Dungeon Souls – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Hack 'n' Slash
Developer: Mike Studios
Publisher: Black Shell Media
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Dungeon Souls – Preview

Good: fun to play, can get really challenging, different playstyles
Bad: still quite a few bugs, no goal as of yet, only 1 music track
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

After the demo period, Mike Studios and Black Shell Media were finally ready to put their game on Steam on Early Access. It has had numerous improvements and more gameplay elements, now it’s time to include the community and their views. Dungeon Souls proves to be a hard top-down roguelike hack ‘n’ slash that will test your patience and skills!

dungeon souls

As expected, Dungeon Souls takes you on a journey inside a dungeon where your objective is to fight your way up and obtain the Soul Orb. The Soul Orb grants you the ability to resurrect heroes, allowing you to fight once more. That’s really all there is to it, it doesn’t really feel like Dungeon Souls needs a story, but maybe the developers can come up with something nice.

The game itself tries to look pretty retro and it succeeds rather well at it. The sprites and objects are rather pixelated but the floors themselves look quite nice. Dark themed floors and enemies are the core of the game and it works together really well with the lighting effects from certain attacks and candles that are scattered around the dungeon. Dungeon Souls runs smoothly and it doesn’t look like a whole lot of optimization is necessary, but there is still an issue with the resolution which the developers are aware of.

Music and sound effects in Dungeon Souls are pretty good. The soundtrack is nice but currently there’s only one song, meaning you’ll have to listen to the same track loop all the time, which can get quite repetitive. Besides that, the music is rather sad which is quite fitting for heroes whose only existence relies on an orb that makes them live again once they’ve fallen. Sound effects are good as well, having a wide variety for all attacks and enemies when you kill them. They can be quite overwhelmingly loud in later stages of the game when there’s a lot going on so it’s good that you can turn them down in the options.

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Now for the most important part, the gameplay. As said in the intro, Dungeon Souls mixes a whole lot of genres together but in essence it’s a top down dungeon crawler. Controls are pretty basic and don’t need much explaining, you simply move with WASD and use your mouse to attack and aim. There is however a bug with the controller causing the game to act strange for mouse users as well. In the main menu you’ll have to navigate with WASD and space instead of your mouse, after that you can use your mouse again. The controller support itself doesn’t really work at the moment but hopefully that’s coming soon.

You’ll play as one of 8 heroes as you try to obtain the Soul Orb. Currently, you can play as the Barbarian who has strong attacks and high health, the accurate Ranger who excels at shooting multiple arrows at once, the quick Thief with a high critical chance, the strong and cleaving Warrior, the Wizard who uses crowd control and fire, the Cleric who multiplies projectiles and heals himself, the Necromancer who uses minions to fight at his side and last but not least: Nightblade, a high defense hero who utilizes both ranged and melee weapons.

Every hero has 3 skills to his or her disposal. At the start you’ll only have your basic attack but as you level you’ll get the ability to either upgrade your basic attack or unlock and level new abilities. You can also upgrade how much health a potion restores. Additionally, you can upgrade stat points that give you some boost to attack, speed or defense. Upgrading skills is done by simply clicking on the plus sign above the skill and you’re all set, but having a shortcut command to do this would be way quicker, as it can be rather annoying to upgrade abilities while attacking monsters.

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In order to get to the Soul Orb you’ll have to fight through different dungeon floors until you get to the final boss. To unlock the next level you’ll have to activate the waypoints that spawn on random places in the dungeon. When activating them, monsters will spawn to attack you, of course you can either kill them or run away if you don’t want to fight. Killing them however will award experience, gold and sometimes a loot chest which might need a key to open. One issue that currently appears is that it’s really hard to pick up items or open chests that have fallen onto a portal, causing you to teleport instead of picking it up or opening it. Every non-boss floor is also timed, if you stick around for too long, an unkillable spirit will appear and drain your health, so you’ll have to move swiftly.

Shops spawn on every floor, giving you the opportunity to spend your gold on one of 3 items. After you die, all the gold you saved up will come with you to the menu. Here you can buy passive upgrades for your heroes up to a certain point. Playing with a specific hero also levels it up, giving it slightly better stats. These improvements will all help you greatly when trying to get to the Soul Orb.

The items themselves are abundant and can be found really easily. The only thing with the items is that there are quite a bit of bugs. Sometimes you’ll pick up an item which increases crit chance by X% but the stat page will still show 0% crit chance, this also happens with quite a few other items.

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After every 2 floors you’ll encounter a boss. Each boss has its own signature move and you’ll have to learn them in order to survive. Once you’ve killed the Soul Guardian, the game doesn’t really have an end but it puts you at the first floor again. Think of it as an unending mode where you can keep fighting. Every time you kill all bosses, an extra one will spawn the next time you encounter it. It would be nice to have an actual ending to the game, because right now it doesn’t really have a point. If the developers only want this unending mode, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to implement an online scoreboard and a score system to show how good you’ve done.

Conclusion

As of now, Dungeon Souls is an extremely fun game that you can sink quite a few hours in. It has fast paced and fun gameplay, multiple difficulties (if you dare) and completely different playstyles from hero to hero. It still has quite a few bugs but that’s to be expected in early access. According to the developers, future updates will include multiplayer, more items, more characters, more traps, secret levels and much more (a scoreboard perhaps?).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Dungeon Souls - Preview, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Dungeon Souls – Review
    January 18, 2017, 12:05 am

    […] been quite some time since we had a look at Dungeon Souls back when it was in Early Access. The game is an […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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