Hands-on with Dungeon Hunter 3 for iPhone and iPad

Hacked and slashed?

Hands-on with Dungeon Hunter 3 for iPhone and iPad
| Dungeon Hunter 3

I’m going to stick my neck out here and guess that a lot of you who’ve enjoyed the Diablo-esque random dungeon-looting of previous Dungeon Hunter games are going to be a little upset by the next paragraph.

Dungeon Hunter 3 isn’t just a freemium game - it’s also an arena, wave-based action game with pre-determined loot.


Despite such a major shift away from what the series is about, Gameloft is hoping that this new title will introduce a whole new audience to the action-RPG genre, while still ensuring veterans will grudgingly come around to the changes.

Come, stay a while and listen

The best thing about Dungeon Hunter 3 for me is that there’s no longer a rather tired excuse for a story.

Instead, each of the five worlds is broken up into four separate arenas, with five difficulty levels of monsters to fight your way through before unlocking the next set.

These are graded and can be repeated any number of times if you’re gunning for a high score or want to improve your level for the next bout.

Going up in levels also unlocks new equipment from the store. Thankfully, every equippable item can all be bought using in-game cash, so you can lower the pitchforks a little bit.

A kind of magic

There are four classes to choose from, representing the RPG archetypes: the bare-chested Warlord (DPS), the floating Astromancer (Mage), the cloaked Trickster (Ranged), and nature-loving Shamen (defensive magic).

Each class can now be male or female, while separate skill trees ensure that their playing styles are different enough to justify their existence.

Taking to the first arena as a hard-nosed Warlord, for instance, saw me getting into as big a group as possible to use his area attacks, while the Astromancer worked best with a fair gap between my foes and me.

Alas, there won’t be any multiplayer component on release, but Gameloft has told me that it intends to have an update out with both co-op and PvP play in January.

Level up?

Despite the changes to the structure of the game, the gameplay remains distinctly Dungeon Hunter in its execution.

There’s been a few new additions to the combat, including the ability to store two different weapon sets, but otherwise it’s the same gloriously over-the-top hacking and slashing as before.

There may not be any loot drops for you to hoard, but the range of creatures I encountered during my hands-on, from flying gargoyle-type monstrosities to ogre-like boss characters, suggest a good variety of foes to go up against.

We’ll have to see whether that’s enough to placate long-time fans of the series when the game is released later this month.

Will Wilson
Will Wilson
Will's obsession with gaming started off with sketching Laser Squad levels on pads of paper, but recently grew into violently shouting "Tango Down!" at random strangers on the street. He now directs that positive energy into his writing (due in no small part to a binding court order).