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Dungeons II review

Dungeons 2

 

The dungeon sim. One of the few types of games that let you be the antagonist in control of a diabolical dungeon. At your command is a horde of goblins, orcs, trolls and all sorts of foul creatures to protect your dungeon against attacks from goody goody two shoes heroes. While there have been many games that let you become a dungeon master, by far the best one was the Dungeon Keeper series from EA back in late 90’s. Until they screwed it up with needless micro-transactions in the 2013 mobile reboot. Now that evil is back again with the release of Dungeons II. While the PC version of the game was released back in 2015, a port for the PS4 was announced and at the time of this review already released.

 

Its good to be bad

Comedic commentary from narrator- One of the best and funniest parts of Dungeons II  was the constant commentary that would come from the narrator. Sometimes he would give you hints. Other times he would insult you and berate you. And ever so often he would break the fourth wall and cite lines and other nonsense such as asking the player to buy more Kalypso games. For some reason when a you have a British narrator in a game be sarcastic to the player its funny. I guess its the accent.

Fantasy/gaming references- As I mentioned before the game’s narrator will often spout nonsense about the player’s progress, how he tipped off the heroes to get things moving along and references. And not just any references mind you. The narrator will often reference things from various fantasy movies and games such as Lord of the Rings and Warcraft. Of course he doesn’t call them out directly but subtly and often with a name parody.

DLC already on disc- DLC if done properly can be fun and extend the life of a game past its main campaign. However if done wrong and players will tear the game a new one. Since Dungeons II is a spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper and with the reboot of it on mobile, it is natural to be extremely skeptical of Dungeons II DLC.

A tale two evils- As the saying goes, everyone has their side of the story and in Dungeons II, evil has their side. The leader of evil, the Ultimate Evil, has gotten tried of having the heroes of the Overworld on a daily bases picking on his minions for experience points and looting his treasure vault. So one day he gathered a massive horde and stormed their castle. As he was on the verge of total victory, several heroes ambushed him and banished him. Or so it seemed. Decades later the Ultimate Evil returns in a spirit form/floating hand and decides to take his revenge on the Overworld. But that’s not all, along the way there is another evil that has been growing since the disappearance of the Ultimate Evil, the Chaotic Evil. Chaotic Evil saw that it was their time to rule and so he mounts an offensive against the Overworld as the Ultimate Evil is making a comeback. I like how the devs split the story between the two evils mid-way into game and you get to see two side of what is basically the same evil entity that was destroyed long ago. However they are not the only ones who want to claim the Overworld as their own…..

Brace yourselves, the undead  cometh-  Thank to an undead evil DLC pack, there is a third playable race with its own campaign that players can sink their evil claws on. Up in the frozen north of the Overworld lies a wall that separates the Overworld from an undead and evil presence. With the Ultimate Evil and Chaotic Evil fighting it out, the frozen undead limber their way south. Players will be able to command brand new units, cast new spells and new dungeon rooms as they fight in a harder campaign.

Take the fight topside- Now in most dungeon sims, the heroes come down the entrance of the dungeon, through various corridors to get to the throne room and destroy the magical pot thingy that creates the minions. Its up to the dungeon keeper to lead them into empty rooms, traps and block the heroes progress with minions and stop them. In Dungeons II however, as I mentioned in the beginning,  you grow tired of the constant looting and killing of minions so you take the fight topside. I like the idea of taking the fight to the heroes, since it living things up instead of waiting for the next wave of heroes to pour in.

Evil vs Evil- While fighting against the forces of good is fun and all, you do know that there’s another evil out there that thinks they’re more evil than you, right? Unlike other dungeon sims, Dungeons II has multiplayer in which you can challenge other dungeon keepers online and see who is the one true master of all evil.

 

Heroes ransacking your domain

Controls could use some fine tuning- I’ve mentioned this many time before in PC to console ports: I am primarily a console person. I grew up playing with a controller and just recently stepped into the would of PC gaming. And one thing that I will always notice when it comes to PC to console ports is how well the controls transfer.  Since Dungeons II is a 2015 PC port, you can tell that the controls were meant for a keyboard and mouse configuration. There’s no proper zoom in or out option, no able turning the camera on a different axis to get a different view of the dungeon and macroing units to face buttons could have been implemented better.

Matchmaking take too long- By the time this review goes it, Dungeons II would be out for at least a week. With any game that has a multiplayer section or modes packed in, I tend to wait so that the player pool that I can get matched with is bigger and populated so that I’m able to get into a match without having to wait too long. That’s not the case for Dungeons II. At first I thought it may have been my connection that is giving me long wait times. But after testing matchmaking on other games using both WiFi and wired connections, it would still take at least fifteen to twenty minutes for a match to begin. Either there’s something wrong with the servers or not that many people are playing the game.

 

 

Overall Dungeons II is the dungeon simulator that every single evil overlord has been waiting for. Though one of its major flaws is the fact that sometimes mouse and keyboard controls do not translate so well to console controls  and a very slow matchmaking system, the game’s story of two evils (three counting the DLC race) the ability to fight other evil lords online, a sarcastic yet funny British narrator yelling out pop culture/fantasy references  and the ability to take the fight to heroes  out weights those flaws. So fellow dungeons keepers, be sure to pick up Dungeons II and also make sure your traps are laid out when your gone, just in case some pesky heroes tries to raid your home when your not around.

 

7/10

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