Dungeon Defenders: Awakened Has Released To More Meager Reviews That Have Haunted The Studio

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened Has Released To More Meager Reviews That Have Haunted The Studio
Credit: Dungeon Defenders via YouTube

It’s easy to lose count of the number of Dungeon Defender titles we’ve been subjected to in recent history as the developer has tried to make lightning strike twice for the past couple of years. There was a mobile title that never functioned too well, an iterative free-to-play sequel where players had the option of an what one reviewer called an ‘infinite soulless grind’ or purchasing microtransactions, and I’m sure there are others that have similarly been cast wayside.

The original creative director Jeremy Stieglitz left Trendy Entertainment to go work on Ark: Survival Evolved, which seemed to somehow result in an arguable downturn in regards to the public reception of the titles the studio has offered.

After multiple failed sequels, Trendy Entertainment rebranded themselves as Chromatic Games; this was going to be the fresh start that, in their eyes, the company needed to revitalize once-legendary IP.

In what appears to be one last hurrah from Chromatic Games, they opted to simply remake the original Dungeon Defenders and sell that with a few upgrades on top of it; by and large, this is the original DD with a fresh coat of varnish that should be bringing the beloved title into the modern era.

Unfortunately, a bizarre string of events has once again infuriated the fanbase that opted to extend the olive branch one final time to the Dungeon Defenders studio, and Dungeon Defenders: Awakened now mirrors similar issues from past titles. Poor user reviews, broken mechanics and options, and a fanbase that feels betrayed.

A tale as old as time, some would say.

First, the product itself is admittedly difficult to be excited for; the original Dungeon Defenders has far more content than Dungeon Defenders: Awakened regardless of how much content Chromatic Games are planning on pushing out in the future. Even if DDA can match DD in content, it’s already been played before, and endlessly at that; why purchase the same experience twice when fans can simply go back to what made the original so impressive?

Secondly, the content works flawlessly in the original DD, while DDA has a fascinating number of issues that range from mouse-polling to performance in later-stages, where the enemies are numerous.

Third is what has resulted in the title being poorly reviewed from fans, backers that have been with the project since it was announced.

Early backers of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened are stating that they’ve had to back the title at a far higher cost than what new purchasers are now paying, for absolutely no additional content. They state that they’ve been betrayed by Chromatic Games as the developers have dropped the price multiple times in order to pick up additional sales.

Chromatic Games has stated, on their Steam page in direct reply to those that feel unfairly treated, that they are looking at compensating early-backers.

Additionally, those backers were informed that the progress that they make while the title is in early-access will not be wiped, and will be carried into the primary servers when the title officially launches. This too was untrue; backers have been relegated to Legacy Servers and cannot play with new purchasers unless the create a brand new character.

This is a bit more devious than it may seem: leveling in DD can take hours, with some reviewers holding over 400 hours in the beta alone. They obviously wouldn’t have devoted this much time if they knew their progress was going to be wiped, but Chromatic Games needed players to continue to play to test development.

Chromatic Games is currently responding to the highly-rated negative reviews, stating that they’re working on everything that is being brought up. At this point, it’s just a matter of whether their fans will continue to believe them.