I’ve always been a fan of Gauntlet. Since the days of old when I used to slap in quarter after quarter at the arcade through today, it’s always had a special place in my heart. In Gauntlet: Slayer Edition for the PC, I am glad I wasn’t disappointed. Currently, it’s one of my most played games.
What is Gauntlet: Slayer Edition?
Unlike fantasy RPGs, Gauntlet is a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler for those who simply want non-stop action. From one room to another, the only objective is to survive and be the most greediest hero at the end of each level.
There is a bit of a puzzle-quality to some of the levels as saving keys for certain doors allows you to pick up more treasure, food or potions.
The graphics are what you would expect from an overhead view of a bloody battlefield. It’s not too intense and even the most basic of today’s quad-core laptops can run it easily.
The game takes me back to the hours spent sitting in front of the Commodore 64 with my cousin as we slashed our way through dungeon after dungeon. I also remember the arcade version quite vividly. Am I dating myself, here?
I haven’t had a chance to purchase the Necromancer upgrade for the game. But it is definitely on my to-do list.
Why You Would Want to Play Gauntlet?
The Slayer Edition of this installment is more than just a simple dungeon crawler. While you can play solo with no problem, the game offers several different types of play. You can go online and join random games, connect to a LAN party or use Steam to join a friend’s game.
The award system is a nice feature as you can earn more than 40 masteries in-game as well as in Steam for bragging rights. It’s a time-consuming process to earn all of the badges for every character type, so you’ll be grinding out the same levels a lot if you want them all.
Gauntlet is a great game if you have just a few minutes in between working or plan on sitting down for the whole night to try the “Endless” levels and see how far you can go. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to put into an endless streak of playing. I have bills to pay, after all. And I need to sleep at some point.
The game follows tradition with the “Rule of the Cosmos,” a shout-out to my Spellfire players. This means that only one character can be in the game at one time. So, your party can have only one Barbarian, Elf, Wizard or Valkyrie.
In Gauntlet: Slayer Edition, you’re able to swap out your weapons and armor for items that give you other abilities. While you don’t necessarily get an increase in killing power, you can find elements that fit your style of play. Different relics you buy using the gold in-game give different abilities, and it’s worth exploring each one.
Another element seasoned players will identify is Death. You cannot kill the grim reaper, so don’t even try. The purpose of this aspect is to create a level where you need to keep moving or you will instantly die from Death’s touch. Don’t worry, though. Death levels are not all that common unless you’re in the Endless levels area.
Perhaps my biggest gripe about the game is the fact the wizard is very hard to manage at first. You have a wide berth of spells at your disposal, but you need to memorize the keystroke pattern to choose between them. This makes it very awkward and difficult to play for many people.
Where Can You Get It?
Personally, I bought my copy of Gauntlet from Steam when the company was doing one of its sales. And I tell you, it was the best $4.99 I’ve spent in a long time. Normally, the game is $19.99, but I got lucky during the beginning of the year sale.
You can also pick it up for the Playstation 4 as a digital download.
Note, this game is not in reference to the Seven Sorrows title that is available on the Xbox market place.
Pros and Cons
So, let’s take a closer look at what makes this game amazing and what it could use. Rarely is any game simply perfect. There’s always something that can be added to improve any title you come across. Here are some of my highlights.
Pros of the Game
- Many different and engaging ways to play.
- Easy to join games with others online, especially through Steam.
- A selection of weapon and armor changes also alters how your character looks in-game.
- Game adapts to the number of players to increase difficulty and make it challenging.
- Achievements give the game more depth as you try to collect them all.
- The prospect of the endless adventure is very engaging, in my opinion anyway.
- An easy game to play if you don’t want to think too much or just need to blow off some steam.
- Doesn’t require a great deal of power to run. Even a Lenovo G51 laptop runs this game well.
Cons of the Game
- Additional secret passages and puzzles would be nice.
- The wizard controls are quite difficult to learn at first.
- A greater selection of alterations would be an excellent addition.
The Bottom Line…
If you like the Gauntlet franchise, you’ll probably get into this game. Although Gauntlet on the Sega Dreamcast will always be my one and only true love, this game does the title justice. It runs very well on older machines and isn’t as graphic intensive as some of the titles of today. If you have a few bucks to spend, I would suggest giving it a go. Even if you wait and buy it on a Steam sale like I did.
On a side note, you can buy it in bulk for yourself and friends in Steam. It’s an incredibly easy way to burn through a night of gaming with friends whether it’s online or at a LAN party. How far can you and your group go through the Endless levels before getting too tired to continue?