Midway runs the Gauntlet again

Newest edition of the arcade classic boasts online play; Doom's John Romero and Icewind Dale's Josh Sawyer lead development.

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Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows
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When Gauntlet hit arcades back in 1985, its cooperative hack-and-slash gameplay won over droves of gamers. After a few sequels in the arcades and on home systems, Midway brought the franchise back to home consoles with modern makeovers in Gauntlet Legends and Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. Both games failed to capture the spirit of the title they were based on and were poorly received by the gaming press.

Even with the failed history of the once-storied franchise, Midway today announced it is bringing back the warrior, valkyrie, wizard, and elf to the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox this October. Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows is being developed internally by a Midway team led by John Romero, the cocreator of Doom and Quake, and J.E. Sawyer, who previously worked on Black Isle Studios' Icewind Dale series.

Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows starts on a sour note. The fabled quartet of heroes, fresh from failing to save the world, are crucified and left for a century-long rot. The emperor they attempted to vanquish begins a slow descent into madness after seven despicable acts, the most heinous being the murder of his lover. With the emperor's insanity reaching volatile proportions, it's up to the recently resurrected heroes to stop him from destroying the world.

Fans of the series were no doubt drawn to the game's cooperative play, and Midway makes slaying goblins and hoarding treasure easier with the introduction of online play to the series. Midway is also planning an online community that will let adventurers barter the items they've collected on their journeys.

While much of the classic's core gameplay will remain, new elements give the game a modern feel. The game will offer a more complex combat system for veterans of the franchise. "Junction skills" are moves that require cooperation to execute for disposing of foes with team attacks. Simple role-playing elements will let gamers beef up different aspects of their characters, such as weapon proficiency and sorcery skills. And, yes, the baritone narrator returns to speak of famished woodland natives.

For more information on Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows, be sure to read GameSpot's exclusive preview of the title.

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