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Review: Dungeon Defenders (Multi)

If you game on a fancy schmancy mobile phone, Dungeon Defenders may bring feelings of déjà vu, as the game released on iOS and Android almost a year ago, which just so happens to be when I first played the game. That said, I always felt something was missing in the initial release, something physical, something resembling any object with buttons and analog sticks that protrude from the device. Well guess what, Dungeon Defenders now comes with protrusion and, for the most part, I couldn't be happier. For instance, the visuals are beautiful with style and charm, making me happy.

Dungeon Defenders will feel familiar to anyone who has played Trenched or the like as it's another tower defense game where you actually control your own character. What comes across more so in Dungeon Defenders is just how much customization can go into the development of each individual character. With a level cap of seventy, many different skills to upgrade, and the ability to upgrade armor, weapons, and pets, there exists many ways to create a character who fits your personality. My only sadness comes from a lack of visible differences with new armor; however, weapons show visual distinction and there at least exists the ability to change a character's colors.

In addition to all the ways you can make a character your own, each of the four classes—the apprentice, huntress, monk, and squire—plays differently and features unique abilities and towers. And if you happen to be playing solo, you can switch between classes during the build phase, allowing a single player to utilize everything the classes have to offer, if you've taken the time to level up each class of course. And this is where a problem comes to fruition, as Dungeon Defenders feels more geared towards co-op than most other tower defense games of this, "I control a guy too," sub-genre.

I spent some brief time in both online and offline co-op, had a blast, and then went on playing the majority of the game solo. I chose this route because I am naturally inclined to soloing and I know many people are the same, with some unable to even play online. As much as I had fun leveling up and going after high scores, I found the game rather brutal as a solo player. Part of the problem was my own bad placement of towers, but more often than not, the problem stems from a "find friends or die" mentality. It never bothered me much, as I find joy in gaining experience, leveling up, and trying again, but I know others can find such difficulty annoying and this is just a friendly warning.

Dungeon Defenders is packed full of content and countless hours that could be counted, but they are, in fact, so many that I am far too lazy to count—individual leaderboards for each mode and difficulty, a lengthy campaign, a baker's dozen worth of challenges, PvP (nothing too elaborate), and plenty more to occupy time. If the game was balanced for both single and multiplayer, I'd give it five sausages in a heartbeat, but the difficulty playing alone can be overwhelming and co-op isn't always an option. I still found plenty of fun playing solo, but the real moments of bliss come from playing with a friend.

Dungeon Defenders [XBLA] (1200MS Points | Also available on PSN, Steam, iOS, Android, etc)


Reader Comments (28)

This game looks so good, the colors pop; way better than on a mobile device ;)

Can't wait to get home and play, good review man!

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Martiniak
Its always a bummer when multiplayer seems or is forced, but good to know you can still play it solo. Love the cartoony look. Looks like a mix between Orcs Must Die! and Torchlight. Cant go wrong. Good review. Thanks for the contest.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPerson_L
Hey man thanks for the review. As a solo player mostly I am on the fence about this game ^^
retweeted @genxsis83
Thanks for the mid week contest!!!
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul K
Very nice review, would love to win this. Thanks for the chance
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarrett
Played the Demo and it was really fun..I can only imagine how fun it would be to play along with some friends :).

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHestar
Looks fun! Could use a new 4 player distraction :)
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertotoguy

Thanks for reviewing, looks like a good tower defense style game.....kinda pricey so winning this would be awesome!
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Nice review man. I would definitely like to try this game.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe_JAgamer
Glad to hear about solo and multiplayer game modes. I love tower defense games so I'm pretty excited about this one. Thanks for the review.
Retweeted as @jaxparker
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJax
I really love co-op games on- and offline, now if you mix that witg the now so popular tower defense, it makes a huge combo of fun fun gaming time.
October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVDH360

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