Review: Dungeon Hunter 4 for iOS / Android

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Dungeon Hunter 4…

..is the latest installation in Gameloft’s epic fantasy series. The game focuses on a single-player story which has the player take on the role of one of the fantasy world’s greatest warriors – The Valen – to fight back hordes of invading demons and even a race of giant humanoids. The story is indeed enthralling and gamers who like lore will probably be at home with this title.

The DH4 user-interface continues in the vein of DH3 and the other games before it: directional thumb-pad is located in the bottom-left corner, while the main interaction (main attack, use, speak) button is location in the bottom-right corner. Gameloft took the UX up a notch by allowing the user to customize the HUD away from these defaults – but failed to make it easy to do so. You will find yourself clicking at least 4-levels deep into the “Settings” menu before arriving at the treasure you seek, should you choose to change the ways things are by default.

 

Content and play-wise, the game follows most fantasy RPGs: you select a class (Blademaster, Warmage, Battleworn or Sentinel), choose a gender and begin to kill enemies almost immediately. The campaign guides you through the main storyline and you are able to repeat mini-instances as you play.

 

So… What do I like about Dungeon Hunter 4

  1. The VERY BEST thing about Dungeon Hunter 4 is the fluid use of multiple camera angles.  The effect hits you very early on as you run across the bridge from Valenthia to the outer towns and the camera begins to zoom and pan away from your character to give you a look at the beautiful, yet war-torn fortress village of Valenthia. Gameloft hit this one out of the park by throwing you and your character into unexpected visual presentations of the battles you engage in. From overhead views to three-dimensional side-scrolling, DH4 will keep you pressing toward the goal simply to see “how cool your character will look when he does…”
  2. GRAPHICS! #nuffsaid
  3. The campaign. Though I haven’t been very far into the campaign (my character is only level 18), it has been fun playing through the story and feeling my character, his kin and his world develop around and through my actions.

 

Umm… Is there anything you DON’T like about Dungeon Hunter 4

  1. In-App purchases. Gameloft has made DH4 free to download and play while relying on in-app purchases to generate revenue. This however means that they must structure the game in ways that push the user to spend. Unfortunately for Gameloft, they were not able to “disguise” their intentions very well – and for me, that creates a problem and burdens my experience with the game.
  2. Bugs that appear AFTER in-app purchases. Think about it: Having played for 24-48hrs, you decide that you enjoy the game so much it is worth paying real money to get a virtual edge. Well unfortunately, from the long list of complaints on the DH4 post of the Gameloft Blog, it seems there are some real issues with the game POST payment. Worst-case scenarios being faced are in the realm of items and even entire characters disappearing.

 

Conclusion

I am enjoying Dungeon Hunter 4 thoroughly. I have not had any issues as yet on my iPad 2 and I intend to play the game until the issues begin to outweigh the value of the escape it creates. Will I make an in-app purchase… NO! – but I will continue to enjoy the game and the progression towards the story’s climatic end.

 

If you want to learn a little more about the game:

Image credits: http://phandroid.com/2013/04/12/gameloft-releases-new-dungeon-hunter-4-trailer-coming-soon-to-android-devices-video/