Level: Prologue
Level: The Wilds
Level: The Walls


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Introduction to Archery

The player begins by controlling E'lara as Caddoc beckons her forward.  The burly human indicates a rope holding up a drawbridge that bars their path.  Once E'lara shoots the rope, the bridge falls to the ground and allows them to proceed closer to their goal.

Across a chasm, they see their goal—the mystical fountain of Elisha—surrounding by small, menacing-looking quadripeds called Arackling Crawlers.  The chasm keeps the Crawlers from being able to attack, but E'lara's bow can easily send arrows across to clear them out.


At first, we restrict the player to the archer character...  Gears of War-style games were all the rage at the time, so players were likely to be familiar with our (identical) controls for aiming, shooting, and taking cover.

For players who may not know the controls, we set up a simple gating challenge (aim and shoot a rope to drop a ramp down) and gave the player extra incentive to practice aiming by sprinkling glimpses of Arackling Crawlers throughout the environment.  Although the game starts out bright and sunny, we wanted to imply early on the darkness that is soon to come.

Up the ramp, I place replacement arrows in a choke point where the player can't avoid crossing over them to teach that "pickup" items like these merely need to be touched and they automatically get added to the character's inventory.

(There are also some fun blue plants here which explode when shot—introduce, then reinforce mechanics.)

Finally, the player encounters enemies—the same crawlers that appeared as glimpses earlier now become targets to hit across a ravine.  This keeps the player safe while they practice against a few moving targets.

Introduction to Melee Combat

Caddoc, the swordsman, opens the way forward by slashing through some bushes at the base of a fallen tree.  E'lara crosses to the other side, where another bush blocks progression.  She hacks them down but is then swarmed by Crawlers dropping in from hidey-holes.

When the Crawlers are gone, E'lara claims their prize: a vial of Mana Water collected from the fountain.  Caddoc distractedly looks about and recognizes a nearby door from his dreams, which are looking more and more like a premonition.

The pair open the door and follow the path until they see a stone pillar... on top of which lies a skull-shaped object seemingly made of green glass that glows with an inner light...


The player has—until they drop down on the other end of the tree—been restricted to using their bow.

Though game-y, the switch to cutting through the bushes is a crucial moment:  here the player learns that in Hunted, switching between ranged and melee weapons is done instantaneously by simply changing which set of buttons is being used primarily...

  • Shoulder buttons are for ranged attacks (and, eventually, magic)

  • Face buttons are used for performing melee attacks

At this point, using cover has only been taught in the context of ranged attacks (as will be familiar from other games), but the player will encounter a scenario soon after which needs to make the following clear:  in this game, taking cover is just as important for employing swords as it is for archery.

At this point, though, both skills are available to the player, so if they prefer to tackle the challenge of small, fast-moving enemies who get up close to do damage by switching back to shooting them, then they're using the game's systems as intended!

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