Dungeon Defenders

Defend This Dungeon...

...from Orcs, Ogres and Dragons! Dungeon Defenders makes you do all that, and oh so much more...
Author: Parjanya C. Holtz
Published: November 15, 2011
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When it all comes down to it, it's mind-boggling how much content Dungeon Defenders manages to offer on top of a more than solid co-op tower defense experience, both online and offline. Oh, and did I mention the immense amount of customization features the game throws at you? Whether playing online or offline there's so much you can change about how the game is played. You get to choose from four different difficulty modes (don't even bother going with “hard,” not to mention “insane” before you've learned the game's mechanics in and out and your character is at least past level 10, or maybe 15), are given the choice between finite and infinite build time, have enemies ignore you entirely taking combat out of the equation and turning this into pure tower defense, or play each dungeon in survival mode to see how long you can stand against increasingly more difficult (and numerous) waves of enemies.


But that is far from all. Besides the standard campaign that makes you defend between one and four crystal cores, the game also features a challenge mode where everything you know about tower defense is either entirely turned on its head or at least given a unique twist. These challenges range from defending an Ogre to protecting a core that'll constantly change its location by warping around to map, to having one player randomly turn into a chicken that enemies love to attack and that'll die from a single hit. Each of these challenges can once again be taken on in four different difficulty modes, with better loot being the reward the higher the difficulty you choose.

However, despite all the things it does right, Dungeon Defenders unfortunately isn't perfect. All the loot you come across in the game has different attributes, yet merely the weapons appear on your characters in physical form. Armor that's equipped doesn't change your character's appearance, and in a game that's so much focused on making you feel like your character is yours alone, this is quite the disappointment. While you can change your character's look slightly by tweaking its colors, and many of the weapons do have quite the unique appearance (and so do the pets), I'd have loved to see my character look more and more badass, and most importantly unique by the time I leveled him or her up completely. This is a detail that some may find easily forgivable considering the amount of content to be found here, yet I believe this to be essential to the feel of an RPG, and that's basically what Trendy Entertainment is trying to achieve with Dungeon Defenders – nothing more, and nothing less.

Combat also tends to feel a little stiff and repetitive, as attack animations are limited to two or three simple moves and enemies simply get tossed back when attacked, tumbling over archaically. But these are minor complaints in the wake of all that Dungeon Defenders does right combined with the amount of content it offers. If Trendy Entertainment ever gets to make a sequel (which I hope they do), I expect them to address these issues. But, until that happens you'd be hard pressed to find a deeper, more satisfying game on the PlayStation Store, and one that's easier to recommend to fans of cooperative strategy – tower defense, or not.
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The Verdict
8.5

Dungeon Defenders is an amazingly deep tower defense RPG that'll reward players patient enough to explore its incredible amount of content with one of the most satisfying co-op experiences of this generation.

8.0Graphics:

Pretty dungeons meet some occasionally stiff looking character animations. At least the framerate doesn't choke too much even in the midst of your dungeon being overrun by hundreds of different sized enemies.

8.0Sound:

Decent sound effects, a soothing voice explaining the game's basics and narrating its story and an epic, though ultimately a little repetitive sounding score make for a solid sounding game.

7.5Control:

Attacking is reserved to a single button, which can make it a chore, however when you keep in mind the amount of commands you need to make simultaneously, these controls aren't so bad after all.

8.5Gameplay:

I admit that the main campaign's standard dungeon defending can get a bit tedious over time, however there is so much cool stuff to unlock and many challenges to take on, that it's only natural that you'll feel like you've had enough after 30+ hours.