Dungeons 2 Preview: PC Hands On Impressions
“Dungeons 2 was truly a fun time and a game I’ll hopefully return to when the final build launches,” says GamingBolt’s Oliver VanDervoot.
When it comes to management sim games, there are all kinds out there for the picking. Dungeons 2 qualifies as one of the truly interesting because there are so many truly odd things you are going to have to manage in order to build your dungeon and fight off the Alliance troops. There’s also something about being the bad guy and reveling in the fact that my main mission in the game is to lay waste to as much goodness and light as possible.
Dungeons 2 allows me to do this in a number of ways and while the game isn’t completely finished, what I got to see and play of the title seems to be one that I will certainly continue to play when everything it has to offer is indeed rolled out. That rollout isn’t too far away, which also had me quite excited because I honestly want to see what the full game has to offer compared to what the developer says is admittedly a held back version of Dungeons 2.
"Another way Dungeons 2 wants to stand out from the pack of games quite a bit like this is that it wants to bring quite a bit of humor to the title."
The game opens up by letting me take the role of the “Ultimate Evil” as I lay waste to a number of encampments of Alliance troops before eventually taking out their main castle. This is basically an introduction to one half of the gameplay that Dungeons 2 has to offer. Known as the “Overworld”, this is the kind of sim game type where you have to give orders to your troops and make sure you move them out of harms way before they drop dead.
There isn’t much danger of that as the Ultimate Evil, at least not that I saw. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since this is basically the introduction of the game and its initial controls. After getting through that particular level, the real meat of the game begins as I was transported to a dungeon that had very rudimentary construction and minions to control with a disembodied hand.
Another way Dungeons 2 wants to stand out from the pack of games quite a bit like this is that it wants to bring quite a bit of humor to the title. The voice over and text throughout the game is there to tell you how to get through one small mission after another, but it attempts to do so in a rather funny way. Sometimes the dialogue will be straightforward and other times the “narrator” will meander off on a tangent, having to snap himself back into the action that is being carried out on screen. The humor is sort of hit or miss. I laughed out loud at some of pop culture references but other times, I just sighed and wished the developers weren’t trying quite so hard.
"One annoying aspect of Dungeons 2 is that no matter what the personalities, they aren’t very smart. This doesn’t appear to be a “Orcs are dumb so your army is dumb” rather this appears to be a problem with the artificial intelligence in the game."
The art style of Dungeons 2 is pretty impressive and you are zoomed in enough to tell when you are selecting one of several different kinds of minions who you need to set to specific jobs. One annoying aspect of Dungeons 2 is that no matter what the personalities, they aren’t very smart. This doesn’t appear to be a “Orcs are dumb so your army is dumb” rather this appears to be a problem with the artificial intelligence in the game.
When enemies come into your dungeon, whether they are Alliance troops or other dungeon dwelling creatures, your forces aren’t going to respond automatically. At least they didn’t for me in this particular build of the game. In order to get troops to the battlefront, I had to use my disembodied hand to pick them up and move them right to where the enemy was situated. Even if a soldier seemed like he should have been in eyeshot of the enemy, they wouldn’t go and attack every time. This becomes a real problem when talking about a management game, especially when non-combatants also won’t move out of the line of fire automatically.
This particular feature might have been the single most annoying part of the entire game. If the developer isn’t able to address what appears to be a rather obvious problem with the A.I. then the game is going to be tiresome, especially as the game offers up more difficult enemies farther into the game.
"When all is said and done, the game offers enough fun and interesting aspects that I want to play more. This is a game I was able to lose an hour in pretty easily and not feel as though I was playing in circles."
When talking about the Overworld, there is less of a problem of your forces needing to recognize the enemy, since you are on the march already. Still I noticed an issue that plagues a lot of these types of games, where once I had defeated one assigned enemy, my forces would kind of mill around. Since this isn’t a problem that is limited to Dungeons 2, it’s probably not a problem I should expect to get fixed once the game is finished.
When all is said and done, the game offers enough fun and interesting aspects that I want to play more. This is a game I was able to lose an hour in pretty easily and not feel as though I was playing in circles. Being able to recruit new kinds of troops by journeying out of my dungeon was an interesting twist on this kind of game. Making my dungeon bigger and more efficient for my evil army was also quite a bit of fun.
If there’s another thing I’d love to see it would be a wide variety of rooms that can actually be built, but there was enough available that it didn’t feel needlessly repetitive. The game has a few shortfalls and it’s not going to knock anyone over with originality, but Dungeons 2 was truly a fun time and a game I’ll hopefully return to when the final build launches.
This game was previewed on the PC.