Dungeon Defenders, available now from the PSN, is a whole lotta things in one. It’s a 3rd person hack ‘n’ slash; it’s an RPG; it’s a tower defence game; but above all, it’s a whole lotta fun. It’s success is down to the fact that it manages to combine all of the above elements successfully, resulting in a a game that takes the concept of TD games to the next level and manages to pack in more features and replay value than you’ll know what to do with.
In Dungeon Defenders, you will be playing as one of four distinct character classes – Squire, Apprentice, Huntress and Monk – each with their own strength and weaknesses, and each of which play very differently, and you will be tasked with defending your castle from hordes of rampaging monsters. So far, so fun. You protect your 3D world from a 3rd person perspective and the TD element comes from your being able to summon a huge array of defences and traps that can be placed about your castle to slow the advancing armies of darkness. But, what makes Dungeon Defenders special is the fact that you yourself are part of the castle defences and it’s your job to get right royally stuck into dispatching the monsters that are currently doing their best to make a mess of your castle. Considering how much fun TD games are to play when you’re doing little more than placing towers and letting them do their thing, it will come as no surprise to learn that when you’re actually actively involved in the process of defending, things gets whole lot more exciting.
The game sucks you in with its bright, colourful graphics, and its distinctive, chunky design and then back this up with excellent, and surprisingly immersive gameplay. This is down to the RPG element of the whole, enabling you to create and customise a huge array of weapons and equipment, as well as developing unique abilities for each class and upgrading your character’s statistics, making them stronger and more powerful as you play through the game’s 15 unique maps in Story Mode. With more than 100 enemies launching a simultaneous assault on your castle at once and huge bosses to contend with, the task of defending it won’t be easy, but you don’t have to face your enemies alone thanks to the awesome multiplayer options on offer. Online play is a given, allowing you and up to three friends to take on the task of defending the castle together, and the drop-in/drop-out feature means that they can come and go as they please, which is extremely useful. But what we love is the fact that Trendy Entertainment hasn’t forgotten about the fact that people still have real-life, real-world friends and have included a split-screen local multiplayer option too, with the same drop-in/drop-out feature, making Dungeon Defenders the perfect game to share with friends of an evening. And, once you’ve romped through Story Mode and tackled the challenge missions, there’s plenty of DLC to add even more VFM, with new character classes, equipment, levels and game modes and the first DLC pack, The Quest for the Lost Shards Part 1: Mistymire Forest, with new missions, enemies and a new boss, is available for free.
With a winning combination of gameplay elements topped off with some great visuals and a killer multiplayer mode, Dungeon Defenders is top fun, top value and just plain top notch.