WARNING: If you are looking for a storytelling game move along
WARNING2: long review
Firstly,i was not a gauntlet gamer when it was out for nes so i cant say much,i just bought it because i was curious after watching some gameplay videos and a good friend of mine suggested me that for the coop, however, i will try to describe every in game thing without spoilering it.
-CLASSES: You will have access from the very beginning to every class without restrictions except for the Necromancer which is actually unlocked for 5€ as dlc.
Elf Archer: ranged can drop bomb on the ground for a big circle explosion or sniper shot enemies (one shot which can be combined with his bomb)
Valkyrie: melee which uses spear as heavy attack. Fast melee swings. She can use her shield to reflect enemy projectiles and protect allies, as well as throw it to instant kill a group of mob.
Thor (warrior): cleave and charge are the path to victory. Warrior is immune while charging and can end his charge with a powerful attack.
Wizard: the only class that can use 9 different skills. His skills are magicka based (button combinations to trigger a specific skill). Hard to master and very powerful. Spells can be prepared before run into a crowded room.
Lilith (Necromancer): She use souls collected from kills to summon minions. the more the souls, the more will be the minions power. Her Hammerstop is very strong and useful.
-EQUIP: Gauntlet is a matter of skill only. Bewared. Gear can be unlocked finishing a certain chapter as i will mention later, but it will not influence your spell/skills damage. It is only for character appereance.
-SKILLS: There is any skill tree in this game. There are masteries, which are some "in game achievements" that can be unlocked doing some specific things described in the linked mastery in the "competences" section.
To mention some of them: they can make you move faster, will make you do a little more damage at a specific type of mob or drop less gold when you die (which can be gathered from other team members).
-GOLD gathered during instances IS NOT EQUALLY SHARED IN PARTY MEMBERS.
You will have a top gold counter in the screen that you will see growing when EVERY team member is gathering gold during runs, BUT it will be not shared equally within party members at the end of instance, instead, it will be divided on party depending on how much gold you/they have taken.I personally think it is a huge problem,however it can be fun in terms of competition.
Just saying: at the moment there are alot of veterans running even hard mode for killing time who dont really need gold, so if you are lucky enough they will skip it and will let you gather as much as you can.
Gold can be used to buy equipment and relics from the vendor in the main hall
RELICS: When you will start a game, you wil notice that at both sides of your main skill, displayed on the bottom of the screen, there are 2 emtpy spaces. These are the places where you will put your relics. Relics are items that can be bought from the shop in the main hall for the gold and upgraded 3 time max. These special skills will allow you to use specific abilities for a short time,consuming a "potion" that can gathered during every instance. (tip: potions are not shared in party members, so take them carefully depending on what you and your team mates have selected in relics).
There are several useful relics in the game and i wont spoiler them in the review but even if you will see that people will mostly use only 2 of them, every relic is helpful for some specific situation or encounter, both soloing or for supporting your group.
Potions,food,barrels,crates can be destroyed (there are also achievements for destroying things) with attacks,so be carefull,expecially to not attack potions,they really can be life savers in specific situations.
Starting the game will bring you to the main room. From here, you can access an instance at the desired difficult (the difficult level can be selected before selecting a class when you create or access an already started game). At the beginning you wont be able to select every instance,meaning that you need to unlock them doing them one by one in every diffucult level,for example, if you ended the game in normal mode you need to unlock the stages that you have already done in hard mode and the same goes for unfair coming from hard mode.
There are 12 chapters to be played. Ever chapter has 3 floors and the last floor of every chapter is a bit harder then the other 2.
Every 4 chapter you have to kill a boss which unlocks the access to the new chapters along with new equipment pieces.
Ending a game (except unfair) is pretty fast,but if you decide to master every single class,it will require you to grind alot for completing masteries (the ones that gives you bonuses) and patience for achievements.
My personal feeling about this game is that this can be a good compromise for those who are looking for a game that is fast,no queue times,for who is looking for a good hack n slash, and for those who needs a mmo feeling too. Yes its not, but it gives the impression.
Playing on coop on unfair can be really fun if not taken too seriously while pugging and emotes are sometimes hilarious.
Update--May 2015 New content is coming soon: http://arrowheadgamestudios.com/gauntlet-its-alive/
i will keep this part updated to let newcomers know if this game still worths the try/its price