Dungeon Hunter 4 is the latest installment of the popular action-RPG series from Gameloft. A universal title for iOS, Dungeon Hunter 4 delivers incredible 3D graphics, an engaging story and largely enjoyable hack-and-slash gameplay. There are a number of highly detailed environments to explore, and 4 different and unique characters to choose from.
Dungeon Hunter 4 – Pay-to-Play or Die
Unfortunately, Dungeon Hunter 4 spends far too much time reminding you that you’d be better off if you made an in-app purchase. Loading screens bombard you with ‘Special Offers’ that let you know if you’re having trouble in the game this can be easily solved with a quick item purchase.
Don’t want to wait an hour to upgrade an item? Want to access to new skills before you earn them? Want to reset your special abilities? It all costs gems, and gems cost cash – lots of it. Gems are the premium currency in Dungeon Hunter 4, and are used to buy powerful new items, unlock skills and speed up upgrades. Gems cannot be earned in DH4 as they can in many other freemium titles, they can only be bought.
While Dungeon Hunter 4 is free to download, it becomes more and more heavily skewed against players who choose not to buy gems as you progress through the game. It’s damn near-impossible to stay alive in the later levels of the game without using health potions, and the only way to get them is to wait for 4 hours for each one to refresh – or buy them. Health pots don’t drop from monsters and they can’t be found in chests.
As you work your way through Dungeon Hunter 4, defeating enemies and discovering hidden loot, you’ll find new weapons and armour – but these pieces always pale into comparison to paid items. Paid items are not just obnoxious, they’re so overpowered that you’ll go from genuinely struggling with the difficulty of the game to an unstoppable maiden of death with one swift purchase.
While none of this is a new concept for freemium games, Gameloft just haven’t got the balance right with Dungeon Hunter 4. What could have been a great action RPG title – possibly the best yet on iPhone – has been ruined by stacking the experience so heavily against the non-paying player.