Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Defending the Dungeon's Crystals

Some of you may wonder why “A Breton in Skyrim” has slowed down considerably in the last two weeks. Anyone looking at my Friday column “Week in Review” may notice a game called DungeonDefenders continues to pop up. I am tremendously caught up in this game, so please direct all blame at it and its developers at Trendy Entertainment for why I’m not playing much Skyrim. Even now I’d rather be playing it than writing this article. I’m currently thinking of the Barbarian I may create, ready to dual-wield his way to fame and glory. Since it’s Tuesday morning and I’m honor bound to post for you all, I’ll tell you of this gem that’s been hidden away on Steam since October, 2011.

It was just two weeks ago that Steam hosted a free-weekend of Dungeon Defenders. That means players were allowed to download and play the full version of the game for 48 hours or so before the content became locked and unusable again until purchased. A friend of mine owned the game and suggested I try it out since it was free. I downloaded it on both my computer and my wife’s computer. We were instantly hooked. Our whole weekend melted away inside that game and we have yet to run out of things to do together.
If strategy isn't your thing, try big guns on for size.
 The game is a very well put together hybrid of two separate game genres. It cleverly combines a genre of game referred to as “tower defense” with all the excitement of an action role-playing game. Each level of the main game is split into two phases. There is an initial Build Phase, during which you assess the battlefield and determine the best place to build your defensive arsenal of towers and traps. Then the game shifts into a Combat Phase where you have the option to sit back and watch your constructs tear through the enemy lines, or leap into the fray yourself to hack and slash your way to victory.

Roll is my current favorite character, the DLC "Series EV"
 The game starts with 4 character classes which each have their own unique defenses to build, and unique combat styles. The PC version (as opposed to its console version cousin) also has for purchase 4 mirror classes which are gender-switched versions of the original classes but boast their own unique combat abilities making them play somewhat differently on the battlefield. It also has released 2 new and completely unique classes, also available for purchase. The game also takes a very Diablo approach to loot as it randomly generates each piece of gear that drops from monsters and chests as you play the game. Finding and leveling your gear is perhaps one of the most intricate systems within the game, and comes with its own set of challenges. If you enjoy games where you are directly rewarded for grinding out your stats (like my love affair with the “Disgaea” series) then the armor system of Dungeon Defenders will welcome you with open arms as well.

Monks are tough.
The base game comes with a full Campaign of 12 maps and an additional bonus map once you complete it. It also comes with a variety of unlockable Challenge maps which provide unique ways to play maps you’ve already conquered in the Campaign. Since its release the game has seen a steady stream of downloadable content, including a developing expansion and a slew of Challenges to reward you with unique weapons, armor, familiars and costumes for your characters. Considering the game was just released in October (approximately 6 months ago) I’m surprised at how much content there is available for the game. There appears to be new content released roughly every month to keep the game fresh and exciting with new maps to explore and occasionally new classes to level. This dedication to constant updates and new content hold a promise to keep us entertained for weeks to come.

Anyone interested in playing with me on Steam, let me know. I’d be glad to help get you started.

Play Dungeon Defenders or NiCad will arm buster you to death.

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