Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hunted: The Demon's Forge

 Hunted: The Demon's Forge Review

Kid Safe: Low (3.0 / 10)                           Game Quality: Moderate (6.5 / 10)

Genre: Action/Adventure Role-Playing Game
-          As an Action/Adventure title, players will adventure and fight their way through the world while also finding alternate means of completing their tasks including battles, negotiation, and puzzle solving. Likewise, as a role-playing game, players will are able to create and develop their own unique character based on the decisions they make.

Internet Requirements: Low
-          Hunted: The Demon's Forge features a low amount of internet requirements that is exclusively build around "cooperative" gameplay. What this means is that players are able to connect to each other via the internet in order to help each other play through the game's story.

Story Summary: In Hunted: The Demon's Forge, you take the role of E'Lara, an Elven Hunteress
                              with akeen eye and well-taut Bow, and Caddoc, a brutal and vicious barbarian
                              warrior who lets his sword do the talking. Following a recurring vision that Caddoc
                              has been experiencing, the two mercenaries set off in search of an answer to his
                             dreams. Everything comes together when they meet a magical young woman who
                             leads them on their quest to find a mysterious artifact that will not only help her, but
                             grant them incredible wealth and power.

Kid Safe: Low (3.0 / 10.0)
-          Foul Language: Low
o   Hunted: The Demon's Forge contains a relatively low amount of foul language in the form of the following words: "d*mn" and "h*ll". These words tend to occur rather infrequently and can normally be heard in dialogue between the characters. They are not overly prompted by overt anger or emotion.

-          Violence and Gore: Very High
o   Hunted: The Demon's Forge features a high amount of violence and gore. To start off, players will be controlling two human characters that are encourage to fight and kill a number of different monstrous and humanoid beasts that include demons, skeletons, dragons, arachnids and more. Players will use a variety of weaponry including swords, axes, clubs, torches, bows, crossbows, ballistae, magical spells, and more. Players become covered with blood and gore as they fight.

o   When fighting against an enemy, the screen will occasionally shake to denote a particularly powerful hit. Enemies will, given they have blood, lightly spray viscera when they are hit by sword or bow attacks. Players are also able to complete headshots in which the enemy's head will explode and spray gore in all directions. Likewise, players are able to perform "special attacks", which focus on particularly brutal ways of killing an enemy. E'Lara will fire an arrow which the camera follows until it embeds itself in an enemy's head. Caddoc will viciously knock down an enemy and embed his weapon in their skull.

o   Aside from what players will see while fighting, the game also features several scenes of violence and gore in the game's cutscenes and environments. Players will regularly discover killed or mutilated bodies lying around. Likewise, they will also find a number of people who have been strung up as prisoners or who are mourning the loss of a loved one. On top of this, players will witness the deaths of different characters including where a man is pushed through a window, attacked by a monster, and has his heart ripped clean out of his chest before the monster presents it and then runs away. Other examples include a civilian who, when trying to escape the creatures, has a sword run completely through him so that it is visibly sticking out of his chest.
-          Sexually-Related Content: Low
o   Hunted: The Demon's Forge features a low amount of sexually-related content which consists of a number of female characters wearing exceptionally revealing outfits that show an ample amount of breast cleavage and/or buttocks.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: None
o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, Hunted: The Demon's Forge does not contain any instance of drug or alcohol usage.

Game Quality: Moderate (6.5 / 10)
-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate
o   Hunted: The Demon's Forge features a really mixed bag when it comes to graphics and visuals. While it is certainly not bad, it does not have any real visual strengths. To start off, the game is generally very drab in appearance and has an relatively dark color hue that contributes little more than frustration when it comes to trying to navigate a number of the almost-lightless dungeons that players will be exploring. While the textures for things like stone and wood the dungeons tend to be decent, there is nothing that really stands out.

o   The character animations are equally lackluster. Hunted uses a slightly dated system to design their characters which results in many of the characters have a very unimpressive appearance. Strange facial expressions, choppy or distorted body movements, and the problem of some characters not even being fully animated all detracts from an enjoyably immersive gameplay experience. Likewise, a lack of overly interesting enemies as well as the occasional graphical glitch or visual malfunction further detract from the player experience.
-          Audio: Moderate
o   Much like the game's visuals, Hunted: The Demon's Forge features a moderate level of quality in terms of audio. The game does not boast any particularly ground-breaking strengths or extreme weaknesses. Starting with the voice acting, the actors are decent but do little to add any real weight to the performance. While the occasional back and forth banter, cracking jokes and making quips, tends to be amusing, the characters feel rather soulless and the lines of dialogue that are spoken simply don't provide any emotional weight to be worth anything. The music is very similar in this aspect. When there IS any music, it is generally enjoyable and well-done, but the soundtrack for this title is nearly non-existent and therefore what bonus is could add to the gameplay just isn't there.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High
o   Luckily, Hunted: The Demon's Forge actually features a relatively high level of gameplay and playability. As always, starting with playability, the game caters relatively well to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. This title uses a relatively standard control scheme that many players, especially those that have played Gears of War, Unreal Tournament, and Uncharted, will be familiar with. For those that haven't gotten a chance to sample the controls before, the game slowly and casually introduces them to the player as they travel through a relatively safe environment. The player's first introductions into puzzles, combat, and special events are all done easily and with full instructions.

o   The gameplay is of an equally high quality. Players will not only be able to explore the fully fleshed out story of E'Lara and Caddoc as they search for the answer to Caddoc's vision, but they will also be able to discover and explore a number of completely unrelated dungeons and areas that will grant them extra powers, magical weapons of incredible strength, and richest beyond their wildest dreams. Not limiting the players simply to fighting, they will also be able to solve a number of puzzles, rescue civilians who have been captured from their plight, interact with the dead, use siege weapons, and more.
-          Dollar-Value: Moderate
o   Overall, Hunted: The Demon's Forge has a moderate dollar-value. While the game boasts somewhere between 8 to 11 hours of gameplay, there is very little reason to play through it again. Having only a cooperative mode that will allow two players to play through the story together, there isn't any real multiplayer function to fall back on nor is there any way to influence the story enough that a player will be tempted to play through it again. This title can be generally enjoyable despite the slightly lackluster audio and visual quality, but offers little in the way of replayability.

-          First, if you are looking for a less adult-rated title, we would recommend Arcana Gothic 4. However, if you are ok with mature-rated content, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Sacred 2, Witcher 2, and Dragon Age 2 would all be excellent choices.

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