PAX ’09 Coverage: Dungeon Fighter Online

Dungeon Fighter Online makes your DPS bigger.

Dungeon Fighter Online makes your DPS bigger.

One of the our favorites at PAX ’09 was a game called Dungeon Fighter Online by Nexon America. And it wasn’t just because our friends from Coin-Op TV, Rob Welkner and Hailey Bright, were doing the presentations for the game. This is a relatively new concept for a game in North America and has the potential to be a new Busy Gamer favorite.

Dungeon Fighter Online is a side scrolling dungeon crawler with the flavor of an old school brawling game. Combining some of the favorite features of MMOs with the action of a brawler may not seem within the natural progression of online RPGs but DFO blends them together perfectly. Associate Producer Louis Reyes was kind enough to help us run through a dungeon and describe some of the key features of DFO that will set it apart from the existing MMOs.

The back story for DFO is simple and understated, allowing players to focus on the gameplay rather than the lore behind the adventures one will have in the world. An evil has come into the land called Arad, demons have taken residence in dungeons, and it’s up to you to help hold back the tide. There’s not going to be a whole lot here for people who like to learn the lore behind a game but plenty for those who want to play the game.

Gameplay is easy enough to pick up. Choose a character class, familiarize yourself with the controls, get into a dungeon and start kicking butt. For those who have been turned off by the complexity of learning an MMO but enjoy the RPG facets of a game, DFO may well be the place for you.

While the graphics may be 2D, there’s a very catching art style to them that are pleasing to the eye. Character models are well rendered, the beasties are appropriately intimidating, and the dungeon bosses can look downright scary.

The initial choices for character classes may seem limited at first (there’s 5 classes at first level) but as players level up their characters, they are offered the opportunity to choose from four sub-classes (three in the case of the priest, at least at the moment) which define their character as time goes on. An example would be the Slayer class. Using demonic powers and a sword to fight the baddies, at level 18 a Slayer can choose to become a Blade Master, a Soul Bender, a Berserker, or an Asura. Each of the subclasses offer a different set of abilities and powers to wreck the evil that’s come into the world and does so with flair.

Once you pick up the controls, you’ll find the means to start combos which can increase your “Style” rating as you travel through the dungeons of Arad. Aside from doing more damage to creatures, combos mean a higher style rating which in turn boosts the experience you gain from defeating a dungeon. Personally, I like the thought that defeating a boss in “style” means bigger rewards. Defeating a dungeon with a high enough rating may unlock a new difficulty for that dungeon so it’s in the players’ best interest to complete the dungeon with as high a rating as possible.

Play as a team or against one another. DFO doesn't care if you make your friends mad.

Play as a team or against one another. DFO doesn't care if you make your friends mad.

Dungeons can be explored in groups or solo. Running through a dungeon solo can be a bit dangerous and upon dying, players may have to restart the dungeon from scratch. Fortunately for those who want a bit of solo play, Nexon offers “tokens” which can be used to resurrect at the point of death allowing players to continue to hack their way through the dungeon.

Playing in groups allows for a mesh of character skills and powers and certain groupings may mean an easier means of defeating a dungeon. That isn’t to say that any particular combination of character classes is going to be a sure thing but as is true with any game, the more friends you have with you, the better your chances of survival.

And for those who want to engage in PvP, never fear, Nexon has you covered. Bouts can be set up among a group of friends or total strangers and in true brawler style, players duke it out old school. There’s a last man standing mode that’s sure to please the gamer looking to serve up some butt whoopings to his friend and family.

Dungeon Fighter Online will us the free to play model but will offer micro transactions which will allow players to purchase new outfits for their characters, additional resurrection tokens for those particularly rough dungeon runs, as well as other items of interest.

The Early Access Beta for DFO began yesterday, 9/15/09, and you can get a key at the Gamespot or at websites. So if you happen to see Gritskrieg the Slayer running around, say hi. I may even say hi back.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

Comments are closed.