If I need to say something for the nth time, that statement is that Dark Souls is an important inspiration to many AAA and indie titles, with many games offering an alternative side from what we are used to by From Software
Even though the special bosses, the battle system and all the small details are something we often see in these games, Dark Souls with it’s difficulty taught us that, no matter your strategy, something is bound to go wrong, just like playing with friends on Deathwish in PayDay 2. Dungeon Souls is another alternative suggestion by Lamina Studios.
Why all this intro with Dark Souls? To be honest, in every review I have written, the intro part is always a bit difficult for me to put to words, so when I read the title of Lamina Studios’ game I immediately thought of Dark Souls. Never judge a book from its cover, as they say, and in Dungeon Souls’ case that’s especialy true. My hands on with the action-adventure roguelike dungeon crawler reminded me more of games like Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne. In particular, Nuclear Throne, Risk of Rain, Overture, BitVenture and Shoot First were the inspirations behind Lamina Studios’ creation.
Dungeon Souls is an action-adventure roguelike dungeon crawler where players enter a series of dungeons full of bloodthirsty enemies and powerful bosses. The players can choose one of the available classes: Viking, Archer, Thief, Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Necromancer, Nightblade, Brawler and Enginner, and begin their journey into 5 basic dungeons plus one optional. Inside the dungeons they need to find a series of special bases to activate portals that will lead them to the next stages.
All these might make it sound like it’s a hard game, but not really, because the game offers the players 4 difficulty levels to allow them to adjust to their skill. Every difficulty level offers a positive and a negative element to the gameplay. The positive is that we gain more experience points (XP) and the negative is that, the higher the difficulty level, the higher the power of our enemies, their hitpoints and their damage dealing. It doesn’t matter how strong our enemies are though, because each player class has different specialties. In each class there are the basic stats that go up each level and 3 skills that they level up in specific levels.
Besides the old school leveling system, our hero increases his performance by collecting or buying items. These items either increase our stats in specific fields or, in the case of cursed items, they derease our stats, giving us a very powerful advantage. The items can be obtained by enemy drops or in store, by exchanging gold. Gold, XP points and potions are our little rewards from dead enemies.
As far as exploration goes in Dungeon Souls, I can say that this part of the game offers a positive experience and that’s because the game is addictive. Even though Dungeon Souls is a linear experience, the mysterious dungeons, the traps, the merciles slaughter and the epic bosses create a powerful combo that glues together beautifully the whole experience. Its gameplay will not bother you at all. Instead, the simple logic in the way it works in game will help you unfold your talent while playing. The campaign mode is relatively short in duration and will not waste many of your hours while playing for the first time. The main part of Dungeon Souls though is to challenge your abilities, and the game manages to do that by creating an endless flow of the campaign, increasing the difficulty every time.
This endless flow continues until our last breath and, when we fall dead fighting, our reward is reflected on the gold we have gathered throughout. With that gold we can invest on passive stats, increasing our character’s skills or create new items and weapons through Arcane Forge.
I might have misunderstood Dungeon Souls at first because of the name but things here are really different. I played almost 10 hours with the Viking and Brawler class and I really enjoyed a very interesting dungeon crawling game full of exploration, creation and lots of content. Even its linearity that becomes apparent after a while, does not hurt the gameplay and does not become tiring. Lastly, even though the title does not need a multiplayer or co-op mode, I would definitely like it to be there because I think that playing with friends would make the experience even more fun and enjoyable.
You can find Dungeon Souls on Steam at the price of 12,99€
Lamina Studios offers a very addictive dungeon crawler to spent our time with many classes and lots of exploration. The unending slaughter, the boses and the mystery that lurks in every corner of the dungeons is enough to offer you a very fun and enjoyable experience. You might notice it’s linearity after a while, but that is not enough to stop you from playing.
+ Addictive Gameplay
+ Variety of items and classes
+ Epic and beautiful bosses
– Pretty linear
– Absense of multiplayer
-Vasilis “Eniantas” Kamakaris
(Translated to English by Dimitris “Dimi Kaye” Kalyvas)