Over the past decade, few genres have saturated the market quite like tower defense titles. Lending to a deceptively simple concept, development teams the world over have tried their hands at appropriating the genre in countless creative ways. Arguably one of the most successful of these was Dungeon Defenders‘ PC debut in 2011. Three years later, the series is prepping itself for the release of its second iteration with Dungeon Defenders II.
Developed by Trendy Entertainment, the Dungeon Defenders series took the tried-and-true tower defense formula and injected it with a healthy amount of action. When news broke that its sequel would be taking the form of a MOBA, many fans were upset by the sudden change of direction. Now, a year later, Trendy Entertainment has announced that Dungeon Defenders II will be returning to its roots when it hits Steam Early Access on December 5th.
Coordinating its Early Access release with the upcoming 2014 Video Game Awards, viewers of the event will not only get a chance to see the game in action but will also receiving an announcement regarding the franchise’s future. For those who would rather jump right into the upcoming action tower defense title, the early access will net them the ability to play the game’s pre-alpha build which includes the first playable region along with the series’ four iconic heroes.
To help bring the title back to its roots, Trendy organized a small group of dedicated community members under the name of the “Defense Council” who worked closely with the development team. If Trendy can manage to build upon the successful formula they had with their first title while taking into account the concerns of their community, Dungeon Defenders II could end up being one of the late hits of 2014.
While gamers can buy into the experience early as of December 5th, Dungeon Defenders II is ultimately planned to be a free-to-play title “supported by ethical in-game purchases” when it officially launches. This is likely to cause some gamers to raise their eyebrows and for good reason. Microtransactions have seen both incredible highs and debilitating lows in the last few years. One can only hope that Trendy opts to take the less invasive route when the time comes to implement this system.
Considering the massive splash that No Man’s Sky made at last year’s Spike VGX event, it’s not without reason to hope that another indie title could steal the spotlight this year. Dungeon Defenders II may not stand as the surprise No Man’s Sky was, but the televised exposure could be exactly what the franchise and Trendy Entertainment needs to really strike gold with this title.
What changes would you like to see the series go through in Dungeon Defenders 2? Are you happy to see the game going back to its action tower defense roots?
Dungeon Defenders II is set to invade Steam Early Access on December 5, 2014 for PC, Mac and Linux users.
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