Dungeon Defenders Impressions

We just finished a 2 hour session of Dungeon Defenders! It was the first time playing for all of us and we had a blast with the game. Dungeon Defenders came out today and you can get it on the Xbox 360 or on Steam.

Positives:

  • Gameplay is smooth. graphics are sexy
  • In-game shop (in-game currency)
  • Upgrading items (visit the forge, click the item on your character sheet, allocate a full meter of mana and it will upgrade the item by a level)
  • Persistent loot/persistent characters
  • Level design is really great
  • Each character feels different in how it defends.  Some compliment each other very well.
  • Addicting

Only one immediate negative:

  • Right now there are tech difficulties with the PC version.  Frequent disconnects from the server (which you’ll see in the video).

Dungeon Defenders is awesome.  You get to choose a character and progress with it.  Players choose which stats to upgrade and can choose to focus on their hero, their traps/turrets, or both.  Both heroes and traps are crucial to the success of the level.

The gameplay centers around obtaining mana. Mana drops from creatures when they die and from chests.  Mana is used as currency for buying items in the shop, placing turrets, and using abilities.  At the end of each round, any excess mana beyond your carry cap is “banked” for your use later in the shop/forge.

Items are also a big focus in Dungeon Defenders.  Monsters and chests can drop loot.  Weapons and armor follow a similar formula to Diablo and Torchlight in that they can be the same item but have random stats.  This makes me feel anxious whenever an item drops — could it be something awesome or just another dud?!

Perhaps most important of all, the game caters to groups of up to 4 players but can be enjoyed solo.  Get some friends together and watch two hours disappear.  We just did.

You can watch about an hour of us playing by clicking ‘Read More’. I highly recommend 53:35 since it is the final wave where we get rocked.


Watch live video from Keen and Graev’s Gaming Stream on Justin.tv

  • Awesome game having a ball on 360, when the teams talking we rock. I am having a blast.as a monk, hope to see K&G in game GT=Tuxas

  • I watched some of the stream, watched TotalBiscuit’s 70 minute play session with the Devs and downloaded the demo myself: it looks like the game is very much a different affair when played multiplayer vs solo.

    Solo I found myself getting overwhelmed or just frustrated that I could only chip away at 1 “lane” of monsters while numerous other entrances to my core were being flooded with baddies.
    At the very least on multiplayer if lanes were weak we could yell and laugh about it!

    Thankfully it’s a cheap game and the 4-pack deal on Steam is even better value.

  • By buddy and I tried the demo last night and I must admit we were a bit bummed. I was crazy excited to try this game and honestly believe that if this came out BEFORE Orcs Must Die I would be having a blast with it. But now when we play DD is just seems clunky, slow, and cramped. I like so much about the game but we were not able to get past those 3 basic issues which I believe are just focused around the fact we have played OMD for 2 prior weeks. I also realize that we just started in DD and you can level/speed up your characters so I’ll give it another shot later.

    These games are so addictive. Right now we are both recovering from a 7 hour OMD stint (up till 5 a.m. uuggg!) playing only 2 maps. I realize that OMD doesn’t have multiplayer, but having folks on the sofa with ya talking strategy, and calling out breaches REALLY helps. We were actually able to get to rank 64 and 206 on those two maps by using “Sofa Multiplayer”.

    I’m not ruling out DD yet (actually far from it), I think maybe I just need to get OMD out of my system a bit first. When you are loving a game it’s hard to replace it with anything. Keep the vids going, I’ll be watching.

    Thanks gents!

  • Playing with a team was a ton of fun last night. Three hours disappeared like nothing. The only time the game feels “slow” is during the setup phases, but without those setup phases the game would be too difficult.

    We played on easy mode and got our butts kicked in a 4-player wave 6 on level 2. The challenge is definitely there.

    @Howdy: Does OMD have persistent characters? By that I mean gaining levels, learning skills, finding items like you would in Torchlight, and upgrading stuff?

  • OMD is completely different in that respect. I’ll try and explain in the best I can as quick as I can.

    First you need to think of the main goal is to get the highest possible score per Map. If this game didn’t have leader boards my interest wouldn’t be near as high. So when you first start playing the game every map you clear you earn a new trap or spell. Currently when you complete the game you will have 28 weapons,spells,traps,and guardians to choose from. But at the start of each map you only have 10 slots to fill with those 28. Once you choose those 10 they are locked for the map.

    There are also 3 talent trees you can choose from also (using gold). These also reset at the start of each map. Once you choose a talent tree you can only stay in that talent tree for that map.
    Tree 1: Increases your traps/guardian power.
    Tree 2: Increases your characters power.
    Tree 3: Increases your character and trap power when close together and some other stuff.

    There are only a few persistent parts. The weapons,spells,traps,and guardians: Once you earn them you will always have them and can go back to the early maps with your new stuff to try and increase your high scores. Also when you win a map you are given a 1-5 skull rating (5 skulls is highest). These skulls become currency to upgrade permanently your traps and guardians. Once you purchase these you can’t undo it…ever. So you need to spend your skulls wisely. But anytime you place a trap or guradian you have upgraded it starts out upgraded.

    COMBOS! This is a BIG part of this game. This game doesn’t want you to just kill orcs, they want you to kill them in style. So every different trap that effects the orc before it dies adds a combo point. The more combo points on the orc has when it dies the higher the score for that kill.

    Example: An Orc walks over a poison spike trap, then walks in fire trap, then is shot by lighting, then is ejected in the air by a spring trap, hit by your archers on it’s way into a wall of blades will net you a combo of x6. These are crucial to getting high scores. And cool as hell when you can pull off good ones.

    At the start of each map you have a ton of choices to make to try and increase your scores/win the map. On the 2 maps we did last night we used an insane amount of different strategies.

    This game doesn’t have the MMO feel to it. Which is the main draw for me to DD.
    I wish OMD had some multiplayer and some MMO stuff, but in a way I don’t really miss it like I thought it would.

    Here are the things I really like better about OMD over DD in my VERY early comparison.
    — Combos! This game gives tons of points for Combos and kill streaks.
    — The speed of the game is NUTS (especially at the later huge levels).
    — Traps can be placed instantly from crazy range at any time if you have the gold. No summoning and can do it on the run.
    — There are different traps for ceilings, floors, and walls. You really need to look at the world and try and utilize the traps.
    — There are flying creatures that you have to account for.
    — FPS skills or VERY important. Head shots will give you instant kills. Crossbow zooms like a sniper rifle. Recoil makes you take your time, full auto is very inaccurate.
    — You don’t collect the currency, you get gold instantly from the kills. This was something I hated in Trenched. I don’t like running around collecting stuff to make my traps.
    — Barricades allow me to modify the map to my hearts content. Allows you to create new paths the orcs will go.

    DAMN…sorry longer then I thought. These two games are really very different. I don’t really see them as competitors.

  • Fun game, been playing on medium wich has been fairly easy once figured out how the traps work and such, but the next two settings are crazy, I should get a lot of time out of this game

  • hmmm should i buy on the pc or xbox ? tried the xbox version looks cool but controls feel a bit complicated 😛

  • @Dio: PC versions are almost always superior control-wise and these days way ahead on graphics if you have a good card.

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