Like other big mobile game publishers, Gameloft is slowing down its rapid-fire game releases. The French company is focusing on getting its games right in a market where quality is rising, and that is how it has approached the upcoming launch of its iOS and Android dungeon-crawler Dungeon Hunter 5.
If all goes well, the new game will be one of the best ways to get a Diablo-like hack-and-slash experience on a tablet or smartphone. Gameloft has invested heavily in this fantasy game, which is the first new Dungeon Hunter since 2013. It is part of the French company’s continuing efforts to stay at the top of the heap of the $25 billion mobile game industry (based on Newzoo estimates).
I saw this dungeon-crawler at the recent 2015 International CES, and it was clear that the team had made a bigger investment in better visuals. In the level where I started, I was a heavily armed mage. I used my leveled up magic staff to deal out death to enemy minions, who, for some reason, were mostly female characters.
The twist in this version of the long-running series is that you can create your own dungeon and minions and then battle others via asynchronous multiplayer, a style of play made popular by Clash of Clans. It’s kind of like your own hideout, complete with traps that you lay for other players who attack you. You can raid someone else’s dungeon and collect a lot of loot. You eventually have to fight that player to get the final treasure. Then you use that loot to make your own stronghold better.
In the single-player campaign, the story picks up after the previous game’s plot, where the hero stopped the demon invasion in the Kingdom of Valenthia. But the world remains in ruins. With the touchscreen game, you use your thumbs to control where your character moves and where to attack. You can preset the kind of attacks you want to do based on what kind of abilities you’ve picked up.
In Dungeon Hunter 5, you play a bounty hunter in search of loot. And instead of collecting a bunch of lame trash, you can now take the treasure, fuse it into something that improves the items that you do use, and get a bonus from everything you collect. You can fuse the abilities of two fire weapons and make a single, stronger weapon. Or you can evolve your gear as you gain crafting items.
You journey through five shattered realms in a bid to become the most notorious bounty hunter. Dungeon Hunter 5 has lots of enemies, tons of levels, and big bosses. The graphics are more detailed and more tightly animated. The title has cooperative gameplay, where you can hire your friends or other players as henchmen. Daily and weekly events help keep you engaged.