Reviewed: On PC,
Back in October 2011, Trendy Entertainment released their very first game, Dungeon Defenders. Dungeon Defenders is a hybrid of two popular genres: tower defence and action RPG; you control one character who gains abilities as he or she gains experience points, these abilities include the ability to lay down traps, auras or towers.
When playing the game for the first time, you can choose between four different characters classes (and more with purchasable DLC), the classes are all fairly unique, with different abilities, weapons, and structures; they lend themselves well to different playstyles, adding more variety to gameplay.
While the game can be played solo, it is intended to be played multiplayer. The ability to team up with friends, work together, and defeat a difficult level certainly adds a lot to the game. If you are unable to play with friends, however, you are still able to join other peoples, if they did not list the game as private.
The gameplay starts with a “build phase”, where you collect mana, which you then spend to summon your numerous defences. During the build phase, you can also switch character, allowing you to have each class’ towers on the level, which is very useful for soloing or playing in a small group. After everyone is ready (or if you are playing on a higher difficulty and the build time runs out!), the next phase starts.
Multiple waves of monsters spawn from gates, which you have to defeat to protect your crystal(s). Towers and defences take damage as they are attacked from the monsters, meaning that the players have to either repair them, build more, or be part of the battle themselves and attack the monsters with their weapon. While some classes are more suited to some of these tasks better than others, it allows for a varied playstyle, which again favours itself to multiplayer. It is much easier to repair a structure while you have a friend covering your back.
The game has multiple levels of difficulties to cater to different players. Easy, normal, hard, and insane (As well as Nightmare mode, with DLC), the game allows casual players to enjoy the easier difficulties while the more hardcore gamers can still be challenged, as well as everything in between. Although the higher the difficulty, the better the items gained, leading to an incentive to play at these difficulties. The gear obtained at the higher difficulties, which are usually powerful anyway, can then be upgraded, often many times. As the game became easy for the players who acquired the powerful gear, the new content for Dungeon Defenders now has much harder levels, which leads to players who do not have the powerful gear being forced to play on the easier difficulties.
There is a simple story to add a meaning to the various levels and the four original characters. While it is nothing memorable, the cute fairy-tale graphics make it a nice little diversion, serving its purpose.
The in-game graphics work well, however there are some issues which have been reported where the game crashes if the settings are above “low”. The game keeps to the fun theme, being simple and quirky, while getting the job done. Indeed, cartoony graphics may not be for everyone, but Dungeon Defenders is still pleasing to look at.
Overall, Dungeon Defenders is a very enjoyable cooperative experience, great fun to play with friends. The game is updated often as well, giving players new reasons to return to the game and adding replayability and variety. I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a fun coop rpg/tower defense game to play with friends, as the game is well worth its low cost in value.
- Great challenging and thoughtful gameplay.
- Fantastic co-operative experience.
- Replayability with multiple classes, DLC and construction set.
- Low price, good value.
- Some graphical issues.
- Some balancing issues, towards the end game.
- Not all the DLC is released on the console versions
You can find out more about Dungeon Defenders on the Official Dungeon Defenders Homepage.