Dungeon Defenders gives you that classic RPG grind that old school gamers have craved. For the price of $15 (1200 Microsoft Points) you too, can take part in a tower defense/action-rpg.
The game puts you in the shoes of 1 of 4 customizable heroes. A ranger class, a warrior class, a mage class, and healer class. You can change the colors of each hero and even customize the color of the orb you are set to protect while you play.
You are thrusted into levels of varying designs and textures that you and up to three others must protect. The orb you protect is the most important thing to protect and because of this you must put up defenses that will cutoff advancement towards it.
Each class has different attack styles and offer hack n slash fun, but that is only half of the battle. Between and even during rounds, each class can create structures like barricades, turrets, traps, et cetera. You must keep them repaired though and as you level up you can also upgrade these structures to greatly improve your chance of success.
For example myself and two friends found ourselves struggling in the later parts of a mission because we didn’t prepare accordingly. We got sick of this and went into full strategy mode. We set turrets at all the chokepoints on the map and covered the orb like we were putting ornaments on a Christmas tree. This proved to be successful and we basked in temporary glory between waves.
Between these waves we collected these gems that worked as currency for everything i.e. casting spells, building structures, repairing structures, et cetera. So you scrounge around the map for them and pick up any loot that has fallen. There is a lot for all classes and a lot of it looks alike so you have to read the descriptions or use the time between waves to compare/sort your loot.
This is actually one of my biggest complaints about the game. The interface is used in all versions of the title and it is obviously optimized for PC use. The controls and look of the user interface is very busy and it is a hassle to understand everything happening on your screen.
I mean this doesn’t make the game unbuyable but I feel like if a little more work went into the interface/controls it would have gone a long way. It was very difficult to do things as simple as control the camera. You could click down the right thumbstick for an up close third person view which was ideal for fighting or click it again and be put in a more aerial view but it was hard to see where you were going directionally. Then if you are in the close-up view and go into a menu it reset the camera half the time.
It was just a personal annoyance though that becomes irritating when you have limited time to prepare between waves and you have little things that happen.
The classes you choose are all labeled by how difficult they are to master; the healer class is the master level class but also the most useful. Trendy Entertainment was very good at guiding players of varying ability through the introduction process.
It is highly recommended that you participate in the tutorial. I did not do this, I skipped it because I am awesome, and even I found myself dazed and confused.
After you complete a mission you are able to go forward or teleport you and your team to a tavern that allows you to regroup, sell goods, buy new items, choose the next mission, or just hang out. It was a cool little pregame lobby and judging on the high sales of Dungeon Defenders I hope we see some cool innovations to this.
Dungeon Defenders offers a lot of gameplay with a lot of depth especially for an arcade game. I was hoping for more adventure out of the game personally but I feel that this game will not disappoint the hardcore arcade fans.
Already looking to the future I really hope they try to make a true sequel. Maybe adding a hack-n-slash adventure where four players cooperatively make their way through different regions killing enemies, and then transition into tower defense missions. Either way this is a great start for their title and now that a fan base is being created I am sure Trendy Entertainment has ideas buzzing around their heads to impress us gamers in the future.
A copy of Dungeon Defenders for Xbox Live Arcade was provided to us for this review from D3Publishers.