I fear that I will be a disappointment to you guys here because I fear that this will not be a “proper” MMGaming review. In every MMGaming review so far we’ve always made sure to point out every niggardly detail that bothered us, even if it was that we didn’t like the colour of the main character’s cloak or whatever. We take the best games and always, ALWAYS make sure to poke a hole somewhere. However, no matter how hard I tried, I genuinely could NOT think up anything that I disliked about Dungeon Defenders.
The game is a third-person tower-defence/shooter type of game. The aim of the game is, like any tower-defence to stop waves of ever increasing size and strength from reaching your “Eternia Crystal”, and it is game over after the crystal takes too much damage from the attacks of these enemies. You control one of four heroes, each who has their own play style and combat style. Each hero also has the ability to summon various towers and defensive structures which you use to aid your hero in defending the crystal.
As you level up you gain access to different towers and defences and new spells for your hero plus skill points with which you can, in traditional RPG style, upgrade various attributes of both your hero and your towers, from your hero’s attack rate to the health of the towers. You also, again in traditional RPG style, get access to a large variety of weapons and armour dropped by chests or monsters which you will be constantly using to upgrade your hero.
The game looks absolutely fantastic. With a cartoony style it’s not one of those games where the most realistic of graphics is the best. But it looks really great! The animations are nice and the whole magic and fantasy aura really shines through. The game’s music, while not exactly varied, never becomes annoying or boring and always fits in with the gameplay. The combat itself is pretty awesome as well. As the Apprentice hero class I used a ranged attack fired from my staff and summoned a variety of magical offensive towers. When the enemy are at your (magic) barricades with towers firing wildly and me tapping my mouse button for all I’m worth, the game quickly becomes a frenzy of activity with magic and awesome flying every which way. And monsters flying every which way as well actually!
The gameplay is fast-paced and frantic with you dashing in between your various defensive stations to make sure they are all holding back the waves and constantly charging into the fray to deal high-powered kick ass in every direction. The monsters themselves are varied and fun to fight with each one bringing something different to the fight. Be it a shaman healing all the monsters so you have to kill them first or an annoying fucker of an archer who always focus you rather than the defences.
The use of mana for creating both towers and for use of the characters actually abilities (each character doesn’t have that many abilities, for example the Apprentice only has two spells that he actually uses outside of the two types of basic attack) is a rather nice touch and means that if you want to make use of spells in the fighting you have to avoid creating too many towers, and so it adds another layer of strategy to the game. Another nice touch is that mid-game you can actually switch between your various saved heroes (so that it seems like all four heroes are travelling through the game rather than just the one) and that means that you can summon a bunch of towers with your mage and then jump into the middle of the fight as the Squire.
The game might eventually get a little boring if you are just playing it on your own, but then the game is clearly aimed at four-player co-op. When me and Tim played together it was just a joy to play. The waves of enemies scale in difficulty, so there were suddenly twice as many monsters in each wave, and so by the end of the rounds the two of us would be blasting our way through over four-hundred monsters! It was simply crazy! And absolute joy to play!
With so many monsters it often felt like you were being over-whelmed but actually the difficulty of the game was really very reasonable and so never became frustrating or annoying, even if you died a bunch of times.
Hell, even the various maps of the game were all varied and different enough that they all felt good and different to fight in and defend. Plus, it goes without saying really, they all looked fantastic as well!
Now that I’ve had a little longer to think, I suppose I could say that the choice of the developers to have the heroes as children confused me, but it doesn’t really bother me. Also if I was to change something it might be simply to add some more spells, or to make your characters and towers look different when you upgrade them. I reckon it would just be nice if a level 3 tower just looked more impressive than a level 1 tower and it would also be nice if the armour you are using also changed the character’s appearance and not just the weapon. But in reality, while these are things I would like to add in, they are not in any way problems and simply don’t bother me. I’m only adding them in to make sure I’m still an MMGamer!
Honestly I really hope my enthusiasm is coming through here because the game is just such a joy to play. If you and friend both get it and spend a few hours every now and again blasting your way through the levels you will honestly think that it is time and money well spent! Plus, as a four-player game I can imagine that if you get three of your friends to get it and all four of you jump in then it will increase the fun EVEN MORE! As Tim mentioned to me, when he was playing 4-player the end waves in each zone often held well over 700 guys!
Also check the video for Tim’s “Lets Play: Dungeon Defenders”