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Game Info:

Dungeon Defenders II
Developed by: Trendy Entertainment
Published by: Trendy Entertainment
Early Access Release Date: December 5, 2014
Available on: PC, PS4
Genre: Tower defense
Number of players: Up to four players online
ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence and alcohol references
Price: Free with in-game purchases

 

Thank you Sandbox Strategy for giving us a Defender’s Pack for this game!

Etheria is once again in peril as the harbingers are attacking their eternia crystals.  The same rag-tag team of a squire, huntress, monk, and an apprentice are all that stand between waves of monsters and total destruction.  Each class has their own unique offensive moves and defensive towers/traps/auras.  Teamwork is key as players share limited resources to build the defenses to protect the level’s vulnerable assets like crystals, eggs, valves, etc.  

Up to four plays can join in private or public matches.  The party can be varied and I like how you can have multiple characters and switch between them throughout the match.  For example, when I was leveling up my newly created monk I switched to my powerful squire to build solid defenses and let my monk pick off the remaining enemies and reap tons of experience.  Characters share inventory and it doesn’t take long before your inventory bags fill up.  More bags are available if you’re willing to pay for them.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Same great gameplay; free to play
Weak Points: Plenty of opportunities to spend real money
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence; magic use; cleavage shown by female characters; tavern setting

Trendy Entertainment is still aiming to make money so there are plenty of helpful and cosmetic upgrades available.  There are seasonal and Star Wars themed costumes available for $4-8 each.  The Defender’s Pack DLC I was given sells for $25 (but I have seen it on sale for less than $20) and it comes with 3,000 gems which is worth $30, four character accessories, and two extra character slots.   According to Trendy’s website the paid upgrades are only cosmetic and do not give players who buy them an unfair advantage.    

Instead of spending $1.50 worth of gems to unlock chests with random accessories, I sold them for in game gold which can be used to buy weapons, armor, and food for my pets.  There’s a wide variety of pets available and they are not available until a higher level map with a boss battle is cleared in the main campaign.  Once that map is completed, pets become available for all characters no matter what level they are.    

Despite much of the game being the same as the original, the character classes are more tweakable with spheres for enhancing the character’s attributes without having to level up. The maps are even more detailed and interwoven with story cut-scenes preceding many of them.   Because this title is free to play, there are many people online and ready to play alongside.  Despite having to start a few maps on my own, I seldom finished a map by myself and some people usually joined me after a successful wave or two.   Each map typically has six or seven waves.  There are multiple difficulties and the harder the difficulty you play at, the better the loot you can earn.  In the Onslaught game mode, you get to choose your reward type and IF you can survive three waves, you’ll get it.  The other game type is Incursion and this mode has super difficult and massive amounts of enemy monsters.  The same premise applies no matter which mode you choose; you have to protect the vulnerable items and utilize your defenses to choke off enemies before they even reach their target.  

Dungeon Defenders II
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 90%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

There are daily and monthly challenges and they pay out in gold and items.  The daily challenges typically involve completing a certain number of maps.  The other challenges typically require that you do a specified amount of damage or defeat a certain number of special class enemies.  Many of the enemies types are carried over from the first Dungeon Defenders, but there are some new ones as well.  The boss battles are fun and often drop legendary equipment as a reward.

Since this game is still in the Alpha state as of this review, many things are bound to change before its final release (which does not have an ETA).  While the cut scenes are a little low-res and blurry on my 27” in monitor, the rest of the visuals are very colorful and crisp.  The huntress can use a little more covering up on her chest area in my opinion.  I was bummed not to see female options available for the other classes (yet?).  Hopefully that becomes an option in the final game.

In its current state Dungeon Defenders II is very fun and pretty safe for people of all ages to play.  My eight-year-old son has started playing and really enjoys playing as a squire.  If you enjoy tower defense games and don’t mind some cartoon violence and magic use, Dungeon Defenders II is worth checking out.  I look forward to watching this game develop further and to playing more matches with my kids!

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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