I was going to celebrate the end of bad movie month by reviewing a bad movie, just for old times sake, but then decided that I’ve had quite enough of that, thank you very much. I mean, when was the last time I reviewed an honest to god VIDEO GAME? As someone who is a supposed gamer since the wee days, when controllers were more of joypads and the height of gaming was, in fact, River Raid on the Atari, I’ve been suspiciously silent on the new game front. This, I think is because of monies. Video games cost them. Other things I need that are only obtainable with monies: Food.
Anyway, that’s enough of a tangent. Dungeon Defenders. It only cost about ten bucks, I think, and I only picked it up because a friend on Steam said “download this now” and I said okay for some reason. And yet, unlike all the other games I have downloaded and bought on a whim, Dungeon Defenders is fantastic. I spend waking hours thinking of strategies and tricks to try. Challenges cause me to shake my fist at Trendy Entertainment for their devious ways.
There isn’t much of a story, but we’re given a reason for these shenanigans nonetheless. Back in the olden days, a great evil was sealed away into eternia crystals in the world of Dungeon Defenders. I actually don’t really know what it is or why they sealed it away, come to think of it. That part doesn’t matter. What does matter is that years later, the heroes of legend go off into adventure and leave their children, a squire, an apprentice wizard, a
total whore huntress and a bald-headed avatar monk behind to watch over the castle. These kids quickly get into some crap they’re not supposed to be into, and summon a horde of dark and angry monsters to the castle to destroy the eternia crystals in order to resurrect the blahbity bloo blahbitty blah.
Then we’re thrown into the game. You create a character based off of the four classes I mentioned, and off you go into the dungeons to save the world, and by lucky coincidence, your hides. By the end of the game, however, you’re going to need a hero from each class just to get work done, especially if you’re playing by yourself. Each class has its own unique advantages, and you’re probably going to need all of them to survive unless you’re an insanely high level and playing through on easy.
Dungeon Defenders is a tower defense/RPG hybrid. You’ll level up your character, investing points into your traps and towers, or into your hero’s physical attack and casting time or abilities, while picking up new and improved gear and pets along the way.
The apprentice specializes in towers. While the towers pack a punch and can get ridiculous range, they’re a bit on the weak side, allowing enemies to slice through. The squire specializes in high health but short ranged traps, like a spinny blade tower, a spiked barricade and more.
The huntress puts traps around the map, which are exceptionally fantastic but are only good for so many charges before they break, and the monk can lay down a number of auras to slow down the enemy, drain their strength and heal allies. There is no such thing as a bad class. Put some time into any one of the four, and soon fools will be dropping before you like flies. Enemies will walk head first into your meat grinder, which is always a satisfying feeling.
First, the positive. Dungeon Defenders is obsessively addictive. You’ll play the same levels over and over again in your quest to get to the level cap at 70. You’ll do this because much like any good grinding game like Borderlands and Diablo, when you murder people they explode into loot. At the very worst, this loot can be auto sold for mad monies, I mean mana, and at the worst they are completely badass. It’s that feeling of improvement that will keep you going, the challenges that require you to be a higher level than you currently are and the unequippable weapons that will keep you coming back and grinding for the gold.
Also, you’ll find there’s a lot of strategy that goes into this game. There’s no such thing as infinite towers. That would be madness (trust me on that. MADNESS). If you’re playing with friends, be prepared to spend a while between each wave plotting out a strategy and repairing and upgrading your towers. That’s just how it goes, man.
The negatives? Well, there are a few things. First, enemies have a tendency to be on the bullshit side of things. Wyverns, who descend from the sky and often bypass all your carefully placed defenses, and drow elves, who can take pot shots at your poor crystals from just about anywhere, come to mind. More glitchy-like are several cases of enemies falling off of surfaces they shouldn’t be able to fall off of and the ability to walk across tables and around your defenses, which gets irritating.
The other bad part… well.. these characters are supposed to be like 12. Except the huntress is the trashiest, whored out character I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand it. SO SLUTTY. My huntress in the game is actually named Trashyshoots, which I think was very fitting, all things considered.
For the price you’ll pay, Dungeon Defenders means hours of obsessive fund and a mammoth loot grind. Who cares if half the badass looking weapons you’ll find are garbage? Auto sell that crap. (Actually, the game automatically sells uncollected equipment and mana and divides it equally between your party. Reduces the time between waves pretty good there.) If you get the game on steam, you’ll also be treated to four pets ripped right out of Team Fortress 2, the engineer, pyro, heavy and medic, and eventually your huntress will be able to use the portal gun, for what that’s worth. I actually prefer to cause damage, but meh, your preference.
Oh crap I have to go. Do you see that? It’s a poor dungeon! Undefended! Those monsters.