Dungeon Hunter 2 in Review – Be very very quiet, I’m hunting Diablos!

Ever since the original Dungeon Hunter (TMA Review) came out more than a year ago, it immediately became the undisputed king of iPhone Hack’n’Slash RPGs. Obviously inspired by the great Diablo, it still had quite a way to go to reach its full potential. With the recent release of the anticipated sequel, Dungeon Hunter 2, I had high hopes that it would finally make all things right. And having spent about a week with it, I can say that it did… at least for some things.

Dungeon Hunter 2 follows close in the footsteps of the original as a classic Hack’n’Slash RPG. The story takes place 25 years after the original’s finale. The immortal king, having defeated the evil queen once, is now the ruler of Gothicus. His two sons, having inherited the immortal blood, are now squabbling for power with one ending up banished. But in a time where evil is once again lurking, the banished one has to return to save the kingdom.

Dungeon Hunter 2 does not bring anything new to the gameplay of the original, but builds and expands on it. The focus of the game is vanquishing the hordes of enemies, hunting for loot and general munchkinism. Oh yeah, and there’s a story too, though let’s face it, most people won’t be looking for much of a story in a Diablo clone. But multiplayer – now that’s a whole different can of worms, with options to defeat the evil-doers single-handedly or with the help of friends or strangers over local or online multiplayer.

The biggest change, at least in my mind, is the shift from a location based overall map to an open world one. Once you leave the first dungeon, you’ll have the huge Gothicus forest to explore, with various main and sidequest dungeons to conquer. You should be careful, though, since it’s very easy to wander in somewhere much too difficult for your charactercurrent level. On the other hand, since there’s no penalty for death and you are simply reborn at the last checkpoint it’s not that big of a deal. All the levels are still predefined, so in case you’re up for a second run through the game, be prepared to go through the same mazes as before.

Now to the most tasty part of any Diablo-style RPG – character development. We have the same 3 classes as the original Dungeon Hunter (Warrior, Rogue, Mage), though to spice them up the game offers to specialize each in one of two possible ways about half-way through. Of course each class has its own skill tree reflecting the style most suitable for it. The array of skills isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind and their acquisition is completely linear. And as in the original you’ll gain help of fairies along the way, providing an extra special attack every 5 seconds or so, as well as protection from the relevant element.

The loot-gathering part of the gameplay hasn’t changed one bit – everything is random and the items are tiered from common white ones to gold items with 4 attribute boosts. No unique items or sets though, as well as any kind of crafting/upgrade system, which takes quite a chunk of fun out of the process.

Visually the game looks great, with partial Retina support (the menu stuff isn’t optimized for the HQ graphics and some icons look blurry). The world is rich, with fully leaved trees, convincing water and nice models. The interface is smooth and easy to use, though the restriction of only having 3 active skill buttons does mean that you will effectively only use the 3 skills throughout the game.

Dungeon Hunter 2 is basically the highly acclaimed original expanded 5 times over. But if you’re looking for some truly new features it will feel more like version 1.5 rather than a true sequel. Yes, the switch to an open-world map is great and the class specialization adds replayability, as does online multiplayer. On the other hand the levels are still predefined, there isn’t any real depth to the equipment management or branching skill trees. Regardless, if you loved the original and couldn’t get enough of it, Dungeon Hunter 2 will serve you right for up to 15-20 hours of gameplay.

With this I declare Dungeon Hunter 2 officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Dungeon Hunter 2Developer: Gameloft
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.1.2
Price:$6.99App Size:540.39MB
  • Huge open world
  • 2 specializations for each of the 3 classes
  • Nice graphics
  • Online and local multiplayer
  • Random loot
  • No branching skill trees
  • No equipment augmentation or balanced unique pieces
  • Pre-built dungeons with repetitive levels

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