inXile Entertainment, Brian Fargo’s California-based studio set up after he left Interplay (of original Fallout fame, among others), have yet to release a game on this generation of consoles. They did come relatively close in the form of Hei$t, however, before the crime caper was incacerated at the start of this year in HMP Cancellationville with no chance of parole. We don’t name our prisons as such where I’m from but, hey, I thought you’d appreciate the cultural reference.
So the jury’s out, maybe even a mite conflicted, with little to go on regarding the studio’s upcoming fantasy yarn Hunted: The Demon’s Forge other than the developer’s past crimes as reference. (Okay, we’ll stop with the prison metaphor now.) That said, as some of the old Interplay gang who had a hand in classics such as the aforementioned Fallout, Baldur’s Gate and Wasteland are now with Fargo at inXile, it’s fairly safe to assume the guys know a thing or fifty about how to make an adventure game. Not forgetting The Bard’s Tale, of course; inXile’s sardonic “for coin and cleavage” 2004 RPG. It may not have exactly stormed the charts, but it has its fans in far-off, weather-worn taverns.
In terms of plot, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is fairly formulaic. Soldiers-in-arms E’lara and Caddoc go in search of an artifact after Caddoc has a vision about it. So far, so by the numbers. One of the game’s standout traits, however, is how inXile are treating the title’s co-op feature as very much the cornerstone of the experience. Rejecting other games’ definition of co-op as simply “two people playing together,” Hunted’s dual player action is more nuanced than simply making up the numbers. In an interview with GameSpot, President Matt Findley explains: “We’re co-op in that all of our special skills and abilities are designed to make you work together.” Check out the actual interview below for a further insight into how collaboration works and more details about the game in general. Oh, and don’t laugh, I’ve participated in more awkward Q&As with designers than what’s on show here. No, I won’t reveal details.
We like fantasy games. We like co-op. We especially like women with tattoos on their legs and huge bows and arrows. Let’s see how this beast turns out in Q1 2011.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and will be published by Bethesda Softworks.