Game: Gauntlet: Slayer Edition
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PC
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Originally, the return of the arcade classic known as Gauntlet took place exclusively on PC in 2014. While it gave us and many nostalgia-fueled gamers a revamped take on cutting down enemies in top-down dungeons, it wasn’t great enough to warrant anything more than a month of attention. A slew of additional modes and retooled battle elements have helped this reboot improve over its 1st outing, which is how we’ve arrived at Gauntlet: Slayer Edition.
At its most basic level, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition stays true to the series that spawned plenty of inspired titles since its 80’s origin. You choose from a group of dungeon crawler archetypes – the Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard, Elf and Necromancer. If you’ve participated in the original release of this reimagined take, you know what to expect here – plenty of gold collecting, turkey feasting and bloody entrails left in your wake as you destroy enemies. The main campaign mode is short and sweet, which provides a manageable dungeon romp to run through with your online allies. Playing this in single-player form is the wrong way to tear trough this game. It’s a much better decision to make when you and three chosen buddies complete the campaign together.
For this Slayer Edition, Gauntlet refines the hack and slashing to make it less repetitive than before. Acquiring new weapons for each character now comes with specific bonus powers, such as the Warrior’s “Demonic Cleave” ability when you equip him with the Herald of The War God axe. Outfitting your character with new talismans, relics and customized clothing helps your hero stand out more and give you better battle options. The inclusion of Endless and Coliseum mode to this re-release gives returning players more dungeon romps with new elements to take part in.
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition is fun, no doubt. But the core of every new addition is tied to the main gameplay hooks – killing and collecting. This gameplay cycle returns to the problem that plagued the 1st edition – repetition. The new modes and stronger customization abilities may make this experience better, but you’ll still grow tired of everything this version offers after a while. There isn’t enough new content to keep you dedicated to Gauntlet: Slayer Edition for that much longer. Gather your online squad to become victorious in each underground tomb and go hard in Endless/Coliseum mode. Just be prepared to play something else entirely with those same buddies once the fun factor of this game starts to quickly deter.
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition does an admirable job of making the appropriate changes to better its formula. The two new modes and wider character customization options manage to keep things a lot more fun. The throwback jokes adds some humorous elements here and there to keep you entertained as you vanquish everything in sight. However, the repetition that set in during this game’s 1st release is still a prevalent problem here. The starting portions of this game are fun, but you won’t stick around for too long. While this re-release is fun, its fun factor comes in at a medium level of replay value.
- The added powers tied to new weapons improves the overall battle mechanics
- 4-player co-op stage trials are always a thrill
- Nods to the original game adds lots of personality to this reboot
- The hack and slash combat can get repetitive after a while