Dungeon Hunter II Hands-On Preview

Gameloft’s gone sequel-crazy this year at E3, with follow-ups for many of its big franchises like Hero of Sparta and Let’s Golf waiting in the wings. Today, we spent some time putting the next Dungeon Hunter through its paces, and we think it’s looking mighty fine thus far. Details within!

The first Dungeon Hunter hit last year to great acclaim, filling a Diablo-shaped hole in the App Store with a highly polished, loot-driven beat-’em-up. The next game looks like it will be more of the same, plus a few very cool new features.

Cooperative multiplayer via the Gameloft Live online service is the biggest addition to Dungeon Hunter 2, although this mode wasn’t available during our test play, and details on how it will work are scant. The game’s still in pre-Alpha form, so many of the features are still in flux.

Another major change is the inclusion of multiple specializations for each character class. For instance, Warriors can turn into Barbarians or Paladins, while Mages can upgrade into Illusionists or Necromancers. It’s not clear what Rogues turn into just yet. We were also told that the various armors and pieces of equipment you’ll collect during the game will change the way your character looks this time around.

We put our test Warrior through his paces in a swampy demo level, where we were attempting to hunt down and kill a vile Bog Witch. The combat mechanics are very similar to the last game, although you have up to three special attacks in Dungeon Hunter 2.

Your faithful faerie companion can cast spells, as before, and is now capable of equipping her own items. We were also joined by an NPC ally (some kind of wizard) who attacked the bog monsters with fireballs from afar while we dealt damage up close.

Dungeon Hunter 2 isn’t all hack, slash, and grab the cash. We enjoyed the bits of storytelling that were woven into in-engine cutscenes every couple of minutes. Hopefully these will be a big element of the final product.

Dungeon Hunter 2 is due out later this summer (pricing unknown), and we’re looking forward to reviewing what looks to be another super-addictive dungeon looter. We’ll post more info as soon as we get it.

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