Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: 5/31/2011
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Most action RPGs tend not to be too bad, but Hunted is probably one of the worst I have ever played. The game has an interesting story that falls flat due to poor storytelling and pacing. You play as a mercenary couple: The human Caddoc and the beautiful elf E’Lara. Caddoc is calm and reserved while E’Lara is all about rushing in and killing everything. The swapped stereotypes are nice, but the overall story goes nowhere until the very end. You get caught up in a mission to stop an evil man named Annuvin who is using a dangerous liquid called Sleg that can turn everything into evil. Along the way, the only other part of the story is trying to find a mayor’s daughter for a high reward. Not very interesting since the game is linear to a fault, and the gameplay is just yawn-worthy.
Throughout the game, there are points where you can swap between the two and they each play differently. Caddoc is all about melee and brute force while he has a crossbow that does minor damage. I felt the crossbow is completely useless since it does hardly any damage (even after you find a few upgrades) and is very slow to shoot and takes forever to reload. His melee attacks are best, but you just mash the attack button ad nauseam. If you block attacks with your shield you can charge a fury attack, but if you get hit once before it charges it depletes. What kind of thing is that? Every so often you will get supercharged and do extra damage, but I could never figure out how this happens exactly since it seems to be random.
E’Lara is all about using her bow and melee is just like Caddoc’s crossbow; useless. You can pick up different level weapons at three levels which are fast, medium, and slow, but she doesn’t have a fury meter. If either partner dies you can throw each other regeneration vials, but if you run out you’re dead for good. You can also use magic, but it’s clunky and doesn’t fit right because some magic uses your weapon then you have to switch to just magic which involves throwing stuff. The game is just very clunky and not very responsive and it makes a lot of battles a huge pain to get through.
Upgrading magic works, but it’s nothing special since there are only three different types and then two upgrades on top of that. You get upgrade crystals by finding them in containers or enemies will drop fragments. On top of this, you would think that being an RPG there would be side quests. Not really. You can find paths that lead to “rare” weapons, but these tend to be just as useless as the rest of the game and not worth anything. Hell, you can’t even spend the gold you pick up through the game. It just increases your score on the leaderboard. You can also find death stones on fallen enemies to hear their stories, but what’s the point? You’ll be too busy screaming at the clunky combat and falling asleep at the derivative gameplay.
Does the game at least look good? Not really. This is another game that uses Unreal Engine 3 that doesn’t use it to its full potential. The game looks average and for some reason has a lot of bugs and constant slowdown even on high-end systems. The voice acting for the characters is good, but since the game is so boring you won’t really care. Why should you play through this? The archery in the game is fun at first because at least that part is done well and is pretty quick and fun. Hell, just play to stare at how gorgeous E’Lara is if you want, or even Seraphin. Everyone else should just move on to better action RPGs.