Hunted: The Demon's Forge is from inXile Entertainment, formed in late 2002 by RPG legend Brian Fargo.
When Matt Findley says "we're bringing dungeon crawling back" I can't help but picture the inXile co-founder and president wearing a waistcoat with the shirt sleeves rolled up. Then, in my mind, he starts Moonwalking to a fat beat… while demoing Hunted: The Demon's Forge to a room full of hung-over game journalists… with an Xbox 360 pad in his hands.
But this is the games industry, and, generally, the word "sexy" doesn't apply. Game creators don't have names like Justin Timberlake, can't dance like Michael Jackson and aren't, generally, fit (is Cliff Bleszinski fit?).
Instead, game creators tend to look like middle-aged Dungeons & Dragons fans, tend to have names like Matt Findley and tend to work for companies called something like inXile Entertainment. And make games with silly titles, like Hunted: The Demon's Forge.
So, when Matt Findley says "we're bringing dungeon crawling back" there's absolutely no chance of some impossibly attractive woman popping out on stage to lick his face.
In any case, to say Hunted is bringing dungeon crawling back only tells half the story. It's a dungeon crawler in the sense that there are dark, dank dungeons to explore, but really it's a third-person two-player co-op cover-based action game.
Hunted's a cover-based action game, but it's got loads of RPG elements, like skill trees and giant axes.
"I can remember design meetings back in the mid-Nineties at Interplay when we were making a game called Stonekeep," Matt recalls.
"It was this beautiful rendered dungeon crawl type product. We were looking at the game thinking, man, some day the technology is going to exist that is going to allow us to do this in real time 3D. And we're going to have flying cars and it's going to be great!
"We were waiting for the technology to catch up with the dream. We started messing around with the Unreal Engine 3 a few years ago and we realised the technology had completely caught up to us. It was time to try to realise the dream and bring the genre back."
This is the crux of what you need to know about Hunted: it's old school in a very modern way. If the phrase "dungeon crawler" gives you the fear, fear not, because Hunted's reality is more Gears of War than Diablo.
Extending the comparison with Epic's sci-fi epic, Hunted's Marcus and Dom are E'lara and Caddoc, two mercenaries on the hunt for gold. E'lara, a scantily clad ranger, fires arrows from a bow. Caddoc is a huge, burley sword master who, unlike E'lara, likes to get up close and personal with his enemies, parrying their attacks with a shield and slicing and dicing with a giant blade.
E'lara and Caddoc look as stereotypically heroic fantasy as they sound. E'lara might have been spat out by that computer from Weird Science, and Caddoc's broad shoulders might have been carved from the same stone used to fashion He-Man. But to criticise Hunted's generic design is to criticise gaming; a medium spammed to within an inch of its life with dwarves and elves and magic spells and demons and orcs and blazing torches.