Dungeon Defenders is, at its core, a tower defence game. You have various arenas and you will face waves of enemies while protecting your crystal, if destroyed then that’s game over for you. So to what sets this apart from other tower defense games? Well you have a big push towards co-op play with 4-player online co-op it’s actually a bit of a struggle to get through a level on your own. So expect to find some decent co-op partners to help you get through the tougher areas.
You have four characters to choose from, each with their own unique strengths and different defences they can set up. The game also relies quite heavily on various RPG elements. As you progress your character will earn XP you can use to level up, unlocking new abilities. There are chests around the levels that drop some loot and armour/weapons for you to equip. A nice feature here is if you hover over a pickup it will give you a thumbs up if it’s better than what you have equipped, and you can press a button to immediately equip it from there. Very nice that.
Outside of the main play area you have your own tavern, this acts as a kind of lobby area and from here you can set up co-op games and also buy new equipment and sell the mass of loot you’re going to find. Thankfully you can sell everything in your inventory at the press of a button and this also ignores anything marked as a favourite, or locked, another very nice touch. You can also buy a tiny dragon that floats around causing damage to enemies, very cute.
Couple of issues I had with the camera and interface. Firstly the user interface by default is set to the largest possible size, this means it will run over the edge of most TV screens, blocking out the edges, can be fixed in the menus, but a strange default behaviour. Also the camera can be very fiddly, at times just appearing to go through a wall and you end up staring into a black abyss, again not really game breaking, but quite a nuisance when you’re pinned up against it.
Another issue I had was with the move compatibility. Now once you get into it, the game does work quite well with Move, you basically use it as a cursor and it works ok. My first issue is that in the tutorial, the buttons displayed are related to the standard PlayStation controller and not the Move controller I was currently using, meant I had to use a bit of guesswork to get the right buttons. Also you can’t recalibrate the controller, not as far as I could see anyway. It’s a pretty standard feature for Move games that if you hold Select it re-calibrates, not so here unfortunately.
Now what this does offer you is a game where you can quickly pick up and get into. Quite a casual game with plenty of reasons to come back to level up your various characters and find new loot. A few good ideas here with a good interface, unfortunately also a few flaws as well. Now this was reviewed on the PS3, I do hear that that PC version gets more frequent updates and a few new features added. These don’t appear to be coming over to this version, which is reflected in the score. A cute graphical style on top of an easy to grasp levelling structure makes this a fun game to play.