Dungeons III has actually been around for some time and launched to Xbox One way back at the tail end of 2017. Developed by Realmforge Studios and published by Kalypso Media it was actually launched on October 17th 2017 to PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One and Playstation 4 and it marked the first entry to consoles after the previous game in the series which arrived in 2015. Surprisingly this game passed me by and almost three years after it first arrived we are seeing a launch of Dungeons III Complete Collection which is essentially the base game with all the downloadable content bundled into the package and there is a fair amount of it. The extra content involved will be that of seven different expansions which include: Once Upon A Time, Evil Of The Caribbean, Lord Of The Kings, Clash Of Gods, An Unexpected DLC, Famous Last Words and A Multitude Of Maps.
Dungeons III combines dungeon building with real-time strategy elements. Players are tasked with creating their own underground dungeons whilst defending it from attacks from invading foe from the world above them. The single-player campaign sees you follow the story of Thalya who is a dark elf sorcerer who is on her own quest to conquer the continent she resides on at the command of the Dungeon Lord from the previous titles. There is also multiplayer here and you can grab a friend and play through the campaign together or you can compete against each other.
Now I can’t remember for the life of me the last time I played a good dungeon building game certainly on a console. So to see one on a console is fantastic and I can’t quite believe this one has slipped me by until now and the last time I played something remotely like this was Dungeon Keeper back in the day. Now you’re not going to receive anything amazing within this storyline but what you will get is some great humour from the narrator as you play through the game. You’ll have to just ride with it if playing this for the first time on consoles as the story somewhat follows on from Dungeons II so you may be scratching your head at some of the dialogue but don’t let this hamper your time with it.
Dungeons III does exceptionally well with its pacing during the campaign and there is plenty of hand-holding for you during the beginning stages if you haven’t played a Dungeons title previously. Dungeons are randomly generated so that you’re not always getting the exact same experience every time. It is really refreshing in games to play in constantly differing scenarios and surroundings and almost always adds to the game’s longevity. You will have total control on how you manage your dungeon, its layout and how you progress all whilst keeping an eye on the overground areas. Managing the layout of your dungeon is absolutely critical as it has a real bearing on faster extraction of gold pieces and you’ll be able to deploy some great traps for enemies who exploit the cracks and crevices of your dungeon so you always want to be ready for the onslaught. I really like the fact that you have to think about the needs of your dungeon crew and ensure that they have access to plenty of rest periods and food to keep their energy levels up. Again, this is absolutely a must to take care of as your crew will point blank refuse to contend in battle and alternative duties if they are shattered and have a grumbling stomach.
A lot of main objectives and challenges will take place on the surface above your dungeon, you didn’t think you’d be sitting down there all day, did you? It will be your job to prioritise who you send out there and risk assess how you will come home with the gold. You will want to ensure that your crew has a balance of firepower, healing abilities and the long and short-range combat upper hand in battle. As with most games, your troops will absorb experience points and become stronger and harder to take down so that is another thing to keep eyes on as you progress. As you can probably imagine there is a lot to take in and a great amount to do but it does genuinely feel exciting as you move on through the game. Graphically the game is sound and whilst the visuals aren’t mind-blowing even on the Xbox One X they are solid enough for the amount going on with the screen. Obviously, if you’re playing on a high-end PC the package is going to look much better there.
Most of you will want to know how this all handles with a controller as its obvious its always going to work better with a keyboard and mouse. I do however like that there are more and more strategy titles coming to console and it makes for exciting developments. It actually handles fantastically on console with a controller and navigating the world and its functions is a breeze, to be honest along with the delegation factors. There are some tutorial features early on which will ensure that you are comfortable with everything here. Switching between the overworld and underworld was as simple as pressing up and down on the d-pad.
As for the sound effects they are generally spot on but there are some frustrating times where you can’t hear the narrator for the battles going on in the background. Whilst a minor annoyance it did take my focus off things for a brief time whilst I attempted to read subtitles on the screen instead.
The base game itself has twenty different missions to work through which took me roughly maybe around 30 hours to finish off. As mentioned earlier these can be played through solo or you can bring a friend for the ride with you and work through it all together. Sadly I didn’t have any real-life friends to join me on that but it is an option for players along with skirmish mode. Skirmish mode is different to campaign in the fact you can tweak various elements of the session such as difficulty, the map itself and the faction you choose.
Don’t forget here though that on top of the 20-30 hours base game you have all of the downloadable content along with the game which will easily double the time you spend on the game if you want to work through it all and achieve it all.
I would absolutely recommend this game if you’re a fan of anything dungeon related and strategy based, there is a ton of fun to be had and whilst it’s not as smooth and polished as the PC version it is definitely one of the hidden gems I am ashamed to state that I had missed in the gaming calendar. There is a new opportunity here though of the entire package, grab it with both hands and play it!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Dungeons 3: Complete Collection Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 6.5/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 6.5/10
Dungeons III is a dungeon building real-time strategy game which makes its first entry on console with this complete collection there is hours and hours of addictive dungeon management to crack on with.
- The complete collection will grant you the base game with all the DLC.
- It’s quite addictive to work through the campaign with lots going on.
- Multiplayer co-op and Skirmish mode adds longevity.
- Audio issues with the narrator clashing with the battle sound effects.
- It could maybe be better in the visual department.
- No keyboard and mouse support on console but controller works well.