The strategy genre is a genre of learning, learning how to overcome harsh obstacles with knowledge and tactical thinking, learning how to use your tools at the right moment, and learning how to outsmart your enemies and their own actions. Dungeon Defenders II aims to combine its take on defence-based gameplay with an emphasis on multiplayer and working with other players to beat back the forces of evil. While the game may overly depend on this approach on certain levels, and the variety can become lacking, Dungeon Defenders II is a fun and challenging ride that contains enough charm and intelligence to keep players busy until the end.
Dungeon Defenders II is played from a third-person perspective and is based on defending checkpoints from oncoming hordes of enemies. At the beginning of the game, players pick one of four hero characters, with the other 3 being made available later on in the game and through player progression. The Squire mainly acts as the tank of the four. The warrior deals out damage from close-range melee weapons and soaks in the most from enemies. The huntress relies on ranged weapons and can set a range of traps which could stun or destroy enemies once they are touched. The apprentice can cast spells from afar and could enhance the abilities of teammates as well as heal them. Lastly, the Monk is skilled in melee and magical arts and has increased mobility.
Every level is structured with multiple paths leading to several doorways, which lead to the heart of the kingdom of which the game is set in. Players are tasked with defending these entrances from the oncoming hordes of goblins, trolls and ogres until none left are standing. The pathways stretch from various angles, which make it much more difficult to keep track of all hordes at once. Players must use a variety of defensive weapons and tools to hold the hordes off. These include barriers, turrets, traps, and missile units. These structures are constructed by using green crystals, which are collected from chests placed throughout each map and from fallen enemies. The structures add a potent level of strategy to the game as you try to decide what would create the best possible defence against the growing waves of monsters. This is also bolstered by the fact that you cannot build as many as you want due to the limited number of green crystals and a defence limit that grows with every defence built, makes thinking of your actions more challenging. Managing them, along with the complex number of paths used by the enemy hordes makes levels increasingly stressful and intense as you hurriedly run back and forth to fend off each horde from reaching the final objective.
After slaying enemies players can pick up a small variety of collectables to help them in their missions. some of these are crystal shards, which can be used to construct further defensive buildings and weapons, coins, for purchasing equipment, and unique weapons, armour, and talismans, which could be used to give each hero more power. Some of them increase damage and others increase health. Many of these provide useful additions and some of the weapons provide some spectacular sights, such as firing three flaming arrows at the same time. It’s disappointing however that the armour pieces you equip are never shown on your character. new outfits are available for purchase from the game’s in-game currency but some of these pieces look interesting and it would have added much more intrigue to these items.
The game’s style is colourful, lively and enthusiastic. The areas and characters take on a childish and humorous approach, which helps to inject a more potent sense of entertainment and fun. While this style can be overly childish for some players, it’s packed with so much charm and silliness that it stays appealing.
Even on normal difficulty, the game can be especially challenging. While the game begins extremely easily and the overall difficulty became worrying, the number of defence points and enemy entries increase and new and more dangerous beasts are unleashed. the huge number of enemies make it easy to get surrounded and managing defences and patterns of which you must fend of each horde become even more vital. This increase in difficulty further encourages players to work with others in order to maintain control on all levels. On the other hand, if you prefer to play by yourself the difficulty can start to become too overwhelming. you will find yourself running back and forth between hordes and they will still be able to push through the defences and destroy the checkpoints. Since the game doesn’t do as much for solo players, the procedure can become tiresome, especially since all the missions are all based on the same thing. This flaw also becomes apparent when playing with friends. You may find yourself constructing the same defence points and killing enemies in the same exact ways, which could further add to the feeling of repetition.
The combat is fast-paced and flashy. All the weapons used by each hero is satisfying to use and could cut down enemies at hectic speeds. Each hero also has 4 abilities which can be used to cause further carnage and could greatly affect the course of fights. Abilities include pounding the ground with the Squire, which causes it to shake and send goblins into oblivion. Another, which is used by every hero is a consumable and enables each of them to regain a large portion of health, enabling them to keep fighting. Overall, the combat is very fun. hacking down enemies with swords and shooting them down with the bow and arrow are satisfying with their great visual feedback, feel, and audio, as well as the unique abilities each hero has, which further adds to the variety in combat. Alongside the central campaign, players could enhance their abilities by exploring the central hub, which allows players to purchase new gear from stores, with the gold they receive after completing each mission, as well as socialise with the game’s NPC’s.
Dungeon Defenders II is a light-hearted and highly enjoyable game which does a solid job of encouraging teamwork and keeping players on their toes as they fight together to overcome the overwhelming forces that threaten them. While it doesn’t have much variety in its mission designs and can provide a bit too much for solo players, it offers much enjoyment throughout its campaign, with a strong combat system and strategic gameplay.
REVIEW CODE: A PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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