With so many co-op games coming up over the next few months, what does Hunted: The Demon's Forge offer, aside from a long name?

Well, if we take Gears of War as the co-op cover-based shooter granddaddy, then H:tDF is Gears of War but in Dungeons and Dragons. And it’s covered in grim.

Grim anti-heroes doing a grim quest for grim people (a dead chick, in this case) in grim locations fighting grim monsters with big spiky grim weapons. Grim grim grim. Jesus Christ, would it kill someone to put on a colourful t-shirt?

Hunted: the Demon's Forge\
Sometimes, stuff blows up

On the subject of people without t-shirts, let’s have a look at the characters. We’ve got Caddoc, a massive bloke with a leather vest, shoulderpads you could drive to work and a MYSTERIOUS DARK PAST. He’s the brawler/tank of the pair, and is primarily combat-focused with an emphasis on guarding. Guarding who, you ask?

E’lara is the other half of the duo, a busty elf who appears to be wearing an outfit made entirely of belts. She’s clearly gone to the Lara Croft school of etiquette as she has that same annoyingly sharp voice and reliance on ranged combat. She’s also got a MYSTERIOUS DARK PAST and her character trait seems to be that she doesn’t mind killing things. Unique!

Also, this is happening

Play focuses around steering these two through various grim levels and killing things; E’lara does ranged attacks from cover, and Caddoc stops people from smashing her face off against the wall she’s hiding behind. Great.

So what’s good about it? There’s magic, we guess, which could liven things up (although it seems to be that “magic” translates into “shoot stuff or hit stuff,” which we were doing already – hopefully we’ll be proved wrong).

Hunted: the Demon's Forge
God's sake E'lara, put some trousers on, you'll catch your death

There’s also a level creation system that lets you build a gauntlet of dungeon rooms to challenge your mates, which could be fun. It could also be an excuse for dickheads to make impossibly hard levels. We'll have to see. 

Sure, murdering people is grim, but it’s sort of getting us down. Why can't developers learn from Wet, eh? For all that it was a bloody awful game, at least it was cheery about the whole "killing people" affair.

Can’t we get a cheery 70’s cop-movie co-op game, or something like that? Would that be so hard? Answers on a postcard please.

Hunted: The Demon’s Forge should be out on 3 June 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC