Warner Bros. tend to do games that cost really a rather lot of money to make: Scribblenauts, Batman, LEGO and sometimes LEGO Batman. But they’re not made of money, and so are trying out a new label – the WB Games Vault. Through the Vault, they’ll release digital-only games – some brand new, some based on the Warner and Midway licenses they have down the back of the sofa.
First up, they’ve commissioned Magicka types Arrowhead to build a remake of Gauntlet. It’s called Gauntlet, because numbers are for ninnies.
Okay: PR-dictated hashtags are bum, as a rule, but that one might just work.
Nu-Gauntlet will be an action RPG – which is what you might have called the original, had the genre existed in 1985. It’ll be on Steam for the summer – and what’s more, it’ll come with full SteamOS support in time for the early Steam Machines shipping before Christmas.
Gauntlet will blend arcade mechanics with “emergent”, local and online four-player coop, said Warner Bros digital games man David Haddad. We’ll pick from the Warrior (melee), Wizard (magic), Elf (speed) and Valkyrie (operatic armour).
Arrowhead’s way with spells, plus some procedurally generated dungeons, will keep the game “fresh”. Dungeons will be divided into chambers, and be choca with an assortment of monsters, including ghosts, grunts, demons, spiders, sorcerers and skeleton warriors – you’ll have noticed lots of the latter in the trailer.
“Gauntlet is one of the most defining games from our childhoods,” said Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt. “It is one of the original and best known video game properties and we are looking forward to creating a fresh, yet true to the original, take on a multiplayer masterpiece.”
Warner Bros, for their part, hope this is just the first time they’ll pair “emerging talent” with a good name. The Showdown Effect certainly seemed less technically ropey than Magicka. Are you confident in young Arrowhead’s ability to run the Gauntlet, as it were, now they’ve paired with a major publisher?