App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I’ve never hid my disdain for Gameloft’s lack of humility when it comes to the size of their games. I simply hate having to play “iPhone Storage Roulette” every time I want to download something. So much so that I tend to shy away from their games. Why am I droning on about this? Because Dungeon Hunter 4 is absolutely worth that headache.
Demons are overrunning the land. Lots of folks are dying. Naturally it falls upon the player and their engine of death (i.e. character), to get things back in order. What follows is an adventure anyone who’s played previous titles in the series will be familiar with. Movement, attacking, and special abilities are tied to virtual controls while the menu houses all manner of inventory and crafting options. After a series of introductory levels it’s time to wander the countryside while loot and level grinding.
One of the reasons Gameloft has a tendency to release oversized games is because they pour a lot into their audio and visuals. Granted I’m not an authority on the matter but I’m fairly certain Dungeon Hunter 4 is one of the, if not the, best looking and sounding games in their library. This extends beyond the movies, too. In-game graphics are colorful and varied (for the most part), while the music and even the voice acting (no, really) can be a pleasure to listen to. I honestly laughed out loud at some of the dialogue, and not in a bad way.
The refinement of Gameloft’s freemium mechanics is also impressive. There are certain restrictions, naturally, but they never really get in the way of having fun. Charms can be removed, combined, and added to various pieces of equipment, and while each task takes real time to finish the items can still be used in the interim. The only problem with this system is that it doesn’t function when there’s no internet connection. That means without WiFi or cellular data turned on it’s not possible to upgrade or de-charm anything.
Another issue I ran into seems to be limited to the tutorial sections, but it was still a doozy. There were certain points during my game that the touchscreen controls would simply stop responding. This typically happened after leveling up and was a huge pain to deal with since it was always mid-fight and left me completely defenseless. Exiting the game and jumping right back into it fixed the problem every time it came up, but it also reset my quest progress. For whatever reason it eventually stopped happening, thank goodness.
Aside from a few minor gripes, Dungeon Hunter 4 is a spectacular dungeon crawler. It’s gorgeous, well written, funny, full of loot, and doesn’t overtly punish players for not spending their money. I just wish half the features didn’t stop working without an internet connection.