Dungeons 3: Complete Collection Review

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Originally released in late 2017, Dungeons 3 is the most recent entry in the Dungeons franchise. Developed by Realmforge Studios and published by Kalypso Media, the Dungeon games are known for their mix of dungeon management peppered with RTS elements, as well as their tongue-in-cheek humour. The franchise has had a strong following since its start in 2011. With Dungeons 3: Complete Collection, players now have the opportunity to grab the base game bundled together with all the Dungeon’s 3 DLC at an accessible price point. The game offers over twenty single-player campaigns and comes with a multiplayer and a skirmish mode.

If you’re familiar with earlier games from the Dungeons franchise, the premise of Dungeons 3 will sound familiar: playing as an evil overlord, it’s up to you to build, manage and defend your underground dungeon while fighting heroes and exploring the world above ground. Throughout the game, you’re accompanied by Dungeons’ trademark anonymous wisecracking narrator, who comments on everything you do, as well as on the game’s world and its characters. Packed to the brim with references, puns, and jokes, the game’s writing regularly breaks the fourth wall, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Most jokes poke fun at the tropes in fantasy games or reference popular shows and games like Buffy, Game of Thrones, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft.

Story-wise, Dungeons 3 picks up where its predecessor left off. Playing as the same great evil dungeon lord of the previous games, you’ve grown bored after conquering every possible dungeon in the vicinity. Looking for a new challenge, you discover an untouched kingdom on the next island over that houses a dark elf named Thalya. Faced with a new challenge, you decide to send your forces over to recruit Thalya to your evil cause and, in the process, further expand your empire. Practically, this translates to portions of gameplay underground where you’ll be looking after your dungeon, doing things like creating new rooms and generating gold, and portions above ground, where most of the main story objectives take place and you can have a party of fighters explore the world, take over buildings, and engage in RTS battles.

When it comes to dungeon management, there’s a surprisingly large number of things to keep track of. Every task in your dungeon is carried out by little servant creatures called snots, who need to be looked after if you want to keep them working at a steady pace. They need a room to sleep in, a place to eat, and somewhere to hide in case of an attack. If you’re keen to keep them from slacking off completely, you must keep your snots happy and well-fed all the way through a campaign. The research you do below ground influences your party’s abilities above ground. Having a strong party with a good balance of defensive, offensive, and healing abilities is critical to get through the more difficult battles later in the game.

I found the variety between battles and dungeon management the most enjoyable aspect of Dungeons 3; through the structure of the story campaign, Dungeons 3 will have you switching seamlessly between in-depth dungeon management and RTS battles. As you progress through the tutorial and campaigns, the game will gradually introduce more complicated research, traps and battles. This keeps things varied and allows for a pace that will keep you on your toes without being overwhelming.

A balanced pace proves to be especially important considering the number of dungeon stats you must keep your eye on. The amount of detail in these stats, paired with the occasionally counterintuitive UI, makes the dungeon management aspect feel somewhat intimidating. If you’re a brand new player, you’ll definitely need time to wrap your head around things to crack the game successfully and completing the tutorials will require some concentration. It was mostly during these moments that I found the narrator’s barrage of jokes disruptive rather than amusing and ended up muting the audio entirely.

That said, while a few jokes fall flat and the gags and puns feel incessant when you’re trying to get the hang of the game, the witty writing is what sets the Dungeons franchise apart from other games. For players who are keen on absurd humour and puns, Dungeons 3 offers an immersive and engaging experience with plenty of depth.

At its heart, Dungeons 3 is a parody game created with the aim of making its audience laugh. If niche jokes and references aren’t your thing, Dungeons 3 might not be the best fit for you. However, if they are, you’re in luck; with the DLC included, you’ll be getting around forty campaigns, which roughly translates to about forty hours of gameplay. For both new and old fans of the franchise, that’s an incredible treat too good to pass up.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to press@4gn.co.uk.

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Dungeons 3: Complete Collection Review
  • Gameplay - 7/10
  • Graphics - 7/10
  • Sound - 6.5/10
  • Replay Value - 7.5/10
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Dungeons 3 is a parody game created with the aim of making its audience laugh. An RTS with dungeon management elements.

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