It’s not often that something comes along and completely blows me off my feet in the way of PC games. Dungeon Defenders did just that. It’s a combination of tower defense, shooter, and role-playing game. Allow me to explain for those of you who aren’t hip enough to know the lingo.
A tower defense game has a simple goal. Bad guys spawn from one location and attempt to reach another location, usually there’s something valuable you’re tasked with protecting. To aid you, these games often give you “towers” or “turrets” to place along their path to vanquish the oncoming “waves” of enemies. As you mow down more monsters, you get more money to buy more towers and in some games upgrade them.
A role-playing game (RPG) comes in various forms but the main feature of one is a leveling system that allows your character to improve in one way or another. Generic statistics such as strength or intelligence for example might go up as you “level up.”
In Dungeon Defenders you have both. You’re tasked with protecting Eternia Crystals. Enemies spawn from set locations, increasing in size and number the more waves you finish. In between waves you can repair your towers, upgrade them, and add more. You CAN do all of those things while a wave is being played, if you’re good at multi-tasking between killing foes and managing your towers.
For each enemy you kill among other things, you gain experience points. Gain enough experience points and you “level up” allowing you to increase the stats on either your character or your towers. You can choose from a variety of things within each category; player health, speed, casting speed, special abilities, tower health, strength, recharge time…you get the idea.
Loot also drops often, allowing you to replace equipment your character has with something better. A simple thumbs up or thumbs down is on each piece you pick up allowing those seeking a less hardcore experience to know which loot drops to switch out. The rest you can sell for money, or mana, in this case.
There are roughly fifteen (I use this number loosely) stages you can play on various difficulties, including some challenge modes. In some stages, you’re faced with a boss that you have to vanquish while facing never-ending waves of enemies. In the later stages, you’re usually tasked with protecting up to four crystals at once. Luckily, the waves start small in terms of enemies to give you time to prepare for the last few waves on that stage.
The game allows up to four players to play cooperatively. Currently, there are four classes from which to choose from. The Squire, the Huntress, the Apprentice, and the Monk. All of them have separate towers and weapons which allow friends to participate in the spirit of cooperation. For example, the Monk lacks any sort of “barrier” tower that stops enemies in their tracks but does have a powerful electric aura tower that electrocutes anyone going into it. If the Monk were teamed up with the Squire, the Squire could place a spiked barricade behind the aura so enemies are constantly zapped as they try to break through.
Most games nowadays average close to sixty bucks. Luckily indie developers have stepped in lately and some of them have made some really addicting games for much cheaper. Dungeon Defenders is no exception. It’s currently on Steam for fifteen bucks. I highly recommend you give it a look!
Final Verdict: 9/10
*As with any game, check your system requirements which are usually displayed on the box or online store page to make sure your PC is compatible.*
*Available on the PC, XBox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, and certain mobile devices.*