Dungeons of Edera by Monster Tooth Studios
Dungeons of Edera by Monster Tooth Studios starts with your character frantically trying to get to their parents’ house. The threat of the conquering Oswary army has forced you into fighting back. So it’s up to you – with some help from other companions – to fight the threat.
Throughout the campaign, you and your band of rebels slowly grow from just a couple of rebels hiding in the woods to more expansive hub areas to operate from.
Hubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble
Hub areas are where I was able to take on side quests and main quests. Dungeons of Edera features randomly generated maps to explore, which means every quest creates a randomized place to fight and explore in.
Many quests will involve killing a certain number of enemies or finding a mandatory number of items. I feel like quest design is lacking in this regard.
Each area also has chests with loot and a boss, which brings in some risk/reward calculation to the game. Should I risk fighting the potentially difficult boss to gain a permanent boon?
Because the punishment for death is to lose everything in your inventory (except the items you are wearing that are Soulbound). At first, this mechanic seemed a bit harsh, as I lost some great armor when I first died.
But the more I played, the more I learned not to become too attached to items that are not Soulbound. It can seem punishing, but after about 30 minutes of playtime after my first death, I quickly got items that were comparable to the ones I lost.
A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
The random level generation at its current state is hit-and-miss. I feel like a lot of the areas are lacking in detail. And for the most part, once you’ve entered the mushroom cave, it’s not going to change much, even when you enter another procedurally generated version of it.
This is furthered by the fact that a lot of the quests in Dungeons of Edera take place in either a forest area, a mushroom cave, a castle keep or a monastery. There aren’t a lot of places at the moment, which can make moment-to-moment gameplay and exploration less interesting.
Maybe the addition of more assets could improve this, but don’t expect a lot of unique areas to explore.
The enemies also aren’t very interesting to fight. With the exception of tougher bosses, enemies either just rush you or shoot you from afar. There are enemy healers which can make fights more interesting, but they’re sparse. Goblins, humanoid characters and some arachnid-type monsters make up most of the enemies in the game so far.
Smash and Grab, Level Up and Repeat
What the game does nail is its combat. I had a lot of fun with how responsive and rewarding combat was in the game. Think of a faster-paced Dark Souls, where you can dodge-roll and where you have a lot of weapons at your disposal plus rewarding abilities, thanks to a robust talent tree and the aforementioned stat-boosting boons.
Gameplay-wise it feels addictive in a Diablo game kind of way, with enough variation to combat and weapons to make it engaging.
Another big way in which the game feels like Diablo is the focus on loot. I love me some loot-based games! There’s always that itch to find better gear and level up my character with better equipment and weapons. There is plenty of that stuff here.
And since items are random, even with their own rarity levels, it makes up for the repetitious quest design and familiar environments. To me, it really does feel like a fun, third-person Diablo game.
Currently, it doesn’t feel as expansive or varied as other Diablo-style games, but it has the potential to get there.
For one, I can see maxing out the talent tree as becoming an issue the more you play. Also, those not fond of its gameplay mechanics may find that a number of the abilities are lacking in creativity or uniqueness. Here’s where things can get subjective, but it’s worth noting that the game is less expansive than others in the genre in its current state.
Ample Action and a Little Atmosphere
That being said, Dungeons of Edera still gave me that “OK, just one more quest before bed” feeling where I got lost in it and time flew. The game is addicting. If the developers can keep updating the game with more environments, more interesting enemies to fight, and expanded late-game gameplay, this game can turn into something even better.
The game also has an interesting atmosphere. The visuals remind me of dark fantasy, as a lot of enemies feel grim and uninviting. Whether it’s the creepy goblins or the wonderfully detailed skeletons, they all fit the game’s tone well.
This tone is also furthered by the soundtrack. Music ranges from optimistic to foreboding. Collectively, the soundtrack reminded me heavily of the Lord of the Rings movies: very full in terms of scale but also minimal when it wanted to convey more subdued moments.
The game nails its dark fantasy vibe without it feeling too bleak or too bubbly.
Dungeons of Edera is an addicting, fun Diablo-style third-person action game. In its current state, it could use more content, but the developers are currently adding more.
I recommend this game to people like me who are huge fans of the genre. There is enough here so far to keep me playing and eagerly awaiting the full release.
Dungeons of Edera is available via Steam.
Check out the official trailer for Dungeons of Edera Below: