The good ol' days of arcade cabinets and pizza are making return in many forms -- barcades, LAN parties, and creative co-op games that span from consoles to PC are making a huge comeback. All of this leaves little wonder as to why now is the opportune time for a title like Gauntlet to return, and the latest upgrade to it’s 2014 PC-based reboot (now for PS4 as well) is a testament to the endless hours of fun one can have while playing video games with friends.
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition is a beautiful multiplayer game where teams of four adventure through haunted, dangerous dungeons in true D&D fashion. Collecting gold and eating various food keep a player’s health or spending in check, but the real upgrades happen right before the game starts. Characters can be equipped with new abilities and attacks, as well as armor and accessories that boost or change stats to the characters’ unique advantages. I detailed the mechanics of the game last week, so check those out if you’re curious.
But the stand-out quality of Gauntlet: Slayer Edition is the non-stop fun that a group of people can have while gathered around the PS4, playing together in the personal fashion of yesteryear. Rather than remind me of the arcade, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition has brought back memories of endless hours spent at my friends’ places after school, myself and my friends huddled together in front of the television and yelling when one of us got in the other’s way during game time.
For ages, Nintendo has had the party game platform under it’s thumb - and who could blame them? The rush of screaming at your friends during a refreshing round of Mario Kart can often bond you together that much closer in the end. Yet, in Gauntlet: Slayer Edition, players are given the rare opportunity to work together as fantasy adventurers with a single goal. Sure, you can steal food before another player gets to it — but for the most part, winning the game is achieved through teamwork and knowing your character well.
But beyond the old-school fantasy and bonding experience, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition's greatest feature has to be it's Endless Mode, where players are challenged to survive as many dungeons as possible, all while trying to escape Death (now known for hovering into frame at the most inopportune times during the course of the game) and hordes of enemies.
The online multiplayer options are numerous, with events popping up every month to give players new obstacles to take on, and the one-player mode gives players a chance to earn new accessories or abilities, beef up their skill, and be ahead of the game when multiplayer events occur. But at it's core, Gauntlet shines the most when it's played amongst a group of friends (with pizza preferred) on a fun Friday night -- and for a gamer longing for the days of late night living room nerd rage with friends, that's a blessing in itself.