Any gamer who can remember the classic arcade era of the 80s and early 90s has no doubt popped a few quarters into Gauntlet or one of its sequels. The four player, top down game by Atari mixed humor and action as players worked their way through various levels battling all sorts of creatures as they attempted to locate keys, treasure, food, and the all-important exit.
During my coverage at E3 2014, I was invited to have a hands on session with the latest version of the game which is coming this fall from Warner Bros. Interactive.
Sitting on the comfy couch and playing with an Xbox One controller on a PC, the game has a look and tone that will be familiar with fans of the series. The gang is still all there, Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard, and Elf and once again players crawl through all sorts of nasty dungeons to fight evil and collect treasure.
I usually play as a Warrior or Valkyrie as my gameplay style is more of a hack and slash than a ranged weapons person. That being said I played as the Wizard this time out and had a series of attacks based on the color of my gamepad keys. Yellow for lightening as an example, I could press multiple buttons for a powered attack which would do some real damage.
The graphics were solid and the game moved very well. Enemies circled and swarmed rather than rushing at us in a single file line and the levels had their share of traps such as floor spikes and fire as well as exploding barrels which we had to avoid or carry. The Wizard did not have the health of the others so it was necessary for me to stay back and shoot enemies from a distance in order to be the most effective.
The levels reminded me of the Diablo series as you have plenty of nooks and crannies in the dungeon in which to explore and be killed. A range of combat options were present and the blood does fly when you lay into an enemy just right.
My group and I did well up until the final battle of our level as we were caught in a close quarters fight that was not suited for the ranged attacks of the Elf and Wizard so once our Warrior and Valkyrie fell we were really at a disadvantage.
The game took the best of the old game and brought it into the new era while still retaining the charm and fun that made the series so beloved. Look for Ganutlet to arrive on PC this September.