Dungeon Hunter Champions Preview: Two Games in One
- Name: Dungeon Hunter Champions
- Developer: Gameloft
- Genre: Action RPG, MOBA
- Price: Free, contains in app purchases
- Installed size: 1 gb
- Best played in medium sessions
- Minor bugs experienced
- Playable Offline: No
The newest entry in Gameloft’s famed Dungeon Hunter series attempts to take the franchise in a new direction.
Dungeon Hunter Champions can be divided into two parts, the action RPG gacha portion of the game and a 5 vs 5 MOBA mode.
Dungeon Hunter Champions: The Action RPG
The action RPG gacha portion of Dungeon Hunter Champions plays out like many other action RPGs. There are heroes to collect and power up, elemental advantages to take into consideration, and lots of enemies to take on in the game’s adventure mode stages.
Champions’ adventure mode gives gamers an appreciated amount of variety from stages to stage. On one level players might be taking on waves of enemies, in the next they might be tasked with defending a crystal from enemy attacks, and in the stage after that they might be asked to escort an NPC across the stage. It mostly boils down to killing enemies, but the different objectives help keep things from getting stale. The adventure mode’s variety also helps make up for the very forgettable story mode scenes.
The outside of the adventure mode the game has an arena mode that lets players take their favorite team of heroes and go up against the AI controlled teams of other players. This is, for the most part, the standard arena mode one might find in many mobile RPGs. Champions also has a Challengers mode that has players take on particular teams of heroes, and a raid mode that has them go up against a daily rotation of bosses.
The single player portion of the game shares the same basic control scheme as many mobile MOBA games. There’s a virtual joystick that is used to move around, an attack button, and 3 skill buttons that let players unleash each character’s signature abilities. The controls work quite well, and players are free to switch between their heroes at any time if they feel they can do a better job than the AI in a given role.
Dungeon Hunter Champions: The MOBA
The game’s MOBA portion is, in a lot of ways, distinct from the rest of the game. As MOBA’s require fair play and a certain level of balance, Dungeon Hunter Champions changes the way heroes are handled when heading into 5 vs 5 matches. As one might expect, players only use 1 hero at a time and they team up with 4 other players (or bots). To keep things manageable, not all heroes are usable in 5 vs 5, cutting down on the amount of balancing the game will need in the future. Elemental advantages and equipment are thankfully ignored while levels and a hero’s star rating are deemphasized, but still play a role in the game.
Dungeon Hunter Champions’ MOBA mode fails to rise to the level of the dedicated mobile MOBA games now available on Android. At this time players level up during the game but there is no gear to buy or skills to power up. That takes away a good chunk out of the game’s depth and strategy building. The gameplay itself is passable, but not anything special. Perhaps the biggest impediment to Dungeon Hunter being regarded as a top tier mobile MOBA is the role heroes play in the game.
While the game downplays the role of levels and hero quality, those elements still play a role. A high level 5 star hero will have higher stats as it levels up in the game’s MOBA mode, giving players with better heroes a distinct advantage over newcomers. Heroes are obtained by using either hero discs or gems. Basic hero discs that allow players to summon 1-3 star heroes are reasonably easy to acquire, while discs to acquire better heroes are significant harder to get. Thankfully the game does disclose the odds of getting a hero of a particularly rarity. Unfortunately that’s not enough when other mobile MOBA games give little or no advantage to players who spend money on the game.
Ultimately Dungeon Hunters Champions is two games in one but neither game is as good as one would hope. The single player portion of the game lacks a compelling story or interesting heroes to strive for, while the competitive MOBA mode is simply not as good as the competition.
Dungeon Hunter Champions is free and contains in app purchases. The game is currently in its soft launch phase and available in select countries. As with other soft launch titles, gameplay mechanics and balance are subject to change. Check out the game on Google Play for more information.