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Dungeon Defenders II

Dungeon Defenders II is a 3D fantasy tower defense game that blends action-RPG gameplay with strategic tower building and maintenance, sequel to the popular Dungeon Defenders. Play as one of four characters and enter the game's polished maps, offering a variety of unique environmental advantages and disadvantages, with friends or as a solo player.

Publisher: Trendy Entertainment
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Tower Defense RPG
Release Date: December 5, 2014 (Open Alpha)
Pros: +Unique blend of strategy and action. +Great sense of humor. +Single and multiplayer options. +Hub tavern area.
Cons: -Pay-for-convenience -Stat and Skill system imbalance

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Overview

Dungeon Defenders II Overview

Years after the supposed defeat of the Old Ones in Dungeon Defenders, the now-aged heroes of the original game are back to stop evil from spreading across the land with a variety of updated features and graphics in Dungeon Defenders II. Jump into the action with four unique story heroes: the Apprentice, Squire, Huntress, and Monk, who each have access to a variety of unique towers and combat abilities that can trap, slow, damage, buff, or stop enemies in their tracks, working well either solo or with up to 4 players on every map. Gameplay is split between two phases: build phase, where no enemies spawn and players are given currency to summon and fortify new towers; and combat phase, where enemies are constantly spawning and deal damage to both your hero and your towers. Both phases represent the game's marriage of tower defense and action-RPG. Dungeon Defenders II also offers a variety of features that support its core gameplay, including a neutral tavern where players can meet and team up, random epic loot drops, character customization, cosmetic clothing, missions, pet collection, and more.

Dungeon Defenders II Key Features:

  • Four Main Character Classes – pick from four distinct starting classes: Apprentice, Squire, Huntress, and Monk; each with unique abilities, towers, skills, and basic attacks to make each character play totally differently.
  • RPG-Inspired Customization – customize your hero to suit your playstyle, focusing on either hero abilities or tower strength, using powerful equipment, stats, and skills that strengthen your focus.
  • Fusion of Strategy and Action – mow down hoards of spawned enemies with unique hero abilities or repair, upgrade, and build new towers during the game's combat phase to protect important objectives.
  • Single-Player and Co-operative Modes – join up with friends locally using the game's splitscreen mode, find players online, or choose to play privately for a variety of gameplay experiences.
  • Challenging Maps – unlock map difficulties as you complete the campaign, allowing players to enter Hard versions of maps, and complete achievements and challenges to add some difficulty to the game.

Dungeon Defenders II Screenshots

Dungeon Defenders II Featured Video

Classes

Dungeon Defenders II Classes

Apprentice a ranged hero with excels in multi-target attacks, who is well-balanced for solo play and multiplayer modes thanks to his variety of towers.

Squire  a sturdy melee hero with a variety of physical attack towers that can be used very effectively in both solo and multiplayer modes.

Huntress a ranged hero that deals immense damage to single targets who performs very well in multiplayer situations, utilizing traps instead of towers to stop enemies in their tracks and deal tons of damage.

Monk – a hybrid hero that can use both melee and ranged attacks who is very strong in co-operative play, using auras instead of towers to inflict a variety of effects onto the game's map.

Full Review

Dungeon Defenders II Review

By Chanel Hwang

Trendy Entertainment is back with a sequel to their popular indie game. Protect Etheria once again as one of the four beloved characters from the original game, now only a bit older, wiser, and stronger in Dungeon Defenders 2.

Let's Get Started

Dungeon Defenders 2 is a hefty 10GB, but it didn't take too long to download and install. Compared to its predecessor, Dungeon Defenders 2 has very clean visuals and a color palette that isn't as wildly bright. The reds don't glare, and the greens and blues are nicely muted. It is also clear that the user interface has been updated, looking sharper and smoother, though still a little buggy.

Character creation is still very limited and restricted to the same four characters of the original game. Players can choose from the four gender-locked and pre-made classes: Monk, Squire, Huntress, and Apprentice. Each class has their own towers and abilities, which are steadily unlocked as you level up. You are also given stat points to invest in your character's towers or their own abilities, but I found it to be quite flat and not very in-depth. The stat investments feel meaningless because the influence of items in the game overwhelmingly dominates the strengths and weaknesses of your character.

However, there are now new editions in Dungeon Defenders 2, like the Hero Deck and the Skill Spheres. The Hero Deck allows players to have up to four characters in their "deck" during a match, between whom they can switch to meet whatever needs arise during the battle. The Hero Deck can be edited in the Tavern, but once a match starts the Hero Deck is locked for the map. The Skill Spheres are kind of hard to critique as of right now. Skill Spheres are intended for the end-game and replace the "stats" that players have gained while leveling up. Yet this whole displacement of stats makes the process of leveling up quite pointless. On top of that, the Skill Spheres themselves need certain slots to be equipped, slots must be purchased, the spheres are bugged, and the spheres are insanely broken. What's the point of getting to the end-game, obtaining an Uber Sphere, and suddenly finding yourself dealing a ridiculous amount of damage? It takes the challenge and skill out of the game. But, players should not despair. The very active dev team has acknowledged the condition of the Skill Sphere system, and hopefully, they will re-balance it.

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Players are given the option of a tutorial before being thrown into a game. The tutorial is solid, easing noobs and veterans alike into the gameplay and mechanics. There is also the traditional plot of good versus evil, which I thought did a great job of sustaining the fantasy setting throughout the game. Unlike other MMOs, Dungeon Defenders 2 does not have a persistent world for players to explore. There are no towns or cities to wander around in, no fields or forests to run through. Yet despite the lack of settings, Trendy Entertainment keeps players tied and invested in Etheria in great ways, with distinct NPCs and enemies to carry out the storytelling.

Defending Etheria 

Battling in Dungeon Defenders 2 is exactly the same as its predecessor. The unique mix of tower defense with action hack-n-slash combat is a signature mark of the game franchise. In Dungeon Defenders 2, players choose a map where they will fight off waves of enemies. There are two phases in each map: a build phase and a battle phase. During the build phase, players can construct towers around the map that will deal AOE damage to enemies. These towers operate on their own during the battle phase and have health bars. If towers suffer enough damage, they're destroyed. But players can repair or upgrade towers instantly in the build phase. During the battle phase, players can run around as their Hero, casting abilities and dealing DPS to the hordes of enemies. Towers can also be repaired or upgraded, but it costs time to do so in the battle phase.

Dungeon Defenders 2 features a decent variety of maps (about 15 different ones) and different modes. The modes have different goals that must be met for players to win, i.e. Survival Mode requires you live through at least 25 waves of enemies.

The tower defense aspect of the game has been noticeably improved. One of the best parts of the game is that  your mana for building towers and your mana for your abilities are separate. Honestly, this makes more sense because the mana you expend to call forth towers during the build phases shouldn't be tied to the mana to cast spells during battle phases. The tower building interface has been streamlined and simplified, and comes with cool features like being able to see what areas are covered by your towers. It is also notable that the maps have more unique places to place your towers, such as pipes in the air or wooden overhangs.

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Maps have environmental traps, where players can trigger fire machines or gas valves during the battle phase to deal damage. Graphics for spells and attacks are varied and distinguished. Another cool addition to the game are the different types of enemies that have been introduced. It's not just suicide bombers and wyverns you have to watch out for – beware of drakins and their ranged attacks, or witherbeasts and their tankiness.

Welcome to the Tavern

The Tavern is the main hub where all activities are connected. The Tavern in Dungeon Defenders was pretty small and thus, sees a significant expansion in Dungeon Defenders 2. It is pretty spacious and now has practice dummies where players can test tower damage on top of their own character DPS. Like before, the Tavern hosts all the merchants and shopkeepers, meaning this is where you sell your gear, buy what you need, forge better gear, and pick up quests/missions. You'll meet NPCs and feel like you're part of the fantasy world. Hanging out at the Tavern instead of navigating a boring menu is a genius touch by the Trendy Entertainment team because it adds to the experience of being a warrior of Etheria.

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Many Features, New and Old

Dungeon Defenders 2 still has a system for pets, loot, achievements, and more. The pet system allows players to have a companion in battle, while achievements reward players with gold for completing tasks. There are also Daily Missions that players can grind for experience, gold, etc. New features include the Hero Deck, which allows players to have multiple characters to switch between, and the Skill Sphere system, which have both been discussed earlier. While the game is not pay-to-win, there are still pay-for-convenience items and bag expansions that must be purchased with real world cash around the Tavern.

The loot system is the bread and butter of all characters. Items have the greatest influence on your tower stats and your character stats. Every wave awards you with a decent amount of random loot, with difficult maps giving better rewards. However, one big fault of the system is the sheer amount of loot dropped. By the time you reach the end of a map, you'll have accrued so much stuff that it's ridiculous. And what's even more frustrating is that most of the time the loot is crap. You'll find yourself spending a lot of time selling. If the number of drops could be lowered it would definitely make the game more enjoyable. The chance of rare drops doesn't necessarily have to go up, either.

So... What's the Difference? 

This was one of the first questions on my mind as I played the game. Dungeon Defenders 2 felt a lot like its predecessor, only improved. There's nothing astoundingly new about the gameplay or the characters. When Dungeon Defenders 2 was first announced, Trendy Entertainment thought of trying a MOBA spin on the game. While this idea was eventually scrapped, and the game returned to the signature tower defense action game, I'm left a bit curious as to why there is a Dungeon Defenders 2 at all because there really isn't that great of a difference. Why not implement the changes of Dungeon Defenders 2 to the original game if you're not going to do something significantly different? Both games use the same engine, too. I understand that the graphics are vastly improved and there are some new systems, but as of right now, Dungeon Defenders 2 just feels like a very polished, very refined version of Dungeon Defenders.

Final Verdict  Good

While Dungeon Defenders 2 looks visually great and very polished, I can't help but be disappointed by the characters. The limited character creation and progression is kind of sad since players can't really mold them—they are already who the dev team has created them to be. I think Dungeon Defenders was a great game, and while Dungeon Defenders 2 has improved upon its predecessor, I still don't see why it has to be its own game. If the Skill Sphere system were to be balanced and new features were to add to the gameplay value, then I think that Trendy Entertainment would have another awesome game on their hands. Until then, Dungeon Defenders 2 looks solid and improved, but not quite distinguishable from the original game.

Screenshots

Dungeon Defenders II Screenshots

Videos

Dungeon Defenders II Videos

System Requirements

Dungeon Defenders II System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 (SP1)
CPU: Dual-Core 2.0 GHz
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 2600 / NVIDIA GeForce 8600
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 (SP1) / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10
CPU: Intel Core i5 / AMD Quad-Core
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 / AMD Radeon HD 4770
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Music

Dungeon Defenders II Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon...

Additional Info

Dungeon Defenders II Additional Information

Developer: Trendy Entertainment

Platforms: PC, PS4, Linux
Game Engine: Unreal III Engine

Announcement Date: March 17, 2013
Open Alpha Release Date: December 4, 2014

Dungeon Defenders II is being developed and published by Trendy Entertainment, an independent game studio based in Gainesville, FL. The game was announced on March 17, 2013 as a two-part game: an upgraded version of the first game with a variety of new content, and a competitive MOBA mode that uses similar mechanics. Its MOBA mode was launched separately into closed beta, but was ultimately cancelled due to the studio director's decision to keep the game's sequel more true to the original game. After play-testing the game in closed alpha, the developers decided to launch it on Steam as an Early Access open alpha to gain more feedback on its mechanics and act accordingly. It is planned to be in Early Access for at least a year after its initial release on Steam on December 4, 2014, and will remain free-to-play after its full release, and will be supported fully by cosmetic purchases, thanks to its developers being adamantly against the pay-to-win model.

  • Matt

    This game is already fun as hell. It takes everything that was great about the original and makes it feel like a better, higher quality experience. I was really iffy about the new character designs at first, but they've rather grown on me and I actually have a hard time looking at the older ones now.

    Just worried about what the final cash shop is going to look like. The original game had a TON of DLC. Worried about how this one will be monetized ultimately.