Dungeon Defenders is a four-player tower defense game developed by Trendy Entertainment (Published by Reverb Publishing). It has been seen on a number of other devices such as Xbox Live and PC. The objective of the game is simple; you must defend your Eternia Crystals from waves of enemies using your upgradeable character and items. You may summon various blockades and turrets to place throughout the map to assist you in managing the incoming hordes. Your character, which can be one of four classes (Apprentice, Squire, Huntress and Monk) is fully upgradeable, and you can even fit him/her with new equipment that you pick up throughout the various hordes.
Though the idea of the game is simple, Dungeon Defenders is a tough game if you’re planning on playing alone. It’s clear that Trendy Entertainment wanted to encourage co-operative play, because not only do you stand more chance of beating the game with friends, but you’ll also have a more enjoyable experience that way. If you do plan on playing alone, then there’s no way possible to get through some of the levels without playing on easy first, upgrading your equipment and then playing again on a more difficult level. Even on the easiest level you will be offered and extreme challenge if you are going in alone.
Each of the four character types comes with a set of unique abilities, which again means that playing with more people is necessary if you really want to experience the game how it should be. The Apprentice is perhaps the most popular choice, which is essentially the “Mage” class if you will. Apprentices are able to set up tower defenses to deal ranged attacks.
The Squire (Warrior) is good a constructing static blockades and can even act as a shield themselves. Not to mention they inflict a decent amount of damage with their melee attacks. The Huntress (Rouge) as you probably guessed is great with ranged attacks and is able to set up gatling guns and traps. The Monk (Priest) is a support class that can heal other players as well as lay out auras which turn enemies against each other.
Using all these special abilities requires Mana, which is looted from dead enemies and chests. You can upgrade your defenses for around 100 Mana. Between each round you have a Build Phase, which allows you to prepare for the next wave (bringing back memories of Gears of War Horde). Though you can build during waves you are a lot slower, and it’s just not productive to be setting up when you’re supposed to be aggressively eliminating the threats. A successful team will have planned ahead appropriately, and used every resource available to all the characters abilities. When you’re in Build Phase you are presented with indications of where enemies will be coming from, this allows you to place your towers, blockades and traps at the most strategic points. Eventually you can even purchase pets to assist you in battle and buff your stats.
Dungeon Defenders is a game that you will easily get addicted to if you play it the right way. The ability to bank points, Mana and resources to level up things like weapons, armour and specialties will have you micro managing your various stats whenever possible. You can use all your banked materials for use with other character classes should you fancy switching to a new character type later.
There is hours of fun to be had advancing through the different levels with an organized team. Also multi-player isn’t limited to just online only, if you happen to have 2-4 friends over you can still enjoy the experience provided you have enough controllers. I don’t play many arcade titles personally, but Dungeon Defenders is by far one of the most fun games I have played on the PSN store.
This review was based on a retail download copy of the game for the PlayStation 3 provided by Sony.