Gauntlet has returned, and if you still haven't played a Gauntlet game it is about time. Gauntlet Slayer Edition gives you all the action you have come to expect from a Gauntlet game in the past, the only thing that is missing from this version is you do not need to fill your pockets with quarters for the arcade machine, other than that, it is pretty much everything a Gauntlet game should posses
Gauntlet, for those who may not know, dates all the way back to when I was a kid, back in the mid 80s. Back then arcade machines was the place to be and Gauntlet, as any prolific game series, had its own arcade machine. A lot of people even say that Gauntlet was one of the first multi-player dungeon crawl arcade games. Since its early beginnings Gauntlet has managed to squeeze itself onto platforms like, Nintendo, Sega, Commodore and Playstation, and that is just naming a few. So it goes without saying that Gauntlet has been around since the golden age of gaming and for a series to still be relevant after all those years is a great feature and warms my old, nostalgic heart.
Some of you might remember that another Gauntlet game released on the PC last year, and this is basically a updated version of that ported to the Playstation 4. And if you have played a previous Gauntlet game you know the story falls a bit short, compared to other games on this current platform, but even though the story is thin and unnoticeable, the meat of the game is the hardcore gameplay aspect, as it has always been with this series. You pick a class you want to play as, join up with your friends or head in alone, enter a dungeon, smash through hordes of enemies and collect money, that is basically every level ever, but did that stop you from enjoying other dungeon crawlers?
If the answer is no, then you and I feel the same about games like these, story doesn't really matter if the gameplay, combat and enemies are varied and entertaining and Gauntlet Slayer Edition manages to keep your attention and the entertainment level up high from start to finish, and if you enjoy a challenge then Gauntlet will really test you patience.
The different classes is also noticeable different, playing a warrior over a wizard is day and night, as the warrior can take a lot more punishment before turning in while the wizard can unleash deadly and powerful spells but can take a lot less punishment. If you are playing this game solo I suggest you go with the warrior class, or even if you are new to the series, but if you want to really test your luck give one of the other classes a go.
Gold is all you need in Gauntlet. Gold is the be all end all of the game, it is why you are taking on all these enemies, for that precious gold at the end of that mud filled rainbow. And everytime you die you drop all your gold and you can chooose where to respawn, collect the gold before you die again and you are back where you left off. Whenever I play a Gauntlet game I immediately turn into the leprechaun, guarding my gold. Because you see the more gold you collect the more your can character grow, it is how you obtain weapons, new abilities and different relics.
Now here is where some might get turned off from playing or even trying to finish a Gauntlet game, you will die, over and over again and again. Think Dark Souls of dungeon crawlers, as with games like that you get to a point where you think you are becoming powerful and maybe even overpowered as you have just mowed down numerous enemies and you make a turn and immediately get overrun by hordes of the same enemies that has no problem picking you apart and you die. The game has been generous by planting different food pick-ups across the dungeon but compared to other dungeon crawlers Gauntlet is one of the hardest. However, if the challenge doesn’t scare you off the reward at the end of the tunnel is unlike anything and really the reason as to why these games have lived for so long and still manages to draw an audience.
Besides the main mode there is also an Endless Mode which was introduced last year with the release of the PC version, and it is the same thing in Slayer Edition. You grab a few friends, pick a class and head into battle with hordes upon hordes of enemies trying to take you down. And last but not least is the Coliseum Mode which gives you a daily challenge of sorts and rewards you if you manages to complete them which boosts the games already meaty replay-value.
One of my favourite things with the Slayer Edition, and I personally feel should be a standard in every dungeon crawler game, is the pick up and play local multiplayer option. Now the game also has online multiplayer options but my favourite is and probably always will be couch co-op. There is nothing that brings me back to my childhood more than gathering a bunch of friends and play games like this together under the same roof as opposed to talking to them over online. I am aware that this is more of a personal preference but I like to address my gratitude every time I encounter couch coop nowadays as it seems to be a dying option sadly.
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition does everything right when it comes to bringing back to life a Gauntlet game. It really doesn’t matter if you are familiar with the series or not, if you enjoy dungeon-crawler games then Gauntlet is a game you need to try out, and if you can get a few friends with you I can guarantee you it is going to be an amazing experience. The difficulty level might scare you off but if you stick with it you will quickly realize why so many people, still to this day, love the Gauntlet series, and Gauntlet: Slayer Edition is an homage to the original.