I have played Dungeon Defenders since the release, and only recently got the sequel titled “Dungeon Defenders Eternity”. Calling it a sequel is generous, as it is more like a touch up of the original.
The first and main difference you would notice immediately would be the mandated account creation on TrendyNet. Simple steps, but it still accounts for a pet peeve on many games introduced via Steam, a requirement for a secondary account. This was first discovered to be bothersome in the first Borderlands, as it was gimmicky, and rarely worked properly. This fear was gone fairly quickly in DDE as it was seamless, and I did not have to log in again.
As both games start, you are introduced to a splash screen. Not really an important feature of a game, and the developers realized that upon releasing the next version. Skipping screen of ‘pressing start’, you are immediately introduced to the menu selection.
This introduces a very evident new overhaul when compared to the original. DDE is heavily focused on online game play. When looking back at the first iteration, you have two options. First being online play, and the second is local. Local was my main source of entertainment when loading the DD1, as this game was introduced to me by my cousin, we would play non stop when we saw each other over our local network. It worked with out a hitch, and we never once thought of going online with it.
This changed for me recently as I moved, and wanted to play the game again with some friends. I booted up the online option and noticed a displeasing discovery, I was unable to use the items, and characters I had played with for 50+ hours with my friends now that I decided to go online. Not once since then have I touched the local option, and do not miss it.
The developers realized this was an issue, and made the entire DDE edition online. This was a good improvement as now all my items and characters could be used without a hitch. Of course this brought a small complaint, as I had to go online to play, and not have a local game, causing possible lag, and annoyance.
So for the purpose of this review, I have done both editions in an online private game, called a private tavern.
Once inside your tavern, in the first edition you were greeted with the level select screen, so I started with that. Both are relatively the same, with a few more eye candy changes made to the DDE edition. A few more tidbits of information is shown such as level recommendation for each level, a more compact menu system along the left side, and is more compact.
Of course you want to look at your character and sweet loot right? Lets take a stroll over to our forge. You can already see a slight graphic change from one to the other. A large difference, and one that is still taking a lot of getting used to is the player bar on the bottom left. The change was unneeded, as it alters the button scheme used to call defenses. As you can also see is another button option taking the keyboard shortcut ‘X’. This is a pet skill, each pet has a skill ranging from healing to a fireball attack.
Again the menu system is more compact, giving it a more streamline, less indie feel to it.
Going tot he forge also gives you the ability to look at your character, so lets. DDE gives you a much more detailed overview of your character. Allowing you to equip, change character, and take a look at your specs at the same time. As DD1 only allowed for a bit of that. But what is this? More item slots around your character?
Yes, in DDE you are provided a much more detailed armor and equipment attributes. Such as bracers, shield, belts, shoulder pads and pet eggs.
PET EGGS? Yup, you can now find pet eggs on the ground when showing your fisty cuffs to the enemy. This gives a huge change to the dynamics of the game, as pets have a much bigger influence on fighting the oncoming waves. The first thing I thought of was Pokemon, as both have a similar way of hatching eggs. Both need Experience Points, both over time. The main difference is level requirements. As seen in the image, I need to be level 16 to hatch this egg. An annoyance as I picked this up at level 6.
The Tavern is reletively the same, except for a few additions. Such as this glowy portal looking door at the back near the stairs.
As you come our of this empty hall, you can visit your tavern’s new guests. The Craftsman, and the Tailor.
Done exploring? I am, lets kill some monsters. Jumping into the first level, it is all very familiar. With a bit of colour changes, and a touch more detail in places the maps still feel all cozy.
The addition of the mini map was helpful, although I still found my self holding shift while running places to have the map overlay help me out. The monsters have been balanced considerably. With different HP, and speed differences. Item drops are not as common, but still eventful enough to get you excited. A large change was player specific drops. I get to pick up everything, as does who ever is playing with me. We all get the same amount of chests, and from what we could gather the same amount of mana. And money.
Money was a large change in the game. Instead of picking up mana to purchase things in the store, you got gold coins. Not many from chests, but in a single round you could easily get 200+ worth of gold.
The sprites for the mana pick up have changed drastically, making them look more detailed and more of the same colour. Not a fan personally of t hat change as I liked the glowing green and multiple colours found in the first edition of the game. As you can see in the image is a single gold coin just above the mini map on the right. They are plentiful, and considering you now sell you extra or not needed gear for gold, it is now in short demand. So now where do we go to use this shiny gold? The shop of course.
The menu has change drastically for the shop, not entirely for the worse either. With no need to purchase pets any more, that option has been stripped, and replaced by consumables, and in game purchases such as skins. DDE allowed you to access the options from the Forge as well, so leaving the shop became needless as you could perform all needed tasks as soon as you are teleported into the tavern.
So I bet you have beaten the game by now haven’t you. You decide to go for the challenges, and other missions in the game, when you notice something out of the corner of your eye. I sure did.
Thankfully the developers decided to keep a small surprise in the game for the players who go all out and beat the missions on easy at least. Notice how the Open light above the door is lit/not lit.
The room is full of parody items, making me chuckle a bit as I zoom in on them. This room is kept in DDE, as you can easily move the camera out of the wall and get a small glimpse of the room. I will leave what is in the room to your imagination, or your time when you get there.
The games are very similar, as Dungeon Defenders Eternity is basically just a giant update to the original. The additions and subtractions can both please and anger you depending on your standpoint of the eye candy, or menu systems. Considering the original is not being updated any longer, and a retail price on Steam is 49.99 for all classes and updates, the 19.99 for DDE is a wise consideration when it includes everything.