I have always been a little sceptical of free to play games as I always wonder how the developer is going to make the cost of game back. Usually it happens by means of a pay wall or the buying of in game items. The first is type is pointless as the game is just a glorified demo and the later can be split down even further. We are all familiar with the terms “Pay to Win” & “Cosmetic Items” because this is 2017 and every game (even fully prices titles) contain at least one of them. Pay to win models I will avoid like the plague as the balancing is completely unfair thanks to the YouTube Content Creators but also 90% of the time this model is used is PVP type games. If they were PVE games it would not be too bad as you are all in the same boat but if you are facing a player who has dumped many notes into a model such as Pay To Win, you will notice, as they smash your body to tiny squishy bits. I do not mind the cosmetic content but it to has a major flaw and this is the price. I have seen some “rare” virtual content selling for hundreds of pounds on eBay and that is just insane!
This little rant does have a point to it and that is Dungeon Defenders 2. A free to play PVE multiplayer tower defence game. Also a sequel to the highly popular Dungeon Defenders. This free to play title adopts a little part of both models of premium content but it does not affect the overall game, to a degree, if you are a free player.
Who To Choose
The base game offers four characters, with two unlocked until a later point. They offer different skill sets and once you learn how to use them, they are pretty powerful. Each character comes with their own set of defences and offences. Your defences are the towers that you place including barricades and projectiles with your offence skill adding more to your basic attack moves. However though, you can buy an additional 6 characters at about £10 each which is quite steep in my opinion but in comparison to the free characters they did feel more powerful from the go. I settled for the ….. character as he did look great and his special skill set was pow but just like the base characters it takes time to learn their weakness and strengths. Luckily you can practice all your moves in the Tavern area of them game before jumping into a game so developing these skills is an easy process.
Save the Core
The gameplay of Dungeon Defenders 2 is so simple but highly addictive. In each map you must protect your Eternia Crystals from a hoard of enemies. As the enemies walk their set paths you must stop them by placing down defenses. Work as a team to survive the set amount of waves and you win the match but if the enemies manage to destroy your Crystal, you fail the match. Game Over.
Depending who you choose defines what sort of defences you have at your arsenal. Ultimately you will have an attack and block but characters have different styles of attack such as ranged or magical and their defences reflect this too. You will find the more magical enemies will have elemental based defenses whereas ranged characters will have more physical based. You will soon settle for who your main character will be but if you are fussy, you can hold up to four characters at a time during each match. This allows you to mix up your defences in a match. Personally I found it more fun and easier to stick with one character but this is primarily thanks to the loot dropped by enemies.
All The Loot
All the characters level up and in turn so do your stats. However, you can upgrade your stats by applying items that are dropped within the game or collected in the end game chests. As with any game these days (especially Free to Play), all items have a grade ranging from Common to Rare but you will find that the rarest of items are not always the best. Items are equipable in items of armour, pendants and weapons. All will add or take something away from your overall stats so it is up to you to balance what you need at the end of the day. The majority of items can be leveled up even further using the ingame currency plus adding Shards to certain items will give your character certain buffs during battle. Shards tend to drop at the end of the matches but I found that the easiest way to obtain them is through the in game shop especially if you are attempting Chaos Difficulties.
One thing to watch out for with all items is that some items are only assigned to specific characters. It is not too bad on items picked up as they are technically free and can be sold on. The main place you need to look out for this is in the Shop. You are using in game currency (bought with real money) to purchase items and you could easily be stuck with items you did not need.
Fun To Play
Dungeon Defenders II is a fun game with countless hours of fun to be had whether you are 100% free or not. Once you have mastered all the default difficulties, the Chaos Difficulties. With this mode you must use and master Shards in order to overcome each of the 7 levels of Chaos. Each level introduces a new enemy type and ramps up the difficulty.
If you casually play Dungeon Defenders II then the Free to Play model in place will not cause you too much trouble. The base characters are great and you may drop a few pennies on some items but if you are going in this hardcore, you will definitely want to invest some hard cash into this experience.
At the end of the day, the game plays well, it looks fantastic, the Free to Play model is not too intrusive and is a lot of fun. It is a game that will keep my attention throughout this Summer and hopefully into the far future.
Dungeon Defenders 2 (PS4) - 8/10
- Fun Gameplay
- Stunning Visuals
- Fun to play for Free
- Certain key items are easier to get through in game purchases
- Only One Game Mode
- Difficulty ramps up fast in later game - can be countered but main issue is point one
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Mad Scientist with a passion for gaming!