Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

GauntletThe Gauntlet games, on a whole, tend to have quite a rough track record. On one hand, the games can be incredibly fun and interesting, especially when played with a group of friends, and have proven to be excellent in the arcade. On the other hand, each new game tends to be much too similar to the last game and the experience can get boring and repetitive very quickly. Although Midway must know this, their newest game, “Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows,” repeats many of the mistakes of previous titles and, on the whole, appears to be very uninspired.

The gameplay in Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows is exactly the same as all previous iterations. Essentially, players are involved in a less than gripping storyline that has them running around various worlds and killing all the enemies they come into contact with, as would be expected in a hack-and-slash game. Truly though, the storyline is practically non-existent and adds to the game in no measurable amount. Similarly, not only is the concept of the game similar to the previous Gauntlet’s, but the whole design and dynamics are just recycled from previous games.

Players can choose from one of various types of characters, including Warriors and Warlocks, and then set out on their “epic quest.” Each character has a unique hand to hand attack and combo set-up along with the ability to cast certain magical spells. Albeit the fact that the spells can be quite useful and the attacks can be built up to be strong, the game is simply too repetitive and the same attacks from the beginning will be used in the end as well. The game changes in almost no fashion as it progresses, making it an extremely repetitive and boring experience.

The only forgiving factor included in the game is the fact that it has four-player cooperative mode. This mode, when played with friends, can be very enjoyable (although a little hectic) since all four will be attacking and unleashing havoc on the enemy at the same time. Additionally, certain parts of the game can almost only be beaten by multiple players since having help definitely makes the gameplay a whole lot easier. Truly, without this cooperative multiplayer mode, there would be absolutely no reason to play Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows at all.

Even the visuals match the lackluster gameplay. Although Seven Sorrows, thankfully, boasts a new, completely reworked graphics engine, it still doesn’t look like that. The graphics engine, despite offering some snazzy special effects and smooth animations, simply does not look as good as many other modern games. It runs smoothly, of course, but it just doesn’t look all that great.

One good addition, however, is the reworked camera system. Previous Gauntlet titles were plagued by an absolutely horrifying camera that would leave players hopeless since they couldn’t even see the enemy many times. The new camera has its problems at times, however on the whole it tends to follow the characters very well and adapts to the battles in an acceptable fashion.

The audio aspect of the game might as well not have even been included. The effects of swords clanging and magic spells are all the exact same and sound very bad after a very short while. The voice-overs are equally as terrible. Not only were they not done very professionally, but characters can be found repeating the same lines over and over and over again. The musical score is equally as mediocre and unimpressive. Simply put, the game might have been better without audio at all.

Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows truly does not do justice to the series. Gauntlet started out to be an amazing and incredibly fun arcade game that translated into a decent console game. However, each new game appears to only get worse due to a lack of any significant additions or improvements, not to mention the fact the problems of previous titles seem to not be worked out by sequels. Maybe Midway should just sell the Gauntlet license already and let another company bring the famed series back to prominence.


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