So imagine my pleasant surprise when The Gauntlet turned out to be a zippy, creative, and fairly hilarious adventure. Definitely the highlight of my evening.
Under false pretenses (answering a distress call), I’m knocked out and taken aboard an enemy ship where I’m forced to undergo a series of challenges while being televised. Yup, it’s pretty much SMASH TV, Running Man, and Hunger Games, just with more Chua. As I began to dodge electrical grids, cameras swooped all over me and I even had the option to click on some of them and strike poses for the crowd.
The shiphand wasn’t particularly difficult, either. After the electricity-dodging came a fight against swarms of mobs, then a room where I had to click on glowies and stay out of the way of moving, exploding robots. I actually died here because I wasn’t quite paying attention, but I guess the game was gracious because I didn’t have to do that part again.
Then — why not — I was asked to choose one of a handful of products to endorse. The camera gave a quick close-up of me chugging down whatever swill I clicked on, which I would have posted here except that I wasn’t fast enough and one of my bots was covering my face the whole time.
The rest was pretty much a few fights against quirky gladiators (a Chua pyromaniac, a voodoo doctor) and even some “behind the scenes” guards. I loved the guards’ dying quote of, “I only had one more episode until retirement!”
Shiphands would be totally fun to design, I would think. This one had just the right amount of combat, platforming, humor, and atmosphere to really sell it. Not too short, not too long. And once again, WildStar goes for the “working space class” feel instead of high adventure. I don’t even think my character minded being kidnapped after she found out she was on TV.