Dungeon Defenders – PlayStation 3 / PC
Release Date: October 19th, 2011
Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: Reverb Communications
Nerd Ratings: (PS3:) 7 (PC:) 7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Asmodeus
Well, what can I say about Dungeon Defenders? This is perhaps one of the most unique games I have ever played! Look up to the genre. Confused? I don’t blame you. I’ll explain as best I can. At it’s heart, it is a tower defense game, you place your towers to prevent hordes of evil creatures from destroying what you have to protect, the Eternia crystal. However, the RPG element comes from being able to actually control a character, and fight, as well. Unless you purchase more, you have a choice of four characters, each with their own role and difficulty level. Mastering these four are they key to your success in Dungeon Defenders. You have the Apprentice, the easiest class to master according to the game. He has a staff that can fire bolts at enemies, as well as a wider attack which can knock them back. His towers mostly consist of elemental themed attacks, which makes him strong and weak in certain circumstances, due to enemies having resistances to different elements. His two special abilities are Overcharge, which speeds up creating, repairing and upgrading towers, and Mana Bomb, a powerful wide range attack, which can injure or kill a large amount of enemies around the Apprentice. Next up, we have the Squire. The Squire is one difficulty level
above the Apprentice, but, in my opinion, he is actually easier to play. His attacks deal slightly more damage than the Apprentice’s, but he moves much slower. His real power, comes from his towers. They deal insane damage. One tower, the Slice n’ Dice, will become your best friend, and is the backbone of ANY defensive effort in the game. His special abilities aren’t as important, because the only reason you will use the Squire, is that tower! Then we have the next rank up, the Huntress. This is the second most important class to have. A Squire and Huntress can easily take on most games. The towers the huntress possesses are different from they others. They are traps. Instead of health, they have a set number of uses before they disappear. Repairing the traps replaces the used charges. Her special abilities are useful, Invisibility causes enemies to ignore you unless you attack, whereas Piercing Shot can fire through enemies rather than breaking on impact. Her real power, comes from the fact she has the highest DPS of any of the four classes. Finally, the most difficult, is the Monk. His towers are auras, which cause a problem is because they do not stop enemies. They do, however, give massive advantages over them. Meaning a Monk on the team can really help thin the crowds. His attacks, however, are not impressive. Now we have covered the classes, let’s look at the story.
…Or should I say, the lack of it. There is a very faint story in Dungeon Defenders. The four characters are the children of four great heroes of the land, who have left to fight a powerful evil, so they left their proteges in charge. They get bored due to the lack of adventure, and so mess about in the castle, knocking over a small crystal which attracts hordes on enemies towards the castle. Left alone, they must fight this evil by themselves, and so they set off, to battle their way up the castle. If memory serves (it’s been a while since I have been able to play the game, due to college) you get a cut scene for each level of the castle you clear, of which there are three. The basement level, the mid-section and finally, the roof.
Other than that, there isn’t a story. However, that is why the game is so good. It is basic, simple fun. The story isn’t the focus, the battles between you and hundreds/thousands of enemies is. I have never faced so many people trying to kill me, as I did on Dungeon Defenders. The enemy variations aren’t amazing, you have different types of enemies, and they are stronger depending on the color they are. Of course, there are the Ogres. That doesn’t sound like much, but, once you have played it, you’ll know what I mean. Next, why don’t I explain more about this genre?
So, I mentioned earlier that it is basically a tower defense but you can control a character, that isn’t all, it’s a little deeper than that. There is also a leveling system, and every time you level up, you get 3 points to spend on upgrades. You can upgrade four different stats in both character and towers. Which means you have three options for leveling. Tower builds, putting all of your earned points into tower upgrades, which is more suited for the Squire. Damage(or DPS) build, which is putting all points into hero upgrades, a good idea for the Huntress. Finally, a hybrid build, putting points into the most effective upgrade available, which can work for every class, depending on what you upgrade. It’s not just these upgrades that are unique to Tower Defense games, but the loot as well. Ever played Diablo? The grind for amazing gear in Dungeon Defenders is up there with the best of them. I did the same level on insane hundreds of times in order to get gear good enough to take on the end boss on insane. This is a tower defense, then, with lots of different features of the RPG genre. And I can happily report, it REALLY works!
The only area remaining,then, is why the different ratings for PlayStation and PC? Well, it’s simple. Personally, I find the PC controls less…fluid than the PlayStation, but the PC has one HUGE advantage. DLC. On PlayStation, you have the DLC quests, The Lost Eternia Shards, but on PC, you have a whole world of extra content. Quests, Costumes and even new Characters are all available for the PC, and I don’t think anymore will be released for PlayStation either. Like I said, however, the controls feel better on the console version, and if you look a bit further back in this review, I made the point that it was this games simplicity that made it great. The base four classes give more limited options to take on the hordes than you get with the DLC characters, but needing to adapt to use the towers available is one of the most fun parts. The starting four also work well together, with an amazing team being one of each different hero.
Overall, then, this is a fantastic game, an amazing time sink and has some of the funniest mulitplayer I have ever seen. When I bought this game, I didn’t play anything else for a good month. Is it worth the money? That depends, do you like games with little story, but maximum fun? Everyone needs a game like this once in a while, as a little island of insanity amidst the deeply serious games that are becoming more frequent every day.
Reviewed by Asmodeus
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