I'm sure many of you are sick of the amount of games that claim to be "Like tower defense but different." In fact, I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of the genre, but that's quickly changing with Dungeon Defenders, a beautiful little game that's just as much about attack as defense.
Yes, you build blockades and turrets to stop incoming waves of enemies, but that's just part of the fun. This is a game that really lets you dive into the action.
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Dungeon Defenders is just as much a roleplaying game as it is a tower defense one. Enemies drop tons of loot, players level up, and there are unique skills for each character to uncover. I've been told that there's over eighty hours of content for those who want the best gear and need to explore everything, so that's a little indicator of how deceptively deep the experience can run.
The main objective of most levels is to protect a Core that lies of the heart of the dungeon. Enemies come in through various doors on the outskirts of the level, and each character class has a set of unique traps to stop their progress. For example, the Wizard can set up turrets that fling magic projectiles, while the Knight has various blockades that push enemies back of deal damage as they pass through.
Between each wave, players can switch characters, spend mana by building and upgrading defenses, and score loot from chests. When ready, all players activate the Core and let the monsters pour in. Solid defenses along won't cut it, however, and players will need to engage in frantic hack n' slash combat to keep the goblins and skeletons in play.
While things start simply enough, it doesn't take long for levels to become incredibly intense. Each wave adds more monsters, new enemy types, tougher challenges, and the action can get brutal. Unprepared players will be mauled and the Core will be destroyed if they're not constantly fighting, upgrading turrets, and doing everything they can to push the enemy back.
With four-player drop-in co-op (yes, split-screen is there!) and tons to uncover, plus unique levels with different objectives, Dungeons Defenders is a real surprise. The name sounds generic, but the game's quality and adorable cel-shaded visual style make for a very charming game, one that I'm looking forward to sinking many hours into.