E3 2014: Hands-on: Gauntlet

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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Gauntlet: Darkness Calls | oprainfall

Let’s get real, ladies and gentlemen: When the new Gauntlet game was announced, I got super nostalgic for Gauntlet Legends on the Nintendo 64 almost immediately. I’m sure there’s more than a small handful of you who have a long-running history with this series that’s been in the dark for quite some time. And that’s why I sat down with three strangers to play the new game at E3 2014. What can you expect from Gauntlet when it arrives later this summer?

Exactly what you’ve been waiting for. That’s my answer. It kind of spoils my impressions by saying that straight-away, but…I really mean it. Within moments, I felt like I was ten again. Indeed, you and three friends/strangers are thrown into a massive dungeon with traps, loot, food and enemy-spawning hubs. Most kills and money wins! It truly is the same concepts that made the series great back in the day. It’s going to make you nostalgic when you get your hands on it. If you’re already excited, get more excited. I was blown away by how true to its roots the new Gauntlet is. The developers knew who they were after, despite marketing this as a “Gauntlet for a new generation.” Ah, sustenance.

That’s not all I have to say. The classes available in the demo were Warrior, Valkyrie, Elf and Wizard. The former two specialize in melee combat (like you remember); the latter two are long range. I played as the Elf because I let everyone else have first dibs. It’s all well and good because I mostly played as the archer in Gauntlet Legends back in the day. Controls were pretty universal across all the classes, but just for the sake of it–let me outline my play-style as the elf.

The right analog stick was how I fired arrows; the direction I toggled the stick was the direction they fired. The left moved me around. The top shoulder buttons were used for special attacks, and the B button dodge-rolled when I ended up in the middle of the fray. That’s it–painfully simple. The game has runes and stuff to give you an edge over foes–but the foes dance around the stage in kind. Everything felt exactly like it should. Really.

Look out for Gauntlet when it arrives on PC soon enough. Stay tuned for more well-designed nostalgia from Warner Brothers!