Dungeon Defenders is a game with so much depth that at first we were overwhelmed. First with the basic’s this is an actions, RPG, tower defense, hack and slash, 4 player online and local co-op, cross platform multilayer, and player customization game. Right when you start you get to choose from 4 different classes: apprentice, huntress, monk and squire. Each character class has a unique balance and set of weapons, towers, and special abilities, for a different style of game-play. The cartoon style graphics fit well with the story and cute-scenes. Along with great features and options, this game-play is also good you basically have two phases in each level.
Shops and Pets:
The shop randomizes after each mission you complete. Prices of items rise quickly, so if you want to get a pet early you need to immediately lock one at the shop (click down the right thumbstick when the item is highlighted) before you play. Locking items means they wonâ€™t re-randomize on the next mission complete, so once you get enough mana, you can purchase them! This goes for anything in the shop. I only locked one pet and after the first level other unlocked pets nearly double in price. Another thing is that you can upgrade the level of your weapons with mana so don’t underestimate the power of a fully upgraded basic item. Checking for new items is a must also because you will never know when you will find a better and decent priced weapon.
During build phase is when you set up your defenses and repair defenses between waves and analyze the map layout to predict and plan how to stop and defeat waves of enemies to protect the Eternia Crystals. A key part in this phase is the forge, if your playing single player it is wise to change your character to have different types of defenses up to better attack waves. In Dungeon Defenders you have a set of up to eight heroes which share an inventory, not just one. You can swap between them at the forge during the build phase at any time. This helps you out a lot when you first start off when all your characters are limited in summoning defenses. Another feature for the forge is that you can do is sell your items and bank your mana when you wish to save up for that pet or item at the shop.
Once you have ready up this phase is when the enemies will flow through the map and try to reach the Eternia Crystals, you cannot just depend on your defenses to protect the Eternia Crystals, you will have to rebuild, repair and even use your characters melee attack or spells to kill enemies. Another thing you also want to do is get more mana during this phase to repair or use spells. A combination of both defense towers and attacks from you is needed to complete levels. Not all enemies will easily be distracted and slowed down by defenses you put up some will fly, others will automatically come straight for you. Along with this the mini bosses, and main bosses put up for a challenge and changes pace that makes defeating them that much more enjoyable.
This game is meant for the co-op experience. Single Player is satisfying, but co-op is a whole other experience. You can fight over loot, and trade other players for pets and equipment. Right how they don’t have a trade option you just have to drop the item old school style but they are patching this to have a trade feature among players. Another great thing is that while playing with Wallis (he from the UK) no lag or frame rate drops. Which is big because some games tend to limit the friends you can play with due to connections.
Challenge Missions and Survival Mode:
These modes bring another set of game-type and game-play for players. The main campaign missions tells the story of the game, but the challenge missions are where the tower defense gets really interesting and difficult. Imagine the crystal warps around the map every 30 seconds? How about when you are the attacker and the enemy is on the defense? This changes the aspect of the game and also gives you a different look so the game doesn’t get repetitive. A major advantage of these modes is the loot you find as you reach higher levels the weapons you find become more unique and rare leading to you having a weapon that will last you a long time and reward you for your efforts and success. Along with this is XP, which is always welcomed.
A strong point of this game is the way you can customize things from the basics to your character skin and color to the crystal you defend yourself. The PC version has more customization with characters but for the most part it is possible to put your own unique touch on characters. The opportunities for DLC and different types of weapons and unique pets is another great aspect, a brief preview can be seen below with the pre-order bonus for steam users.
This game will make you want to keep playing, the only draw back is the objective is repetitive but that’s what you expect from a “tower defense” game. The guys at Trendy Entertainment did a great job making a game that has so much depth and customization. A really great combo of different aspects of gaming. This game is a must buy from the iPhone version to the console, the price you pay is well worth for what you invest in. What you will be investing in is an incredible, unique RPG, ground-breaking experience from a game that makes you feel like you got your money worth and then some. Because of the great value of this game and how they changed a few hour game to hundred of hours of addicting replay hours earns Dungeon Defenders my Editors Choice Award.
Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Platform: PSN, XBLA, PC (Steam)
Price: $14.99 (1,200 MSPoints)
Genre: Action RPG/Tower Defense
Release Dates: October 18, 2011 (PSN), October 19, 2011 (XBLA, Steam)