Four warriors on an epic and mighty quest. Four Warriors once wronged by a desperate King who committed seven deadly sorrows. Four warriors freed to put right what once went wrong. Four warriors to redeem the King, save his soul, and the entire world. And four warriors to hack and slash and mash their way through hundreds of thousands of enemies. Again. And again. And over and over again. Hang on, we know just the boys you're looking for...
Yep, Gauntlet's story might have had a bit of spit and polish over the years but despite it being released in the 21st century, gameplay is firmly stuck in the last millennium.
This is a no-nonsense button-hammering actioner of a game with no night-vision or bullet time. You'll top up your health with roast dinners, pick up gold out of chests and hammer the face buttons until your thumbs bleed. That is all. The cynical out there might say it's utterly derivative stuff. And they'd be right.
Each level forms broadly the same pattern. Despite the changing (and pretty) environments, you basically follow a linear path, smacking anything that gets in your way, destroying a few teleporters, finding the key that unlocks the next door and then repeating until the end of the section or until you've fought a boss. End of level? Level up and buy a few combos. Repeat until, well, forever.
Yet there's something strangely hypnotic about it. Especially when you've got up to three of your mates dishing it out too. Hammering your way through legions of baddies, trying to pick up the biggest combo and racing for the extra life and Gold is golden retrogaming at its most glorious.
Sure, you'll find yourself actually drifting off and playing on automatic after a while, but we found ourselves compelled to just keep mashing on all the same. Just the next door, just the next section. Whether that'll last for the length of the game remains to be seen...