From our interest in joining the OpenDev beta of the roguelike game ENDLESS Dungeon, the developers finally kindly gave us access so we could play the game first. A new addition to developer AMPLITUDE Studios’ “ENDLESS” series, the game does look similar at first glance to the original Dungeon from the ENDLESS series, but has now switched to 3D graphics.
While waiting for the official launch, with no firm timeline yet, we thought this would be an opportune time to share our first impressions after testing the game over the past few days. We hope this initial review has given you a clearer idea of what the game is about and what to expect from the gaming experience on offer.
Before discussing the gameplay on offer, let’s take a look at the quality of the graphics, which is really one of the main concerns compared to the dungeons of the ENDLESS series. While this feels like a natural transition, especially if you compare it to other series like Danger in the Rain, which have proven more successful with a 3D graphics approach, unfortunately this overhaul Not fully compatible with this game. One of the reasons is because you don’t get a very clear view, whether it’s because too many sources spread out over the map area, it’s too dim even with lights.
For a roguelike game that requires combat and all the action is fast-paced, one of the parts the game has to satisfy is definitely the effectiveness of the game’s perspective. That’s why the suboptimal design in this game makes us feel that the transition to 3D graphics still requires more tweaking. The node positions of some important materials also need to be re-adjusted, because sometimes when we play there are nodes hidden behind objects especially in dark places, so it would be helpful to have some kind of highlight effect to mark them. Other than that, we are very pleased with the overall performance, which is charming and has its own character.
The entire gameplay of ENDLESS Dungeon is centered on trying to protect the crystals that are a precious resource for life in the universe. Roguelike games often throw you into endless combat action where the task is to complete a level or eliminate as many enemies as possible, so switching priorities to protect something can be a problem. At least that’s our initial impression, as it turns out to be an ideal, and sometimes more challenging, task idea for the genre.
Unlike the Endless Dungeon, which requires characters to carry crystals with them, this quest can be handed over to a fairly fast-moving, multi-purpose robot. It’s also important to note that the robot carrying the crystal must always be guided by you so that it can move to its next destination, as the robot could be destroyed and automatically affect your character if left alone. Turrets can be used as an additional protection option, just because the game is made on a procedurally generated basis, so sometimes the turret you place becomes less useful because it doesn’t have the range to cover all the main targets.
Predetermined monster spawn locations did allow us to better prepare for surprise attacks, but it wasn’t enough to make the difficulty level easier. From here, you have to focus more on your tactical play rather than just relying on intuition or quick reflexes. There are also many scenarios to consider, such as the character’s HP not fully recovered after the enemy’s attack wave ends, so you should be able to prepare enough medical kit inventory to deal with more intense battles.
Sometimes special scenarios, like entering a room that is too dark, require special dust/powder as a light source. Because it’s a scarce resource, you have to think more than getting clear lighting. This is because Dust can be used as a resource to activate special rooms, giving you access to more customization. Additionally, dust shards you find in multiple places can be used to upgrade your main crystal, so you can imagine for yourself how important this material is to helping you with your survival quests.
Each character has access to a special gadget that plays a role in granting passive skills. Whether it’s because of a bug or other triggers, we can’t use this gadget on a character even if the device slot is still empty. If you want to increase your hero’s potential, you can level up through a special station that sometimes traps you in defensive missions until you perform the new research module process. As we’ve already mentioned, the monsters in this game have more predictable spawn moments, which can be very helpful if you’re in a resource crisis. Another change we appreciate the most is how you repair damaged turrets and models, so you don’t have to worry about always having to replace them with new ones.
When playing live, you’ll lead a squad of three characters, all of which can be flexibly changed. The crystal you’re protecting now doesn’t need to be carried manually and can follow your movements, it’s just that every movement will attract the enemy’s attention, which means you have to be more prepared when the time comes. It’s also important to note that enemy AIs are specially adjusted based on your progress, including which skills they’re allowed to use. Additionally, you can visit the HUB area that serves as your main base and where your character returns when he dies. You’ll be thrown into the HUB quite often, so we can imagine more features and missions in the end game that you’ll only be able to access here.
Some new twists from the original series
As we explained in the points above, ENDLESS Dungeon brings all kinds of big changes from the original game. Some we really appreciate, such as tweaking enemy generation, turret and node repair options, and crystals that move with the character. On the other hand, the original game is still superior in terms of challenging and unpredictable gameplay, smoother resource farming, and the real feel of 2D graphics and gameplay that doesn’t break the roguelike itself.
Maybe the above comments give the impression that the original game is still very good, but in fact we still have a good impression of ENDLESS Dungeon. The effort to bring this new evolution has been very successful and provides a new Roguelike experience that is still fresh, except that there are indeed places that need more revamping/adjustment so they can be really comfortable to play.
If you are interested in the game, you can check more details or monitor the progress of ENDLESS Dungeon through the official page steam.
As a side suggestion, here we’ve put together a list of the best MMOPRG games you can play on mobile:
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