RPGFan


Robert Steinman
E3 2014: Gauntlet Preview
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
06.19.14 - 6:49 PM

I spent countless hours playing Gauntlet on my friend's NES way back in my youth, and it would seem Warner Bros. is hoping to capitalize on the nostalgia of fans like me with the upcoming revival of the arcade classic. Under development by the talented gang over at Arrowhead Game Studios, who previously worked on the well-received Magicka, the latest incarnation of Gauntlet brings four player co-op action to Steam in just a few short months. I got a chance to watch the game played on the E3 show floor, and, well, it's Gauntlet. Four players run around as the fantasy archetypes fighting monsters and collecting money along the way. All of the classic audio cues are there. Hearing "Elf needs food badly" over the din of the crowd certainly brought a smile to my face, but little else electrified the experience in a meaningful way. In a way, the game comes across as a checklist of very old ideas with a few contemporary conveniences to keep it feeling somewhat fresh.

Taking a few notes from modern game design, Gauntlet controls like a twin-stick shooter with separate control over movement and targeting. Being able to run around the dungeon while targeting monsters certainly allows for a much more mobile experience. Long range attacks and monster closets are the bread and butter of this series. Enemy hordes can quickly overcome less skilled players, and there's always the chance that you'll accidentally shoot life-giving food and leave yourself the butt of party ridicule and spite. One interesting addition to the proven formula are relics which allow the player to activate a cooldown-based skill for devastating effect. There was some indication that these relics could shake things up in positive and negative ways, but I didn't get the chance to see any of that during my hands-off demo.

Still, I felt like I was watching a new paintjob on a very old concept. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there wasn't anything truly new or exciting about Gauntlet. It's just Gauntlet. I kept waiting to see something that screamed creativity or at least held my attention above watching axes fly across the screen. There's still a chance that environmental interaction or more complicated bosses lay in wait for would-be adventurers, but for now it would appear that Gauntlet is going to be a fun nostalgic trip for some and a small download experience for others. Here's hoping there's a bit more meat on this particular chicken leg that will come to light upon release.


Back





Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, July 15
Octopath Traveler • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Mondays
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Tuesdays
Star Ocean: Second Evolution • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Wednesdays
Alundra • 12pm PDT/3pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Thursdays
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Fridays
Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Speedrun) • 6pm PDT/9pm EDT

Saturdays
Octopath Traveler • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Retro Encounter Final Thoughts ~ Lunar: The Silver Star

Retro Encounter Final Thoughts ~ Lunar: The Silver Star

Feature
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time Review

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time

Review
Kurt hymneth ~The Songs that Conversed with the Gods~ Ar tonelico hymmnos concert Complete BOX Review

Kurt hymneth ~The Songs that Conversed with the Gods~ Ar tonelico hymmnos concert Complete BOX

Review
Retro Encounter 144

Retro Encounter 144

Podcast
Echoes of the Fey - Episode 2 Review

Echoes of the Fey - Episode 2

Review