Not Alone, Not Together
Do not play Hunted: The Demonís Forge alone. That sounds ominous, like a tagline to some low-budget horror film: ďThe one film you should not see alone.Ē But there is nothing really horrifying about Hunted. Nothing, that is, except the connection issues that plague the PC versionís online co-op.
No matter what we tried, a friend and I couldnít play together via the internet. He couldnít connect to me, nor I to him. We ended up downloading a third-party program to emulate a LAN connection between us, despite being a thousand miles apart.
How does a game, especially a game such as this, which is meant to be played with another human being, ship with such a problem? Is it really so hard to test for and iron out connection bugs? Maybe they are placed there intentionally. It is like a game: troubleshooting errors, trying to find workarounds. And there is a sense of satisfaction at finally getting the thing to work. Itís almost like solving a puzzle. Yes, maybe these kinds of bugs are intentionally placed to augment and extend the game itself.
But of course, that sense of satisfaction is diminished when your reward Ė the game you already paid for Ė is derivative and repetitive.
Which brings us back to my initial point: Do not play Hunted alone. Alone, it is derivative and repetitive. With a friend, itís still those things, but you may not notice it as much.
Put Some Clothes On
You follow Caddoc, who is all neck and shoulders and biceps with a shiny head, and Eílara: voluptuous in some places, toned in others. We know Eílara is voluptuous and toned because she apparently enjoys showing off her body to demons and skeletons and giant spiders before killing them. I mean, are a few thin leather straps and thigh-high boots the best possible adventuring gear?
Duke Nukem Forever was, and still is, heavily criticized for being sexist, for harmfully depicting women as big-breasted, scantily clad playthings. But really, itís all satire. Itís a commentary on hyper-masculinity, misogyny, Ď80s action movies, and of course, videogames. (At least thatís what it should have been. But I suppose here is not the place to discuss whether it really is what it should have been.)
Hunted contains big-breasted, scantily clad women in complete seriousness, without a hint of irony. It is the sort of thing that we should be criticizing and Duke should be poking fun of. Instead, Duke is criticized and Hunted gets a free pass, which seems very silly to me. Halfway through the game, I wanted to give Eílara sweatpants and a hoodie. Maybe even a pair of tennis shoes. She just looked silly.
E'lara and Caddoc are full of wit.
Uninspired, repetitive combat; co-op on PC is completely broken.