Dungeon Defenders II Review
Tower defence-style games are as popular as they ever have been. Combining both base building and ability customizing, its a great form of action and strategy. Throw in some heavy RPG mechanics and you get Dungeon Defender II. Developed by Trendy Entertainment, Dungeon Defenders II is a free to play game that gives addicting gameplay, great character designs with deep customization, and lots of action in a social and interactive world. There is a lot of attention needed as there are still a bunch of gameplay hampering bugs making Dungeon Defender II a rare unpolished diamond.
Dungeon Defenders II takes place in the world of Etheria, as you setup and build defenses utilizing multiple heroes to stop the Old Ones army from destroying crystals that hold the powers of the ancient orc army. Not in a ‘god style’ over the top view tower defense title, you control your hero on the battlefield as the action takes place and do battle. Players are able to change between up to 4 heroes on the fly. Most characters are locked behind a pay wall which is the typical style of a free to play title, but allows the player to still enjoy the full game. There are 11 heroes and each play very different and are designed to look different. It really has a feel like Overwatch with the character style and play styles. Players use their heroes to defend objectives and are rewarded with loot – lots of loot. Armor and weapons, as well as relic style enhancement pieces, have tons of stats on them to help build your character how you want them. Each piece of gear can be leveled up as well to add more of a boost. There is a ton of depth between leveling your characters, building a perfect gear set, and leveling up each piece with add-ons and bonuses. Players can use their heroes to play through private or public lobbies to take on Dungeon Defenders II many activities.
Dungeon Defenders II’s campaign is of decent length but is really customizable on how you want to play it. Join open lobbies through Xbox Live or play simply with friends online or through 2 player local co-op. There are different difficulty levels for each campaign mission, all of which are re-playable to help get that much desired loot. Although a lot of the missions are playable solo, it was much easier to have the help of others; either match made companions or personal friends. Though there is a story to be told, it doesn’t really pull you in but that’s okay. Through our play-testing, we never really cared. It was so much more fun to let the game do what it did best which is give a strategic platform to flex your muscles as a battlefield general.
Outside of the free aspects, there is always the question of what does your money get you if you invest and does a game promote a pay-to-win scenario. Dungeon Defenders II does an amazing job at creating a fun environment for all. Granted, you are only given 2 heroes for free, the great character designs made us lay out for all 11 heroes. With all the loot you will earn, you can purchase more bags to carry that loot. There are treasure keys you can purchase as well as shards that give abilities to armor and weapons however those are given at random even if bought with real money. These shards in no way give you an outstanding advantage as well. The one big investment you would have to pay into is for online play. We would say 90% of your money you pay goes into cosmetic items, which are also designed really well, and that Dungeon defenders II makes itself easily accessible to all players whether you want to invest in it or not. We do recommend investing though but with one concern.
During our play tests, we ran into some bugs and issues that did sometimes hurt gameplay. Joining player created public lobbies sometimes ran into region lock issues or just the game freezing and causing us to restart. While it was working fine, we would select a level, select a lobby to join, and nothing would happen. We had to play with the UI to highlight a lobby, back out, reselect the level and then select join game. This happened more frequently than you would ever want to see in a game and might frustrate some players. Also, purchased costumes could only be worn by kind of glitching out the UI with the Seamstress to get it on. There was no other way to just put on a new purchased costume without doing this. Luckily the costume issues were patched the very next day which speaks highly about Trendy’ s commitment to improving their game. Speaking of the UI, its very complex and takes some getting used to but is also buggy at too many points. Although Dungeon Defenders II has been in Early Access on other platforms, it definitely needs some more work as these issues popped up way too much. The saving grace though is that the gameplay is just so good, which also is frustrating because we didn’t want to stop playing.
With it’s glaring issues, Dungeon Defenders II still is one of the best free to play games we’ve ever played. Trendy Entertainment needs to fully address these issues and then we would fully recommend throwing money at your television screens for this game. With it’s recent launch as a full Xbox One title now though, we aren’t too worried that these issues won’t be addressed. There is so much that Dungeon Defenders II offers to so many different people, that it’s almost impossible to not want to play this game. Because come on… it’s free!
Dungeon Defenders II is available now for download in the Xbox Live Store.