Anyone that has ever played Gauntlet can probably rattle
off the game's four famous characters: the Warrior, the Wizard, the Elf, and the
Valkyrie. It has been quite a while since the foursome have appeared in a game,
and despite the highly-publicized departure of John
Midway has forged on, and will release Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows on
December 12 th
for the PlayStation 2. The
preview build of the game I recently spent some time with was enjoyable and felt
like Gauntlet should.
Gauntlet's story looks to be decent, and it's unveiled
through cut-scenes between levels. The four heroes were betrayed by a now dead
emperor, who at one point was unwittingly tricked by his advisors in a plot to
steal the foursome's immortality. The emperor's advisors quickly turned on him,
but before he died, he set the four heroes free – begging for their forgiveness
before turning them lose to get their revenge on the six evil advisors, who are
now causing chaos throughout the land.
At its heart, Seven Sorrows is a good old fashioned hack
and slash action game, so there are couple things you can count on. As you'd
expect, the warrior is slow and strong, the wizard uses magic, the elf shoots
arrows, and the Valkyrie is the "hottie" with a sword. The controls are simple
as well; there are two main attacks (square and X), you can block (L1), use
projectile weapons (circle), launch enemies into the air (triangle), and
dodge/dash with the right analog stick. Combat is pretty basic, but you can
learn combos and moves after each level to help mix things up. The controls are
responsive, which is a must in a game that's so reliant on combat.
Of course co-op play is included (this is Gauntlet!), and
now you can even play online. I was unable to test the online portion of the
game, but if the manual is any indication, it should be pretty easy to hop
online and wreak havoc.
The basic goal of every level is to get to the exit. That
might sound easy, but when you've got to trigger switches, collect keys, and
fend off hordes and hordes of enemies spawning from all directions; that's
easier said than done. The game does a nice job of maintaining the classic
Gauntlet feel, while still offering the things you'd expect from a modern game.
The levels look pretty sharp, there are plenty of special effects, you can
level-up, change weapons, add armor, and learn new moves. Old-school fans of the
series will be pleased to know that regaining your health is as simple as eating
some turkey, cheese, or ham.
Seven Sorrows isn't going to break any new ground in the
hack and slash genre, but that's okay – it just needs to be fun. You'll have to
wait for our review for a final verdict, but as it stands now, Gauntlet: Seven
Sorrows looks like it might be a pleasant way to spend some of your free time
over the holidays.
If you'd like to see the game in motion, we've got a video
clip you can check it out right here.