Dungeons 2: Evil Gets a Review

We dove a bit deeper with campaign, skirmish and multiplayer modes.

Realmforge Studios' Dungeons 2 will be releasing on Steam tomorrow, April 24th. We took an early look at the game last month and returned to give its campaign a new look, as well as dipping into the skirmish and multiplayer features.

The campaign mode has been optimized since our earlier playthrough, taking care of the extra polish we were concerned that the game needed. Once you pass the tutorial mission, the in-dungeon gameplay is quite similar to the Dungeon Keeper series. You play as the Ultimate Evil's hand, build your dungeon, gather creatures, mine gold and thwart attacks on your dungeon.

Dungeons 2 goes beyond that, with research or upgrade options for rooms, spells and traps. Spend your gold to hire Little Snots (your grunt workers), Orcs, Naga, Goblins and Trolls; place traps to slow down attackers, and keep your creatures occupied. Overall, the basic campaign play within can get repetitive, as you'll find yourself performing the same actions to get your dungeon setup and protected. Hopefully there's plans for more creatures and rooms to be added later on to increase the variety of options you can choose from.

Unlike the Dungeon Keeper series, you can venture aboveground as well. Here the world is all goodness and it's your job to tramp down that sunshine and flowers. While going to the overworld makes for a unique twist on the dungeon sim gameplay, there's a disconnected feel when you're bouncing between tasks in your dungeon and accomplishing things aboveground. The overworld play is definitely akin to RTS, but without the extra tactical control and some clunkiness in unit selection.

It was still fun tromping through goody-goodies, but I enjoyed my time within the dungeon itself much more than any overworld part. The narration gives some extra amusing flavor and gives the occasional nod the Dungeon Keeper, despite being a bit repetitive, as we mentioned in our early impressions.

The multiplayer feature of Dungeons 2 will see you playing one of two factions, either the Horde or Demons. The Horde is more brute-melee, while Demons are more magically inclined. Several maps will see you pitted against 2-4 other players while trying to accomplish your main objective. Modes include Domination/Team Domination (1v1/2v2 conquer the overworld), Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch (1v1/2v2, destroy your opponent) and King of the Hill (4 players, hold sectors, earn points).

Skirmish has a few single-player maps to choose from and you can opt to play as either the Horde or Demons. A few other options allow you to customize your map settings: endless game, amount of starting gold and the initial level of your dungeon. You still have missions to work on but the core gameplay will be the same. These maps offer additional replayability to the game though, and hopefully more will be added in the near future to expand their variety.

Dungeons 2 does a great job at giving a respectful nod to the Dungeon Keeper franchise while making a statement of its own. In many ways it's the dungeon sim we've been craving for a long time, but it is a shame that the overworld gameplay detracts some from the game. We look forward to seeing what other improvements and additions Realmforge will bring to the game.

Dungeons 2 will be available on Steam worldwide on Friday, April 24, 2014. If you prefer picking up the PC retail box instead, it will be available in the EU on the 24th and the NA on the 28th.

Bill "Lethality" Leonard, Contributing Writer


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