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E3 2010 games to watch: Hunted: The Demon's Forge preview

E3 is barely a week away, and we're building upon our list of games we want to see more of at the preeminent gaming expo.In the secondpart of our twice-weekly E3previews, this time we're looking at a game that might have you saying "Huwha? What the hell is Hunted: The Demon's Forge?" Well, let us tell you!

Above: These two badasses will grow to depend on each other, and possibly hate each other

Why Hunted: The Demon's Forge is one to watch:

  • It's a kind of medieval co-op cover-shooter/hack-and-slasher, developed by InXile Entertainment (The Bard's Tale, the sadly canceled HEI$T), and published by Bethesda, ofOblivion fame.
  • Instead of just going for a generic "Warrior A" and "Warrior B" two-player co-op approach, Hunted carves out personalities for its two main characters. Outwardly girlyE'lara the elf is actuallybrash and belligerent. Her huge man-tankCaddoc sort of tags along while rolling his eyes at her macho antics.
  • If you want to play it like a shooter, go for E'lara and her bow. If you want hack-and-slash melee combat, pick Caddoc. Don't like your choice? You can swap characters at every checkpoint.

Above: Melee and ranged attacks can be augmented with magic, which sounds like standard stuff, until you consider all the ways two players can buff each other

  • Being a fantasy setting, it still has RPG roots, with upgrading skills and abilities, but since it aims for more fast-paced advancement, you won't have to farm fifty boars to level up.
  • Since arenas tend to get huge and the two characters are focused on differently ranged tactics, you'll be able to help each other out over long distances, like lobbing revive potions on a distant fallen friend.
  • While the game is co-op focused, you can still play it with an AI partner.In an attempt to be unobtrusive, the AIwill wait for you to act before telling you what to do or trying to help you. If you want to play solo sometimes and co-op sometimes, you can bring your character to a friend's game, or play as their characters. Regardless of how you play,you%26rsquo;ll be rewarded with Crystals (skill points), and your character%26rsquo;s progression will continue how you want.

Will Hunted prove to be more than just Gears of War plus Lord of the Rings? Will playing it alone with potentially dumb AI ruin the experience? Are you excited to try out some gory co-op slashing/shooting hybrid action? Let us know in the comments or through our portals on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun5, 2010

My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.