Dungeon Defenders: Awakened Released On Steam With A Steep Price Tag And Rough Reviews

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened Released On Steam With A Steep Price Tag And Rough Reviews
Credit: gamezplay via YouTube

It’s difficult to claim that the original Dungeon Defenders wasn’t wildly successful back in its time; it brought thousands together with its cute characters and aesthetics, enjoyable progression, and fantastic gameplay to the tune of $15.  It’s one of the best-reviewed tower defense titles from critics and fans alike and continued to receive support well after Trendy Entertainment abandoned it thanks to the community stepping forward and offering even more patches with content.  Since then, Trendy has struggled valiantly for lightning to strike again, although using wildly unsuccessful ploys of infinite microtransactions, soulless grinds (if you’re trying to dodge microtransactions), and uninspired remakes that would be a gamble on whether or not they’d work properly.

After three attempts to bring in more cash, Trendy Entertainment rebranded themselves as Chromatic Games, and announced Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.

Going back to the drawing board, they seemed to ask themselves why Dungeon Defenders worked so well when every successor has fallen flat on its face, and they seemed to skip past the inclusion of microtransactions and the fact that the first game worked.  Instead, they opted to remake the original Dungeon Defenders, giving it a new title and a new price tag of $40.

In Dungeon Defenders: Awakened, the vast majority of levels from the original DD have been imported, with some new graphics.  Released on February 21st, 2020 with the new price tag, it hasn’t done entirely well in the eyes of their longtime fans that they struggle to reconnect with, as ultimately it’s less than the title that they’re copying.  There are currently fewer features, fewer levels, and less overall content than what players have explored (and spent hundreds of hours in with the original Dungeon Defenders).


The developer has replied to almost every review they’ve received, and more or less have brought a boilerplate response to the majority, touting their ‘indie developer’ status and how they could have gone to a big name publisher with the title.  If you’re a bit lonely, drop them a review and talk to whatever poor soul is stuck responding to every opinion levied.

It’s all well and good, yet the facet that continues to act as a thorn in the side of Chromatic Games is their current track record for supporting titles and listening to fan feedback.  Reflagging the studio with a different name does little to ultimately remove the past actions of the studio, and the mud that the IP has been dragged through in the past. We’re absolutely exploring (once again) the Ship of Theseus dilemma with Chromatic Games, and that crisis of identity is playing out with fans and critics alike.

The final release of the game will have a total of fifteen levels, and challenge maps.  Meaning we’ll likely see a wild array of DLC that may one day surpass the content available in Dungeon Defenders.  What remains to be seen is whether or not people will actually want to fork over money for a simple remake of a title that they already own.  A remake that is already three times the price of Dungeon Defenders, which players that would be interested in the franchise already own.  It’s a difficult sell, at best, and it’s befuddling to ascertain what demographic Chromatic Games is attempting to reach by adding some visuals to a game that has already been played and offers hundreds of hours of content.

It is worth stating, however, that Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is in Early Access, and could become something as influential and impressive as the original Dungeon Defenders, given enough time.  It’s decidedly difficult to continue to give the studio benefit of the doubt, however, as leopards aren’t known for changing their spots.  Even with a $40 price tag.