Dungeons 3 is the new strategy simulation game developed by Realmforge Studios, as a sequel to their previous Dungeons 2. Following on from the Ultimate Evil’s domination of his land, we travel far across the seas to conquer new lands. Taking control of new heroes, minions and abilities to take down the annoying Good. Just like Dungeons 2, we play the evil side of the game, changing from the very first game of the series.
The game starts off giving us a brief recap of Dungeons 2, where the Destructive Evil had conquered all of the lands he walks on. Setting his eyes to his room, the Bored Evil has nothing to do with no more conquest at hand. After so much time of wallowing the Eureka filled Evil finds that a continent lies across the ocean, ready to be conquered. Putting his minions to build him ships he sets off an army to take over the new world.
Sadly, minions are terrible at building ships and each attempt at voyage is met with disaster. The intelligent Evil then sends a portion of his power across the ocean in the form of a shadow, to possess a new vessel to do his bidding. He finds a Dark Elf who suppresses her Evil side, corrupting her and turning her into his new lieutenant. From here we control both our Dark Elf, the Disembodied Evil’s hand of darkness and countless minions. Taking control of the new land whilst taking out the Good that prevails there.
Each mission in Dungeons 3 lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how long you spend on setting up and the mission itself. The preview build only contained 10 of the levels, ending before any finality was achieved. I got up to about 10 hours, from playing the tutorial missions and main missions combined, at the end I felt like it wasn’t enough, I wanted to continue playing the story and even skirmish. A sign of an addictive game, especially when I was up till 3am some nights with it.
The gameplay of Dungeons 3 is split up into 2 halves, the production and underground segment and the RTS over-world. Whilst you are underground in your lair you will be building rooms, passageways and traps. In the lair you can train new minions, mine for gold and mana as well as generally improving yourself or that of your army. In the over-world you will control a group of minions, from singular units like Goblins to hordes of undead. These units are controlled by selecting them with the left click and right-clicking on places to move or attack.
Underground you will be building Hideouts, to allow your Horde units to sleep, Graveyards for undead and Vortexes for Demons. If you have these facilities your units can heal underground. To allow them to level up past level 3, you will need Ale for Horde units and Mana baths for Demons. Levels increase the health, damage and defence of your units. Besides these facilities you can also build Workshops to get toolboxes and tinkers caverns to build traps.
In the Over-world you will need to be taking over fonts of Evilness, to generate evilness every few seconds, Hero camps, to stop heroes from spawning and bases from the enemy. Each mission comes with some additional tasks, like destroy towers, stopping food deliveries and the like. To complete a mission you will need to complete the main objective, mostly to kill a lieutenant or all opposing forces.
In Dungeons 3 you have 3 main resources at hand, Gold, which is used to purchase minions and build rooms, Mana, to summon Demons as well as healing them and to use spells, and finally Evilness which is used with Gold to upgrade minions and facilities in the tech tree. Gold is gained from gold veins, Mana is found in the underground and can be generated by 2 demons at a Mana shrine room you build and Evilness is generated by fonts of evilness in the over-world if you control them, or through turning heroes into undead within your prison rooms.
Overall thoughts and feelings
The music in Dungeons 3 is very fitting, going for a fantastical orchestral sound, with plenty of violins, drums and energetic tunes. There are action-packed tracks for battle and times of urgency to mellow music for times of peace and construction. There weren’t too many points where I was left without music or found any error with it. The sound effects are well made, with some comedic twist thrown in for good measure. There are some parts of the game where sound effects are repeated too often or are spammed, especially during ranged combat and mass building, this annoyance is increased even more when wearing headphones.
Dungeons 3 has a consistent incline in difficulty, without adding in any levels that force you to win with a certain unit or amount of units, similar to other RTS games. We don’t have access to all of the levels as of yet, so they may be further along. The units are well balanced, but it still falls behind in their ranged department for balance, as with many other games, ranged units can kill many waves of heroes without taking any damage. There are also sometimes where I wish there was a speedup button, due to the wait required at times to build up your forces.
Overall the beta build of Dungeons 3 was surprisingly very enjoyable, keeping me up till many a late hour in the morning. There are some things left to polish, like unit pathing, unit balance and adjusting of sound effects. The story is straightforward, leaning a bit much on its comedic approach to Evilness and the jokes thrown around here and there. It makes plenty of references to other media, like Warcraft, Lord of the Rings and general RPGs. I highly suggest keeping an eye on this game to RTS fans or fans of their second game.