App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Gameloft—for once—seems to be trying something different, though not too different. Instead of taking a single, popular console or PC game and jamming it into a mobile package, they’re taking a whole group of games and combining them together. Dungeon Hunter Champions is a bit like if you took Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Dota 2 and combined them together, but did so in ways that are baffling, awkward, and (as always with Gameloft) aggressively monetized. It sure does look nice, though.
It’s hard to nail down exactly what Dungeon Hunter Champions is trying to be as a game, but it’s very plain to see what it is trying to get players to do. This game is all about collecting stuff, and it seems like Gameloft’s logic behind Dungeon Hunter Champions is to combine as many games with collection-based progression systems there are into one, hulking mega-game.
There’s sections of Dungeon Hunter Champions that feel like a Diablo game, with you wandering through levels, slaying all sorts of minions in the hunt for gear. There are other times where you’re grinding out currency to try and earn heroes, which you can then be used fight other players in AI battles. And then there’s the game’s 5v5 multiplayer mode, which is essentially a stripped-down MOBA, which gives you yet another currency to spend on something else. If that weren’t enough, there’s boss raids, a blitz mode, co-op, and special events as well, all with their own kinds of drops for you to use to try and get more heroes and loot.
A game for everyone is a game for no one
The presence of all of these modes in Dungeon Hunter Champions isn’t entirely misguided. The games it imitates aren’t all that different than each other, and the idea of being able to collect cool loot and heroes that you can use across action-rpg, MOBA, and boss raid settings actually sounds like it would be pretty neat, provided you have the chops to pull it off.
Gameloft doesn’t really seem to see this potential, though. Although the game has a lot of the component parts to make these things gel, nothing really fits together. Each game mode is completely separated and locked off from the others, and Dungeon Hunter Champions makes you play certain modes and reach certain requirements to actually unlock everything the game has to offer. There are also entire systems in certain modes that don’t apply to other modes, certain characters that can only be used in certain modes, and other, strange ways of keeping Dungeon Hunter Champions from feeling like a cohesive experience.
A slick store, nothing more
As much as Dungeon Hunter Champions can be confusing, it can still reel you in, mostly thanks to some pretty impressive production values. All the heroes are colorful and expressive, single-player levels have flashy set-pieces, and everything animates quite nicely. The more time you spend with the game, though, the more and more apparent it becomes that Dungeon Hunter Champions’ wide variety of modes and slick visuals exist just to get you to interact with any combination of its seven (yes, seven) storefronts.
The stores in Dungeon Hunter Champions feel aggressive and predatory, but they’re thankfully not as tempting as they could be. If Gameloft had spent more time refining any (or, preferably, all) of its modes into something that felt more substantial than a skin-deep simulacrum, Dungeon Hunter Champions would be much more capable at squeezing money out of players. Then again though, if there was more enjoyment to be had in Dungeon Hunters Champions, perhaps it would actually be worth putting some money into.
The bottom line
Top to bottom, Dungeon Hunter Champions is a mess. It has tons of ideas going on, and some of them actually have some potential to make for a great experience, but Gameloft seems to use them exclusively to exploit players' loot lust in an effort to squeeze money out of them. What little there is to appreciate here is better found elsewhere, so don’t even bother checking this game out, even though it looks nice.