Four Play: Arrowhead Developing Gauntlet Reboot

By Adam Smith on March 17th, 2014 at 2:02 pm.

Atari announced Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 today. You may have seen the trailer. At best, it’s a mobile version of an older game rather than an actual sequel – at worst, it’ll behave like a crooked carnie, with all kinds of freemium delaying and money-grabbing tactics. “Pay one dollar to add glue to the coconut shy or your visitors will bankrupt you!” Only a few minutes after seeing that trailer, I received notice that Warner Bros are releasing a new Gauntlet game. I’d donned my grumpy hat before I even clicked the play button beneath the video. And then the hat combusted as I saw that it’s being developed by Magicka maestros Arrowhead. And that it looks ace.

Due this summer, Gauntlet is the first in the WB Games Vault series, which will “deliver paid games based on popular Warner Bros. and Midway brands, plus original IP, across multiple digital networks”. I’m not entirely opposed to free-to-play but cover me in feathers and call me a duckling if I wasn’t pleased as punch to see the word ‘paid’ in a press release. Yes, publishers, it is absolutely OK to be proud of delivering products in exchange for a cash payment. Please tell us when this is part of your plan – slap the fact that you will charge customers up-front for an entire game. YES.

Selecting a developer that has form making games that draw at least some inspiration from the property being remade is a good start as well. I’d struggle to pick out a top-down co-op game I’ve enjoyed more than Magicka in recent years and I reckon Arrowhead are probably genuinely excited that they have the chance to take a stab at Gauntlet. ‘Genuinely excited’ as opposed to ‘contractually obliged to state that they are excited, or allow somebody to express excitement on their behalf’.

The multiplayer aspect supports local and online play, and the four characters will have specific strengths and weaknesses. Pleasingly, the valkyrie’s weakness isn’t bra-rmour. Quite the opposite in fact.

…the Warrior does the most damage in melee combat, the Wizard has the most powerful magic, the Valkyrie has the most armor and the Elf moves the fastest. Distinctive play styles, procedural dungeons and an impressive art style keep the gameplay fresh.

Now we just need suitable developers for the rest of the Vault games. Let’s have either Nidhogg’s messhof or Towerfall’s Matt Thorson for Joust, please. Or maybe combine the two into a supergroup/protoplasmic entity.

__________________

« | »

, , .

61 Comments »

  1. LevelHeaded says:

    Looks like pure fun, which is to say, gauntlet-esque. Great Valkyrie redesign.

    “Let’s have either Nidhogg’s messhof or Towerfall’s Matt Thorson for Joust, please.”

    But then it wouldn’t have online multiplayer.

  2. wu wei says:

    If it doesn’t have an updated version of the original announcer’s voice, I’ll be terribly disappointed. His booming “WIZARD NEEDS FOOD…BADLY” was a major part of the experience.

  3. reggiep says:

    It’s like an ARPG without the RPG or the loot. I’m not sure how to feel about this.

  4. Guvornator says:

    I have found memories of the Dreamcast version (I know) Was great for a blast.

  5. Turkey says:

    Helldivers looks way cooler. Too bad it’s a Sony exclusive.

  6. ramirezfm says:

    Oh how I loved Gauntlet back in the days. Spent endless quarters, and time when quarters were lost, in shady establishments, just to see that one more level.

    • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

      I reckon with the amount of money I spent on this in the arcades I probably funded the development of this remake. Does that mean I can get it for free?

  7. Fumarole says:

    Playing Gauntlet 4 deathmatch on the Genesis with the 4 Way Play was a joy back in the day. Maybe this will rekindle that feeling.

  8. Shieldmaiden says:

    I want to buy it for the Valkyrie alone.

  9. Janichsan says:

    Hm, I love Gauntlet, but this looks a bit too much like a generic ARPG so far to excite me. Well, let’s wait to see how it turns out…

    • b0rsuk says:

      It looks like D Three and that’s not a compliment. I want the level generator to be tile-based, not room-based. What I want from random levels is variety and surprise, not excessive use of prefabs, statues, and ornaments ( “Oh right, I know this room, there’s a trap”).

      I hope this is a hard arcade game without respawn. Once you die, you’re dead. I fear that a choice you’ve made 10 minutes ago matters more than player skill and yes, finger dexterity.

      Go to Hell RPS for eating my comments, making me waste my time typing the same message twice.

  10. Lobotomist says:

    The game looks like something from blizzard number 3. I wish it had more arcade speed and feeling of original.

  11. LVX156 says:

    I need some friends to play this with. I have very fond memories of playing Gauntlet II on my C64 when I was a kid, with my best friend.

  12. Menthalion says:

    For those wanting ‘a Gauntlet fix noaw!’ I can highly recommend Forced. Same frantic 4 player multiplayer but slightly more involved due to needing solve objectives cooperatively.

    • Excelle says:

      Alternatively, if you want to spend a little cash, go and get the excellent Hammerwatch on Steam. Certainly scratched that Gauntlet itch for me. And amazing with friends online.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        The local multiplayer is pretty good, too, if you don’t mind being stuck on one screen. Online coop seems more efficient, but I’ve had the most fun with allies sitting next to me.

  13. ZIGS says:

    Why do my posts keep getting deleted?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Comment system often has little burping sessions

      • ZIGS says:

        Every time I try to post what I originally posted it never works. I smell shenanigans.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Maybe you used a ‘naughty’ word. I chuckled to find out that the word P 0 0 P is banned :) At least it was. It will probably self-combust now I have said it out loud, in a case of that favourite machine past time, Human Humiliation.

          EDIT: Yup, checked. Can’t say P 0 0 P. Reckon Jim added that for a giggle.

          Too many links can get you deleted too.

          • dE says:

            Oh, that makes two banned words. Interesting. We should try to setup a list of silly. Let’s find all the blocked words.
            I jest, I jest… seriously, no I’m kidding, don’t do that…

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            You can say all sorts of obscenities which is what makes it funny
            Bottom Burp. Trouser Cough.
            Oh thank god. I can still say that.

    • RCoon says:

      Dean Smart isn’t involved is he?!

    • dE says:

      It’s the comment filter being triggered on a specific word. As far as I know, it only triggers on the name of a series made by Blizzard that currently sits at the third installment and is about to receive an expansion.

      It was added in a flurry of silly, to stem the tide of angry fanboi comments back when RPS didn’t praise the lord like the fanbois thought they should have. It’s getting even more silly, when there are articles about that game and no one can mention it in the comments. RPS probably forgot about that filter or is maniacally laughing their ass off everytime they find these eaten comments.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Does it rhyme with Re-Ablow?

      • ZIGS says:

        Well that’s fucking dumb

      • Baines says:

        As the filter gets mentioned maybe once every month or two, and mentioned multiple times in the comments to news articles about the related game, it isn’t a matter of being forgotten.

        It has remained in place too long, causing too much confusion, annoyance, and complaints, to be anything other than intentional. Either that, or no one in charge knows how the word filter works. I guess that is a possibility as well. Too bad RPS wouldn’t ever run a “Sound of Silence” article on themselves.

  14. filsd says:

    STEAM OS support makes me, a Linux user, very happy. :]

  15. Themadcow says:

    Midway games titles eh? I was just thinking a new Spy Hunter would be ‘the balls’ but apparetly it was remade for Vita and 3DS in 2012 and sucked ‘the balls’.

  16. MrNash says:

    Heh, I was wondering this the other day when we’d see someone bring back Gauntlet and here we are. =) Glad they’re going back to the top-down look for this game. I remember playing Gauntlet Legends way back when and never really warmed up to its 3rd overhead view.

  17. pilouuuu says:

    It looks magnificent! I never played any Gauntlet game before, but it always interested me and I hope this is a great time to get into its legacy.

    This year seems to be a great time to be a PC gamer.

    • subedii says:

      Which is funny considering that traditionally, the start of a new console generation has always been the point at which people start saying “PC gaming is dyiiiiiiiing” again.

  18. ran93r says:

    I love me some Gauntlet and there has been nothing that’s come close to 1&2 (imo) for a dogs age.
    Get Medieval from Monolith was a great effort though.. I might fish out the shiny circle and install that again.

  19. Muzman says:

    Don’t play with the Elf. He’s just going to shoot the food.

  20. LionsPhil says:

    Hmm. Will it actually function technically this time?

    Magicka was kind of ruined for me by repeated crashing and weird networking bugs.

  21. Graerth says:

    …Why does no one mention C64?

    GERROFF MY LAWN!

    • VladVoivode says:

      Love the C64 so I guess I can camp on yer lawn? Remember the C64 game Demon Hunter which had a spiffy level editor?

      Anyhow, this trailer looks soooo sweet and I hope the game plays as well as it looks!

  22. Darth Gangrel says:

    I was born the the year when Gauntlet was first released, so I never tried it. I might look into this new Gauntlet when my backlog is gaunt.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>