A Holiday to America, a bunch of DVDs and some new clothes. These are the items going through my brain as I try to think of what I could buy should I pursue a claim of work-related injury. Not because I've injured my back picking up heavy magazines, but because I've spent the last five hours on one quest and the sheer number of foes I'm up against has meant that I can feel the first twinges of RSI coming on from the non-stop clicking.
Dungeon Lords takes its cue from RPG classics such as Diablo and Gothic II, with the primary slant of the game being focused around fast-paced action, something it delivers in bundles. Right from the off, you're faced with assorted groups of nasties looking to ruin your day, and the pace rarely abates thanks to the miracle of spawning mobs. Thankfully though, the addition of rolls and dodges to your combat repertoire serve to elevate things beyond the usual buttonmashing frenzy.
Character progression is impressive and spans the entirety of the title, enabling you to specialise in your chosen profession at the various guilds that you're a member of. As well as offering various stat and ability upgrades, the titles available are nicely varied too, from standard Enchantress to uber-cool must-have Ninja Lord.
The gameworld itself features plenty of main quests and with a healthy dollop of mini-quests being dished out at your local guild too, there's enough to keep you going for around 40-50 hours. And if you're still finding it a bit tough on your own, there's always the opportunity to bring in some of your mates to give you a helping hand in the multiplayer co-op mode.
However, there's one thing that really stands out about Dungeon Lords and that's its ability to make you feel like a beta tester: simply put. this game has a quite astonishing list of issues. Rather than trying to impress the sheer number upon you, here are some of the more pressing ones we noticed...
The first sin is that there's no map function (despite the manual and the tutorial stating to the contrary). What's more, the all-essential RPG staple of character customisation doesn't work, you have to exit to the main menu to load a saved game and magic users are woefully under-balanced. Plus, some quests are broken/convoluted/ridiculously difficult; most dwellings contain no furniture and only the initial city has any wandering NPCs, making most cities feel like ghost towns. Also, the game stutters whenever a new mob is spawned, plus some skills and spells simply don't work.
However, these are just the tip of the iceberg - if you really want to indulge in a spot of sadism, I'm sure you'll find plenty more by patrolling the forums. The title simply appears to have been rushed out without any testing, which is a real shame because underneath its problems, Dungeon Lords is a solid and enjoyable, if not ground-breaking RPG.
If DreamCatcher manages to pull its socks up and releases a slew of patches quickly, this title might turn into the enjoyable romp it should have been. Until then though...
Download Dungeon Lords
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP