|System: PS3, PC, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Trendy Entertainment|
|Pub: Trendy Entertainment|
|Release: October 18, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence|
The graphics, which run on Unreal, aren't groundbreaking, but they're highly polished and feature an interesting, almost cel-shaded look. The music is great, and there's a lot of voice acting, most of which is decent. And while story is mediocre—all the adults in the community leave in search of adventure, and then the children accidentally release the evil "Old Ones" from the "Eternia Crystal" in which they were trapped—not much time is spent on it.
I have only a few complaints, mostly about the controls. With a console controller, some of the menus are a disaster to navigate, requiring you to push seemingly random buttons to select various options. (If you have a choice, you might want to go with the PC version so you can navigate with a mouse.) Also, while you can rotate the camera around your character horizontally, the only control you have over its vertical alignment is to choose from several zoom levels. I frequently felt like I couldn't get the right view of the action. The auto-targeting system is also a bit wonky; when enemies are clustered together (as they frequently are, considering how many of them you face), it's hard to hit the one you want to. Further, whenever you use a feature for the first time, a character explains what it is; if you have subtitles turned on, the text overlaps with too much of the screen, which also interferes with your ability to navigate the menus.
Again, these are just quibbles—you can assign hotkeys to the features you need during battle, and none of the problems actually stop Dungeon Defenders from being a great game—but they really should have been fixed before release.
One other note for people who own multiple platforms: The PC version ships with the gameplay code and source content, so it's fully moddable. Only time will tell if this game will inspire a mod community worth participating in, but custom levels could be a lot of fun.
A few imperfections aside, developer Trendy Entertainment hit the nail on the head with Dungeon Defenders: It's unique, deep, addictive, and cheap. If you have $15 to spare and enjoy RPGs, tower defense, and a good challenge, there's no reason whatsoever to pass it up.
CCC Contributing Writer