Quest of Dungeons: Xbox One Review

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Quest of Dungeons is a roguelike game that released on Xbox One on September 4th 2015. It is another port from a PC title that released in March 2014 so let’s see if it passes the test on being a worthy console game too!

To start with, a roguelike game is defined as being “procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, permanent death of your character, tile graphics and usually set in some sort of fantasy world”. Now that everyone knows what a roguelike is I’d say that this game is about as accurate of a representation of this that you would want. It checks every box, so fans of this style of game will not be disappointed in this aspect of the title.

As for story, this game has itself in check too. It’s not all that original, but the story is as you would expect from this style of game. An evil mastermind has stolen all the light from the world and stored it in a lantern. You’re tasked with finding him, killing him and releasing the light back into the world. This is explained to you, somewhat humorously, in the opening cutscene of the game and isn’t really touched upon throughout the rest of your adventure.

Just prior to this cutscene, you choose your character. There are 4 options; Warrior, Wizard, Assassin and Shaman. The warrior’s main focus is hand to hand melee combat, the assassin has a strong ranged attack and the wizard and shaman have a mix of the two. The warrior and assassin have only health to be concerned with, whereas the wizard and shaman must make sure both their health and mana supplies aren’t depleted. I played through with each class for a little while, but only managed to make it past some of the first few bosses with the assassin. I think the ability to get a good bow and just snipe people across the room from you without taking too much damage is very powerful in this game and honestly the assassin was the only class I liked for the harder modes.

The roguelike features this game uses are excellently implemented, most notably the procedurally generated maps. It really does add to replayability which is ultimately what you want from a game like this and every time you load into the game you spawn with a new direction to go. This can also work in the opposite way though as sometimes you will spawn, quite literally, next to a boss room with default weapons and nowhere else to go. It’s a little frustrating, but ultimately you can just pop back in with a new character and start over, just laughing off the previous run as misfortune. The worst scenario I’ve experienced is not having access to the merchant because he was locked behind doors that needed keys, leaving me full of gear, not being able to pick anything else up without dropping other stuff and without much needed supplies you can purchase from him. But it’s only a minor inconvenience.

The game is turn-based by nature but you wouldn’t notice it just looking at it. In fact, it was so seamless that I didn’t even realise it was turn-based until I just stopped moving and enemies weren’t attacking me. I really like this style of gameplay and I wish more games followed this style as it gives you time to stop and assess the situation before ploughing through the level. You can look at the amount of damage a boss is doing to you, do the maths and realise it’s time to run before he kills you, which adds a layer of strategy to the game. With it being turn based, you can also select which targets are going to be the biggest threats and deal with them first.

Each level will spawn with breakable objects, containing loot, locked rooms with chests inside, containing loot and bosses, which when killed, drop loot. Some of said loot is just trash that you would sell to the merchant, but a lot of it will be better than the items you are using and sometimes books will drop, allowing you to learn new abilities to help you move through levels with ease. Along with item pickups, you also gain xp from killing all types of enemies, allowing better items to drop for you.

There are 4 difficulty settings. Easy, Normal, Hard and Hell. For starting up, I’d recommend jumping into normal mode, but as you get more competent and for a real challenge, it’s really fun to see how well you can do in hell mode. The loot you get from the harder modes seems to be better, but more so it’s just infinitely more fun to have to think about what you are going to do next rather than just wingin’ it and hoping for the best.

The graphics are about what you would expect from a roguelike, but this is a good thing as it wouldn’t really work with hyper realistic graphics and wouldn’t make a lot of sense with it being tile and turn-based. One thing I would like to say about graphics, which could be levelled as a criticism more of the game, is that I would like the characters appearance to change when he equips different gear. For example I equipped a red chest piece and bright blue boots and nothing changed on my character. It’s a minor thing, but would be nice to see in future.

I’d like to touch on the sound in game. There isn’t a lot to say other than the ambient noises are good, the noise when hitting an enemy sounds visceral, but the soundtrack is really repetitive, especially when playing for a couple of hours at a time. That being said, overall the sound design is good, I just would have appreciated maybe a couple of different songs for each level, rather than a looping soundtrack.

As a final note, I was playing with and talking to my brother about this game which made me really want a multiplayer mode. I’m not sure how it’d work, or even if it would work, but being able to walk through these dungeons, killing bosses and scoring loot with a friend on the couch or online just seems like something that could take a game like this to the next level.

Altogether, I am completely happy with this game’s port to console. We so often see rushed ports with controls that don’t make any sense and little to no option to change graphic settings come over from the PC and I am thrilled to say that this isn’t one of them. In short, if you like looting games and have a lust for getting better gear for your character, this is 100% worth the money.

Final Verdict – 8.5/10

+ Great loot system
+ Combat’s pretty solid
+ Multiple difficulties is nice
+ True Rogulike

– Needs more music
– Classes might need more balance

 

George Seymour
  • A friend of mine called this a “generic Crypt of the NecroDancer without the awesome music gimmick”, but I can’t stop playing it. Really fun game.