Dungeon Defenders is not your ordinary tower defense game. It reinvents the genre by blending action RPG and MMO elements with tower defense play mechanics for a truly unique experience.
In Dungeon Defenders, you begin by creating a character based on one of the four different classes — Apprentice (Mage), Squire (Knight), Huntress, and Monk. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some hero classes are easier to play than others, but as you become more seasoned in Dungeon Defenders, you will find yourself using them all eventually.
Once the character creation process is finished, you have the choice to play the single-player campaign or online with other players. Any armor, items or weapons collected during the single-player campaign will be available to you online.
Dungeon Defenders is a complex, in-depth role-playing game with many different modes of play. Aside from the single-player campaign, you can choose to play Survival Mode, Pure Strategy Mode and Mix Mode.Each mode has three difficulty settings – easy, normal and hard.
The main game plays like an action RPG with tower defense elements. When online, up to four players can join in. There is a build phase and a combat phase; the purpose is to protect an Eterernia crystal from being destroyed by a horde of creatures that enter your castle through various doorways. The build phase gives you time to plan your strategy and to lay down your blockades and defense weapons.
The type of defense that can be built is based entirely on the character class. In the Squire’s case, he can build spike blockades to block doorways, create long-range harpoon guns, cannons that fire bowling ball-style cannon balls, and spinning wheels covered in spikes. The mage can create towers that shoot fireballs, the monk can drop traps, and so on. Every character requires mana to build. At the beginning of every build phase, chests appear filled with mana crystals for this task.
After the building phase is complete, the combat phase begins and the doorways open for the creatures to enter. This is where the action RPG elements come in and things get interesting. While the traps defend the Eternia crystal, you must control your character and attack with your weapons / magic skills. For every creature killed, you will receive XP and mana crystals; you may also receive items. Defense barricades and weapons can be built during the combat phase even though it is very difficult to do. It is also possible to repair damaged defense structures during and after combat.
Each time you take on a new mission, there is an option to choose the difficulty and game mode. One feature that really impresses, is the ability to swap between heroes while playing. This can be done whether you’re playing offline in campaign mode or online with friends, but only if you’ve made more than one hero.
If you’re like me and love to collect every item that drops, you’re not going to be disappointed. Dungeon Defenders has a vast collection of armor, items, and weapons to collect. There seems to be no end to the gear that drops in the world of Etheria.
Just about everything that can be used – including pets – can be upgraded and /or improved in some way. If you find a weapon you really like, you can upgrade it for better performance. Items can be upgraded by using the mana crystals collected during combat. Basically, mana crystals are treated like currency in the game. They can also be used to purchase items from the vendor in the tavern.
It’s important to mention that your heroes share the same bank. This means they (your heroes) share everything, including money. It becomes a juggling act when you start playing more than one hero, especially when you start upgrading their gear. You can easily go broke fast.
There is an extensive talent tree that is unique to each hero. Every hero has his/her own special attacks and tower defense skills that can be used. Deciding where to spend your points after leveling up is the hard part, especially since every skill is useful at one point or another. You will gain about three skill points per level.
It is possible to trade with players while online. Trading is done in the tavern; items can be dropped for other players to pick up. Everything can be traded, including gear and pets. You can even trade mana (currency) with a friend if he/she is a little short.
The graphics have a fantasy feel to them. Bright colors and bold, black outlines emphasize the heroes and creatures. The art style used is very elegant and in some ways majestic. Dungeon Defenders has a clean looking Graphic User Interface (GUI) with an easy-to-use menu system, complete with a full screen map.
Dungeon Defenders offers so many features, and does so many things right, it is impossible to touch on everything in this review. This is absolutely the best tower defense game ever released, bar none. If you have ever played a tower defense game before and felt it wasn’t for you, Dungeon Defenders will change your mind quickly.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: Playstation 3
Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: D3Publisher / Reverb Publishing
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone)
|The graphics are absolutely beautiful.|
|The music is so good, the developer should consider releasing an OST. I like spending time in the tavern just to listen to the music.|
|Solid gameplay that keeps you coming back for more.|
|Dungeon Defenders redefines the tower defense genre. Instead of setting up your defense and watching the action unfold, you actually partake in it. This game is one of a kind.|