Dungeonland preview: Welcome to the darkest theme park ever!

Dungeonland preview: Welcome to the darkest theme park ever!

Dungeonland for anyone unaware is the first title from Brazilian based Critical Studios; it is a game where cooperation is crucial when playing with friends; players can take control of three types of heroes who set off into a crazy and treacherous medieval theme park.

This perilous park has been created by the Evil Lord Dungeon Master who has become weary of so-called heroes treading on his grand plans for world domination, and he has come up with a design to annihilate all who oppose him. This Dungeon Master is also going to be playable in the final game, however with it not being present in the current build and still being designed we can't give any details on how it's exactly going to work. But the plan is that the Dungeon Master will have the ability to spawn enemies and give your three friends a bit of a hard time while they play.

In this theme park players are able to perform a variety of special attacks dependant on your class. The Mage can use their powers to make your allies temporarily invincible or to terminate the enemy. The Rogue is a slick and quick character who enjoys throwing knifes to gouge the foes, throw out a decoy to distract an enemy or one of his most effective ways of attacking is from sneaking behind them. The Warrior is a tank who likes to get stuck into the action, equipped with a shield and sword you can smash through the enemy bashing them all over the place, and with the ability to use protective armour you can stay alive for longer.

Each character is essential to staying alive and they work as a collective, if one is found on their own then it is a real struggle to survive. As you travel through the dangerous dungeon there will be plenty of loot to be picked up such as armour and weapons, and levelling up will help you to become more powerful by acquiring new skills and abilities, this will help you to defeat the endless swarm of monsters in your way. There is also a huge array of customisable gear from wild wigs (like an afro) to eccentric clothes (Elvis Presley style) to give your characters a taste of your own wacky imaginations.

The hack and slash approach gives creates a more enjoyable experience with each character having their own individual movement styles and attacks. It is also extremely brutal, blood covers the bright and beautifully coloured floors as you slice the enemies to pieces, but there are objects and details in the scenery which gives it a cheerful feeling. The lamp posts fully equipped with hands happily dance around and the burger shaped shops create a pleasant yet completely contradictory atmosphere while you’re being bombarded by giant purple worms and little gnome-like wizards trying their best to kill you and your allies.

However don't let the cutesy style confuse you as the game is not for the faint hearted, it requires some real skill to be able to get through each level and with the added co-op play it will expect you to be able to work as a team, else you will be slaughtered. If you fancy a tougher challenge there are ways in which you can make it even harder, for example trying to do it without a broad mix of characters so instead of one of each, use three rogues.

Each round of the game will be randomised, the maps will have different monsters, treasures and dangers giving a unique feel with every session, and with three types of theme parks there is plenty to explore. The game will bring you and your friends closer as you battle it out to conquer the theme park.

Dungeonland can be played locally with your friends or over the internet, but if you don't fancy online play or no one can come to your humble home, then you can play by yourself and put bots on to control the other two characters giving you a chance to make your way through the theme park.

Critical Studios have obviously put a lot of effort into developing Dungeonland to make it jam packed with excitement and entertainment, the huge amount of humorous monsters and amusing costumes really stands out making this game hard to put down. I am looking forward to what the finished product will bring, Paradox Interactive have really found quite the gem, which with the added Dungeon Master mode will make this game completely unforgettable.

If you'd like to check out some more footage of Dungeonland you can watch Paradox's livestream video. Dungeonland is currently set for a Q4 release during 2012 on Windows and Macintosh.