Sega and French developer Amplitude Studios have been toiling away at ENDLESS Dungeon, their spiritual successor/reboot of the classic tower defense game Dungeon of the Endless, since 2020. The wait is almost over, thankfully, since ENDLESS Dungeon will be arriving on consoles and PC in May. With a game like this that mixes so many genres, it can be tough to know how it will actually play. We spent some time with it at a recent press event, so we'll try to explain how it all works.
ENDLESS Dungeon takes place in the far future. Ships have been going missing in a mysterious region of space. As it turns out, those ships were pulled into a mammoth space station, crashing and killing most of their crews. The survivors gather in a makeshift saloon and take turns seeking a way to escape the endless dungeon. The saloon acts as a hub area from which players will start solo or co-op missions, as well as respawn after failed missions.
When playing solo, gamers will select 2-3 characters to take on a run. The inactive character(s) will be controlled by the AI, but you can take control of them at will. The team starts a run in the vicinity of their Crystal Bot, a device that must be protected at all costs. The team will venture out to explore the procedurally generated dungeons, foraging for resources while encountering enemy resistance along the way. The ultimate goal is to escort the Crystal Bot to the next floor, but a lot can go wrong before then.
When players perform certain actions such as moving the Crystal Bot or researching new turrets, a huge wave of enemies will spawn. Setting up turrets will go a long way towards keeping the mobs manageable. As you'd expect, they come in several varieties that cost varying quantities of resources. Turrets can experience from kills, eventually allowing players to level them up. They can also take damage, though, so you'll need to repair them between firefights.
Tower defense is only part of ENDLESS Dungeon's formula. Our heroes will also need to fight! The gameplay uses standard twin-stick controls, so gunplay is intuitive and satisfying. Characters can carry and switch between two weapons, with additional armaments found in chests or sold by vendors. Each character has unique stats, a special skill, and an ultimate skill. The preview build we played offered a total of eight characters with specialties like speed, tank, heavy weapons, and support. A well-balanced team should have the best shot at survival.
While online multiplayer wasn't working during our press preview, sadly, we did learn that ENDLESS Dungeon has been built from the ground up with co-op in mind. It's clear that strategies like splitting up to cover different areas or sticking together to protect the Crystal Bot will make for a solid cooperative experience. All basic resources (food, industry, dust, and science) are shared between the team, so the party will need to build and spend unselfishly in order to thrive. An emote wheel can facilitate communication, and players can also teleport directly to the Crystal Bot in a pinch.
As for ENDLESS Dungeon's Roguelike elements, we saw plenty of randomization in dungeon layouts, equipment, and resources during our playthroughs. It will be interesting to see which resources and upgrades carry over between runs. Each character will have at least one unlockable skin, but I'm hoping for upgrades that will make future runs easier as well.
ENDLESS Dungeon supports 3-player local and online co-op. It will launch on
May 18 October 19 on Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam. A Switch version will also be released. The regular edition will sell for $29.99, whereas "The Last Wish Edition" will cost $39.99. Included in the more expensive addition is: 48-hour Early Access, 'Die-Hard Elite' Skin Pack (3 hero skins), 'Reckless Squad' Digital Artbook, Digital Original Soundtrack ft. singer Lera Lynn and composer Arnaud Roy.