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Hunted: The Demon’s Forge Review

I love Bethesda, I’ll just get that out now.  What caused me to love Bethesda so much was “Fallout 3,” and now “Fallout New Vegas.”  I know a lot of people have had problems with “New Vegas,” but I have yet to have any problem so I am unable to comment on them.  Recently, Bethesda released “Brink,” which has had some negative press because of sub-par parkor over enemy A.I. that was not on on par with selected difficulty, and companion A.I. that has the IQ level of your average Larry the Cable Guy viewer.  Their response to that was a patch and free DLC, which is always good.

“Hunted: Demon’s Forge,” on the other hand, I really do not have love for.  Inxile Entertainment made Bethesda Softworks published “Hunted: The Demon’s Forge” should not have been released, just like “Brink” it wasn’t ready and here’s why.

The story seems forced and rushed.  After Caddoc awakens from a messed up dream, he and his partner E’lara meet Seraphine, who explains that Caddoc is destined for great things and sends them reluctantly on the journey of a lifetime through the awfully rendered world of Kala Moor.

Graphically “Hunted” looks as if it would have been on the PS2 or the original Xbox.  The characters are forgettable  even though they have the women heavy chested, and it still seems as if it’s just one notch above the original “Tomb Raider.”  The controls are easy to use but unresponsive.  To name just one instance of the unresponsiveness, early in the game during the prologue you have to run though this little section where pillars are collapsing around you, and as you run (holding down X on PS3) your directional movement is hindered, so you have to stop, readjust and hold down X again.  Aiming is ridiculous because it is near impossible to hit an enemy while they’re moving but they have dead on aim.

Co-op is just stupid.  On the Xbox 360 I am sure conversing with your partner is easy, but on the PS3 it’s just a hassle, and I blame Sony for their laziness when it comes to creating cross game chat.  To talk to your partner on the PS3 you have to:

1. Turn on the PS3.
2. Turn on your headset.
3. Load “Hunted.”
4. Click “Adventure” and then whichever version you want to play.

Now, after you have done all of this you need to make sure that your partner has done the same thing or it won’t work.  In an interview with “Gamesauce”, Inxile Entertainment’s President Matt Findley stated that “the game’s mechanics are mainly based on his team’s own experience playing co-op games and the resulting stream of ideas on how to improve the genre step by step.”  If Mr. Findley feels “Hunted” improved the co-op genre, then he needs to be fired.  The whole point of a co-op game is to work as a team and and support each other.  Yes in today’s gaming world finding people to work “cooperatively” to achieve a goal is going to be hard (just jump into a Capture the Flag session of “Call of Duty” and you’ll see what I mean), but the fact that they totally skimped on Voice Chat!?!

That’s just ridiculous.  So what you are saying is in this magnificent co-op game experience you created teammates are psychic?  We’re supposed to know what the other is thinking without speaking to each other.  Also, if we are a team why can’t we see each other’s health bar?  It would be helpful to know when they need backup.

All in all, if you really need something to play then go do another play through of one of your other games, but if it’s necessary to play something new just play single player and don’t even bother with co-op.  It’s a waste of your time.

Final Verdict for Hunted – The Demon’s Forge:

2 out of 5