Dungeon Lords Review
Dungeon Lords is touted as a “new breed of epic fantasy RPG”. Unfortunately, this is one “new breed” of game that should have never been born. Missing features, lack of detail, and weak gameplay make this game anything but enjoyable.
The game is set in, of course, a fantasy world of dwarves, goblins, elves, and wizards. You play as a single character hero fighting against an evil so powerful it threatens the entire land. As the hero you begin by choosing from seven different player races: Wylvan, Zaur, Dwarf, Human, Thrall, Elf, or Urgoth. Additionally, you choose from four class choices: adept, fighter, mage, and thief. The odd part is that as you advance through the game you discover there are other advanced character classes that aren’t available right away. The best thing about character advancement and upgrades in this game is that you have the ability to fine tune your character continuously with small upgrades. Also, you can choose your upgrade path from a list of choices and your choice determines the types of upgrades available. This can be a benefit because, for example, a mage can also learn combat skills. The only problem with this is that some upgrade paths don’t make any sense. For the type of gameplay Dungeon Lords offers you should probably stick to combat skills and combat type upgrades. Although there is plenty of magic to be found with different types of spellcasting, it won’t do you much good in battle. Almost immediately after starting you will discover that Dungeon Lords has long drawn out battles where magic and spells aren’t that effective.
Dungeon Lords has a control setup very similar to most FPS games with WASD keys controlling movement. The mouse controls the camera angle and clicking activates spells or attacks. It doesn’t handle quite as well as most FPS games do and those of you that enjoy playing games like Half Life 2 or Counter Strike:Source will be disappointed in the floaty controls. The combat is controlled through a system that will allow you to attack or block. Many times you will find yourself in a dark dungeon somewhere smashing the heck out of your mouse as you try desperately to kill the horde of goblins that are attacking you. Using the magic can be difficult at times because, like most old-school RPGs, you need to wait to use the magic until the monster is right in front of you. Magic can be cast from either single scrolls or spells based on your players chosen field. It can also be difficult to time your blocks and attacks appropriately as the enemies tend to block your attacks. A good tip for anyone playing this game is to focus on improving your characters strength, dexterity, and vitality because these characteristics increase the amount of damage you do to your enemies. Spending your advancement points on mental abilities for your character will leave you weak against physical attacks. Another good tip is to try and focus in on a specific set of abilities. Using your points on all sorts of different upgrades won’t really benefit your player as well as using your points on a specific upgrade path.
When you do die, and die you will, there are two options for continuing. You can revive yourself by using an item in your inventory that will “cheat death”, or you can press the R key to revive yourself. Be warned, pressing R to revive yourself will lower your stats marginally. The player interface is pretty forgiving because each time you access your inventory the combat is paused until you are done. This means that you can easily swap out a spell or drop your sword in favor of a good bow. Of course you can also pull out the trusty healing potion when the huge horde of enemies has just mopped the floor with you.