Since 2012, Amplitude Studios has been making a name for themselves with their Endless series of games. Following up on 2017’s Endless Space 2 and working as a loosely connected sequel to Dungeon of the Endless, 2023 is set to see the release of Endless Dungeon. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Sega for an Endless Dungeon preview for some hands-on experience with the gameplay.
I sat down to play Endless Dungeon not really knowing what to expect. We were a three-person team and after choosing random characters in the game’s hub spot known as the Saloon, we were off into the dungeons. In the dungeon, your main goal is to protect your crystal, as well as making sure you survive yourself.
You can use your supplies to set up and upgrade turrets to help you fend off waves of enemies, or you can set up generators to spawn supplies in one of three categories - industry, food, or science. Knowing what to sink your resources into is definitely a learned skill, and the first two times through the dungeon we struggled with not having enough food supplies and thus not being able to buy medikits for healing. At the same time, turret defense of the crystal is absolutely essential to have.
As with any multiplayer game, teamwork is key. Each of the characters has different strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities, and your teams work best if you balance those out. For example, Bunker has great defense, Blaze is heavily offensive, and Zed is a bit of a glass cannon, so you’ll need to use their defense, attack, and speed to cover for each other.
Characters also have background stories, which we didn’t go into too much detail, but were able to chat with them about in the Saloon.
In Endless Dungeon, you gain supplies as you go through and explore levels, including new weapons and both Science and Industry resources. You do lose certain items if you die before the end of a wave of enemies in a level, but even the most assaulted player can gradually gain more materials, which proved to be the most necessary part of our team’s improvement over the course of three runs.
Overall, the Endless Dungeon had an interesting, cyberpunk aesthetic to it, but with a touch of Borderlands vibes. You use the resources you have, and cobble together solutions in a vaguely dingy locale with a cast of eccentric heroes who have varied backstories and even stranger appearances. However, the aesthetic of Endless Dungeon is pretty much where the Borderlands similarities end.
My personal favorite part of Endless Dungeon was that exploration was one of the main gameplay goals. I’m curious by nature, so being told explicitly to go wander off was a great feeling, and scouting out rooms ahead was less of a combat-heavy task and fit better with my personal playstyle than waiting for the next wave of enemies.
One question I do still have about Endless Dungeon is how it works as a singleplayer game. In the three rounds of the Endless Dungeon preview that we played, teamwork was essential and so was having multiple people. You could scout, guard different rooms, and explore at your own pace, all at the same time. Running back and forth across a level from opening a new door to dealing with a new wave of enemies would have been exhausting and more importantly, a frustrating endeavor.
Added to that, working with a team helped to balance out character weaknesses, and it would take a very proficient player to clear a level working alone and playing as some characters, like Bunker. Not that it’s not doable, but I found that working with other players added to the fun of the experience and cut down on what could have been tedious backtracking.
While our Endless Dungeon preview was short, it was still sweet, and even three rounds of the game was enough to see the character and party growth as you progress further into the game. The cyberpunk setting and unique cast of characters are definitely an attraction for those looking to get into a new, team-based roguelike. Endless Dungeon is releasing for PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch on October 19, so those of you interested won’t have long to wait.
Endless Dungeon was previewed at an in-person event in NYC with Sega.