile says was "perfect" for what it wanted to do.

"We could spend all of our energy on the graphical fidelity of the project and the design, without having to fight with what the engine can and can't do," he Fargo.



So the game looks great in action, with all of the visual "bells and whistles" updates inXile had hoped to bring to the genre. But there are other similarities, particularly when it comes to one of the game's focuses -- action. Hunted even features a Gears of War-inspired run-and-cover mechanic; E'lara and Caddoc hide and duck behind stone, peeking out to fire arrows at incoming enemies.

But really, that's where the major similarities end, as inXile worked hard to make the game a truly cooperative experience using familiar dungeon crawler elements. While both characters have similar core abilities -- ranged, melee, and magic -- its their strengths that set them apart from one another, forcing players to work together. E'lara excels in ranged attacks with her bow; Caddoc is more proficient with melee attacks.

This encourages players to truly collaborate, while not keeping them attached at the hip in the game's sprawling spaces. inXile points to this, and calls it "co-op at a distance."

"We look at a lot of co-op games that were out there," says the game's director, Michaal "Maxx" Kaufman, "and we found that they did a lot of tethering of the players. We took a different approach; we wanted to spread the players out, use the environment, use the world. So the spells and skills that we created are based on these ideas."



In the example area we're shown, E'lara casts a spell called "Frost Arrow" which freezes an enemy from a distance. Up close to the action, Kaddoc comes in for the kill, using a melee attack to smash the enemy to bits. In a later example, Kaddoc uses a levitate spell that raises enemies within his radius in the air, while E'lara takes them out with arrows from afar.

This idea of co-op at a distance is also applied to reviving a downed partner. Each player can hold up to three tonics which can be used to ressucitate a fallen comrade from near or from far. Sure, you'll be able to walk up to them and revive them as you would in other third-person cooperative action games. But in Hunted you''ll also be able to toss them a tonic from a distance; if you can them, you can revive them.

inXile says that the gameplay experience will feel drastically different when using either E'lara or Caddoc, and have tapped 80s body-swapping flick Trading Places for an interesting in-game player-swapping mechanic. At any checkpoint in the game, players can quickly trade the characters they're playing as. Using this, you'll be able to experience the game from both angles, taking advance of melee and ranged combat, as well as each characters' specific magic skills.

Hunted's not entirely about combat, however. inXile says that exploration and puzzles are also a big part of the experience, as well. You'll be able to find new weapons and items hidden throughout the world, and will be faced with puzzles to unearth some of the more rare items. inXile says the puzzle difficulty will vary -- 40 percent easy, 40 percent chellenging, and 20 percent for only the super hardcore players.



The puzzle we saw was dead simple -- a talking wall with one flaming eye bellowed "Stand before me and fill me with the fire of your courage." E'lara pulled a flaming bow from her pack, firing the shot into the empty eye, opening up a new path to explore.

Hunted can be played both online with a friend, or offline solo. No, there will be no split-screen mode included in the game, so don't expect to be dungeon crawling with your buddy or significant other on the couch. According to inXile, split-screen would have meant making compromises to the game's graphical fidelity, which the developer felt was out of the question.

inXile looks to appeal to two camps with Hunted -- fans of the old school dungeon crawler and fans of modern action titles. It straddles a fine line between the two, that could appeal to both crowds, but potentially alienate both. Based on the hands-off demo, Hunted does look heavier on the action than the exploration. But inXile promises a nice mix, and with its dungeon crawler pedigree, it's likely it'll hold up its end of the bargain.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge is scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.



Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ Destructoid.com nick at destructoid.com  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
It may be because I've been drinking but... We need some dung beetles from ark for the front page. Move that dung on out.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Does anyone know how to get PS4 screenshots onto a PC without needing a flash drive? I don't have a spare.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
This is an example of how bad my drawings are. I honestly think drawing stick figures would've been easier on the eyes. :( The worst thing about this image is that this was made after I got BETTER. Trust me, you don't want to see my earlier stuff. T^T
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
So I received a mysterious box in the mail today. When I opened it I was blown away...The friends I've made here on Destructoid are amazing (More pics in the comments).
Parismio avatarParismio
FRISK PACIFIES YOUR FACE!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Woe is me. This month's Cblog theme is basically an excuse to draw pretty girls, and here I am with no time.
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe one day I'll reach bronze rank in Rocket League...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
A very Bloodborne-y moment.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -