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Dungeon Hunter 3 Review

By , on December 21, 2011


Dungeon Hunter 3
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Released: 21 Dec, 2011
  • Size: 444.3 MB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Gorgeous locations and character designs.
  • Four classes with a choice of focusing on two different upgrade 'paths'.
  • Lots of content to unlock and rewards for returning players.

CONS

  • Freemium 'upgrades' completely sidestep the natural progression of dungeon crawlers; reduces it to glorified twin-stick gameplay.
  • In-game currency ignores level requirements.
  • Confusing control scheme; inconsistent weapon use and unresponsive buttons.

VERDICT

Dungeon Hunter 3 takes a series that has some depth and skims from the top, providing players with a thin sheen of a game (albeit one with many levels to unlock); a boon to budget gamers willing to pay their way through grinding.


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As a life-long gamer, sometimes it's hard to separate expectations of what a game should be from what a game can be. Allow me to clarify: Just because I expect a game to work a certain way, doesn't mean it should or indeed that it's the best way. With that said, despite still having many positive aspects, Dungeon Hunter 3 by Gameloft is a dangerous example of how many could come to see 'gaming'.

iOS gamers will remember Dungeon Hunter as one of the premier Dungeon-Crawling Action-RPGs for the platform. Unfortunately the latest entry in the series has broken this chain, removing 'Dungeon-Crawling' and arguably 'RPG' from the proceedings to leave players with a gorgeously rendered fantasy twin-stick action title.

To explain the game's current iteration, one has to explain how the game operates under its 'free to play' banner. Players are free to create two characters from a pool of four different classes (more slots can be eventually unlocked), sharing experience, gold and in-game currency between them all. The upshot of this is the opportunity to earn free experience and gold for trying out new things, but the heavy downside is that 'levels' and 'gold' are merely barriers for unlocking new items rather than the usual vehicle for customizing your character.

Unfortunately the 'freemium' model of gameplay has been merged with Dungeon Hunter 3, removing the usual item drops and customized character development (through skills or talents) for items and a limited handful of skills that are made available and must be purchased and upgraded separately. Worst of all, items also take time to upgrade - merely earning the cash required to pimp out your gear isn't good enough and items you may need to clear the next arena are left unchanged until a set period of time has expired.

These artificial barriers exist only for one reason - to tempt you to dip in to the store to purchase gems or coins to jump the queue. It's entirely possible to not open your wallet, but you'll have to pay with your own spare time in lieu.

I may sound like I'm speaking as though it's all doom and gloom, but you'd be completely wrong - what makes the freemium model such a sting is just how incredible Dungeon Hunter 3 feels as an action title. It's genuinely hard to compare the quality of detail to presentation and the sheer volume of unlockable arenas to anything else in the genre. Sure, there are obvious problems such as sticky controls and inconsistencies for using certain weapons, but it's still head and shoulders ahead of what's available.

As such, Dungeon Hunter 3 is, if nothing else, a budget gamer's Christmas wish - it's not a true Action-RPG, but for a game that asks for nothing it rewards you with plenty of monster-mashing fun. However, its frustrating and obvious wallet-grabbing moves can become tiresome, especially when giving in adds no depth to the shallow gameplay offered.

Screenshots

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Comments

Avatar
diabloNL74 2 years, 9 months ago

I think people in the end will get fed up with the freemium games. I know I am! This type of games should have a warning; "This game can hurt your wallet!".