Hunted's Crucible shares community maps

You can't Salem, though.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge will let you make and share levels with friends via an unannounced (but leaked nonetheless on some very naughty shop websites) Crucible feature, developer inXile has told Eurogamer.

"There's a couple of things that happen [once the game has finished] that we're not talking about yet, but I'll give you a little... We have something that we're not really announcing yet but since it's on the menu screen we're allowed at least to talk about it. And that's The Crucible," founder Matt Finley revealed.

"This is a map creation system, which will allow you to... Basically we want users to be able to create maps and share them with their friends. And you'll be able to take your characters through maps."

Characters, that is, you've taken through the main Hunted campaign, which lasts somewhere between 12 and 20 hours depending on the amount of exploration you do.

Hunted is a co-op, cover-based fantasy action game - a bit like Gears of War but with bows and magic and swords. So does that mean there'll be more typical multiplayer modes on offer?

"There's nothing that we're talking about," chuckled an evasive Finley.

"For us, multiplayer modes are those things where you finish the game and then you work on those. And that wasn't that interesting to me. And I don't really play multiplayer modes because I don't like getting shot in the head by a 14-year-old kid who then dances on my dead body and makes fun of me."

One thing inXile offers players looking for replayability is a "very hard level of difficulty" dubbed Old School. Not only is it fiendishly tough, but you're also required to discover all hidden rooms and side-puzzles so that you can progress.

Right now, Hunted: The Demon's Forge has passed beta and is entering the submission phase, Finley revealed - "All we're doing now is typical Q&A bug fixes."

Finley doesn't know if a demo has been decided upon, but realises - with belly rumbling chuckle - how he'd be "a dead man" if he let the news slip.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge is taking aim at June. If it sells, a sequel will be made - it's as simple as that.

"It really comes down to the simple fact that does Hunted sell well enough to warrant more of them? If Hunted is very very successful I think you're going to see more of them," said Finley. "If you see more of them then anything is possible: doing one fast and furious with the tech that we have or switching to id Tech 5 - we're open to anything.

"The business has just become that way. It's not a negative, it's just a fact of life and a reality. You look at what happens with television shows and they're getting cancelled after one episode. It's expensive! When we were making these games 15 years ago we were doing it for 400,000, 500,000," he said, laughing at my suggestion about the costs sky-rocketing to 40 million.

"It's a huge financial investment and if [Bethesda] see a return on that they're going to want to make more of them.

"Nothing would make me happier than to be doing Hunted for the next 10 years."

Incidentally, did you know that voluptuous heroine Elara isn't simply wondering around in her war-styled lingerie? No - according to Finley those are "traditional elven mourning robes", and there's even a line in the dialogue that makes a joke about it.

I Hunted this clip out for you. What?

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