Game review: Dungeon Defenders

Trendy Entertainment, and indie studio have finished their first project, Dungeon Defenders.
This game blends classic role playing game elements with the addicting tower defense formula found in games like Baloons’. Dungeon Defenders has a medieval setting and follows the basic archetypes of the genre. We have a mage that specializes in elemental magic but is rather vulnerable if he allows for enemies to close the distance. We also have a traditional warrior that specializes in melee damage and has an area of effect attack that makes short work of lesser enemies in the early rounds. Lastly, we have the ranger that is similar to that mage but can quickly take down the tougher opponents with her ability to damage a single enemy heavily.

The idea is that there is a crystal that our heroes must defend from their enemies and if they reach the crystal then the game is over. There are many different maps with their own individual setting and types of enemies ranging from a simple tavern to a forgotten temple surrounded by steaming lava. While the level design is spectacular, the art style is still very cartoon-ish and takes away from the environments full potential. The enemies are diverse and change depending on the map. While they look nice since their abilities simply mirror the abilities of the other enemies found on all other maps it feels like you’re doing the exact same thing and not really progressing and changing how you approach a scenario.

The game-play is very simple and is best played with a controller, each hero has their own type of skills that can be mapped to a hand full of buttons or keys and is very easy to pick up on. Your hero can progress in levels and you can assign points into things like strength and dexterity. These RPG elements allow your hero to grow in power and tackle the more challenging opponents at higher waves.

Dungeon Defender’s also sports a gear system that allows you to assign new pieces of armor that can enhance your characters abilities and can even unlock new powers for your hero to manipulate. It also allows for an even deeper amount of customization and changes how your character plays.

For example, you can assign more points into your mage, have gear that increase how fast he casts spells and how much damage he can do to enemies in a certain area; now you have a hero that can do significant damage to a group of enemies and be great for tight situations. Take that same mage and now you can change how you assign those points and alter the gear so that he is no longer an area of effect fighter, but now a single target attacker, making quick work of the most challenging of foes. To find this level of customization in a game is astounding and hard to come by even by today’s standards.

My favorite aspect are the co-op features, it is bundles of fun to play with two others friends or even random people you can find online. The difficulty scales according to the amount of players in a party and requires the team to work together and actively engage the endless flow of the horde. Also included in the game is an entire ‘mission’ segment that derives away from the typical ‘defend the crystal mindset’. One mission had me team up with a gigantic ogre who would normally be an enemy but we wold move around the map and try to survive together.

Problems can occur while playing online, the game play isn’t as smooth due to it being connected to a universal server and players can frequently lag out and can’t join back in the session and in the higher waves if you’re playing on the PC can cause the game to crash if there are too many enemies on the screen. Also this game isn’t available for download on a Mac OS at this moment in time.

This game also sports downloadable content that is released quite frequently. Since the game was released back in November there have already have been two expansions which only cost a mere $2.99 and come packed with new maps and enemies and new gear for your character. Altogether this game has an endless amount of content waiting to be tackled and the addicting simplistic combat system will have you eager for new content. There are still bugs and the cartoon-ish graphics might turn you off towards the game, it is definitely worth $15 and a couple hours of your time.

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