Dungeons: The Dark Lord is the next game in the Dungeons series by Kalypso Media. The game is all about power, well that and abusing that power. The new page in this evil dark chapter is that the old main character of the original dungeons game, wishes to unify the underworld by remaking it as a single realm. Owned and ruled by him. To show his power he decides to create a powerful object, after 2 failed attempts(One being a rubber duck) he decides to destroy his Crystal Throne and he creates a ring from it. This is when trusty Sidekick, the Dark Lords servant, steals the ring and delivers it to the Dark Lords Ex-girlfriend Calypso. Calypso is a full-time enemy of the Dark Lord and is 100% against him ruling anything especially the whole underworld. So in an attempt to stop the Dark Lord, Calypso creates the fellowship of the Other Ring. If you didn’t get the reference put your mouse and keyboard down and shame on you.
The game follows the first Lord of the Rings chapter in much less serious way, a rubber duck is proof of this. At the start of the game you are stuck in a jail cell and quickly trick a guard into helping her escape and build her army of followers. This opening chapter is also the tutorial, spread over a few levels to explain how to best rule your dungeon. There are two main objectives to best ruling your dungeon, raise your prestige, which increases your power, and collect soul energy to make your dungeon a little more homey. To generate soul energy you just have to make the heroes that wonder into your dungeon “happy” this is done by making your dungeon look authentic, filling them with gold, and satisfying there need for a good fight. Heroes spawn from entrances around your dungeon at set times. To best “farm” soul energy from the heroes you need to check what gets their adrenaline going the most, it may be gold, monsters, armor and even knowledge. Some may just like to be scared a little by skeletons and statues. When the soul energy bar is full, you just chase them down and kill them, and one of your minion swill put them in a cell for harvesting.
The only threat the heroes bring to your dungeon (apart from stealing lots of gold) is that they can attack your Dungeon Heart. The Dungeon Heart is the source of your power and allows you to rule your dungeon and must be defended, some heroes will target the dungeon heart only bypassing all of your “treats”. The game has a lot to learn but all of these are very basic and easy to pick up.
The graphics in Dungeons: The Dark Lord are much like the first game, just enough to look good from your top down view and enough to look ok from 3rd person view. Yes, the game has two views, one the top down view allowing you see a large section of your dungeon at once and 3rd person view, allowing you to get in close on the action. Most of the game you will spend in the top down view as there is much to look over and guard that simply cannot be seen in the 3rd person camera mode. The controls are fairly simple mostly controlled by the mouse right click to move, left click to interact and tab to change between views on your keyboard.
The dialogue in the game is possibly the best part of all the sound, with jokes and stupid comments helping drive the story along, however the torture devices, “torturing” away is certainly a satisfying sound to hear while getting ready to fill them with new heroes as soon as they come to their end. Another feature in this Dungeons game is that you don’t just go from dungeon to dungeon (level to level) you actually have to walk to the next area, fighting creatures to find a new heart to build around. This helps build the story and making you feel more attached to your dungeon heart you just spent the last 8 minutes trying to find.
Dungeons: The DarkLord also has a multiplayer function, that grants you the ability to compete against other players dungeons. The skill level was pretty high so I personally wouldn’t start in multiplayer matches if I were you and attempt the campaign first.
So overall the game is very fun, much like the first with more features, new creatures, skills and a epic story of the Other Ring. As with my first review of the original dungeons, do not expect a Dungeon Keeper clone. This game takes features from Dungeon keeper and adds more depth to the game play.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.