Публикувани: 2 юни
Dungeon of the Endless is another entry in Amplitude's loosely connected Endless Universe. The game combines roguelike elements with the dungeon crawler.
The premise is this: you are among the handful of survivors remaining after a penal transport ship was attacked. Your escape pod crashes into the bowels of Auriga, a planet that's a wonderous hybrid of fantasy and science fiction, Our heroes must tow their escape pod's energy crystal up to the surface, floor by floor, in order to survive.
Players accomplish this trek by opening dungeon doors. This is where the game gets its turn-by-turn basis from, as each door counts for one turn. The turn aspect is central, as the vast majority of your resources will be generated in between turns from various resource modules you'll construct. Of course, opening any given door has a chance of spawning waves of enemies which the player must fend off in an effort to protect the energy crystal. If the energy crystal reaches zero, it's game over.
If this sounds like a familiar mechanic, that's because it is. It's the epitome of the tower defense game and you'll find that there is a plethora of offensive, defensive, and supportive modules the player can research and construct to assist in the effort. As in other tower defense games, each of the many enemy types have different priorities and abilities, so strategic use of these modules is important. Simply slamming down the default turret gun isn't going to help you (and in at least one game mode isn't even an option).
The goal of each level is to find the exit elevator. When the player finally finds it, they will have to plan for an anxiety-fueled escort mission. One of the heroes must transport the crystal to the exit elevator. Once the crystal is picked up, endless waves of enemies will begin spawning in darkened rooms. To make matters worse, whoever is carrying the crystal will essentially be out of commission for the battle, as bearing the crystal creates a tremendous speed debuff and disables attacks and abilities for that character. Once the crystal makes it to the elevator, the player may leave. Be careful, however, as it is possible to leave without your other party members and they will subsequently be removed from the party.
Along with the variety of modules, we have a variety of characters each with different abilities and perks. Each character belongs to one of three factions: crew members, prisoners, or natives. This is a background element but it does affect some perks and stat growth. For example, natives are the cheapest to level up but their stats aren't really impressive in their early levels. In this respect, the game is very much like an RPG, as most characters seem more easily fitted toward one role due to their stat growth and abilities. For instance, characters with a high Speed stat make suitable crystal runners because the effects of the aforementioned debuff will be less noticeable.
The graphics use a pixel aesthetic, although it does not feel retro in style. It has a crisp feel to it and is pleasing to the eyes. Despite the simplicity, Amplitude has managed to create an interesting diversity of environments. Indeed, all the rooms are invariably boxy, but it's clear they put some work into trying to make the floors feel different. There's an actual sense of progress across geographic space by using different artistic themes for the decor.
The sound quality is excellent. However, while the soundtrack is fantastic you may find it a bit repetitive after a few hours of play. I found myself turning the music off and turning on other sources for background noise after some time.
Finally, the way in which this game unravels its lore is extremely subtle and I love it. Small vignettes explaining unseen stories can occur between levels, but only if you have the appropriate characters in your party. These stories can be simply amusing, explain what a character is all about, or inform on the relationships between our starring cast. The coolest thing about these is that each story ends in a buff being granted to those involved, empowering you for the floors ahead.
Overall, I recommend this game enthusiastically. It's a wonderful blend of many different game mechanics that somehow seems to work. However, one final warning to any potential buyers: this game is difficult at first. Do not be fooled by the two options of Easy and Too Easy. I recommend chewing on Too Easy at first until you get the hang of the game. Some events are high risk/high reward and the choice of whether to take that risk is best served by a judgment cultivated in the crucible of Dungeon of the Endless.