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Dungeon Hunter 4 [First Impressions] Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on April 11, 2013
Last modified 1 year ago


Dungeon Hunter 4
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Gorgeously presented on Retina displays; little to no framerate drops despite the mass amounts of special effects used.
  • Each character class has a distinct feel; rewards players for branching out and trying new things.
  • Universal 'currency'; cash earned on one character can benefit another, helping to alleviate some of the 'grind'.

CONS

  • Too easy to go broke upgrading equipment to keep up with enemies; too easy to demolish any sense of challenge if you use freemium currency to sidestep upgrades.

VERDICT

Dungeon Hunter 4 is the game Dungeon Hunter 3 should have been, but as a result this Action RPG feels like a lumbering, outdated behemoth even despite its gorgeous exterior and unique feeling character classes.


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[Editor's Note: Although we've had two days with Dungeon Hunter 4, the nature of the freemium gameplay makes it hard to give a full assessment (thanks in part to the multiplayer proving difficult to test). It should also be noted we made a $5 gem pack purchase; we will highlight how this has affected our time with the game.]

There are moments when I regret my final decision after reviewing a game - Dungeon Hunter 3 has haunted me to this day and managed to get a free pass based on its cost and not its gameplay... Gameplay that was utterly abhorrent, especially when combined with its aggressive IAP system. Dungeon Hunter 4 seeks to rectify things by giving players the sense of exploration and freedom any good Action RPG should have, but there is a cost for such freedom and it's one KRPG fans should already be familiar with.

In fact, if Dungeon Hunter 4 swapped its 3D visuals for a top-down pixel-art one, you'd be hard pressed to pull it out of the crowd of KRPGs on the App Store.

The reasons for this are three-fold:

Firstly, players are thrown in to an RPG world where the experience is tweaked at just the right amount to prevent you from ever getting ahead of the curve; it's easy to find yourself quickly leaving packs of enemies your own level and fighting ones several levels higher - if you want to save your premium 'potions' for harder fights you'll need to spend a bit of extra time grinding in lower level zones.

Secondly, all of this can be completely side-stepped thanks to purchasing items from the store using premium currency (gems in this case). However, these items then reduce the gameplay to a complete farce as you swathe through mounds of enemies with little to no effort. The free-to-play alternative comes in upgrading items using 'coins', though you'll need to wait for upgrades to be completed and the enemy scaling can still outpace you. Ultimately there's no real balance between progression and challenge whether you're a free or paying customer.

Lastly, crafting has reared its ugly head, providing a nice selection of items, however you run the risk of outscaling the gear as you grind your way to the amount of crafting components required.

As beautiful to look at and as fun as the gameplay can be at times, Dungeon Hunter 4 spends too much time reminding you that you could be better off if you pay money... which is patently untrue as even with experience boosts you'll be left behind by the enemies and any item you purchase will trivialize the challenge.

While Dungeon Hunter 4 returns back to the roots of the Action RPG genre, and is far more engaging for this change, the single-player experience feels woefully lop-sided no matter how you approach it.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1 of 2 Screenshot 2 of 2

Comments

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jaxal65 1 year ago

While better than DH3, the game still relies on IAP. You cannot even buy potions without IAP. Granted they give you health potions for free, once you use the amount supplied you have to wait about 30 minutes for a new one. I am at level 8 now and have not seen a crystal drop, but they keep teasing me with shiny items in my inventory that i cannot get. DH2 was much better than this.