Dungeon Lords Collector's Edition Review

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Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer:Heuristic Park
Release Date:2005-05-05
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
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The Dungeon Lords Collector's Edition contains 34 classes (one more than the regular version), and so there are a lot of ways to put together a character, giving the game a lot of replay value. The downside is that most skills are available to most characters, and since the only thing that changes is the learning costs of those skills, if you're patient you can learn most everything. If you want to wield the heaviest weapons and wear the heaviest armors and still be a devastating spellcaster, the game allows you to do it, which is sort of unfortunate.

To compound the problem, the game doesn't really do anything to compensate for how powerful characters can become. At the start of the game, when characters have a single class, the battles are tough and exciting, but by the end of the game, it just gets too easy to mow through the enemies, including the bosses (the end battle in particular is pretty easy, and it even got buffed up in one of the patches).

If you played (or read about) the original Dungeon Lords, then I probably haven't said too much that you didn't know already. So let me now talk about what's new with the Collector's Edition. First and foremost, the Collector's Edition contains five new quests. These quests are analogous to the class quests, where you have to go somewhere on the surface of the world and kill something. For example, in the starting city of Fargrove, a man will tell you that he plundered a tomb only to learn that a vampire was living inside it -- and that the vampire is now hunting him. He'll then of course ask you to kill the vampire, which you'll find in the slums district of the city. Vampires are nasty -- among other things, they can fly and turn invisible -- but if you kill it, the man will reward you with the gold he plundered from the tomb.

The Collector's Edition also contains several new enemies. Besides the mushmen that I mentioned earlier, there are also spiderlings (smaller versions of the spiders that were already in the game), mimics, shades, creeper worms, and renegade demigoths. Of the new enemies, the mimics are easily the coolest, since they turn into great big mouths with legs. There are also some new boss creatures to deal with, such as the vampire and a giant scorpion.

The Collector's Edition also contains some subtle changes. The cities in the game have been fleshed out a little better. Arindale and Skuldoon now have furniture in their buildings (including fireplaces!), and in Skuldoon you'll find demigoths wandering the streets. You'll also find many more treasure chests in the game, including level 10 and level 12 chests (level 9 was the highest before). There's also a new (shadow lord) class for the game, although it seems better suited to multiplayer PvP action, which I don't think Dungeon Lords even supports. And the bosses from the original quests now drop better loot, so you don't have to rely completely on chests for your equipment.

Finally, the Collector's Edition also includes all of the changes from the game's three patches, including the recent 1.4 patch. That means you'll find a bunch of (new) spells and skills in the game, such as the (vision) spell (which exposes the map to you), the (air) spell (which allows you to breathe underwater) and the identify skill (which does about what you'd expect). The 1.4 patch also fixes the heraldry bonuses (permanent bonuses that you receive at the end of quests) so that they actually work, and it checks the requirements for classes, so that classes are now a little more difficult to gain.